Three straight days of record highs in much of North Carolina remind us that it’s a little hotter lately. But is it climate change?
Why you should think so:
> “Spring 2012 in the contiguous U.S. demolished the old records for hottest spring and most extreme season of any kind.” (http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2115)
> The last 12 months were also the hottest on record in the lower 48 states. (http://planetsave.com/2012/06/09/noaa-hottest-year-on-record-in-us-so-far-new-hottest-12-month-period/)
> Global surface temperature has been trending upward at an increasing rate since at least 1880. So local and U.S. heat records should be no surprise. (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/)
> This temperature change is strongly correlated with the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “The bottom line is that atmospheric carbon dioxide acts as a thermostat in regulating the temperature of Earth.” (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/co2-temperature.html)
> Nearly three-quarters of the U.S. is in drought, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map. “The parched conditions have been aggravated by a dry, mild winter and above-normal temperatures.”(http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/for-parts-of-the-1467652.html)
Carbon accumulations in air and water from emissions to date mean droughts, torrential storms, heat waves (in all seasons) and wildfires in the West and Southeast are likely to keep increasing for at least several decades – even if humanity quickly begins reducing global warming pollution from fossil fuels.
People around us die because of heat waves; high nighttime temperatures are a big factor. Others of us sort of get used to a little more heat and drought. It’s called the “boiling frog syndrome.” The frog (humanity) will boil to death in a pan of water without hopping out as long as the heat rises gradually. He gets used to it.