The evidence continues to mount; the willful blindness to its consequences continues to keep pace.
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s newly released national climate overview:
“The national temperature of 57.1 degrees F during spring was 5.2 degrees F above the long-term average, besting the previous warmest spring of 1910 by 2.0 degrees F.
This marked the largest temperature departure from average of any season on record for the contiguous United States. The spring of 2012 was the culmination of the warmest March, third warmest April, and second warmest May. This marks the first time that all three months during the spring season ranked among the ten warmest, since records began in 1895
January-May was the warmest such period on record for the contiguous United States, with an average temperature of 49.2 degrees F, 5.0 degrees F above the long-term average….
The June 2011-May 2012 period was the warmest 12-month period of any 12 months on record for the contiguous United States. The nationally-averaged temperature of 56.0 degrees F was 3.2 degrees F above the long-term average, surpassing the previous record, set last month (May 2011-April 2012), by 0.4 degrees F. The 12-month period encapsulated the second warmest summer, fourth warmest winter, and the warmest spring on record. Every state across the contiguous U.S. had warmer than average temperatures for the period, except Washington, which was near normal.”
It’s not just the fact that new temperature records are being broken; what’s astonishing is the amount by which records are now being broken. For example, the chart below includes annual January-May temperature data for Atlanta going back all the way to 1929. You can see the normal range of temperatures, and you can also that the deep red line — representing the record year of 2012 — is far outside the norm.
More than 30 years ago, when scientists first began to warn us that this would happen, skepticism might have been understandable. However, that skepticism should be much harder to sustain given the fact that ever since then, climate events have been playing out pretty much as they predicted.
But hey, I guess it really isn’t happening if we refuse to see it, right?
– Jay Bookman