Tag Archives | heat wave

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

Bill McKibben lists the three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is – at Rolling Stone:

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history.

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Heat Wave Due To “Exceptionally Strong” Air Mass

Photos: Alex E. Proimos

Photos: Alex E. Proimos

Today has been the coolest day all week in the Northeast of the US.  The Midwest, Northeast and Southern parts of the country have been experiencing consecutive days of high temperatures and humidity which have contributed to many deaths throughout the country. What is the cause of this cantankerous heat and is it an indication of future affects of global warming? The National Geographic reports:

A stubborn high-pressure system is the culprit behind the dangerously high heat wave that’s been baking much of the U.S., experts say.

The high-pressure system—a large area of dense air—is being held in place by upper-level winds known as the jet stream. Within the system, dense air sinks and becomes warmer, and since warm air can hold more moisture than cooler air, there’s also very high humidity. (Learn more about Earth’s atmosphere.)

Stationary high-pressure systems aren’t unusual during the summer, according to Eli Jacks, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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