Wednesday, July 4, 2012

And yet here we are ...

From :

Little relief for the mid-Atlantic after 'super derecho' downs power infrastructure


Troubling patterns in a decade of hotter temperatures

Although no single weather event can be directly attributed to global warming, temperature records over the past several decades indicate that the world is moving toward more extreme heat, rather than extreme cold, said Steven Running, director of the Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group at the University of Montana.

"What we see from the record is that we're breaking high temperature records twice as frequently as low temperature records," he said. "Without fingering any particular event, we can say that the probability distribution of temperature is being tilted towards warmer times."

Running noted that even climate scientists who predicted global warming in the late 1960s would be surprised at the heat extremes and weather patterns we are seeing today. More than 22,000 temperature record highs have been set this year, many of them during an unusually warm March. Warm winter conditions are responsible in part for the severity of the current wildfires in the Rocky Mountain West, blazes that have cost more than $100 million to fight and claimed half a dozen lives.

"Forty years ago, pre-eminent climate scientists of the last century didn't think the problem was developing at a speed we'd have to worry about in our lifetimes," Running said. "Most of the science community didn't think [climate change] would be urgent before midcentury."

"And yet here we are," he said.

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