With Blow-Out March Heat Wave, Meteorologist Masters Says ‘This Is Not The Atmosphere I Grew Up With’

2012 Heat Records Demolish Cold Records 14-to-1

It has been a summer to remember. In winter.

Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace. As Weather Channel meteorologist Stu Ostro says of the current heat wave:

This remarkable warmth is associated with a bulging ridge of high pressure aloft that is exceptionally strong and long-lasting for March. While natural factors are contributing to this warm spell, given the nature of it and its context with other extreme weather events and patterns in recent years there is a high probability that global warming is having an influence upon its extremity.

This year, U.S. heat records have been outnumbering cold records by a stunning amount — 14-to-1 (19-to-1 in March) — as this chart from Steve Scolnik at Capital Climate makes clear:

Monthly ratio of daily high temperature to low temperature records set in the U.S. for every month of 2011 and the first half of March, seasonal ratio for summer and fall 2011, winter 2011-2012 to date, and annual ratio for 2011 and 2012, data from NOAA.

I like the statistical aggregation across the country, since it gets us beyond the oft-repeated point that you can’t pin any one record temperature on global warming. If you want to know the historical ratios, see the 2009 analysis, “Record high temperatures far outpace record lows across U.S.,” which shows that the average ratio for the 2000s was 2.04-to-1, a sharp increase from previous decades. Gerald Meehl, the lead author and a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), explained, “If temperatures were not warming, the number of record daily highs and lows being set each year would be approximately even.”

As Jason Samenow of the Capital Weather Gang notes, this week saw truly “Historic record warm weather“:

Temperatures more characteristic of June have broken hundreds of temperature records over the last several days and promise to continue into the next week in many areas. In some places, temperatures have been an eye-popping 30-40 degrees above normal, nearing or surpassing the warmest temperatures ever recorded so early in the season.

Since Sunday, an amazing 943 new record highs have been broken or tied across the U.S. compared to just 9 record lows

Record highs set Wednesday. Open circles indicate records were tied, circles with an x indicate records were broken.

This is not your father’s climate, as Ostro has documented at great length (see this big PDF):

In recent years I’ve documented hundreds of extreme and/or unusual weather events nationally and globally, but this one is even freaking me out with the nature of the air mass, clouds and downpours yesterday and today, and how the sky has looked so tropical, where I live in the Atlanta area – in mid-March. It’s surreal.

Unfortunately, it’s all too real — and just going to get worse and worse until we act to sharply reduce emissions of industrial carbon pollution.

Meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters has done some great reporting on this heat wave, in part because he lives in Michigan, which just got slammed by “the earliest EF-3 or stronger tornado in Michigan history, going back to 1950.”

As Masters wrote Friday (emphasis in original):

As I stepped out of my front door into the pre-dawn darkness from my home near Ann Arbor, Michigan yesterday morning, I braced myself for the cold shock of a mid-March morning. It didn’t come. A warm, murky atmosphere, with temperatures in the upper fifties–30 degrees above normal–greeted me instead. Continuous flashes of heat lightning lit up the horizon, as the atmosphere crackled with the energy of distant thunderstorms. Beware the Ides of March, the air seemed to be saying. I looked up at the hazy stars above me, flashing in and out of sight as lightning lit up the sky, and thought, this is not the atmosphere I grew up with.

If we’re going to paraphrase Shakespeare, how about: Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by global warming.

Here’s Masters today on “Summer in March continues for Midwest“:

For the third consecutive day, Chicago, Illinois hit their warmest temperature on record so early in the year, going back to 1872. The mercury hit 82°F, giving the city its third consecutive day of 80°+ temperatures, smashing the old record by a month. Previously, the earliest Chicago had ever seen three consecutive 80 degree days was back on April 14 – 16, 1976. This morning’s Public Information Statement from the National Weather Service in Chicago had this to say:

Chicago and Rockford have both broken high temperature records 3 days in a row and will likely break record highs for 5 days in a row. There is even the potential they could tie or break record highs for 6 or 7 days in a row depending on how warm temperatures get on Monday and Tuesday. It is extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day. At the current pace… it is likely that Chicago and Rockford will not only break… but shatter their current record warmest Marches.

Minneapolis, Minnesota hit 79°F yesterday, the warmest it’s ever been this early in the year, going back to 1872, and 39°F above average. This smashes the old record by a remarkable 6°F. Previous record: 73°F, set just two days previously, and also on March 7, 2000.

Bismark, North Dakota hit 81°F yesterday, which was a remarkable 41°F above normal. Not only does this tie Bismarck’s warmest all-time monthly March temp on record (three other 81°F readings later in the month, with March 22,1910 being next earliest), it beats the next warmest early season record by a full 6°! The previous record was 75°F on March 12, 2007. Temperatures also soared into the 70’s well into Canada’s prairies on Friday, setting all-time warm temperature records for so early in the year across much of southern Canada.

International Falls, Minnesota hit 71°F yesterday, which was 36°F above normal, and their earliest 70°F reading by two weeks. Previously, the earliest 70°F reading came on March 30, 1967. Back on March 17, 1897, the temperature in International Falls hit -33°F!

And in case you think the only extreme weather records being set this year are in the United States, remember, “Brutal Droughts, Worsened By Global Warming, Threaten Food Production Around The World.”

The really worrisome part is that we’ve only warmed about a degree and a half Fahrenheit in the past century.  We are on track to warm five times times that or more this century (see M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F — with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F ).

In short, we ain’t seen nothing yet!

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68 Responses to With Blow-Out March Heat Wave, Meteorologist Masters Says ‘This Is Not The Atmosphere I Grew Up With’

  1. Joan Savage says:

    The Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for the rest of the year is showing likelihood of above-average temperatures persisting over much of the continental U.S. for much of the summer.

    I’d really like a mild summer, but it is not in the long-term forecast.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    This is the worst Horror Movie ever! Made by a few generations of Humans, but starring all Humans which will ever been born.

    Just imagine you are born today and grow up now. Solastalgia for everybody!

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Solastalgia is a neologism coined by the Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht in 2003 with the first article published on this concept in 2005.[1] It describes a form of psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change, such as mining or climate change.
    As opposed to nostalgia – the melancholia or homesickness experienced by individuals when separated from a loved home – “solastalgia” is the distress that is produced by environmental change impacting on people while they are directly connected to their home environment. A paper published by Albrecht and collaborators focused on two contexts where collaborative research teams found solastalgia to be evident: the experiences of persistent drought in rural New South Wales (NSW) and the impact of large-scale open-cut coal mining on individuals in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW. In both cases, people exposed to environmental change experienced negative affect that is exacerbated by a sense of powerlessness or lack of control over the unfolding change process.[2]
    Conceptualising environmentally-induced distress as mental illness has been discussed by Seamus Mac Suibhne

  4. Jacob says:

    …Yet seemingly–in our (American) society– it’s “Nothing to see here” and business as usual.

    I’d like a job so I could do more than just survive, but even if I had one I’d have to live with knowing it’s just continuing to contribute to the problem.

  5. Albatross says:

    No, no, climate change is a myth concocted by scientists working with Al Gore to earn millions of dollars by stealing our underpants and making huge profits blah blah blah #MoronicClimateChangeDeniers

  6. fj says:

    How long will this country continue as the Fox News nation before it wakes from its stupor to stop accelerating climate change at wartime speed?

  7. Peter says:

    The climate is in the early stages of rapid change- as Hansen said last year.

    The ‘loaded dice’ into the ‘red’ have made warm spells of the past, longer and more intense.

  8. Peter says:

    The NOAA long term outlook sees above average temperatures from now until the winter if 2013 for the northeast.

    This could change of course- but the spring of 2102 looks very warm for the east, south and Midwest. It looks like in many parts of the country it will be very warm.

  9. Raul M. says:

    Revelationary change?

  10. squidboy6 says:

    Global warming/climate change could provide a very real incentive for regime change in the United States! But somehow I think the deniers are all sitting inside with the air-conditioning and watching Fox TV.

  11. David F. says:

    This is almost certainly an unnatural airmass. I don’t see how temperatures this warm would even be possible in the absence of an elevated greenhouse atmosphere. It’s been in the 70s to near 80 (with lows in the 50s!) here in northwest Ohio for several days in a row, at a time when average highs are around 45.

    International Falls, MN, the so-called “icebox of the nation” was up to 75 degrees. That is 41 degrees above normal, and 20 degrees warmer than the previous record high (based on records dating to the 19th century). The low there this morning was 53 degrees, just two degrees below the previous record daily high! Just incredible. But if you believed the deniers, we’re in a cooling trend.

  12. Scott Supak says:

    I’m an Intrade bettor. I have small bets on the political and climate markets there. Alas, it seems the wingnuts are unwilling to put their money where their big mouths are, as I’m having trouble finding people to take the other side of the bets. I currently have some shares of the Global Temperature Anomaly for March being over .45 that I got for less than $2 a share, which means it will pay 4:1 if the Anomaly is over .45.

    So, I would be very interested in seeing this heat record data for the whole world. Anyone know where I can get that kind of data?

  13. Harry Middlemas says:

    Though the chances are slim I can’t help but think that our only hope is to elect someone other than President Obama. I thought, like many, that he was the answer, that he would save us. There is no other issue than global warming, all else pails in comparison. And on that he has been a complete failure. If we are to survive, and more importantly my too small children, we must have someone who will act. There is an alternative (yes I know I am dreaming) Rocky Anderson. With social media I have the dream that we can shake things up. After watching the recent James Hansen TED talk it is apparent time is very short indeed!

  14. Scott Supak says:

    You are dreaming, Harry. Not that it’s not a nice dream.

    Our best bet is to try to keep the Senate, take back the house, and then push Obama like we did on Keystone until he actually puts a price on carbon. It may just be the crappy cap-n-trade version, but it would be better than nothing, I guess.

    Remember, Frederick Douglass had to push Lincoln to do the right thing about slavery.

    Presidents are in tough spots, especially with lunatics in charge of the House. Our best hope is to give Obama some back up and then push like hell to get him to use that back up to do the right thing.

    Such is American Politics.

  15. Leif says:

    Raul M: I like to call it “R-love-utioary Change” to distinguish the effort from all other human attempts at social justice. It must be fought with “Love” the underlying weapon.

    It cannot be long before Inhofe and his henchmen will be wishing they could be sharing the the “Global Warming Igloo” they built for Al Gore, et. al.

  16. Joan Savage says:

    Try browsing the information provided by the World Meteorological Organization.

  17. prokaryotes says:

    There is one thing here and that is the election main focus. It will be climate change i think with the next election. Obama will win this election and do everything possible to combat climate change.

    But this is not enough it turns out. So Obama haz somehow go full force on this topic. But he cannot do this as long the republicans deny the issue. But he could in the instant of large scale climate impacts.

  18. prokaryotes says:

    Speaking of Kathrina 2.0 (in the pipeline and fed well) or a heatwave related death toll in the 5 digits.

  19. Raul M. says:

    Is hurricane season coming early this year?

  20. MorinMoss says:

    I think a lot of people forget that the President is not an Emperor. If the Tea Party tail continues to wag the Congressional dog, Obama’s efforts may well come to naught even if he moves to the left of Chavez, instead of to the right of Reagan.

  21. Jim Pettit says:

    Today’s final results in IF:



    So, International Falls beat its average high by 43 degrees, the previous record high for the date by 22 degrees, and the all-time March high by four degrees.

    And a quick scan shows this: Chicago reached 81 today, the fourth day in a row there over 80. Prior to 2012, there had only been 10 days in March with the temperature in Chicago in the 80s.

    Nope. Nothing abnormal here. :-\

  22. fj says:

    Gotta realize that the military and national security orgs likely have a lot of the same satellites, long-range sensors, and information that NASA’s James Hansen gets; maybe a lot more, because budgets are not as transparent or restrained; and, they could even be easily monitoring NASA; why would NASA deny them this information?

    So, it should be real easy to paint a bleak picture of the future if we do not act fast; maybe the process is in the works; and the reason for uncharacteristically rational comments from the usual rightwingnuts, as posted on this blog and elsewhere; as the word and or reality and the obviousness of the dire situation leaks out.

  23. fj says:

    To realize the length of time and how the White House might be preparing to really act on rapidly accelerating climate change of such daunting scale, read how it worked to eliminate Osama bin Laden — a problem miniscule in comparison — in David Corn’s Mother Jones article

    “Showdown”: Inside the Obama White House

    (at least we can hope)

  24. BillD says:

    Gee, I’m already tired of the too hot weather in the northern Midwest and it isn’t even spring yet.

    The good thing about this weather is that it will get a lot of people thinking about global warming, even if the media remain relatively silent.

  25. thanes says:

    A British jurist is arguing for the creation of an international court for the environment (it seems he views it will be essential for enforcing treaty obligations).

    I just want to make sure that US fossil fuelists, who tend to be of a conservative bent and are awfully fond of capital punishments for others, will be grateful that the rest of the world (minus China, Saudi Arabia and North Korea) are, and hopefully will be, more enlightened.

  26. Harry Middlemas says:

    Yes but he has the bully pulpit. He could being doing much more speaking to the American people and educating them, and they in turn put pressure on congress.

  27. James Martin says:

    Concise. Thank you.

  28. Today’s Maximum Temps in Marquette, MI: 75
    (all-time maximum record for this date)
    (previous maximum 65 in 1966)

    Tonight’s Minimum Temps in Marquette, MI: 54
    (all-time maximum record for this date)
    (previous maximum 38 in 1966)

    Both are all-time records for the period Jan 1 – March 31 since record-keeping began in 1948.

  29. Sasparilla says:

    “Obama will win this election and do everything possible to combat climate change.”

    I wish I could believe that prokaryotes, but that just doesn’t seem likely based on his past choices (whether it was the 2 tar sands pipelines – keystone 1 & Alberta Clipper – getting approved months into office, summer of 2009, the House leadership being floored that the administration was not wanting to lobby House votes for cap and trade bill that was eventually passed there (after serious pushing the admin stepped up to the plate), or giving away the oil drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico when the Senators trying to create a climate bill in the Senate were desperately asking the Administration for help and leverage and on and on – it started at the beginning and continued throughout). All the speeches before the election turned out to be just that – talk, surrendered at the door.

    He did some nice things for green energy when they could be done (stimulus package primarily but it was the House and Senate writing those) – but he’s not been making things happen for climate change since he went into office. To expect he would after going into office again would not seem to be warranted.

    That said, we want him in there in 2012 instead of some Republican who would rubber stamp some anti-clean energy kookiness if the GOP takes the Senate. Either way, nothing moves forward with the House in GOP hands and the Dems in the Senate having way more re-elections than the Repubs do (making it easier to grab seats for the GOP).

    For this election cycle its still a job of trying to loose as slowly as possible at this point – hold the line in 2012 and look forward to possibly getting the House back in 2014 and then maybe some real progress with 2016 election. But remember Dems had veto proof majorities in the House and Senate & President after 2008 – they can’t get the job done without the GOP and the GOP has made climate action radioactive, that has to get fixed before we can get anywhere (as awful as it is to say that). JMHO..

  30. Sasparilla says:

    The weather is truly extraordinary (and totally frightening for what it portends in the future). I’m up at the IL and WI border and breaking out the shorts for this summer weather that we’ve had for a week already – not looking to get down to the 60’s for high’s till the end of next week.

    After this winter where none of our lakes (larger than ponds) froze up (which apparently was the case in MN as well) blows the mind. After the winter I was expecting nature to balance the checkbook a little with a cold wet spring…but here we are with continuous all time record temps. I guess those Robins that arrived in the middle of February new what they were doing…

    I wonder how far into the future can we expect the kind of no Winter and Spring we’re having in the midwest to occur normally?

    This Winter / Spring will be a normal at some point in the future (probably far out – hopefully), but that’s frightening when you think about it for what it means.

  31. Paul Magnus says:

    “the sky has looked so tropical,”

    Yes, I have noted that around my area here in the NW recently.

  32. Hey guys. Is this me, or this March heatwave darn weird. Even the best science fiction writer could not write about weather like this. I live in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada and yes, it is suppose to reach 25C this weekend, almost 25C ABOVE normal. It is too bizarre. Add the fact that a bunch of tornadoes in the least likely areas in early March. What do you have… It makes you think about this weird weather if we have had some influence.

  33. prokaryotes says:

    Mabye maybe not-but they are not trained to do anything .

  34. prokaryotes says:

    These people are in the same situation
    , than you and me.

  35. prokaryotes says:

    Yes, and and i wrote that it will be not enough. He does it Obama that is not enough.

  36. riverat says:

    While it’s been hot east of the Rockies here in Oregon it’s been a cool and drier than expected spring. Here in the Willamette Valley we’ve had snowfall 3 times so far this month and might get another dusting tomorrow night too. They didn’t completely cover the lawn and were melted by afternoon but that’s extremely unusual for low elevations in the valley in March.

  37. Raul M. says:

    That would be a dramatic change for society as Love is usually thought of as a something once many other needs are met.

  38. For all you people in the States who say Obama is not doing enough…. at LEAST he is doing SOMETHING. Stephen Harper in Canada is doing absolutely nothing on climate change and green energy.

  39. Malcreado says:

    Obama is no Teddy Roosevelt. If he can get a congress that supports him he will make more progress, but he lacks the leadership to force the issue.

  40. wili says:

    How are the extremes that we are experiencing different from what would be expected if there were a large methane release going on in the Arctic, as was reported here and elsewhere last year?

  41. Jay Alt says:

    Thanks. A very useful link.

  42. thanes says:

    I think the dice analogy needs to be nerdily amended.
    We aren’t weighting them. We aren’t painting on new pips.
    We are exchanging them for Dungeons and Dragons ten-sided, or twelve-sided.
    New dice for a new world.

  43. thanes says:

    He did NOT approve the XL pipeline, and that was plenty enough for me for this election to make phone calls and knock on doors for him. Alot of doors.
    And I know it doesn’t pay to be naive, but let’s just see what the President does if he wins re-election. I have this sneaking suspicion that we’ll all be pretty excited.
    President Obama doesn’t think about next year. He thinks about next decade, and fifty years down the road. He is going to surprise us.

  44. thanes says:

    There’s a pretty short, good summary of what a worst case scenario for a methane catastrophe would mean from RealClimate a couple months back-

    As I understand it, methane like CO2 is a well-mixed gas so if the arctic’s methane release were currently affecting us we would know it already. This effect, worse case scenario, would act like a doubling of CO2, acting like a 780 ppm. If feedbacks are linear (and clearly that’s speculative, given the arctic changes are behaving VERY differently, and much worse than IPCC 4 covered) that should give us a new warming trend of 0.4 C /decade, something we’d notice pretty quickly.
    If it was just beginning to “tip” into unstoppable outgassing and have a hard-to-detect meaningful effect now, we would have a hard time knowing right off because methane’s current concentration is way below spectral saturations, is a powerful GHG, and does decompose after 2-10 years into CO2. As I understand it, there are gaps in monitoring methane out gassing now that people are becoming concerned about. For the past decade a rise in methane emission paused, but there are observations it is rising again.
    In short, the warming in the Arctic is somewhat unexpectedly severe and may well lead to catastrophic methane outgassing before we know it, but methane catastrophe isn’t what’s going on right now. Instead, the effects of rising CO2 and feedbacks are hard to predict exactly, and may have extreme consequences of which danger we have only a faint suspicion. This illustrates that the real scientific debate isn’t about global warming existence but severity, not what’s in the general press about whether or not the low-ball consensus statements of the IPCC are legitimate. This is incredibly, dangerously misleading, and the real issue is that the upper bounds of predicitons seems to be the right ones nearly every time, and the uncertainties on the high end, the things like 1 m sea-level rise per 20 years for 5 centuries as suggested by paleoclimate data, are not getting any play. And they should. Because we don’t really know what we are getting ourselves into, except that we know it ain’t good.

  45. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    He’s also thinking about the economy and his reelection, peak oil and reelection, renewable energy sources and reelection, rates of renewable energy replacement of fossil fuels and reelection, etc., etc., etc. and reelection. He will be reelected because he’s running unopposed for all practical purposes, and he’s too smart to blow it. Many Republican voters will vote by not voting – a 180 degree twist on the 2010 mid-terms. I’d love to be a fly on the wall during his meetings with Chu and Holdren. I’d like to take it as a plus that neither has left the administration. A man can hope… again.

  46. Anne says:

    I keep wondering — how long will it be – or has it started already — that the deniers that are Members of Congress will be the first to whine for federal disaster assistance when climate change disrupts and destroys in their districts and states. Floods, hurricanes, droughts, etc. all hitting harder and more frequently, and indiscriminately – if there were a fair way to tie federal assistance for climate-related disasters to those areas that are doing their best to cut GHG emissions, that might send a message. But, alas, there is no fair or even moral way of doing that. Still, when Jim Inhofe seeks relief for his state of Oklahoma for some future crisis in one breath and calls climate change a hoax in the other, I’ll need to take a sedative and lie down to avoid screaming.

  47. Doug D says:

    My town in S. Minnesota is likely to have record highs 9 out of 10 days for the period that ends on Tuesday. The record for today, March 18th was actually tied at midnight – the first second of the day tied the record of 66F!

  48. Skeptic says:

    January, 1934 – Most Of The US Was 5C Above Normal — January, 1880 – 8C Above Normal In Chicago — Shhhhh, don’t tell the alarmists — facts get them riled up.

  49. wili says:

    Thanks for the reply.

    “we are getting ourselves into”

    I think that says it all. We don’t know enough to know when or how strongly various feedbacks will kick in. That is one of many reasons it would have been wiser to err on the side of caution and not un-sequestered all that carbon.

    The Arctic is a very funny place. Gasses tend to get trapped near the surface by inversions during the summer. Then in the late fall and winter as the inversion collapses, they can quickly mix up into the air column, especially light ones like methane.

    My fear is that much of the methane reported to be bubbling out of the seas at a dramatically increased rate (that prompted an emergency scientific team to be sent up there) has risen into the stratosphere. There it reacts with ozone to form water vapor, a very powerful ghg at that altitude.

    I can’t prove any of this, but I think things like this could be going on without many people being very aware of it, perhaps till long after the fact, if ever.

    Has anyone seen any preliminary data on the state of the ozone hole over the Northern Hemisphere this spring? I remember that it was shockingly huge last year.

  50. SecularAnimist says:

    Re: the comments about Obama and the upcoming election. two points.

    1. Yes, Obama has failed to do what needs to be done to address global warming.

    2. No, there is no remotely realistic possibility of electing anyone who will do more or do better than Obama.

  51. Peter says:

    Who pays you? In 1934 global temps where about 0.2 degrees C above the PI industrial level- now they are 0.8-

  52. Colorado Bob says:

    ‘This Is Not The Atmosphere I Grew Up With’

    This is variation on ” We’ve never seen this before”. I first noticed this one in 2007 fire stories. All over the world that year firefighters were saying that phrase. Now, every event seems to have that comment from witnesses the these events.
    Probably the most troubling use of that phrase, came this week , with a study on pine beetles.
    “Then we saw them do something we’d never see them do before, ……”

    That is, raise 2 generations in one year. The beetles have been doing just that for 3 years.

    The Mountain Research Station site is about 10,000 feet in elevation, 1,000 feet higher than the beetles have historically thrived. In their study, Mitton and Ferrenberg emphasize this anomaly.

    “While our study is limited in area, it was completed in a site that was characterized as climatically unsuitable for (mountain pine beetle) development by the U.S. Forest Service only three decades ago,” they write.

    But in 25 years, the beetles have expanded their range, 2,000 feet higher in elevation and 240 miles north in latitude in Canada, Mitton said.

    This exponential increase in the beetle population might help to explain the scope of the current beetle epidemic, which is the largest in history and extends from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico to the Yukon Territory near Alaska.

  53. fj says:

    In past battles usually the military has often called upon to kill for peace.

    With climate change it may well be called on to save life for peace and pursue an extraordinary destiny.

  54. Dan says:

    If we hadn’t given up within 2 years of the 2008 election, we might have had a Congress that sent some good climate legislation to the President to sign…and he would have signed it. The President is one piece of the puzzle we have in place for solving the problem. Unfortunately we need 66 progressive Senators (so excluding conservative or gas, oil, and coal state Democrats) and a majority in the House.

  55. nyc-tornado-10 says:

    A key point about this super warm wave, we are getting record highs that are all time record highs for the time of year for days in a row in the affected areas. This is what russia say in summer 2010, and much of europe had in summer 2003. In addition to a warmer world, weather patterns tend to lock into place for months, greatly increasing the record breaking. The reason weather patterns are not shifting is being understood as caused by the fast warming arctic weakening the polar vortex, which prevents the jet stream from shifting.

    If this pattern continues across much of the US into summer, most of us will experience a hell on earth.

  56. Spike says:

    The UK faces a severe impact on its aquatic wildlife unless major rain falls soon

  57. David Fox says:

    This is the typical sentiment of mainstream democrats, but its off base. First off, he did have the support of congress in the first year, what did we get then? A watered down health care bill that was literally written by the health care industry.

    I’m tired of people giving Obama a pass because they ‘like him’. Judge the man on his deeds. If you did, what you would find is a tried & true 1%’er.

    If you switched the man, Obama with G.W., but didn’t change the actions – people would not be so generous would they?

  58. PeterW says:

    It’s interesting in my area, Ontario, people are definitely noticing the climate difference, but instead of being worried they’re happy about the early summer. Many think this is a good thing.

  59. Ken Barrows says:

    February 2012 was the coolest month globally since January 2008, according to NCDC. Gee, I wonder why deniers in the USA aren’t pointing that out?

  60. Lynden says:

    You know David, that is just false. When your 60th vote in the Senate is Joe Lieberman, a man who campaigned and voted for your opponent, you don’t have control of the legislative branches. Also too you had Landriu, Nelson, Nelson, McCaskill, Tester and Webb. You can’t assume any of those votes. Also too Kennedy and Byrd spent more time in the hospital than on the Senate floor.

  61. Timeslayer says:

    Well said Lynden.

    It’s beyond frustrating that people like David actually think they are helping, when all they are really doing is helping Republicans.


  62. Solar Jim says:

    We seem to be like bacterium expanding exponentially across a planet petri dish, fed for fossil ignition and contained within our own gas chamber, as we wonder at the wall of physical limits and begin to experience the ultimate toxicities of our own carbonic acid contamination (over a trillion tons and rapidly rising) in air, ocean and soil.

    After a year of hand calculation in 1896 Arrhenius determined that doubling carbonic acid gas (or equivalent) would raise earth’s temperature by an average of 3C. An excellent effort to warn humanity, yet of little avail under profit-by-war corporations and nation-state competition.

    Welcome to the future sold to you by General Engines Futurama: eco-death by fossil/atomic militant corporatism, globalized, advancing toward a precipice.

  63. malcreado says:

    Yeah; He got one thing through. Sure he chose health care over a price on carbon. As David points out it was a watered down Health Care bill. In that environment what do you suppose a Carbon Price bill would have looked like? Watered Down…. perhaps it is best it didn’t happen as a watered down bill may have been his climate mission accomplished moment.
    On the Glass is half full side we are getting a significant number of Coal Power Plant Closures (sure we need more, like all of them) and a much higher CAFE plus a lot of money for basic research. So it is not all bad news, but he needs to do Much Much More.

  64. Mekhong Kurt says:

    prokaryotes, I was unaware of the term, and greatly appreciate your explaining it and the research behind it. Thank you.

  65. Mekhong Kurt says:

    Saspirilla, I want to mention just one point in your posting, and that is your statement that Obama had a veto-proof majority in the Senate during his first two years.

    Actually, he didn’t. Particularly given the presence of Blue Dog Democrats — not always reliable in backing the President’s positions.

  66. Mekhong Kurt says:

    Mr. D — don’t wade into a wit fight witless. Did the good guys leave their six-shooters in their hotel before heading out to the OK corral?

  67. Mekhong Kurt says:

    Colorado Bob, I’ve been reading about that — a good while at that — too, and have pointed to it as one piece of at least indirect evidence in discussions with skeptics and deniers. (Usually to zero effect, unsurprisingly.)

  68. arf says:

    Having been through the blisteringly hot summer that SE Australia experienced 3 years ago, I understand that this sort of weather is disconcerting.

    Yet, three years on, SE Australia has been unusually cool and wet.

    I’m not stating this as ‘proof’ that there’s nothing to worry about, but to point out that the current extreme is not the new norm, and you may paint yourself into a corner in a year or two if you’re then experiencing record blizzards.

    So, what? What you’re looking at is a system that is being driven by an excess heat load. This may well display itself, not as a steady and dramatic rise in temperatures, but as a series of increasingly violent oscillations as the system seeks a new equilibrium.