Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Big Melt

Sure, it's difficult for some in Northwest Florida who suffered through an unusually cool, wet winter to appreciate that this past winter was the fifth warmest on record for Planet Earth. Indeed, the past decade was the "warmest decade ever."

But it's a big world. And in Peru, "home to 70 percent of the world's tropical ice fields,"that world is melting fast.

According to NASA, for the northern hemisphere, "combined land and ocean" temperatures for February, 2010, "tied with 2009 as the tenth warmest on record." For the southern hemisphere, it was the "warmest February on record."
The combined global land and ocean surface temperature during December 2009 - February 2010 ranked as the fifth warmest on record. During the three-month season, warmer-than-average temperatures engulfed much of the planet's surface, with the exception of anomalously cool conditions across Europe, western and central Russia, and most of the contiguous United States. The seasonal temperature for the worldwide land surface was the 13th warmest December-February on record, 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average. Meanwhile, the worldwide ocean surface temperature had the second warmest December-February temperature on record, behind 1998.
It's a weakness of human nature to think that the weather is what we see outside our window. Reality is a great deal bigger than that.

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