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Warmest 12-Month Period Recorded In US 297

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
First time accepted submitter seanzig writes "Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground provides a good overview of the State of the Climate Report from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). May 2011 through Apr. 2012 broke the previous record (Nov. 1999 — Oct. 2000). A number of other interesting records (e.g., warmest March on record) and stats emerged. It just presents the data and does not surmise anything about the causes or what should be done about it."
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Warmest 12-Month Period Recorded In US

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  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:47PM (#39947623) Homepage

    I think the reason for this is quite clear. It's quite clearly anthropomorphic as well (if you make the assumption that politicians are human).

    The hot air from Washington, DC, the various European capitals, Moscow, Bejing and countless other warrens is overwhelming the planet's defenses.

  • by cirby (2599) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:54PM (#39947733)

    ...is trending cooler.

    Enough cooler, apparently, to more than balance out the relatively local heat we've seen in the US, which is caused by a regional weather situation that's also apparently starting to change.

  • No Alaska (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:54PM (#39947741)

    This report ignores Alaska, the actual statement is "Ten warmest 12-month periods for the contiguous U.S.". So it was the warmest as long as you ignore about 40% of the country, which they also claim Alaska had more snow than any other year since 1955.

    If this is what passes for proof of AWG I think I'll choose to ignore it from now on.

  • Re:No Alaska (Score:5, Informative)

    by Holi (250190) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:17PM (#39947983)

    More snow does not mean cooler temps. More snow means more moisture in the air.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:23PM (#39948065)

    Your garden depends on winter to periodically kill diseases and pests.

    Yeah, it's a pisser down there in Florida where nothing at all grows any more due to all the pests and disease.

  • by ixuzus (2418046) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:26PM (#39948089)

    ...is trending cooler.

    Enough cooler, apparently, to more than balance out the relatively local heat we've seen in the US, which is caused by a regional weather situation that's also apparently starting to change.

    2011 was the ninth warmest year on record despite the cooling influences of La Nina. What period are you taking your trend off? The last three-four years?

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:32PM (#39948167) Homepage
    Sure, and it is a valid point when one has a few weeks of cold or even a few months of cold. And by the same token, a year like this one by itself isn't that useful data. It is when data like this year is part of a larger pattern that it becomes a problem. In this context one has a very hot year by a variety of different metrics and that's on top of a gradual increase in average temperature over the last twenty years. Weather and climate are different, but lots of weather change over the long-term is eventually a sign of climate change.
  • Re:No Alaska (Score:4, Informative)

    by Relic of the Future (118669) <dales@di[ ]alfreaks.org ['git' in gap]> on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:37PM (#39948201)
    One, warming temperatures often lead to more snow.

    Two, over 80% of Alaskans believe climate change is happening, and over 55% believe it's human caused. I'm pretty sure those are both the highest for any "red" state. Why? We've warmed 3.0 degrees (C) in the last 50 years, which is more than a little insane. We (not me personally, I've only been here a few years) have watched it happen. Yes, this year, was a little bit below normal, mostly driven by interior regions (Fairbanks), while the coast, especially the north coast, was still above normal.

    But don't worry, I'm sure they'll be able to remove the "contiguous" qualifier soon enough. For instance, every day in April, save one, was above-normal. But I'm sure that won't change what you believe either.

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:41PM (#39948249) Homepage
    Do you have data to back this claim up? It is true that Europe had a cold snap http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_European_cold_wave [wikipedia.org] where some countries, including France and Italy reported record low temperatures. But even given that, global temperature average on both land and air for February http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/2/ [noaa.gov]were slightly above average and were very high for March http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/3 [noaa.gov] Since February was the height of the cold snap in Europe, and the global temperatures were still high, I'm not sure where you are getting your estimate.
  • Re:No Alaska (Score:5, Informative)

    by Holi (250190) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:50PM (#39948333)

    So I am wrong, care to educate me, o' weather scientist. Are you saying moisture density in the air is not increased by heat? And why would it have to be colder for more snow. I find that snow is more likely to fall closer to the freezing point, in fact the temperature generally rises when it snows.
    Basically what I am saying is it can get too cold to snow (well not really but the probability the conditions for snow are vastly reduced), below 0F you really don't get much precipitation. Snow requires a few things to occur before you see those white flakes. 1 Moisture saturation, the more moisture in the air means the higher probability of snow, 2. Temperature, must allow the ice crystals to stay frozen on their way down, 3 a temperature difference between the lower atmosphere and the area where snow develops. On really cold days there is not enough heat to drive the saturated air to the very cold layers of the atmosphere where snow forms

    Oh wait you said I was wrong? Hmm guess not.

  • Re:Keep it coming! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:52PM (#39948351)

    The time between peak temperatures can be used to measure climate change. Global warming is expected to decrease those times. Since it was 12 years since the hottest year on record, the next value might be 7 years, then 5 years, and so on. Without climate change those times would be a function of the length of recorded temperatures and would usually increase in duration as more data was recorded (40 yrs to 50 years to 80 years, etc.).

  • Re:No Alaska (Score:5, Informative)

    by Holi (250190) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:58PM (#39948405)

    Except snow doesn't form down here, it forms high up in the atmosphere, to get that water up there you have to have heat to drive the saturated air up. Notice it snows far heavier on the warmer winter days. Once the temp drops well below freezing the chances of snow are greatly reduced.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @06:33PM (#39948709) Journal
    Either cite your sources or take your disinformation elsewhere Jane. The IPCC and NAS both claim greater than 50% of the variation is human caused, the natural part has a very slight downward trend over the last century, the upward AGW signal dominates the historical trend, it even obscures the significant cooling signal coming from sulphurous smog.

    Pretentions of honesty: Looking at the rest of the innane comments in this story, it's clear to me that slashdot has upset the Heartland Institue with yesterday's story and their army of astroturfers and useful idiots will now fill this thread with noise. Keep up the good work slashdot!
  • by rubycodez (864176) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @07:39PM (#39949219)
    9th warmest. not the warmest. So warmest period for a small region like the continental US not really significant. also, La Nina moves heat around, doesn't make it vanish.
  • Re:Keep it coming! (Score:4, Informative)

    by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @10:24PM (#39950217)

    Random deviations in a chaotic system (like weather)

    Climate is a different story and can be quantifiable to the extent that effects such as El Nino were identified over a century ago.
    What is your motivatation to mislead with irrelevant rubbish such as you posted above? Just because there is noise in a system does not mean the system does not exist.

  • by nospam007 (722110) * on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @11:10PM (#39950459)

    "Tell me the downside of being able to grow two crops a year of many vegetables."

            Dengue Fever
            Malaria
            Rift Valley Fever
            Yellow Fever Eastern equine encephalitis
            Japanese encephalitis
            La Crosse encephalitis
            St. Louis encephalitis
            West Nile virus
            Western equine encephalitis

    and that's only some insects, there's more fun coming for you.

  • by Xyrus (755017) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @08:42AM (#39953361) Journal

    You are a luddite when it comes to climate science. Or science in general since your arguments wouldn't even stand up to the most basic scrutiny of a peer-review.

    How about you take your clearly superior intelligence and read up on the subject. You can start with the IPCC report which explains the research very well in laymen's terms. After that, you can read the thousands of referenced scientific papers on the subject.

    Or if that's too much, you could go ahead and write a paper without doing any background research that explains the current observations without using AGW. Submit it and win a Nobel (assuming your paper doesn't get absolutely destroyed for the child-like logic you use here). That's a cool million for you right there for the taking. Easy as pie.

    Global warming isn't some new theory someone pulled out of their ass a couple years ago. It's over 120 years old. Scientists have been predicting a warming world due to increases in greenhouse gases since before the computer was invented. So if you can come up with a plausible theory that explains how all the current science was built on nonsense you'd be the scientific equivalent of Einstein.

"Why can't we ever attempt to solve a problem in this country without having a 'War' on it?" -- Rich Thomson, talk.politics.misc

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