Wednesday, October 17, 2012

September 2012 warmest on record - worldwide

It may not have seemed so in parts of the US, but worldwide temperatures in September 20112 were the warmest the month has been since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. It was also the 331st straight month with above-average temperatures, and the 36th straight year with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

What does this mean? Weather patterns are changing. As Andrew Freedman of Climate Central puts it:
Ocean temperatures were boosted by a borderline weak El Niño episode on the tropical Pacific Ocean, which is associated with warmer-than-average water temperatures. According to NOAA, such conditions are likely to continue throughout the winter, with earlier forecasts for a moderate El Niño no longer looking likely. If an El Niño event does occur during the rest of 2012, it could bump global temperatures up further, since such events tend to boost global surface temperatures, NOAA reported.

The U.S. continued to suffer from one of its worst droughts on record, with the majority of the contiguous U.S. seeing some form of drought conditions during the month. In addition, eastern Europe, inclduing Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Romania, suffered from drought conditions. In India, unusually dry weather was ameliorated when the Asian monsoon finally provided generous rains, albeit much later than average.

September also brought the lowest Arctic sea ice extent on record. Studies have shown that manmade global warming is the cause of the majority of sea ice loss that has occurred since the beginning of the satellite record in 1979.
Image from NOAA via climatecentral.org

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