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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Fire & Ice

Fire & Ice

Average temperature map, 2015 (credit: NOAA)

Robert Frost's poem is particularly apt:
                     Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire,

But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate 

To say that for destruction ice, is also great and would suffice.

The northern polar vortex is currently wavering and causing extreme temperatures from the Gulf of Mexico into Canada with one meteorologist commenting:

When I look at this jet stream the word insane comes to mind. It's even more astonishing when you consider it's mid June! This configuration, likely enhanced by climate heating, is fueling a record heat dome so extreme that even experts are astonished!

        To view as an animation:

Several years prior, NASA and NOAA created satellite maps of temperature anomalies across North America. Their 'big data' graphic represented measurements in 2015. The space agency compared that data with temperature averages between 2001 to 2010. Regions that were warmer than the average were represented in red; near-normal as white; and cooler temperatures than the baseline average were in blue. Large parts of the American West including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming experienced temperatures more than 18F degrees above the decade average while Midwestern, Mid-Atlantic, and New England states were 18F degrees below the norm.

It doesn't take much imagination to see which regions then and now have been experiencing fire and ice. WHB



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