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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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Weather Reports and Red Signals

Weather Reports and Red Signals

Temperature Anomalies for May 1880-2016 (credit: NOAA)


Does the weather has been pretty weird recently?

In this month of May, most of America is experiencing severe heatwave warnings now in progress. In New York City the heat index that combines temperature and humidity measures reached 106F (41°C) today. Heat stress for people, animals, and plants can happen at these temperatures and the situation could last well over a week. Temperatures on the 4th of July could be sweltering in many places.

The Middle East is typically hot during the summer but one town in Oman, on the Arabian Sea, measured the highest night-time "low" temperature ever recorded on Earth, June 26th. The fishing village of Quriyat, with ~50,000 residents, was 108.7F (42.6C) that night. The xtreme temperatures continue being measured. In Asia, China has been experiencing the opposite effect from atmospheric warming for multiple weeks. The heaviest rainfall in sixty years was measured in regions surrounding Beijing. While in Guang'an City, in Sichuan Province, torrential downpours caused widespread flooding. The city received the highest rainfall measured in 147 years. Major landslides caused some of the city's infrastructure to collapse.

These are only random samples of a changing climate but people everywhere are now experiencing what increased greenhouse gases can mean in their daily lives. NOAA's National Weather Service uses global satellites to constantly gather climate and weather measurements. Every new bit of environmental data is adding to their growing climate change database. NOAA's annual analysis, State of the Climate 2018, assesses the national situation. Likewise, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has studied global warming since the 1950's and also commented on the strange weather:

the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as excessive heat waves and severe rainfall, is a well-documented effect of a changing climate.

The 'signals' of climate change are flashing red.


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