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Temperature Gauges: the Year Extraordinary Became Normal

Temperature Gauges: the Year Extraordinary Became Normal

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, July 23, 2016/Categories: natural history, space science, sustainability, environment, climate change

                          Temperature Model for Friday, July 23, 2016  (credit: NCEP-NOAA)

The National Centers for Envionmental Prediction, a division of NOAA, determined two locations in the middle east (in green) have experienced possibly the hightest temperarures on Earth ever recorded. Daytime heat measurements above 129F happened in the Iraqi city of Basra and in Kuwait. These temperatures, exceed by 5F the hottest measured over the same dates at Furnance Creek in Death Valley National Park in California.

Due to the proximity to large bodies of water in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, and the Tigras River the humidity was also extreme and made the heat even worse. The heat index , developed at Colorado State University in 1979, went 'off-the-charts'.

Elsewhere, unusual temperatures are having their own impact, particularly in the Arctic. This is beginning to look like the year when the extraordinary became the new normal.


          Franz Josef Land 'de-icing', Russian Arctic, July 13, 2016  (credit: Aqua satellite program)

SEARCH, the Study of Environmental Arctic Change, presented a roundtable discussion with researchers at that National Press Club that was widely covered. The discussion presented equally amazing temperature records and trends in the Arctic that were occurring at the same time as in the middle east. As more dark, open, water appears in the polar oceans from the decreased reflectivity of dissappearing ice, a feedback loop can be expected to accelerate the process. As some point, it will become irreversible.

We have passed an atmospheric CO2 threshold of 400ppm, not seen in over 4-millon years. As one press club presenter noted, "2016 is another indicator of a new reality."



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