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Q. Dear Umbra,
This “year with no summer“ and some alleged statistics I have seen quoted about earth-wide temperatures for the last ten years have resulted in claims that the earth is not heating – it may even be cooling. What about it?
Shalom Center, Philadelphia
A. Dearest Arthur,
The oceans are too getting warmer!That would be great. The planet needs some cooling, and humans certainly aren’t doing anything to help. But let us remember the difference between weather and climate.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does confirm that summer 2009 in the contiguous U.S. was 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit below the 20th Century average of 72.1 degrees. We notice no concomitant change in policy from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, or any other reputable source, so we must conclude that a cool summer was only weather, and that in general the overall climate remains on track for warming.
This post has some nice links to info to help in any discussion with climate skeptics. No, the world is not cooling. And, while the US might have had a cooler summer than usual it was matched by warmer summers elsewhere. In fact, the Southern Hemisphere just had the warmest August ever.
Here is the global temperature map for June-August:
New Zealand had the warmest August in 155 years of temperature measurements. Australlia had the warmest August ever.
Yes, the US was cooler but Europe was much warmer. Get used to this because it appears that the PDO is entering a cool phase, so the US will be cooler over the next decade or so. This has to do with normal cycles, not with climate change.
And with an El Nino developing, this could be a warm winter.
But the US is not the world and while it may be cooler here, climate change is worldwide.