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Record March Heat Wave Linked To Global Warming

March heat wave – United States

If you live in any part of the United States that normally experiences frigid temperatures until late March, this will not come as a shock to you.

Last month was the warmest March on record, with summer-like temperatures stretching across half the United States and parts of Canada. It’s predicted that April could be similar toward the end of the month, with more fluctuations expected this time of year.

Cities in more than 25 states broke average daily temperature records including Milwaukee, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Chicago, Oklahoma City, and Detroit. I’m in Detroit, and not shocked at all. The fact that I got a sunburn in March still blows my mind, but at least it motivated me to get some of my summer clothes shopping done. Not that I can wear them in this current 50 degree weather.

The more alarming part of this is the stunning ratios of hot weather extremes versus cold weather extremes. Heat records in March beat cold weather records by 35.3 to 1, and in this current year, 22 to 1, outdoing the last decade by more than 10. If all this math makes your brain hurt, Dr. Gerald Meehl from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has stated in an earlier report that if global temperatures were not warming, these numbers would be nearly even. Wait, EVEN?! That’s unsettling.

If you thought the record heat wave in March was just a fluke and nothing to do with climate change, the evidence of rising heat records vs cold records seems to suggest otherwise. It also means we’re probably going to have to prepare for some really, really harsh summers in coming years. Are you doing anything to prepare?

via Thinkprogress
Image courtesy of NASA: Temperature map of of the US, 15 March, 2012. Mid-summer in March.

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