The spring of 2012 is due to be the hottest in 117 years, since 1895. Considering this past winter was the fourth-hottest on record (with an average temperature of 42 degrees Fahrenheit in the contiguous US states), March simply the hottest and April the third-hottest, that may come as no surprise.
University of Maryland professor Steve Scolnik offers a closer look at the changes in the temperature on his blog Climate Capital, drawing on “over half a century of weather watching.” It was back in 1910 that there were record high temperatures in spring; back then, the national average temperature was 55.1 degrees. But as Scolnik’s analysis reveals, the average temperatures for March and April of this year exceed those of March and April in 1910: March 2012 was 0.5 degrees higher and April 2012, 1 degree higher.
So, says Scolnik, for spring 2012 not to break spring 1910′s record, this May would have to be 1.5 degrees cooler and the likelihood of such is “somewhere between slim and none.” Scolnik finds that, in May of 1910, most of the country’s temperatures were below average — but this year, “nearly all of the country is above average, with large areas over 2°C higher.”
Yes, that is 2 degrees Celsius — this May has been a scorcher indeed. Earlier today, riding bikes in the late afternoon with our son in northern New Jersey, my husband Jim saw that one thermometer read 93 degrees and another one, 96 degrees, just about where record highs for this time of year in New Jersey indeed are.
In view of all this, The Atlantic Wire suggests the only thing to do is “buy an air conditioner because this summer is going to be brutal.”
Though for all those climate-change deniers out there: Perhaps one way to encourage them to change their minds would be to suggest they consider foregoing air conditioning units temporarily this summer or perhaps right now, in the month of May which already feels like summer.
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Photo by Mr. T in DC