Global Warming Alert
By SETH BORENSTEIN (AP)
By SETH BORENSTEIN (AP)
More Recorded Evidence That The Earth Is Continuing To Heat Up, According to the National Climatic Data Center in North Carolina.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The broken record was fueled by a waning El Nino and a gradually warming world. Records on the planet's temperature have been kept since 1880. Spurred on by unusually warm Siberia, Canada, northern Asia and Europe, the world's land areas were 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than a normal January. That didn't just nudge past the old record set in 2002, but broke that mark by 0.81 degrees, which meteorologists said is a lot, since such records often are broken by hundredths of a degree at a time. "That's PRETTY UNUSUAL FOR A RECORD TO BE BROKEN BY THAT MUCH." The scientists went beyond their normal doublechecking and took the UNUSUAL step of running computer climate models "just to make sure that what we're seeing was real." From one standpoint it is not unusual to have a new record because we've become accustomed to having records broken." But January was A BIGGER JUMP THAN THE WORLD HAS SEEN IN ABOUT 10 YEARS. The temperature of the world's land and water combined — the most effective measurement — was 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal, breaking the old record by more than one-quarter of a degree. Ocean temperatures alone didn't set a record. In the Northern Hemisphere, land areas were 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal for January, breaking the old record by about three-quarters of a degree. But the United States was about normal. The nation was 0.94 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for January, ranking only the 49th warmest since 1895. Siberia was on average 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal. Eastern Europe had temperatures averaging 8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Canada on average was more than 5 degrees warmer than normal. Larger increases in temperature farther north, compared to mid-latitudes, is "sort of the global warming signal." It is what climate scientists predict happens, and will happen more frequently, with global warming. Temperature records break regularly with global warming, but "with a little bit of El Nino thrown in, you don't just break records, you smash records." As much of the United States already knows, February doesn't seem as unusually warm as January was. "Even with global warming, you're not going to keep that cold air bottled up in Alaska and Canada forever."