Monday, September 20, 2010

NRDC's Hot Summer Nights Map 2010

US Map: Summer Average Temperatures

US Map: Summer Nighttime Temperatures

The two maps, above, are from the Natural Resources Defense Council, published with their article, "The worst summer ever?" (They used NOAA data.) 278 stations (out of 1,218) the average nighttime low temperatures for June, July and August 2010 were hotter than at any time since 1895. More than half the stations recorded average nighttime low temperatures among their five hottest on record. Nighttime temperatures are more sensitive to the buildup of heat-trapping pollution in the atmosphere than daytime temperatures because increases in atmospheric aerosols and cloud cover have counteracted some of the warming effect of greenhouse gases during the day.

Here in the Denver area it has just been reported that we've had 46 days above 90 degrees this summer. Normally, that number is 33 days. Yesterday, we set a record temperature of 96 degrees. The previous record for that day was 93.

In my recent report about Leopold Center agricultural expert Fred Kirschenmann, I quoted him as follows:
"The latest thinking is that changes in climate probably won't be gradual. Local eating will not solve extreme weather events effects upon agricultural production."

To learn more, he encourages us to read the book, "The End of the Long Summer: Why We Must Remake Our Civilization to Survive on a Volatile Earth" by Dianne Dumanoski.