84 F. average high for July 9.
88 F. high temperature on July 9, 2011.
2012: warmest first 6 months of any year on record. NOAA.
Last 12 months: warmest 1-year period since 1895 across the USA (NOAA).
10 warmest 12-month periods on record (1895-present) all occurred since 2000. Source: NOAA.
Hottest heat wave on record for Washington D.C. The scope and intensity of last week's heat was even worse than 1930. Details from The Washington Post below.
3,282 daily heat records broken or tied during June across the USA. 173 of these were all-time highs.
9,800 daily heat records broken or tied during June, 1988. Source (and map above): Climate Central - details below.
“The drought is much worse than last year and approaching the 1988 disaster,” said John Cory, the chief executive officer of Rochester, Indiana-based grain processor Prairie Mills Products LLC. “There are crops that won’t make it. The dairy and livestock industries are going to get hit very hard. People are just beginning to realize the depth of the problem.” - from a Bloomberg Businessweek story on the spreading drought; more information below.
"An Oxfam report also notes that “this could be just a taste of things to come because in the next few decades the build-up of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere could greatly increase the risk of droughts, flooding, pest infestation and water scarcity for agriculture systems already under tremendous stress." - from a story on climate change impacting agriculture and food production from journalstar.com; details below.
"The U.S. Global Change Research Program recently concluded: "Human-induced climate change appears to be well underway in the Southwest." It reported that in the West "both the frequency of large wildfires and the length of the fire season have increased substantially in recent decades, due primarily to earlier spring snowmelt and higher spring and summer temperatures." - from a Huffington Post story on wildfires and climate change; details below.
Graphic credit above: ."
Graph credit above: "An illustration from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), illustrating how a shift in mean temperature makes warm temperature extremes more likely to occur."
Photo credit above: "This 20-by-18-foot deer “stand” was built on St. Louis County forestland. County land managers say they want to limit the size and nature of deer stands while banning the cutting of trees for shooting lanes and the planting of food plots." (St. Louis County Department of Lands and Mines photo).
"I read your column with interest many mornings in the Strib. I have a deep concern for the environment believing in "creation care" from a Christian viewpoint. I have spent my career working for non-profits - currently am serving a large church in the NW metro - and have limited income but would love to spend some money to save money as well as cut down significantly my family's energy use. But I do care and wonder what I can do? Do you have any website or local organizations that I can look into? Let me know if you have any thoughts for me. Appreciate your blog. I think it would be helpful to offer not only analysis - which is grim - but encouragement to take steps to change the future. One last question. I have a 9 year old who has a huge interest in the weather - mostly out of self preservation (she's afraid of storms) - and she's our weather watcher. Do you ever do introductory teachings on the weather or know how a 9 year old could get a tour or something? We'd love any ideas you have for us."
Brain - thank you for your efforts. I'm a Christian too, and I take my role as a steward of creation seriously. There are some things you can do. Pick up a copy of "Cooler - Smarter" from the Union of Concerned Scientists for practical tips. A pdf sample is here. No, I don't get a commission. Have a goal of reducing your carbon footprint by 20% Tell coworkers, friends and family what you're doing, and why. We need a bottom-up approach. Although governments will ultimately put a price on carbon, true solutions will come from all of us, working together. I understand the reality: climate change is a depressing topic. There is no easy fix, no silver bullet. But there is plenty of (green) buckshot. The only thing we lack is the (political) will to scale these solutions on a national or international scale. But that doesn't mean we can't start now, with our own homes and neighborhoods.
Here is a great interactive web tool from UCS, the Union of Concerned Scientists, to give you more ideas for how you can lower your carbon footprint, while simultaneously saving money:
"That was an interesting piece that you reference (in Monday's weather blog) about the Chicago weatherman inteverviewed on PBS. Not having seen the episode, and not knowing the meteorologists personally, the thought that came to my mind was that perhaps they aren't allowed to talk about climate change as station policy (hmm, perhaps advertisers won't accept it). Is there any other plausible explanation for the collective throwing up of their hands? Can they really not see any link between a heating climate and high-energy weather? I continue to appreciate your thoughtful, insightful and apparently courageous reporting."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Here are some facts:
• The 2011, Texas drought cost a record $8 billion in crop and livestock losses and up to 500 million forest trees died. Urban forests lost another 5.6 million trees, along with $280 million in economic and environmental values.
• Extremely hot summers that once covered less than 1 percent of Earth’s surface (from 1951-1980), “now covers about 10 percent of the land area,” according to one analysis. “We conclude that extreme heat waves, such as that in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, were caused by global warming.”
• The Earth Policy Institute of Washington, D.C., warns that long-term food trends are worrisome, especially for soybeans. In 1955, “China produced the same amount of soybeans it consumed, but since then production has stayed the same and consumption has jumped fivefold.”
Photo credit above: "A helicopter drops water on a wildfire at Waterman Canyon Monday July 9, 2012 in the San Bernardino, Calif., The fire erupted shortly before 2 p.m. Monday along Highway 18 in Waterman Canyon, where residents have been asked to voluntarily leave." (AP Photo/San Bernardino Sun, LaFonzo Carter)
Photo credit above: "Members of FEMA and the Small Business administration look at a burned home in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 9, 2012. Members of FEMA, the SBA and Colorado's Disaster Office assessed damages in the area burned by the Waldo Canyon wildfire." (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)