If there is any doubt that things are heating up a bit this year, this information is changing many minds. Weather records were first collected in 1914, just four years shy of a century ago. And since that time there have been many cold winters and hot summers. In 2005 the record for hottest month was shattered, but this was nothing in comparison to the global temperature increase seen last month in June of 2010.
With the debate between climate change believers and skeptics raging on, it seems this record breaker will add fuel to this already heated debate. The data, collected by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggested that the temperature increases, while generally a global cross section of the entire world, were particularly hot in the United States and Europe where several warnings were put out for the public to stay cool, hydrated, and out of the sun for extended periods of time. And some of the areas reached record breaking scorchers on June 06th in particular where temperatures were often easily surpassing 110 degrees Fahrenheit in some major cities in the southern half of the United States. Normally these temperatures would have been at least 10 to fifteen degrees cooler for this date.
And while this record breaker is certainly representative of global highs, the single highest temperature ever recorded outside on Earth actually took place on September 13th in 1922 when thermometers recorded 132 degrees Fahrenheit at El Aziza in Libya. Had the temperature been a mere 26 degrees higher, eggs would have baked in their shells even in the shade. Temperatures on sidewalks would have been most certainly hot enough to fry an egg. The dangerous heat was enough to cause extreme danger to those staying outside as the human body begins to undergo hyperthermia (not to be confused with hypothermia) at far lower temperatures.
Can we expect with the current trend of heat increasing to see days similar to that experienced in 1922 if the globe continues to heat up? Given that the record has been broken twice in the past five years, it seems a possibility in the future.
Additionally, the high global temperature caused a record low of ice shelves around the Arctic circle, a record that had been broken in June of 2005 as well. The incredibly high temperatures, while not necessarily noticeable to many who weren’t keeping track from year to year certainly did seem to say the least balmy.
But there is another aspect to the story that should be noted. After the 2005 record was broken for highest global temperatures, this was followed by a sort of “perfect storm” scenario to create record breaking powerful hurricanes. 2005 was the previously most active hurricane season in recorded history. Most notably this was the year that Hurricane Katrina claimed lives and almost the entire city of New Orleans. Now that it’s 2010, can we expect to see the most active hurricane season ever coming up?