The U.S. bakes in the heat of another extreme season; Russia burns as the hottest temperatures recorded turn Moscow into a smoky cauldron. Peat bogs on fire threaten to release toxic amounts of carbon compounds into an atmosphere already on overload. One-fourth of a mammoth Greenland glacier calves into the Arctic sea, setting adrift an iceberg four times the size of Manhattan. Floods and landslides overwhelm China and Pakistan. Even the Russian prime minister has stopped scoffing at the notion of global warming.
Is this the scenario of a disaster movie like last year’s 2012? The Day After Tomorrow? Welcome to Summer 2010. And it’s only half over, folks. NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) reports that the first six months of 2010 were the warmest on record.
Despite the climate change deniers’ assertions that our unusually extreme and cold winter lies counter to any theories about global warming, the fact is, we are getting warmer as a planet. As for the cold winter just passed, think about it in terms of extremes: blizzards, intensely cold temperatures—record setters.
Many scientists assert that that these extreme weather systems (even blizzards) are because of, rather than despite, global warming. More destructive hurricanes, more frequent record-setting floods, increases in wildfires, downpours, tornadoes, droughts and deadly heat waves can be expected as the earth’s temperature rises.
Note particularly the extreme warming of the northern hemisphere and it’s easy to understand why the Arctic regions are melting away. (The ramifications of that are for another article.) Is 2010, as Jamie Henn of 350.org says, the year Nature strikes back?