It’s morning in Antarctica. It’s high summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and warmer ocean water and breezes have lifted the temperature on the Larsen C ice shelf to a balmy 32 degrees. Like a rifle shot, the ice occasionally gives off a pop that finds no place to echo across the flat, white, featureless plain.
Photo: the new sun-tracking solar panels at Maine Audubon
The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 3/29/2015.
Around the time I turned six years old, a funny thing happened. Starting in 1984, each successive month was warmer than its 20th century global average. That doesn’t mean December 1985 was warmer than November 1985. It means December 1985 was warmer, around the world, than the average temperature in December from 1900-1985. So was January 1986. And so was February 1986.
And June 1992. March 1997. August 2004. February 2015.
For the past thirty years (and counting), each month has been warmer than its average. We may remember, year to year, locally colder Januarys or cooler Julys, but around the world, our collective thermometers have not seen a dip for 360 straight months. The odds of this happening randomly are, well, Powerball-esque.
The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 2/22/2015.
I learned a new word this year. Subnivean, from the Latin for “under” (sub) and “snow” (nives). It’s the zone within and underneath the snowpack. It’s where we’ve all been living lately.
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