Extreme Climate Patterns

Climate changeThe current rise in hot temperatures witnessed in different parts of the world is signs of global warming getting worse. This is evident with the recent heat waves which have seen different parts of the world receiving extremely high temperatures. Summer seasons in 1950s experienced average temperatures which were neither high nor low. In 1980s, saw a steady increase in temperatures, according to James Hansen, a climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, who together with his co-workers crafted a report in August dubbed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which revealed some glaring facts about the rising warm temperatures. In the report, Hansen declares that since 2000, the simmering temperatures have recorded a sharp increase of average summer season temperatures.

In the report, Hansen also gives out shocking revelations of an emerging rising of extreme heat temperatures which almost never occurred in the past five decades. The extreme temperatures in any given summer used to strike about 0.2 percent of the Northern Hemisphere. As we speak, the land area covered by the simmering temperatures has increased to cover 10 percent. Hansen data suggest that rising temperatures could cover 16.7 percent of the entire northern hemisphere. However, the analysis presented by Hansen’s team does not link the rising temperatures to greenhouse gas emissions. In the end, he adds that the whole scientific community unanimously agrees that the rising temperatures can be attributed to increase in greenhouse emissions.

Similar conclusions were made by the report; Geophysical Research Letters presented by Markus Donat and Lisa Alexander of Sydney’s University of New South Wales. The group established monitoring stations to monitor daily temperature changes across the globe to pin out that the trend was also taking shape globally. The report also recorded an increase of days with extreme temperatures. The researchers’ conclusion also pinpointed daily increase of minimum temperatures which occurred mostly at night and which rose exponentially at that time of the day. In the three decade ending in 2010, with comparison from the period from 1951 to 1980 recorded an increase of daily minimum temperatures by about 0.8 degree Celsius which is equivalent to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Towards the end of the second decade recorded an increase of 0.6 degrees Celsius.

The analysis from the Sydney researchers concluded that the temperature threshold exceeded by 40 percent between the first 30-year and the most recent 30-year period. The first 30-year period witnessed an increase in the hottest 5 percent of days to 7 percent hottest days in the most recent 30-year period. The analysis has also been supported by University of Washington’s John M. Wallace, who adds that global warming will lead to more increase in extreme warm days. Wallace used the findings from computer projections which simulated the earth’s shift in climate change patterns. He finally, echoed that there is need for more improved findings that can track down temperatures and break down the data by regions and the findings to cover both land and water (oceanic water bodies). Wallace called for expanding the scope from not only covering temperatures in land but to cover water (ocean water bodies) as well.

Thomas Knutson who works at Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expresses different opinion regarding the two reports; Hansen’s team and the Sydney researchers. Thomas says that the two reports addresses temperature changes over the past few decades which he regards as “easy target” as opposed to looking at all types of weather extremes which include storms, droughts, floods and many more. Thomas also believes that the new data does not represent the magnitude of the substantial changes in surface temperatures and consequently their extremes.

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