Friday, April 20, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #53 - Part 4

Thousands of temperature records set in North America in March

A quick note about global warming: The last time I was talking about it I said that there was a week in March when over 1000 heat records were broken in North America. Turns out I was a little off: For the entire month, over 15,000 local heat records were broken. This was the warmest March in the US in our recorded weather history, which dates back over 115 years.

Now, this does not prove global warming: I've said many times that one hot spell no more proves global warming than one cold spell disproves it. Global warming is about the trend over time, not about short-term variations in local weather. But what it is, is one more data point in an ever-growing mountain of data points.

Gabriel Vecchi, a climate scientist with NOAA, described it well: He likened it to a baseball player on steroids. You can't say that any given home run he hits is due to the steroids and would not have happened otherwise, but you can say with great confidence that the fact he hit 25 more this year than last year does have to do with the steroids. So it is with our weather data.


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