The empirical evidence just keeps piling up that the rising concentrations of heat trapping pollution in the atmosphere are raising temperatures. In its monthly State of the Climate Report, the National Climatic Data Center at NOAA reports that the last 12 months--May 2011 to April 2012 were the warmest in US temperature records. www.noaa.gov. And usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/08/11600220-12-month-stretch-ending-in-april-is-warmest-on-record-noaa-says.
NOAA further reports that January to April were the warmest first four months of a calendar year in the US records. In some cases records are not only being broken but also smashed. North Dakota, for example, has broken some of its records by more than 10 degrees. Such smashing of temperature records demonstrate the unchartered, extreme temperature ranges that we are now entering.
This dramatic temperature change impacts just about everything in our daily lives, including the natural gas energy business. For consumers, the near absence of winter meant much lower heating bills across the USA, a welcome break for strained pocketbooks.
For the gas industry, the warm temperatures meant less demand and near full storage caverns that contributed to depressed prices. For example, about 51% of America's homes heat with natural gas and their demand fell considerably.
Rising temperatures have positive and negative impacts for different people and different parts of the environment. Additionally, at this point, the escalating temperatures are not sanely deniable, but many conservatives will.
And this fact should worry all: nobody knows when the rising concentrations of heat trapping pollution and the rising temperatures will stop increasing.