Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NOAA Reports That Last 12 Months Were Warmest Ever

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.  And

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.

1 comment:

  1. Concerned ScientistMay 9, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Yup - global warming is real and these are scary numbers. You are one of the only other people I know who think global warming is real and who support shale gas. That is where the science points in both cases and I applaud you. I would guess we are in a <10% minority on that among people who pay attention.

    I have become resigned to the fact that global warming is going to happen and we can do little or nothing about it. We have our own problems here in the US with the politicization of the issue, but the real ticking time bomb is in Asia. We could cut our emissions here to zero and in a decade growth in Asia would replace all those emissions and then some. Their emissions per capita are still much lower than ours so from their perspective they still have a lot of growing to do to get where they want to be - to live like Americans and Europeans. I am still for taking measures to reduce emissions, but I get the feeling that no matter what we do the worst case scenario is going to play out. All we can do is hope that the climate sensitivity is low or maybe look into geo-engineering of some kind