Earlier this month the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration breathlessly reported that 2012 was the hottest year in a century of weather data for the 48 contiguous states of the United States. In fact, the temperature was a full 1 degree Fahrenheit hotter than the previously hottest year of 1998.
Hard on the heels of this startling revelation came the National Resources Defense Council with its compilation of smashed heat records state by state, which lists Nevada as setting the sixth highest percentage of new heat records with busted heat records in 12 of 17 counties, as reported in this week’s newspaper column available online at The Ely Times and the Elko Daily Free Press.
A National Resources Defense Council senior scientist, Kim Knowlton, said, “2012’s unparalleled record-setting heat demonstrates what climate change looks like. This extreme weather has awoken communities across the country to the need for preparedness and protection. We know how to reduce local risks, improve our lives and create more resilient communities. Now our leaders must act.”
The NRDC also pointed out:
• The summer of 2012 was the worst drought in 50 years.
• Wildfires burned more than 9.2 million acres in the U.S., including 86 large wildfires in Nevada.
• Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge height, 13.88 feet, broke the all-time record in New York Harbor.
This week Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” addressed all three of these in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
An analysis of wildfires worldwide reveals that since 1950 the frequency has decreased 15 percent, a study found that globally there has been little change in drought conditions in 60 years and the total energy of hurricanes is at the lowest ebb since the 1970s, Lomborg reports.
As for global warming, Patrick Michaels, Cato Institute’s director of the Center for the Study of Science and editor of the book “Climate Coup: Global Warming’s Invasion of Our Government and Our Lives,” says “we are now in our 17th year of flat temperatures.” He predicts there will be at least a quarter century of flat temperatures.
In fact, the United Kingdom’s Met Office, one of the sirens of the global warming stampede, reports global temperatures haven’t increased in 15 years. “Although the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest on record, warming has not been as rapid since 2000 as over the longer period since the 1970s,” the Met concedes.
Therefore, the current story about records in the U.S. and Nevada isn’t about climate, but merely about weather.