[click on graph to enlarge]
Mild winters and scorching hot summers may now be the new 'normal' as our planet comes increasingly under the gripe of of a 'greenhouse effect' run wild. This past January was no exception as the mean temperatures soared over seven degrees above the thirty year average. And, that may only represent the tip of the climatic iceberg.
For starters, it's a fact that this has been the warmest decade since1880. And, just a couple of years ago in 2010, global surface temperatures tied 2005 as the warmest on record. This was according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration so I guess I believe them. Scientists say that the earth could warm by an additional 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit sometime during the 21st century if we fail to reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and oil. That's no likely. What is certain is that the rise in average temperatures will have far-reaching effects on the earth's climate patterns and on all living things. Unfortunately, many of these changes have already begun.
What can we expect? How about heavier downpours (twice as often), strengthened heat waves, altered river flows and extended growing seasons! Changes that will directly stress existing water, energy and transportation systems in a country that is still reeling from over 13 billion in weather related losses in 2011!