Record Heat Across U.S. in June

Trillions - - In This Issue -

In case you hadn't no­ticed, the Earth re­ally is heat­ing up and many parts of the world, in­clud­ing the U.S., ex­pe­ri­enced record heat lev­els in June.

On June 19, San Rafael, Cal­i­for­nia reached 105°F (40°C), break­ing the record of 98°F (36°C) set in 1962 by a wide mar­gin.

The air­port in Phoenix, Ari­zona, had to can­cel nu­mer­ous flights be­cause it was so hot. Many planes flown in the United States are grounded at 118°F (47°C) and the mer­cury in Phoenix hit 119-120°F (48.3-48.8°C).

Record heat in Cal­i­for­nia's Death Val­ley drew thou­sands of visi­tors ea­ger to ex­pe­ri­ence what 128°F (53°C) in June feels like.

Last year's record set­ting heat in the north­ern hemi­sphere was blamed on El Niño, but it can't be blamed for this year's high heat.

The year-to-date tem­per­a­ture through May across the globe was of­fi­cially 1.66°F above the 20th cen­tury av­er­age of 55.5°F (13°C). This is called global warm­ing.

With higher tem­per­a­tures in some re­gions, colder than nor­mal tem­per­a­tures oc­cur in others as weather pat­terns shift and the Earth tries to bal­ance en­ergy from one re­gion to an­other. Tem­per­a­tures shift more rapidly and more widely. There is more se­vere wind, drought, floods and storms. This is all called cli­mate change and it is hap­pen­ing with greater sever­ity and more rapidly than cli­mate sci­en­tists and govern­ment had pre­dicted.

A new study shows that by the end of the cen­tury, 74% of people on Earth will face life threat­en­ing heat­waves, up from the cur­rent 30%. Like most such stud­ies, it will likely be proven wrong as the planet con­tin­ues to heat up more and faster than pre­dicted.

One rea­son so many cli­mate pre­dic­tions are wrong is be­cause they don't ac­count for the mas­sive amount of green­house gases emit­ted by the once frozen Arc­tic. The Arc­tic will re­lease vastly more car­bon diox­ide, meth­ane and ni­trous ox­ide and do so more quickly than all hu­man ac­tiv­ity ever has in recorded his­tory.

Hu­man car­bon emis­sions have peaked and will soon de­cline but CO2 lev­els in the at­mos­phere con­tinue to climb due to Arc­tic emis­sions and be­cause we have cut down more than half the planet's forests and the oceans are warm­ing and ab­sorb­ing less car­bon and start­ing to out­gas.

We can't stop the col­lapse of our car­bon fu­eled cul­ture but we can start cre­at­ing a new car­bon-free civ­i­liza­tion that can sur­vive higher tem­per­a­tures and more ex­treme weather, but we need to start right now — be­fore it is too late.

Photo by Bu­lan Boll­say, CC

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