Green - Global Warming Is Here
Temperature records fell all around the northern hemisphere in the past week, continuing a pattern of record hot temperatures for the past several months in this new age of accelerating climate change.
Taken individually, hot weather is just hot weather. But understood collectively, heat records from different continents are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world.
Denver, Colorado, the "Mile High City" up the the US Rocky Mountains, tied its all-time high temperature of 105 F Degrees (40.5 C) on 28 June. In the northeastern US, the low temperature in Burlington, Vermont set the record - it never got cooler than 26.6 C degrees on Monday.
On the same day north of the border, Montreal, Canada charted the hottest day in the French-speaking city's 147 year history - 97.9 F degrees, which is 36.6 Celsius. A day earlier, the capital Ottawa experienced its most extreme combination of heat and humidity.
This went way beyond North America. The regular mild summer temperatures were missing from the British Isles. Roaring heat caused roads and roofs to buckle. Scotland posted its highest-ever temperature in Motherwell, about 20 kilometers southeast of Glasgow: 33.2 Celsius on 28 June. Glasgow itself set a city record at 31.9 C Degrees. In Ireland, Belfast and Shannon hit new records; 29.5 and 32 Celsius, respectively.
On Monday, Yerevan, Armenia logged 42 Celsius - that's the capital's highest temperature in the month of July, and tied with the city's highest-ever. Cities all across Russia's southern frontier felt record heat as well.
And on 28 June, the city of Quriyat, Oman, posted the hottest low temperature ever recorded in the entire world: 42.6 Celsius.
It's highly unusual for high temperature records to be set all around the world in the space of a few days. But these are on top of the other highly unusual events that have been unfolding for 15 months.
In April, Pakistan posted the hottest temperature ever observed on Earth during that month: 50.2 C degrees. And that came less than a year after Pakistan set the record for the highest temperature ever recorded in the month of May, 53.5 Celsius.
In September of last year, San Francisco's ordinary cool fog was burned away by 41 C degree heat; a month later, the Southern California desert logged 42.2 C degrees, the first time that sort of warmth was felt so late in the year.
And these are only a small sampling of the records set as greenhouse gas concentrations increase because of human activity, and the mercury rises accordingly. It's happening in real time and the numbers are getting scratched out and replace with higher ones all the time.