You Think 2012 Is Hot? Wait Until 2013.
Barring a volcanic eruption, next year will set records. But don’t blame El Niño.
It has been another “normal” global-warming summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The United States sweltered in the hottest July on record, following the hottest spring on record. More than 60 percent of the contiguous United States is suffering from drought, as are parts of eastern Europe and India. In the Arctic, sea ice cover is at a record low, and the Greenland ice sheet shows what the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center calls “extraordinary high melting.” Global land temperatures for May and June were the hottest since records began in the 19th century.
Meanwhile, El Niño conditions are forecast to develop in the tropical Pacific Ocean, warming up ocean surface temperatures. Some observers have predicted that this will lead to record-breaking global temperatures next year.
If El Niño does arrive and temperature records are broken, there will inevitably be much discussion of the causes of the warming. So now is a good time to sort signal from noise in the global temperature records.
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