The Snow,Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic, or SWIPA, has released a report on their 5 year study. Highlights have been summarized in this powerful video.
I recommend Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock of the Week for those concerned about climate change. understand
New video by Peter Sinclair (link)
2016 has been a hot and dry summer in Philadelphia. Here are a few charts that summarize the 1950-2016 daily temperature and precipitation data at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
August 2016 warmest in 1950 – 2016 period
The mean temperature in August, 2016 was 81.3 F, making it the hottest August in the 1950 – 2016 period.
41 Days with maximum daily temperature was 90 or more degrees.
Very Dry Summer
It’s been a dry summer, we are 3.34 inches below median cumulative rainfall for this time of year. 2016 ranks 35th out of 45 years, only 11 years have had less rain than 2016 since 1970.
It’s been a hot summer in Philadelphia so far this year. I started wondering in the global warming has anything to do with our recent spate of 90+ days.
First, lets look at the global warming situation. NASA has announced that July, 2016 is the warmest month on record (here, here). We are well on our way to the 3rd year of record breaking global temperatures.
NASA’s GISS Temperature Anomaly Trend
Is there a connection between global temperature increases and our 90+ summer? To find out, I first downloaded temperature data from the Weather Underground for Philadelphia’s NE Airport. I then plotted the daily maximum and minimum temperatures for the summer months of May through yesterday.
On first glance at the chart, I was sure that I found proof that our 33 90+ days was proof that global warming has hit Philadelphia. As I dug deeper I found that the number of 90+ days varies from a low of 6 in 1978, to 41 in 2010 and a high of 43 in 1988. We are in the high end of the 6 – 43 day ranges of 90+ temperatures range of the number of 90+ days we have had in the 1975 – 2015 period.
We need to dig deeper to find links between the number of Philadelphia’s dog days of summer and global warming. I’ll be writing on this more in the comming months.
Houston, Texas area has seen major rainfall and flooding. This gif animation shows LandSat images of the Brazos River on May 4, 2013 and May 28, 2016 after the recent Texas storms. (NASA link)
Brazos River: normal and May 28, 2016 flood
The Colorado Basin has been suffering a drought for 15 years. Here’s a look at how the drought has caused water levels in Lake Powell to drop to today’s low levels.