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The Warmest Year on Record: So Hot Right Now

Temperature records are shattering all around the globe. Jeff Masters from Weather Underground gives a rundown of the extreme heat events that have paralyzed much of the world over the past couple of months. Fourteen nations—from Russia to Sudan to Saudi Arabia—have set all-time temperature highs, including MohenjuDaro, Pakistan, where "the mercury hit an astonishing 53.5°C (128.3°F)." Oof.

But it isn't just individual highs being reached. As the map above shows, the first six months of 2010 registered at well above average temperatures throughout most of the world.

Andrew Freedman does a good job of walking the of course individual events can't be attributed to climate change but damn if this doesn't fit the models tightrope in a recent post on the Capitol Weather Gang blog:

Although long-term global climate change doesn't directly cause a particular heat wave, the pronounced warming trend in global average temperatures during the past century has increased the odds of more frequent and severe heat waves. For example, scientists have partially attributed the deadly 2003 European heat wave, which killed tens of thousands, to manmade climate change.

Despite cooler-than-average conditions in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, thus far 2010 ranks as the warmest year on record on a global basis, with the warmest March, April, May and June ever recorded. Furthermore, high-temperature records have occurred twice as often as low-temperature records in the U.S. during the past 10 years, according to a study published last year.


Image: NOAA

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