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

via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coats from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken in their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The interment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

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via Michael Belanger / Flickr

The head of the 1,100-member Federal Judges Association on Monday called an emergency meeting amid concerns over President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's use of the power of the Justice Department for political purposes, such as protecting a long-time friend and confidant of the president.

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North Korea remains arguably the most mysterious place on Earth. Its people and modern day customs are shrouded behind a digital and physical wall of propaganda. Many people in the United States feel that North Korea is our "enemy" but almost none of us have had the opportunity to interact with an actual person who lives in, or has lived under, the country's totalitarian regime.

Even more elusive is what life is like in one of North Korea's notorious prison camps. It's been reported that millions live in horrific conditions, facing the real possibility of torture and death on a daily basis. That's what makes this question and answer session with an escaped North Korean prisoner all the more incredible to read.

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