I saw an article in Scientific American about the record low temperatures that are occurring in the southeastern United States. Alabama recorded a low temperature of 49 degrees. The low temperature in Atlanta was 59 versus a normal low of 71. That was 12 degrees lower than average. It looks to me that the mild temps will continue for a few days. Take a look at this graphic from the Climate Reanalyzer (Climate Change Institute - University of Maine). The blue areas are areas with temperatures colder than average for this date. The red areas are areas with temperatures hotter than the average for this date. You can see the big blue blob that is moving down through the middle of the country. It will work its way south and east over the weekend. We might even get some relief here in Texas. It would be very welcome seeing as how it has been over 100 degrees here every day for the about the last week.
|Source: Climate Reanalyzer|
Now, I can already hear the contrarians citing how this shows global warming is not real. Before you do, I want to point out a few things.
First, while you are looking at the blue area, don't forget to notice the big red areas, as well.Some areas are having record cool temperatures, but others are having record high temperatures at the same time.
Second, the United States represents less than 2% of the planetary surface area, and we can see that large chunks of the country are colored red in this graphic. That means substantially less than 2% of the planet is experiencing this cold spurt.
Third, look at the numbers on the bottom of the graphic. These show the temperature anomalies for different regions of the planet as of today - the difference between today's temperatures and the 1979-2000 average. You can see, with the exception of Antarctica, every region of the world is experiencing temperatures hotter than the long-range average.
So, enjoy the cool weather. I know I will (if it reaches us). It isn't often we get a treat like this at this time of the year. But, don't make the mistake of thinking this means the world isn't warming. Local weather does not equate to global climate.