According to a report released January 8, 2013 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last year was officially the hottest and the second most extreme for the lower-48 states since official records have been kept.
Numbers can tell a lot, but they can also say little depending on how you interpret them, and too often, information saturated reports can be misleading,
For example. In the NOAA’s report they state
- Every state in the contiguous U.S. had an above-average annual temperature for 2012. Nineteen states had a record warm year and an additional 26 states had one of their 10 warmest.
What does that mean exactly?
It means that every state was hotter than their average temperature over the years. Some years are hotter than average; some years are colder than average.
The report continues:
- On the national scale, 2012 started off much warmer than average with the fourth warmest winter (December 2011-February 2012) on record.
What are the NOAA number crunchers saying?
That there were three other winters that have been warmer on average since… oh yeah… since record keeping began – so at least 50 years!
Regarding precipitation, the report reads:
- The nationally-averaged precipitation total of 26.57 inches was 2.57 inches below average and the 15th driest year on record for the lower 48. This was also the driest year for the nation since 1988 when 25.25 inches of precipitation was observed.
So what they’re saying is there have been 14 drier years, but last year was the driest in the past 24 years.
There is no doubt that the greenhouse effect is real and that changes in global weather patterns occur.
After all, the earth and its atmosphere are a dynamic system!
You can read the full NOAA report here.
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