This last year, 2012, was the warmest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was also "a historic year for extreme weather that included drought, wildfires, hurricanes and storms; however, tornado activity was below average."
"2012 marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States with the year consisting of a record warm spring, second warmest summer, fourth warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn. The average temperature for 2012 was 55.3°F, 3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year," the agency reports in a press release on the "State of the Climate."
The average precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. for 2012 was 26.57 inches, 2.57 inches below average, making it the 15th driest year on record for the nation. At its peak in July, the drought of 2012 engulfed 61 percent of the nation with the Mountain West, Great Plains, and Midwest experiencing the most intense drought conditions. The dry conditions proved ideal for wildfires in the West, charring 9.2 million acres — the third highest on record.
The U.S. Climate Extremes Index indicated that 2012 was the second most extreme year on record for the nation. The index, which evaluates extremes in temperature and precipitation, as well as landfalling tropical cyclones, was nearly twice the average value and second only to 1998. To date, 2012 has seen 11 disasters that have reached the $1 billion threshold in losses, to include Sandy, Isaac, and tornado outbreaks experienced in the Great Plains, Texas and Southeast/Ohio Valley.
Politico reports: "Democratic officials confirm to POLITICO that President Obama's prime time address will be moved indoors to the Time Warner Center. The Thursday address was scheduled to be at Bank of America stadium — an outdoor venue with m
Former vice president Al Gore previews the "new version of the slideshow" on climate change in an interview with TakePart.com. "[E]very night on the news now, practically, is like a nature hike through the book of Revelations," Gore says in the excerpt released this morning.
In some sectors of the media, it begins to seem that "the economy" is not so much the aggregate of all the things we do in the way of getting and spending as it is a large, imponderable, mercurial force. Sort of like a hurricane.
“Montgomery County, Maryland, is one of the nation's bluest and wealthiest counties; its perennially awful power service raises the question of whether liberals can make the trains run on time,” Gregg Easterbrook, Atlantic.
At a posh fundraiser in Atlanta, where 40 guests each paid $35,800 to attend, President Obama talked about . . . the weather. As today's White House pool reporter notes:
Potus talked about how he had been in Chicago and Atlanta and how the weather was so warm. “It gets you a little nervous about what is happening to global temperatures. When it is 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March, you start thinking. On the other hand, I really have enjoyed nice weather.”
While most area residents escaped indoors to avoid Hurricane Irene this past weekend, a lone guard kept watch throughout the storm at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Photos of the guard appeared Saturday on a Facebook page managed by the 3rd U.S. INF Regiment, also known as the Old Guard.