On a week where global temperatures kept breaking record after record, much of the US wasn’t too hot.
Earth in general, however, is. Most days break unofficial temperature records that experts have tracked for decades. And there are some who believe that this week’s records will stay the same if the data goes back further – possibly thousands of years ago.
While there are some legitimate scientific questions surrounding the unofficial records, scientists say climate change is reshaping the world we live in and predict the records will continue. reduce. Natural El Niño climate patterns also play an important role in warmth.
But for many in the United States, global headlines may feel disconnected from their experience this week.
National Weather Service Data shows The whole country has warmed, but not increased, over the past few days. Some areas have high temperatures, but most of the country is only a few degrees above average. About a dozen states have areas with below-average temperatures.
But the global heat records are another reminder of how vast and interconnected the Earth is as the effects of climate change pile up. Here are the things to know:
Many places on Earth are unusually hot this week
Data from University of Maine Climate re-analyzerA tool that uses satellite data and computer simulations to measure the state of the world, shows that the United States did not cause global heat records this week.
Here are some locations where temperatures have exceeded the global average, according to Thursday’s data, using temperatures from 1979-2000 as a baseline:
- Antarctic: Vast swathes of the southernmost continent are about 18 degrees Fahrenheit or more above average.
- Russia: Much of the vast country has temperatures at least 5 degrees above average, with some regions being much hotter.
- continent: An area of heat concentration on the world’s largest island that includes temperatures about 15 degrees above average.
- Oceans: Water temperatures are unusually high in most of the world’s oceans — and air temperatures are also above average over much of the Atlantic and most of the Pacific.
Other hotspots include Jingxing, Chinatested temperatures near 110 degrees Fahrenheit and Adrar, Algeria, where the temperature never dropped below 103.3 degreeseven at night when it is supposed to be cool.
How hot is it?
It averages around 63 degrees globally. That’s the unofficial record set on Thursday, and it’s almost 2 degrees warmer than average.
If that doesn’t sound very appealing, you’re right. But remember that number is the average temperature from all over the Earth. And when charted against decades of data, it rises above a predictable relative temperature gradient.
Heat arrives in the US Southwest
While the heat has mostly been under control this week in the US, summer is still expected to be unusually hot in most of the country.
The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center in mid-June said most of the country is trending above-average temperatures.
In the short term, millions of people in the Southwest have been warned of the risk of a heatwave coming on Friday. This includes often scorching Phoenix, Arizona, where next week’s heatwave could break records, potentially matching “some of the worst heatwaves this region has ever seen”. National Weather Service speak.
Temperatures are forecast to reach 118 degrees and possibly even a few degrees hotter. “Throughout Tuesday through the end of the week, temperatures across the region could be at their hottest we’ve ever seen,” the weather agency said. The all-time record high temperature in Phoenix is 122 degrees.
Climate and weather are not the same
Regardless of how hot your neighborhood looks this week, that weather tells you very little about the overall state of the climate.
The weather is what you see outside the window. Climate is what happens in an area over many years or decades. Climate change is the variation seen in long-term trends in air, water and ocean temperatures as well as long-term weather patterns.
Global records like those recorded this week are exactly what climate scientists would expect in a warming world, but real evidence of climate change has been found by scientists. academics and government agencies carefully documented for many years.
Contributors: Doyle Rice and Dinah Voyles Pulver; Related press