Friday, July 1, 2011

Crazy climate stats

We are all aware that climate change is altering the Earth quite rapidly. We are also frequently subjected to various statistics that demonstrate this change, and while some are very alarming, others fail to resonate with people. If we have no context to put them in then how can we truly understand what is happening? While reading the timeline on the CAS Twitter account earlier this week I saw a couple of stunning statistics that made me do a double-read.

The stats were in tweets from Justin Kenney, the NOAA director of communications and external affairs. The first was directed at this May 2011 National Climatic Data Center summaries concerning national and global temperatures and precipitation. The tweet was that May was the 120th (!) consecutive month with below-average Arctic sea ice extent. The last month that had above-average sea ice extent was then, of course, May 2001. That is an indisputable trend.

The second tweet was even more unbelievable to me. May 2011 was the 315th consecutive month with a positive global temperature anomaly. What?! The NOAA data goes all the way back to 1880 which you can see in dat form here. I am 25, and this streak is longer than I am old. That is some staggering data showing even more horrifying realities. Connecticut Audubon Society works each day to understand what climate change is doing to our state through survey work, research, and analysis. We hope to do more climate-specific projects focusing on habitat and bird populations in the near future.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

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