Warmest Year in 112 Years

Well, its official, I was right all along, it was freaking hot in 2006. I mean, it was REALLY REALLY hot. I lived in the Northeast briefly during the summer, my full time home is in the Southeast, and I was dieing for winter most of the year. Unfortunately, winter didn't offer much relief from the heat.

According to the Washington Post, this year was the hottest in 112 years. I know there are a lot of forces contributing to the warmed temperatures, including el nino (translated means "baby boy with a fever"). And I know global warming could not have caused such a dramatic change in the temperatures. Global warming incrementally increases temperatures sometimes at fractions of a degree per year.

However, there are secondary effects of global climate change that actually may be contributing to the warmer weather we've been experiencing. For example, the polar ice caps naturally melt into the ocean, which contributes to the cycling of jet streams. This natural occurence has created a reliable speedway for planes on the US east coast for many years. As the climate warms, ice caps melt at higher rates. The addition of more cold water into the ocean disrupts the natural jet stream creation. This causes jet streams to "wobble" and lose their conveyor belt like rotation. Combining a wobbling jet stream with el nino weather patterns results in environmental abnormalities like extremely heavy snow in Colorado and 68 degree winters in New York City.

Take a few minutes on the internet to research how jet streams are influenced by global climate change. It is interesting...and frightening. Especially for those of us living on the Gulf coast.


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