July 6, 2018; Washington Post
At NPQ, we write a lot about the impact of climate change on our sector, as well as climate change denial, although we rarely cover the climate itself. But once in a while, it might be worth taking the planet’s temperature, so to speak.
This summer, as Jason Samenow writes in the Washington Post, the Northern Hemisphere (that’s us) has started off with a blistering bang. Samenow explains, “From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East to Southern California, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week.”
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- The University of California Los Angeles set its all-time high-temperature record of 111°F on July 6th, along with several other locations in Southern California.
- Denver tied its all-time high-temperature record of 105°F on June 28th.
- Mount Washington, New Hampshire, tied its all-time warmest low temperature on July 2nd—at no point in the day did the mercury drop below 60°F.
- Burlington, Vermont, set its all-time warmest low temperature ever recorded of 80°F on July 2nd.
- Montreal recorded its highest temperature in 147 tracked years—97.9°F (36.6 Celsius)—on July 2nd. The city also posted its most extreme midnight combination of heat and humidity.
- Ottawa posted its most extreme combination of heat and humidity on July 1st.
- In Scotland, Glasgow had its hottest day on record, hitting 89.4°F (31.9 Celsius)
- In Ireland, on June 28th, Shannon hit 89.6°F (32 Celsius), its all-time record.
- In Northern Ireland,
Eurasia and the Middle East
- Tbilisi, Georgia: On July 4th, the capital city soared to 104.9°F (40.5 Celsius), its all-time record.
- Yerevan, Armenia: On July 2nd, the capital city soared to 107.6°F (42 Celsius), a record high for July and tying its record for any month.
- Quriyat, Oman, posted the world’s hottest low temperature ever recorded on June 28th: 109°F (42.6 Celsius).
Of course, a few—or even not so few—hot weather records over a nine-day period don’t “prove” climate change any more than a cold snap proves its absence. Then again, it is also the case that the past three-year period, the past four-year period, and the past five-year period all “rank warmest on record for the Lower 48, in records that date to 1895.” It also might be concerning that the last month on the planet to experience “below normal” temperatures was February 1985, making June 2018 the 400th month in a row of “above-normal” temperatures. That’s like flipping a coin 400 times in a row and always coming up tails. Which could happen. The chances, though, are incomprehensibly low.—Steve Dubb