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Warm October In America

Image from National Climate Data Center/NOAA

The incredible warmth globally this year has continued into October across America. Almost the entire 48 states were above normal in October. The Mountain West and the North were the warmest.

From Gerald Meehl Nat. Centers For Atmospheric Research

This warmth also shows up in the temperature extremes. Nationwide, there were 1544 new record highs in October. Only 321 record lows were set.

This trend has actually been increasing for decades now.  Is it another sign of our warming global climate? I wrote a post on this awhile back.

It now seems that 2010 will be no different. The trend continues. Over 2 record highs for every record low.

What makes this even more incredible is that we have a strong La Nina in the Pacific right now. La Nina’s are (in many, but not all) ways the opposite of El Nino. Look at the ocean temperatures on the image to the right. A large area of colder than normal water is cooling the air over the Pacific Ocean. This actually cools the planet down some (about 0.1° C). El Nino’s warm us up about the same amount.

From NOAA-ESRL- Blue is below normal water temperature. The La Nina in the Equatorial Pacific shows up clearly. It's been developing since August. Click for a much larger image.

In spite of this, 2010 may end up being the warmest year globally on record. With the La Nina in full bore, we still set 8 record highs for every record low in October.

We are almost certainly witnessing something that has not been seen in thousands of years. A major shift in the planet’s climate.

While there are month to month and even decade to decade fluctuations in the global temperature, there is nothing left to explain the  long term rise. Everything except rising greenhouse gases have been ruled out…

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