Friday, March 23, 2012

Weirdly Warm March Temperatures Break 74-Year Record In NYC

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

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  • Rebecca Bullene/BBG.org
Temperatures in Central Park hit 78 degrees on Thursday, enough to shatter New York City's record for warmest March 22 in 74 years. But it's not just New York that's experiencing an early liberation of jean shorts from the dresser drawers—more than 7,000 temperature records have been broken this month, with some areas, like Grand Rapids, MI, registering temperatures 40 degrees above average.

"It's almost like science fiction at this point," weather historian Christopher C. Burt told wunderground.com.

In other words, not all is sunshine and joy. The Wall Street Journal reports that the heat wave was caused by an interruption of jet stream patterns, but scientists are looking at a related culprit: global warming.

Climate Central used a baseball analogy to explain how global warming could have, in part, caused these extremes:

Although studies have not yet been conducted on the main factors that triggered this heat wave and whether global warming may have tilted the odds in favor of the event, scientific studies of previous heat events clearly show that global warming increases the odds of heat extremes, in much the same way as using steroids boosts the chances that a baseball player will hit more home runs in a given year. [Climate Central]

Even President Obama and Oprah are on edge about climate. At an abnormally warm Chicago fundraiser last week (Chicago's been experiencing record-breaking 80 degree highs), the president admitted he was "a little nervous" about the freakish heat.

“We’ve had a good day,” Obama continued. “It’s warm every place. It gets you a little nervous about what’s happening to global temperatures. But when it’s 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March it gets you thinking…”

“Something’s wrong,” Oprah interjected.

“Yeah,” Obama said in passing. “On other hand we really have enjoyed the nice weather.” [ABC News]

Well, humans may be enjoying the nice weather, but penguins are at a loss. Recent reports published by Stony Brook researchers have shown that two penguin species have experienced decreasing populations due to messed up breeding cycles—global warming induced temperatures have forced the penguins to lay their eggs earlier, but the birds are still experiencing a crippling lack of mojo. Unlike humans in spring-like conditions, the penguins "have not been able to advance their breeding cycles as rapidly," according to Science Daily.

[via Climate Desk]

You can follow Sydney Brownstone on Twitter @sydbrownstone

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