NOAA Calls July Hottest Month Ever

NOAA Calls July Hottest Month Ever

According to NASA’s chief scientist, James Hansen, the bizarre weather patterns taking place all over the globe are the direct result of climate change. In fact, Hansen insists that there is no other possible explanation, and the statistical climate change analysis that Hansen and his colleagues published in the August 2012 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reaffirms that what was once scientific theory is now becoming scientific fact, and what were once bizarre and inexplicable weather events are now slated to become the norm.

What can you and I do to prevent catastrophic climate collapse, which Hansen has said is not impossible in our lifetimes? The first and most obvious fix is to limit our energy use. Electricity, produced by power plants burning coal, oil or natural gas, contributes large quantities of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere.

These gases, ranging from carbon dioxide or CO2 – currently the gas most implicated in climate change – through methane (CH4), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and fluorinated hydrocarbon gases (used in refrigeration, air-conditioning and commercial chillers), must be reduced or at the very least held at current levels if we are to avert catastrophic change. For consumers, this means replacing old appliances with Energy Star-rated units whenever possible, turning hot water heaters down 20 degrees and refrigerators up to a medium setting, and taping the thermostat at a bearable 79 degrees in the summer and 69 in the winter.

Driving less will also have an enormous impact, if we all start doing it. Automobiles, which burn hydrocarbons (gasoline and diesel from oil) also create GHGs which pollute the atmosphere and produce particulates. These miniscule particles, according to Dr. Ralph Delfino, an associate professor of epidemiology who oversees the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) cardiac care division, worked very hard to make the link between particulates like soot and cardiovascular inflammation and platelets among the elderly.

This link is atherosclerosis, in which plaques form on the inside walls of arteries. Soot apparently deactivates antioxidant enzymes in red blood cells, resulting in oxidative stress that triggers inflammation and activates platelets responsible for blood clotting. These clots can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

It’s clear that our runaway, almost bankrupt economy, fueled by an almost limitless supply of natural gas, must be toned down. The earth is telling us so, in a language that scientists like Hansen can understand. A case in point would be the fact that pre-1980, temperatures that deviated sharply from the norm seldom occurred. In this, the 21st century, they are happening fully 10 percent of the time.

In spite of which, climate change deniers continue to scoff. As Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) recently commented, this coterie of disbelievers “…aren’t just on the other side of this debate. They’re on the other side of reality.”

And for those who persist in sticking their heads in the sand, NOAA scientists said September tied a 2005 record for the warmest September on record, not just nationwide but worldwide.

Anyone for a popsicle?

Record Temps

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