Record Heat Across U.S. in June

In case you hadn't noticed, the Earth really is heating up and many parts of the world, including the U.S., experienced record heat levels in June.

Photo by Bulan Bollsay, CC

In case you hadn't noticed, the Earth really is heating up and many parts of the world, including the U.S., ex­perienced record heat levels in June.

On June 19, San Rafael, California reached 105°F (40°C), breaking the record of 98°F (36°C) set in 1962 by a wide margin.

The airport in Phoenix, Arizona, had to cancel numer­ous flights because it was so hot. Many planes flown in the United States are grounded at 118°F (47°C) and the mercury in Phoenix hit 119-120°F (48.3-48.8°C).

Record heat in California's Death Valley drew thou­sands of visitors eager to experience what 128°F (53°C) in June feels like.

Last year's record setting heat in the northern hemi­sphere was blamed on El Niño, but it can't be blamed for this year's high heat.

The year-to-date temperature through May across the globe was officially 1.66°F above the 20th century av­erage of 55.5°F (13°C). This is called global warming.

With higher temperatures in some regions, colder than normal temperatures occur in others as weather patterns shift and the Earth tries to balance energy from one region to another. Temperatures shift more rapidly and more widely. There is more severe wind, drought, floods and storms. This is all called climate change and it is happening with greater severity and more rapidly than climate scientists and government had predicted.

A new study shows that by the end of the century, 74% of people on Earth will face life threatening heat-waves, up from the current 30%. Like most such stud­ies, it will likely be proven wrong as the planet contin­ues to heat up more and faster than predicted.

One reason so many climate predictions are wrong is because they don't account for the massive amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the once frozen Arc­tic. The Arctic will release vastly more carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide and do so more quickly than all human activity ever has in recorded history.

Human carbon emissions have peaked and will soon decline but CO2 levels in the atmosphere continue to climb due to Arctic emissions and because we have cut down more than half the planet's forests and the oceans are warming and absorbing less carbon and starting to outgas.

We can't stop the collapse of our carbon fueled cul­ture but we can start creating a new carbon-free civili­zation that can survive higher temperatures and more extreme weather, but we need to start right now — be­fore it is too late.