2010 ‘hottest year on record’

THE world is hotter than ever according to new temperature data.

March, April, May and June set records, making 2010 the warmest year worldwide since record-keeping began in 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

“It’s part of an overall trend,” says Jay Lawrimore, climate analysis chief at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. “Global temperatures … have been rising for the last 100-plus years. Much of the increase is due to increases in greenhouse gases.”

There were exceptions: June was cooler than average across Scandinavia, southeastern China and the northwestern U.S., according to NOAA’s report.

If nothing changes, Lawrimore predicts:

-Flooding rains will be more common.

“The atmosphere is able to hold more water as it warms, and greater water content leads to greater downpours,” he says.

-Heavy snow, like the record snows that crippled Baltimore and Washington last winter, is likely to increase because storms are moving north. Also, the Great Lakes aren’t freezing as early or as much.

“As cold outbreaks occur, cold air goes over the Great Lakes, picks up moisture and dumps on the Northeast,” he says.

-Droughts are likely to be more severe and heat waves more frequent.

-More arctic ice will disappear, speeding up warming, as the Arctic Ocean warms “more than would happen if the sea ice were in place,” he says. Arctic sea ice was at a record low in June.

Marc Morano, a global-warming skeptic who edits the Climate Depot website, says the government “is playing the climate fear card by hyping predictions and cherry-picking data.”

Joe D’Aleo, a meteorologist who co-founded The Weather Channel, disagrees, too. He says oceans are entering a cooling cycle that will lower temperatures.

He says too many of the weather stations NOAA uses are in warmer urban areas.

“The only reliable data set right now is satellite,” D’Aleo says.

He says NASA satellite data shows the average temperature in June was 0.43 degrees higher than normal. NOAA says it was 1.22 degrees higher.

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