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2016 second hottest year on record in United States

It was one of the warmest and wildest weather years on record


 
Danielle Blount kisses her 3-month-old baby Ember as she feeds her while they wait to be evacuated by members of the Louisiana Army National Guard near Walker, La., after heavy rains inundating the region, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (Max Becherer/AP)

Danielle Blount kisses her 3-month-old baby Ember as she feeds her while they wait to be evacuated by members of the Louisiana Army National Guard near Walker, La., after heavy rains inundating the region, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (Max Becherer/AP)

WASHINGTON — With steamy nights, sticky days and torrential downpours, last year went down as one of the warmest and wildest weather years on record in the United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday that 2016 was the second hottest year in the U.S. as Alaska warmed dramatically and nighttime temperatures set a record.

The U.S. also notched its second highest number of weather disasters that cost at least $1 billion in damage: 15 separate ones together caused $46 billion in damage and 138 deaths.

Later this month, global temperatures will be calculated, giving climate scientists more information as they monitor the planet’s warming.

The regular tally of the nation’s weather year shows that even on a smaller scale — the U.S. is only 2 per cent of the Earth’s area — climate change is becoming more noticeable even amid the natural variations that play such a large role in day to day weather.

The average temperature last year in the Lower 48 states was 54.9 degrees (12.7 Celsius), nearly 3 degrees above the 20th Century average of 52 (11.1 Celsius). It’s the 20th consecutive year that the United States was warmer than normal.

Only 2012’s 55.3 (12.9 Celsius)degrees was warmer in the 122 years of U.S. record keeping.

“It is certainly a data point on a trend that we’ve seen: a general warming,” said Deke Arndt, climate monitoring chief at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina.. “All five of the warmest years on record have been since 1998 in the U.S.”

While 2016 didn’t quite break the overall heat record, Alaska had its hottest year by far, beating 2014’s old record by 1.6 degrees. Also, the nation’s nighttime low temperature was the hottest on record, a key issue because it hurts agriculture, costs more in air conditioning and makes it harder for people’s bodies to recover from the summer heat, Arndt said.

NOAA also found that it was the fourth consecutive wetter than normal year in the nation, even as droughts remained nasty in some places. “We are seeing bigger doses of rain in smaller amounts of time,” Arndt said.

That led to four different inland floods that cost $1 billion or more, including heavy sudden flooding in Houston, West Virginia and twice in Louisiana. That’s the most NOAA has seen, twice as many as the previous high for inland flooding.

Hotter summer nights, warming farther north and concentrated bursts of heavy rain amid drought are all signs of man-made climate change long predicted by scientists, Arndt said.

“The fact that the U.S. has seen the two warmest years (2012 and 2016) within the past five years cannot be explained by chance. It bears the fingerprint of human-caused climate change,” Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann said in an email.

Last year’s 15 billion-dollar weather disasters count is second to 2011, when there were 16 in the United States. NOAA’s billion-dollar disaster calculations — which are adjusted for inflation — goes back to 1980. In addition to flooding, other billion dollar disasters included Hurricane Matthew, wildfires, drought, tornadoes and hail storms.

Other records in 2016: Georgia and the U.S. Southeast as a whole had their warmest years, and the Upper Midwest had its wettest year.


 

2016 second hottest year on record in United States

  1. The problem is that there are too many people on Earth. This causes a lot of problems.

    But our biggest problem in the near future won’t be climate change but lack of food. This problem will become critical in a few decades. But also nowadays a lot of people are already forced to buy cheaper edited or genetically modified foods. And more and more people from the dramatically overpopulated continents Asia and Africa wants to come to Europe. Lack of food could even cause the next world war. And you certainly know this famous quote of Einstein:

    ‘I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.’

    Some politicans have already recognized this overpopulation problem. They have been trying to reduce their population by laws, mass abortions and financial incentives. But unfortunately not always with mentionable success. I think we should try to reduce the world population to approximately 3 billion people. Then nature can certainly reestablish a natural balance. And we wouldn’t be forced to think about food supply, climate change, and a lot of other things.

    I am ready to help.

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