National Geographic
Menu

Record Temperatures May Bring More Than Just Early Spring Flowers

Washington, D.C.’s famed cherry blossoms—now celebrating their centennial—decided to spring one on visitors, peaking well before the arrival of most Cherry Blossom Festival–goers. Spring’s forward leap is also causing coupling confusion among flowers and pollinators.

Above-average temperatures are responsible for these early blooms, marking this the fourth warmest winter on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA predicts the warm streak will continue for the next three months—particularly in the already steamy southern states of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Several newly released studies make the connection between this extreme weather and man-made heat-trapping pollution, says blogger Theo Spencer. Updated records of global temperatures, meanwhile, indicate the world has warmed by around 0.75 Celsius since 1900.

These warming temperatures may also be putting some five million people in the United States at risk for increased coastal flooding, according to a new Climate Central study. South Florida, southern Louisiana, and the Carolinas top the list of states with the most land to lose if sea level rises one meter. By the end of the century rising seas could cost near $2 trillion if temperatures keep rising. Nearly $1.4 trillion in costs could be avoidedReuters reports, if temperature increases were limited to near 2 degrees Celsius.

And with the spring thaw comes reports of the ongoing melting of Arctic sea ice, opening new shipping lanes in the harsh region. One agency is looking for ways to use underwater sensors to handle the increased activity without harming the environment.

Cheap Natural Gas, Costly Crude

Mild temperatures are also driving natural gas futures lower, with prices hovering around their ten-year low. The dip in natural gas prices is bad news for investors, but good for farmers who will get an extra boost in the form of low fertilizer prices, says Forbes.

While the shale boom and warmer Eastern climes are causing natural gas prices to plummet, the upward march at the gasoline pump continues unabated. According to AAA, gasoline is over $4 a gallon in seven states—Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New York and Washington—as well as the District of Columbia. A statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly gas prices and domestic oil production by the Associated Press revealed there is no link between U.S. oil production and gas prices at the pump. Meanwhile a new survey finds a number of academic economists say market forces, not government policy, account for changes in gasoline prices.

The high prices, up more than 17 percent this year, are taking a toll on consumer confidence, nudging sales of electric motorcycles, raising the price of hybrids and causing an uneasiness in the markets.

President’s Energy Tour

A new poll suggests persistently high gasoline prices are eroding President Obama’s public approval numbers. The White House points to new Energy Information Administration data to say the president is doing more than enough to produce energy on federal lands, while others—citing the same data—claim he is doing too little.

To underscore his efforts, the president set out on a four state, two-day tour that wraps up today in Cushing, Okla. Politico reports the President will sign a directive expediting permits for the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline in Cushing—where the southern pipeline is slated to begin. Midwest oil hits a bottleneck in Cushing on its way to the Gulf of Mexicoaccording to CNN.

Signing the permit is a move sure to be unpopular with environmental groups and Obama faces a taste of green anger today in Columbus, Ohio, where he’s concluding his tour with an address at Ohio State University. Students, including some former Obama campaign workers, are planning a rally to push the president away from fossil fuels, according to 350.org. However, a new a Gallup poll released today shows 57 percent of Americans support the Keystone pipeline

In Cushing, Obama will also be talking about his commitment to domestic energy production—dubbed the “all of the above” energy strategy. Author Bill McKibben blasts this strategy: “Burning all the oil you can and then putting up a solar panel is like drinking six martinis at lunch and then downing a VitaminWater.” Others oppose it for different reasons: the National Review’s Jim Geraghty says it “rejects many options,” while Allen Schaeffer of the Diesel Technology Forum worries about policies “that clearly prioritize favored energy sources over other energy sources.”

The Climate Post offers a rundown of the week in climate and energy news. It is produced each Thursday by Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

 

Comments

  1. Paul Felix Schott
    March 24, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Read well and study on your own after you have read this.

    This is not a game or joke our Sun gives off a Solar Wind all day year round if you live in the State of Alaska you see it in the sky above what a sight it is going through our Earth’s Magnet Polls of the North and the South, North Poll. Its Called the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis.

    The day will come when you will be able to see it all over Earth as in the year 1859 Solar Flare, It was the largest in 500 years. Two Astronomer’s Hodgson and Carrington told the World that the Solar Flare made a Geomagnetic Storm reach Earth in hours not days. Back then it gave new meaning to Reach For The Skies from Telegraph Operators. For hours sparks flew from the key board. Even after the Batteries were disconnected. Nov 3 and 4, 2003 had a X40+ Class Solar Flare.

    Our Sun’s UV Rays will get stronger as each passing day go’s by, read and i will tell you why.

    The Great big forest have be striped from most of the Earth for Greed of Money by the Wicked. The trees our are Main Source of Oxygen on this Plant.
    The Forest Trees scrubs the Pollution out of the air and makes Oxygen from the rain and dirt that it grows in.

    The Forest Trees do more then just make Oxygen they stop Soil Erosion, just Look at the 1930 Dust Bowl. Greed by our Government taxes led farmers to clear cut all their Forest and farm all the land they were being Tax on. They had to farm it to pay for the Taxes. Why leave the Trees when food crop makes Money. This Did not Help the Depression that effected most all Worldwide. This year 2012 more then 100 million will suffer from Malnutrition and Dehydration. Many will die!

    In the United States of America alone more than 45 Million Americans Received Food Stamps and that number is going up every day every year.

    The Pollution and CO2 Carbon Dioxide go into the Tree Bark as a shield from most bugs so they do not eat the tree.

    Less Forest less Oxygen this is why the moon. That has no Oxygen is very cold on the side with out Sun Light, And hot as ever on the side with Sun Light. Way too cold and too hot to live there. You would need at least 10 times the Energy we use on Earth to even live there and life on the Moon would be very short.

    With no blank of Oxygen to lessen or reduce the Sun’s UV Rays and Solar Wind they are deadly there on our Moon. Every Mt. Climber and Aircraft Pilot knows the higher you go the thinner the Oxygen and colder it gets.

    Just spend a night on a Mt. top above 13,000 feet with no Sun Light and you will see or should i say feel the cold stinging any of your exposed skin. If you are new to Mt. Climbing stay below 10,000Ft. The Astronauts and the Cosmonauts and Fighter Pilots that i have been with for years know this very well, and the Radiation Hazards to humans at High Altitudes.

    Soon the Sun’s Solar Wind and UV rays will be way to strong for most to go out in the Sun Light for even a short time. The Geomagnetic Storm to come and the Bad Weather Storms well you have not seen nothing yet and the Sea Level is Rising the Oceans. Many Millions have been affected by Floods in China and Pakistan just last year. In 2005 Over a Thousand dead in New Orleans flood, and the list going on.

    And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and Earthquakes, in divers places such as was not from the beginning of the Creation.

    The last 30 years On Earth we have broke all high temp records and the temp it is still going up. All the Worlds Ice Glacier are melting at an Accelerating Rate. The Glaciers and Polar Ice Caps store more water than all the Fresh Water Lakes on Earth.

    The Bad Weather Storms now are Babies compared to what is to come.

    They will get even bigger and worse less Oxygen the more UV Rays to the Earth and more Water molecules will evaporate and go up into the Earth’s Atmosphere. Less Oxygen the colder with out sun light and hotter with it.

    The Sky full of more water vapor molecules, more snow in the winter and more Flash Floods in the Summer. All earth will see way more fires and the Deserts are growing larger.

    If every living person on Earth were to Plant A Tree Today we might have a chance.

    The Earth’s Atmosphere Blanket surrounding it protects life on Earth as Our Lord and GOD will all that seek Him.

    Then it is written when the tree is full it is harvest time. All the Earth will someday burn away.

    This is all Foretold in the Bible Read it
    and may our Lord Bless all that do so.

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott

    solardowork@yahoo.com
    KI4-AEX

    P.S.
    2 Peter 3:10
    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the Earth and its works will be burned up.

    GOD Bless You and Your Love ones
    Give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ every day.

    Read
    Luke 21:20-22
    Matthew 24: 30-33