Category Archives: Climate

How did 2019 weather align with climate trends?

Government scientists concluded that the globally averaged temperature for 2019 was 1.71 degrees above the 20th-century average. This is the 43rd consecutive year that the global temperature was above the 20th-century average.

This was the second-highest since record keeping began in 1880 and was just 0.07 degrees less than the record value set in 2016. Nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005, and the five warmest years have occurred since 2015. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology

Comments Off on How did 2019 weather align with climate trends?

Was December’s unusual warmth widespread?

Despite the slight touch of winter on its last morning, December 2019 was an unusually warm month both locally and hemispherically.

Here in Madison, the month averaged 7 degrees above normal, with the highest temperature of the month, 55, occurring on Christmas Day, just one degree shy of the all-time daily record. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons

Comments Off on Was December’s unusual warmth widespread?

How did fall temperatures locally compare with the northern hemisphere?

As we have reported several times over the years, the evidence is clear that over the entire Northern Hemisphere winter temperatures have been systematically warming over the past 70 years.

We base that conclusion on measuring the extent of air with a temperature of 23 or colder at the 850 millibar level, which is located about 1 mile above sea level. Such a measure can equally be made in the autumn months. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons

Comments Off on How did fall temperatures locally compare with the northern hemisphere?

What is a polar vortex

The term “polar vortex” was popularized by media outlets in 2014, when the country experienced a brutal January cold snap.

The polar vortex is a band of strong winds, high up in the atmosphere that spins counter-clockwise around the North Pole. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Seasons

Comments Off on What is a polar vortex

Why should we be concerned about the Arctic climate?

Changes in the Arctic have global implications. The global average temperature is warming but the air temperatures in the Arctic are increasing twice as fast or possibly faster.

The year 2019 will go down as the second-lowest minimum extent of sea ice. Sea ice is bright and reflects about 80% of the sunlight that falls on it, helping to keep the surface cold. Continue reading

Category: Climate, Meteorology

Comments Off on Why should we be concerned about the Arctic climate?