Monday, November 26, 2012

A Few More Climate Thoughts...

As climate change hurls more disasters our way, it would help to have a modern infrastructure designed to better handle crises. James Surowiecki and Nicholas Kristof make the case that we ought to be investing a lot more.  Both argue that decades of low taxes have resulted in roads, bridges, levees, and power lines in pitiful shape after half a century of fixes on the cheap.  My new senator has made the same point.

Meanwhile, Kristof links his case to the latest report from the NOAA on the state of the climate.  Here's the part that caught my attention (emphasis mine):
The average temperature across land and ocean surfaces during October was 14.63°C (58.23°F). This is 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average and ties with 2008 as the fifth warmest October on record. The record warmest October occurred in 2003 and the record coldest October occurred in 1912. This is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. The last below-average month was February 1985. The last October with a below-average temperature was 1976. The Northern Hemisphere ranked as the seventh warmest October on record, while the Southern Hemisphere ranked as second warmest, behind 1997.
October 1976, apparently the last October it was cold by global standards, was the month I was born.  I don't remember being especially chilly at the time, but I'll take the NOAA's word for it.  Now I have to shake the feeling that my birth was somehow the harbinger of earth's doom.

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