Warmer temperatures are the new normal In this May 31, 2015 file photo, an Indian women stands in front of an air cooler to cool herself on a hot summer day in Hyderabad, in the southern Indian state of Telangana. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A., File/Thinkstock)
Warmer temperatures are the new normal
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Hotter weather appears to be here to stay, El Nino or not, the U.N. weather agency said last Monday, warning that the Paris climate accord last year shouldn't give way to complacency about global warming.

The World Meteorological Organization issued its annual climate report following a record-hot 2015, highlighting records already announced by different countries' weather agencies. The agency pointed out that not only was 2015 breaking records on the surface but also hundreds of meters deep in the ocean.

And the first two months of 2016 were even hotter, so startling that they "have sent shockwaves around the climate science community," David Carlson of the World Climate Research Program said in a statement.

Climate scientists blame record high temperatures last year and this year so far on a combination of a super-sized El Nino, which is a natural warming of parts of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide, on top of a long-term global warming trend from the burning of fossil fuels.

NASA said last month was 1.35 degrees Celsius (2.43 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than average. Of that, 0.8 degrees (1.44 degrees Fahrenheit) comes from the long-term warming and 0.25 degrees (0.45 degrees Fahrenheit) from El Nino, with the rest unexplained residual, calculated climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute in Germany and the University of New South Wales.

Even after the El Nino phenomenon abates in coming months, way above normal temperatures won't exactly go away, Carlson and others said.

"We're on a slope; sometimes the slope goes very steep, sometimes it's a little bit more shallow, but we're going upward," Carlson said in a news conference. "So the normal is going to be increases: It's going to be increased temperature, increased ocean heat content, loss of ice, we know all of these things."

Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech climate scientist who wasn't part of the WMO team, agreed: "These records vividly illustrate the destructive power of an El Nino on climate change steroids."

The WMO predicts warmer weather accompanied by pockets of both drier and wetter conditions, depending on the region, around the world.

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas told reporters in Geneva that many people believe the climate issue is "solved ... since we reached a nice agreement in Paris." But, he said, "we haven't changed our behavior yet."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (31)
  • ethanw-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:24 p.m.

    Warmer conditions produce drier and wetter conditions because it depends on the region around the world.

  • victoriae-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:26 p.m.

    Warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions by the region that you live in.

  • callans-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:27 p.m.

    Warmer temperature produce both drier and wetter conditions because during the summer, more water evaporates, while in other seasons, there will be more rain.

  • austina-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:27 p.m.

    Warmer temperatures produce both in drier and wetter conditions because of global warming.

  • mattv-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:28 p.m.

    Warmer temperatures produce drier and wetter conditions because for one, warmer causes dry land, and causes storms to come through?






    I really don't know. All the passage says is "depending on the region."

  • hannaha-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:28 p.m.

    Warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions because when it's warm it will dry places up but it will also cause ice to melt and cause places to be wetter.

  • travisb-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:29 p.m.

    In the last article the 2nd question said, "Which word would best replace census in this sentence? 'The Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island keeps the federal government's annual census on the population.'" And the answer was population tally. This is incorrect because it would say "The Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island keeps the federal government's annual Population Tally on the population." They need to learn how to correctly write.

    Warmer conditions produce bother drier and wetter conditions because there is more evaporation and thus taking more water away from areas and supplying others with an excess of water.

  • mimir-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:30 p.m.

    Warmer temperatures produces both drier and wetter weather because the hotter it is the quicker water is evaporated, explaining the wetter conditions. However, in regions of the world where water is already scarce, those regions will only continue to become drier as the climate becomes hotter.

  • audreya-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:30 p.m.

    Warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions because when it does rain the heat turns it into condensation and it goes back into the clouds as a rain cycle.

  • hollyk-fel
    5/06/2016 - 02:30 p.m.

    Warmer temperatures produce both drier and wetter conditions because it determines where you live around the world. If you like Alaska and its hot the snow will melt and cause wetter areas, but, if you live in the in California and the temperatures get warmer that state will get drier.

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