Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Arctic Surf? Sea Temps at Record Highs
Surface temperatures of the world's oceans are at their highest levels since records have been kept says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This is particularly bad news for people living on the Atlantic coast as rising ocean temperatures fuel hurricanes and raise sea levels.
The NOAA report also states that the Arctic sea ice contines to melt at a record pace shrinking 5.6 percent below the 1979-2000 average extent.
Preliminary data extrapolated by the National Climatic Data Center reports that sea level temperatures for the month of June were 1.06°F above the 20th century average. To pour salt on the wound the NCDC also reports that land and sea temps combined for the second warmest June in history behind June 2005. At just over 61°F the global temperature rose 1.12°F over the 20th century average.
The G8 recently agreed that a rise in global temperatures of two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels would set off a catastrophic chain of events. While many environmental groups chastised the G8 for setting distant and ambiguous targets it should be noted that the record temperatures that the NOAA has reported on for June 2009 are a little more than one half a degree Celsius.
Inland, the temperature-related energy demand for June was up two percent. Depending on where you live in America you were either using your air-conditioner too much or in the case of North Dakota, which had a record cold June, using your furnace to warm up.
While warming ocean temps may seem like a good thing if you surf do we really want to be surfing the Arctic?