In Case You Haven’t Noticed, It’s Hot

Julia Whitty had a scary post earlier this week about the new climate normal. Basically, we should all get used to the fact that the horrendous heat wave across the Midwest, South, and Mid-Atlantic region is going to be business as usual from here on out. And that includes days like today, where the temperature feels like this outside:

But how “new” is this normal? As Miles Grant points out over on his blog today, using figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s State of the Climate report, we’ve been dealing with higher-than-average temperatures for decades:

June 2011 was the 316th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperature was February 1985.

I was 8 months old at the time, so from my perspective at least, that’s kind of a long time. It’s a good reminder that while we are bracing for hotter times ahead, we’ve been on a consistent upward trend; our climate is warming, not just a few days here and there.

Oddly enough, I haven’t seen Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and his family out building an igloo for Al Gore on the Mall this week.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk


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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.