As noted before soil science has much in common with climatology. In April 2007 Los Angeles Times staff writers Alan Zarembo and Bettina Boxall interviewed research scientists concerned with a disturbing trend. When compared with the average surface moisture from 1950 to 2000, computer models projected about a 15% decline in surface moisture from 2021 to 2040.
Scientists calculate surface moisture by subtracting evaporation from precipitation. It was a 15% drop that led to the conditions that caused the Dust Bowl in the Great Plains and the northern Rockies during the 1930s. Not happy times, John Steinbeck.
What we have here-ah is a difference in extremes. That makes it easier to deny if you in the segment of the population that fails to appreciate that extreme weather is one of the first, visible signs of a changing climate.
It was so friggin’ hot in DC and much of the United States in April, cracks Professor Romm that “even meteorologists are doing stories about human-caused global warming.”
As Professor Hell and High Water reminds us, the public most directly experiences such extremes, which is cause for large investment in disinformation.
- CNN, ABC, WashPost, AP, blow Australian wildfire, drought, heatwave “Hell (and High Water) on Earth” story — never mention climate change
- NBC News ignores climate change, blows the bark beetle story
- The NY Times Blows the Wildfire Story
- The NY Times Blows the Drought Story, too.
- USA Today ignores the Link Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change
- AP Blows the Extreme Weather Story
It not only was drier than normal in March, but also warmer than normal average surface temperatures prevailed.
“Yeah! So what! Get use to it!
“Tsk, Tsk,” protests Professor “Fire Me a Memo” Romm.
The greatest warming right now is occurring far away from where most people live, at the poles, even if the consequences of that polar warming will ultimately be catastrophic for all.
But before the climate actually changes — and “largely irreversible for 1000 years,” with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe — the first signs of a changing climate are mostly what we call extreme weather Before the subtropics expand and result in irreversible desertification, for instance, we see longer and more intense droughts — like the “worst on record” ten-year drought in Australia.
NOAA’s State of the Climate report shows the March 2010 average temperature for the entire contiguous United States was warmer-than-average with several New England states experiencing one of the warmest months of March on record. Average precipitation for the US was below normal, but heavy rainfall set March records in parts of the Northeast.
“March temperatures relative to 1895-2010. Based on data going back to 1895, the monthly analyses prepared by scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C., are part of the suite of NOAA climate services.”
Overall, the March temperature averaged across the contiguous United States was 44.4 °F (6.67 ° C), which is 1.9 °F (1.06 °C) above the long-term average. However, several storms developed along the Atlantic Coast, bringing below-normal temperatures to the South and Southeast, while bringing warm and wet weather to the Northeast and Midwest regions (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin).
Thirteen states had an average temperature that ranked among their 10 warmest for March, including Rhode Island, which had its warmest March on record; Maine its second warmest; and New Hampshire its third warmest.
Cooler-than-normal temperatures prevailed across the Gulf Coast states, New Mexico, Georgia and South Carolina. Florida had its fourth coolest March on record.
It was the warmest January-March period for Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. By contrast, the three-month stretch was the coldest ever for Florida, the second coldest for Louisiana, and the third coldest for Mississippi and Alabama.
March precipitation, averaged across the contiguous United States, was below the long-term mean. Last month’s national average was 2.16 inches, 0.24 inch below average. The Northeast was above-normal, while much of the interior United States was below-normal. All other regions were near normal.
It was the wettest January – March period on record for Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey. Delaware and Vermont had their second and fifth wettest March on record, respectively. Twenty other states had precipitation rankings in the top 10.
By contrast, Michigan had its driest January-March period, while Wisconsin had its fourth driest and Montana and Wyoming their sixth driest.
Other highlights include:
According to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, the preliminary tornado count for March was 36 – a tie for 4th quietest March since reliable records began in 1950.
According to the Canadian Ice Service, mid-March ice coverage over the Great Lakes was at a record low – only 3.5% of the Lakes’ surface. The average ice extent for the period is roughly 31% of the Lakes’ surface. The record dates back to 1973.
Drought coverage remained small throughout the month. On March 30, the US Drought Monitor reported that 9.0% of the United States was affected by drought.
NCDC’s preliminary reports, which assess the current state of the climate, are released soon after the end of each month. These analyses are based on preliminary data, which are subject to revision. Additional quality control is applied to the data when late reports are received several weeks after the end of the month and as increased scientific methods improve NCDC’s processing algorithms.