Indeed, parts of the North American continent — particularly around the Great Lakes region — have seen temperatures as far as ten degrees or more below average between January and May. Thousands of new record lows have been recorded so far this year across the country, too.
On the climate-focused website Real Science, independent researcher Steven Goddard used temperature data from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network to produce a graph showing what was happening. Earlier this month, he concluded that through May 6, at least, 2014 had been the “coldest year on record so far” in the United States. The temperature records involved, which critics have said are actually being manipulated in various ways to show warming, go back to the 1890s.
Another graphic posted on Real Science, produced at the High Plains Regional Climate Center, illustrates the year-to-date departure from normal temperatures across the continental United States. With the exception of some parts of Florida and the Southwest, which were very slightly above average, the country experienced temperatures well below normal between January 1 and May 21. The Midwest was especially chilly, with temperatures mostly between five and ten degrees cooler than average.
Across the region, the chill has also been associated with record-setting levels of ice in the Great Lakes. By early March, official data show a stunning 92 percent of the lakes’ surfaces were covered with ice. In mid-April, a record-setting 37 percent of the lakes were still frozen, which analysts said could contribute to making the summer of 2014 even chillier than it might otherwise have been. Since records began, the closest any April had ever come to this year’s record was less than 25 percent ice cover.
If the summer of 2014 is not warmer than average, this year could go down in history as the coldest ever for the United States, according to analysts. “Assertions that warming temperatures in the United States are causing a host of problems are soundly contradicted by the objective temperature data,” explained James Taylor, managing editor of Environment & Climate News. “The U.S. Historical Climatology Network thermometers, which have been measuring U.S. temperatures since the 1890s, show no long-term trend in U.S. temperatures.”
Meanwhile, sea ice levels in Antarctica continue breaking through previous record highs set in recent years. Data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSDC) showed that sea ice coverage in April of 2014 smashed through the previous record high for the month, set in 2008, by close to 125,000 square miles. The latest data from this month show new ice records were also reached in May, and those record-setting trends look set to continue. Ice cover has also been “significantly above average” for 16 straight months. The massive levels of sea ice are the highest since records began.
Of course, none of this was supposed to happen.
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