Climate Update: Warming Temperatures

Climate Update: Warming Temperatures  
August 09, 2013

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its annual “State of the Climate” assessment.
Deke Arndt, an editor of the report, discusses warming temperatures and other climate trends from 2012.
Plus, Sol Hsiang, who studies climate and violence, discusses his research connecting rising temperatures to increases in human conflict.

Last year was another record-breaking year for the global heat index. 2012 was among the 10th warmest years on record, the hottest on record in the United States according to the State of the Climate report that was just released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

… how important the Arctic is as part of our climate system, but it is a region that is covered in white stuff throughout most of the year. And when that white stuff goes away, what it does, the snow and the ice that covers the Arctic tends to reflect the incoming sunlight right back out into space.
And as that disappears, as that retreats, as the footprint of the white stuff, the frozen stuff, snow and ice, goes away, more and more sunlight is absorbed in the Arctic. And so that is what we would call a positive feedback or what folks might call a vicious cycle that tends to add to the warming of the planet.