2010 looks set to be a record hot year.(See Climate Change on msmbc.com Here) Weather records are being broken in countless places around the world. The current Russian heat wave is being exasperated by forest and peat fires, releasing yet more Co2 into the atmosphere and adding choking smog to the direct effects of the heat. The death rate over the last few weeks in Moscow has been at double the seasonal norm. Meanwhile in Pakistan, and to a lesser extent also in China, unusually heavy monsoon rains are causing death and devastation on a massive scale. Hot summers over the Eurasian continental interior draw in warm wet air from over the Indian Ocean; this is how the annual monsoon works, but the whole system seems to be becoming increasingly energised, thus producing more extreme weather events, as predictions of Climate Change have long forecast. The Arctic seems to be having a record breaking lack of sea ice this summer, while the Antarctic seems to be having above normal quantities of sea ice. Confusing and chaotic weather: when and whether we pass any tipping points that propel the world into catastrophic climate change we’ll probably only be able to see in hindsight: too late for effective action.
Let’s act now: rapid and radical ramping-up of renewable sources of energy is long over due. And an energy efficiency revolution: not to mention habitat restoration, tree planting, and a thousand other things to build a more ecologically sustainable and socially just world!
The map has only one area with Jan – June average temperatures much below normal, and that is the area of Russia east of Moscow, just the area that in July and August has seen record breaking high temperatures. The question now is whether 2010 will beat 2005 as the globally hottest year on record.