Sunday, August 13, 2006

NOAA: 2006 has hottest Jan-July period in recorded history

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last week that the period from January through July of this year was the hottest since records began being kept in 1895. You can get the NOAA news release here.

The month of July was the second hottest on record, averaging 77.2 degrees F; the average is 74.3F.

Just this three-degree rise increased American power consumption by 22 percent over what would have been used in an average year, according to NOAA.

As temperatures rise, both plant and animal species will move northward or up in elevation. In western America, we are fortunate to have a large publicly-owned landscape that will be able to accommodate at least some of the change we will experience. Let's hope we have the sense to maintain these lands as a functioning whole (along with adequate corridors in adjacent private lands) while there is still some time to do so.

For this corner of the world, public lands might end up being our ark.

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