Fourth Warmest January Since 1901: The Global Climate Impact

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Interview with Retired NOAA Administrator DeWayne, Cecil, PhD, on the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water.

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Sharon Kleyne, host of the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water syndicated radio talk show, is concerned about global climate change and its impact on water supply, food production and economics. When she discovered that January, 2012 was the fourth warmest since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1901, she invited DeWayne Cecil, PhD to discuss the implications on her show.

Dr. Cecil is a former Climatologist for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). His specialty is long-term weather forecasting using satellite data. Recently retired, Dr. Cecil now heads the Satellite Climate Data Division of Global Science and Technology, Inc., in Asheville, North Carolina.

The interview took place on February 27, 2012.

Dr. Cecil noted that long-term weather forecasting, and the forecasting of trends in water resources and vegetative cover, benefits industry, agriculture and social planning. The data is especially useful in areas that experience frequent drought (which in the United States used to be confined to the West but now includes Georgia, Alabama and parts of Florida). The eventual objective is to predict with accuracy up to two years in advance.

According to Dr. Cecil January, 2012 was the fourth warmest January in the 48 contiguous states since record keeping began in 1901. The average temperature was five degrees above the 99 year average. Alaska, however, experienced one of the coldest and snowiest Januarys on record.

Dr. Cecil observed that if Earth were the size of a basketball, the atmosphere would be the thickness of a sheet of paper. That makes it quite sensitive. Climatologists have learned that any climate change, whether cyclical or long term, human caused or natural, creates an energy buildup in the atmosphere. As a result, if there are extremes of warmth in one region, there will be extremes of cold in another, and if there are extremes of draught in one region, there will be extremes of rainfall in another.

China and Australia were cited by Dr. Cecil as illustrative of the cyclical nature of global climate change and the impact on humans. Australia had experienced drought for the past 13 years but the last two years have been very wet.

In China, according to Dr. Cecil, the most noticeable impact of climate change is in mega-cities, of which China has many. There is more atmospheric pollution around mega-cities, and more people in them to suffer the consequences.

Dr. Cecil notes that the United States doesn't have nearly the pollution of China due to far fewer mega-cities, only one-quarter the population on the same amount of land, and much stricter pollution standards (although air quality remains a major problem in many areas of the United States). In addition to industrial pollution, China experiences naturally occurring problems with rapidly expanding desertification and natural wind born dust (loess) that adds to the pollution in much of the country's industrial heartland.

Despite many major rivers in China that rise in the Himalayas and carry plenty of water, many rivers are so polluted, the population is so large and many industrial regions are so droughty that water distribution for drinking and agriculture is a critical issue everywhere.

The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water is broadcast live on Mondays, 10 a.m., PST/PDT. The syndicated talk show is heard on Voice America/World Talk Radio, Green Talk Network and Apple iTunes. Go to for written summaries and on-demand replays.

© 2012 Bio-Logic Aqua Research

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Mikaylah Roggasch
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