January 16, 2013

Summer Extremes Getting More Extreme

People who live north of the equator are experiencing both higher summer temperatures and a greater frequency of extreme bouts of heat, according to a NASA statistical analysis of decades of Northern Hemisphere temperature data. A basic bell curve shows breakdown of these temperatures. Initially, the mean summer temperature for the Northern Hemisphere from 1951-1980 is centered at the top of the curve, with the frequency of cooler summers in blue and the frequency of warmer summers in red. Watch how the frequency of hotter temperatures increases as the visualization moves forward in time, showing how hotter summer temperatures are the new normal.

credit:  NASA

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