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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sweltering heat

It is midnight in Louisville, Kentucky, and the outside temperature is 87 degrees Fahrenheit, with a heat index of 92 degrees.

Monday, the city set a new record -- 22 straight days with high temperatures of at least 90 degrees. Tuesday, thanks to a thunderstorm that made it incredibly muggy, the temperature was just under 90 (88). Wednesday, it was back up to 98 and temperatures are expected to top 100 degrees on Thursday and Friday.

I suppose it's good to have lived through the record heat wave since it appears I was not even alive for the record warmest year in U.S. history. A blogger skeptical of global warming has demonstrated that the hottest U.S. year on record was 1934, not 1998, as previously believed.

The new information really shook up the standings:
"Four of the top 10 are now from the 1930s: 1934, 1931, 1938 and 1939, while only 3 of the top 10 are from the last 10 years (1998, 2006, 1999)," he wrote.

"Several years (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004) fell well down the leaderboard, behind even 1900."
A British scientists explained the implications for the rest of the world:
"The figures have slight significance for US temperatures, but the US only covers two per cent of the world's surface, so there is very little significance globally."
Apparently, the new information changed the global data by one thousandth of a degree.

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