The heat wave that hit eastern North America was part of a larger planet-wide warm spell. On average over the globe, June 2010 goes down as the hottest June on record, following the hottest spring ever:
According measurements taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) June 2010 was the hottest June on record worldwide. But this is not a new trend, at least for this year. March, April, and May 2010 were also the warmest on record.
That from the Christian Science Monitor. The folks cracking jokes about the DC snowstorm last winter seem kind of quiet on that subject now. Soon after, NOAA issued its State of the Climate report showing that the 2000s have seen the hottest decade ever recorded and that each successive decade since 1960 has been hotter than the previous one.
In May, Reuters was reporting on projections that peak electricity demand would be comfortably low this this summer because of continuing economic distress. Utility companies, according to experts, could rest easy as “the recent recession has made Mother Nature take a back seat this time around.”
But May was a long time ago. Now utilities are experiencing near-record strains. With the national heat wave continuing, Bloomberg says, “The higher-than-normal temperatures have driven up electric power use around the U.S., including in New York, which recorded its third-highest hourly peak load of 33,542 megawatts on July 6.”
When the heat index rises, it’s economics that takes the back seat. As a nation, we’ll spend whatever it takes to stay comfortable.