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Chilling Highs Beneath Texas Skies!

September 13, 2011

North Texans will recall 2011 as the year Hell came knocking. With today’s record temperature of 107 degrees, the summer of 2011 now wears the crown for 70 days in the triple-digits! The once thought untouchable record set in 1980 with 69 100-degree days is now seen in the rearview mirror of 2011.

January 2011 with 20 days over 50 degrees was certainly a portend things to come. But who would have predicted:
• The summer months in North Texas (June, July and August) would be the hottest ever recorded, averaging 86.8 degrees, beating out Oklahoma’s 85.2 degrees set back in 1934.
• Average Summer Temperature:  90.6 degrees – the hottest average ever for a summer period.  Beating the old record of 89.2 set in 1980.
• Average High Temperature: 101.2 degrees- 2nd Place to 1980 when the Avg. High Temp for the summer was 101.6
• Average Low Temperature: 79.9 degrees- the warmest Average Low Temperature for a summer period beating the old record of 77.8 degrees set in 1998.
• August would be the warmest month on record at Dallas/Fort Worth, besting July 1980 (92.0°) by 1.4°

The litany of 2011 records is not one for celebration. The year has also been plagued with little or no precipitation. This dangerous mix of high temperatures and no rain brought about severe drought conditions and fires.  Texas is under fire with wildfires burning out of control. The death toll to both humans and livestock keeps rising with thermometer and empty pluviometer.

The latest drought monitor shows 95 percent of the state in extreme drought, with 81 percent in exceptional drought (the highest category). More than 3.6 million acres, or 1.5 million hectares, in Texas have been blackened by wildfires since November. About $5 billion in damages have been done to the state’s agricultural industry, according to reports.

To the extent we exercise due caution and behave responsibly, at the end of the day we are essentially helpless and have to bear what nature has to offer. The larger question is this: was 2011 simply a quirk and will the coming months and years drop back to more normal weather conditions, whatever that is? Or was 2011 the clarion call of climate change and global warming?

Climate change and global warming, those dreaded words, headlined thought out the world, ridiculed by some for being a scientific conspiracy and feared by others  for being the comings of Armageddon. Whatever side one sits on, it is hard to refute the fact that global weather conditions are adversely changing, setting new and harsher rules each year.

In closing, while some hold these truths to be undeniable others still find it easier to cover their eyes. What we do know is burning fossil fuels generates CO2 which is a greenhouse gas. What we can do is be true in our efforts to eliminate that which we can. The old adage is correct today as it was years ago – “Every Little Thing Help.”  It seems so dangerous to allow our egos gamble on the future of our planet. Another home we do not have.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 14, 2011 8:39 PM

    All I have to say is the true cost of cheap fossil fuels is yet to come to mankind.
    Is this the world my children have to look forward to so their neighbors can have cheap gas and continue to drive their kids to school in gas hogs.
    Is this the world my children have to look forward to so their neighbors can heat their big houses with cheap oil and natural gas.
    The true cost of burning fossil fuels is not gasoline at $3.89/gallon more like double the price after reading the above article.
    All in the name of greed at the expense of future generations. We may be fooling our in our own denial but not mother nature.

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