E&E news reports:
In the District of Columbia this year, it seemed summer would never come. Spring was cold. Cherries bloomed late. Even Memorial Day weekend had a chill to it.
There have been a few heat waves this summer, but the muggy climate of Washington, D.C., summers has been largely absent. The same has been true for much of the South and parts of the Midwest: 2013 just doesn’t seem all that hot.
Actually, it is that hot.
Folks who live in parts of the United States, western Europe and northern Asia may think of 2013 as a cool year so far. But compared with historical global temperature averages, most of the world is simmering in near-record heat. This map shows differences in temperature from a base period of 1981-2010. Click the map for a larger version. Map courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climate Data Center.
According to an analysis of the first half of 2013 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, global temperatures this year are 1.06 degrees Fahrenheit (0.59 degree Celsius) higher than the 20th-century average. That number is averaged across ocean and land temperatures. That means this year ties with 2003 as the sixth-warmest year on record, with the record going back to 1880.