- WASHINGTON (AP) -- The world is on a hot streak, literally. Last month was
the hottest September on record, government climate experts reported Wednesday.
That makes it nine months of record heat in a row.
- The continuing warm readings add fuel
to the debate over global warming. Many scientists and others are concerned
that chemicals added to the atmosphere may be warming the planet somewhat
like the glass heats a greenhouse. Others remain doubtful, however, noting
the regular cycles of climate change over past years and pointing out that
accurate temperature records go back only about a century.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration reported that the average worldwide temperature for the
month was 59.98 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.08 degree above the 1880-1997 global
average of 58.9 degrees.
- "The recent string of unusually
high global average temperatures could be a sign of accelerated global
warming," said Thomas Karl, director of the NOAA's National Climatic
Data Center in Asheville, N.C. "However, these records will not continue
indefinitely because of the impacts of normal climate variability."
- The recent warm months have also been
blamed on the heating of the Pacific Ocean in the El Nino phenomenon, but
that is now easing, the NOAA reported.
- The climate center also reported that
average temperatures in the contiguous United States beat the record heat
during the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s.
- Preliminary data indicate that September
had a national average temperature of 69.1 degrees Fahrenheit, surpassing
the previous record of 68.4 degrees, set in September 1931. The 1961-1990
normal temperature for the United States during September is 64.8 degrees.