Extreme weather this year broke more than 120,000 daily records across the US from temperatures to precipitation and snowfall, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information data.
The 122,055 records include daily high and low records of temperatures as well as records of rain and snow.
CNN reported on the record events, mentioned the Alaskan heat wave, heat waves that hit Alaska and temperatures raised to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, Hawaiian winter storm, a winter storm that brought snow to Hawaii, and rain that flooded the Midwest and destroyed crops.
Walton, who has spent more than 30 years as a meteorologist, told CNN the bigger picture is, “We should see the wettest year in recorded history, or at least since records have been kept in 1895.” However, the total number of daily records isn’t that unusual compared to previous years.
As climate experts suggest, the extreme nature of this year’s weather is a red flag because of record flooding to record highs.
Alaska saw 70-degree weather as early as March for the first time with Arctic warming twice as fast as the other parts of the planet, and the summer was no better. Anchorage was hotter than Key West at 90 degrees on the July 4th, setting a new record, according to the National Weather Service.
In spite of having a tropical climate, Hawaii has seen hundreds of record highs and record lows this year.
“For perhaps the first time ever, snow has fallen in a Hawai’i State Park,” the Department of Land and Natural Resources said in February. “It could be the lowest relevant snow ever recorded in the state.”
According to the NCDC, 97-degrees were recorded by a weather station near the Honolulu Zoo in late September, setting a record.
“Beyond temperatures getting more uncomfortable in an already warm environment, our 50th state will get more susceptible to organized tropical activity moving from the east and south due to an overall hotter surrounding,” Walton said on his site tracking historical weather data.
“To sum up,” Walton said, “here we have one more case for a warming world.”
After a year of devastating climate events, from Hurricane Dorian to record melting of ice sheets, the report published. Other countries also witnessed record-breaking heat and cold, and raging fires severely damaging the Amazon rainforest.
However, there was more climate activism this year.
Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen climate activist, was named Time’s “Person of the Year” for her global activism with the objectives of reversing the impacts of human-made global warming. Actress Jane Fonda has launched weekly protests in D.C. demanding change.
After the United Nations’ annual climate report that warned about the requirement of unprecedented measures to reverse climate change, the new data comes from the National Climatic Data Center.
The report compares the global emissions reality to the levels required to meet the 2015 Paris climate accord goals. The greenhouse gas emissions would need to be reduced by around 8 percent each year to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
Unfortunately, the target is currently difficult to achieve, the report says.
“Every year of delay beyond 2020 brings a need for faster cuts, which become increasingly expensive, unlikely and impractical,” the report states. “Delays will also quickly put the 1.5C goal out of reach.”
President Trump fulfilled the promise he had made on the campaign trail, by officially pulling the US out of the Paris climate agreement in November.
The U.S. is the only country in the world that rejected the international agreement, officially, which will be effective in November 2020.