2011: A Year of Extremes
September 9, 2011
For example, 60 years ago in the continental United States, the number of new record high temperatures recorded around the country each year was roughly equal to the number of new record lows. Now, the number of new record highs recorded each year is twice the number of new record lows, a signature of a warming climate, and a clear example of its impact on extreme weather.
The increase in record highs extends outside the U.S. as well. A similar two to one ratio of record highs to record lows recently has been observed in Australia. Over the past decade, 75 counties set all-time record highs but only 15 countries set all-time record lows. In 2010, 19 countries set new all-time record high temperatures, but not a single country set a new all-time record low (among those countries keeping these statistics).