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333 months in a row of above average global temperatures

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Climate Progress

Okay, NOAA’s State of the Climate Report for November isn’t the Mayan meteorological forecast. And the Apocalypse isn’t quite “now.” But this part of the NOAA report is kind of ominous:

Including this November, the 10 warmest Novembers have occurred in the past 12 years. The 10 coolest Novembers on record all occurred prior to 1920. November 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive November and 333rd consecutive month with global temperature higher than the long-term average. The last month with a below average temperature was February 1985, nearly 28 years ago.

As Grist noted last month, “If you’re 27 or younger, you’ve never experienced a colder-than-average month.” In Minnesota’s fictional Lake Wobegon, “all the children are above average.” But with warming, it’s more like Wobegun, because it’s only going to get hotter and hotter — at an accelerating pace if we don’t reverse carbon pollution trends ASAP (see “We’re Already Topping Dust Bowl Temperatures — Imagine What’ll Happen If We Fail To Stop 10°F Warming“).

This is the temperature map for the first 11 months of the year:

NOAA chart

Record warmth — easy to find (see “Record-Smashing Early December Assures 2012 Will Be Hottest In U.S. History“). Record cold, not so much.

As Grist dryly noted (and noting things dryly is how Grist made its bones):

August 2040 will (possibly) be the 666th straight month with higher-than-average global temperatures (somewhat undermining the concept of average). The map for that month will likely be a pure splotch of red, as Earth will have been consumed by hellfire. Please prepare appropriately.

So we are halfway to Hell (and High Water). Can’t say we weren’t warned.

This article was originally published on Climate Progress. Reproduced with permission

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