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The past 30 years has seen more "hot" (orange), "very hot" (red) and "extremely hot" (brown) summers, compared to a base period defined in this study from 1951 to 1980  (Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio)
Hotter summers have become the norm from 1980 to present compared to 1951 to 1980 (the base period)

NASA researchers have claimed to find new evidence for everyone's favorite topic: global warming
James Hansen, study leader from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), as well as GISS researchers Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy, have concluded that summer heat waves (mainly in the U.S. Midwest) have become the norm over the last 30 years compared to a base period 30 years before 1980 -- and it's because of global warming. 
Their study works like this: the team collected mean summer temperatures from 1951 to 1980. This was considered the base period for the study. They then looked at the surface temperature data from the last 30 years (1980 until now) to determine whether extreme heat events were increasing. 
From there, the team wanted to see how much heating and cooling occurred in both time periods. To do this, they used a bell curve, which is a common tool that places the middle ground at the top of the bell (for instance, if this were a grading curve, a "C" would be at the top while the next tier down on each side would be a "B" and a "D," and the bottom of the bell would be an "A" and an "F). In this case, the top of the bell would be mean temperature, the next tier down would be "cold" on one side and "hot" on the other, then "very cold" and "extremely cold" on one side moving down while "very hot" and "extremely hot" are moving down the bell on the other side. 
Researchers then applied mean temperatures from 1980 until present, and found that 1980s, 1990s and 2000s fell more to the hot side than cold. The curve widened and flattened as well, which means there was a broader range of variability. This is important because Hansen once predicted that global warming's connection to extreme events would become more apparent in the decades from 1980 to present, but natural variability can play a role too and actually mask the trend. It was important to distinguish the two. 
This wider curve created the new "extremely hot" category, which was barely there in the base period. However, hot has become considered normal in the last 30 years. To be more specific, 75 percent of land area on Earth had "hot" summers in the last decade alone, where only 33 percent had "hot" summers from 1951 to 1980 total. 
According to the researchers, an "extremely hot" summer is considered a mean summer temperature that is experienced by less than one percent of Earth's land area during the base period. But since 2006 alone, approximately 10 percent of land area across the Northern Hemisphere had a summer like this. 
"This summer, people are seeing extreme heat and agricultural impacts," said Hansen. "We're asserting that this is casually connected to global warming, and in this paper, we present the scientific evidence for that."
The study noted "extremely hot" summers in other areas besides just the U.S. Midwest, like Texas, Mexico and Oklahoma in 2011 and Eastern Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East in 2010.
This study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Source: Science Daily

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Climate Change
By homernoy on 8/7/2012 1:58:33 PM , Rating: 2
I was under the impression that the term Global Warming was being replaced by the more accurate term Climate Change. I guess I was wrong.

RE: Climate Change
By Camikazi on 8/7/2012 2:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
Guessing Global Warming seems more menacing and will scare people into giving them more money.

RE: Climate Change
By ClownPuncher on 8/7/2012 3:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
It's isn't global. It got cooler where I live!

RE: Climate Change
By homernoy on 8/7/2012 4:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
You must live in the PNW too.

RE: Climate Change
By Noya on 8/9/2012 6:13:47 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I live in PNW and I miss having a hot summer! June and July were barely warm, finally had some 90's this past week. Crazy. More like Global Cooling.

RE: Climate Change
By TSS on 8/7/2012 5:23:21 PM , Rating: 5
No because the researchers belive the earth is warming and thus call it global warming. That they are trying to find evidence to support a theory rather then the other way around, which would be proper science, isn't relevant. You call it what you belive it to be (in other words atleast they still have beliefs).

Climate change is used by people who know the data itself is faulty (the decrease in global temperature measuring stations since the 80's) but still want the money, power and control climate research currently has.

The title of this artile isn't either though. It's just plain stupid. Really Tiffany, it is sheer stupidity. Read it again:

"Hotter Summers Since 1980 Caused by Global Warming"

So i take it hotter summers before 1980 where caused by global cooling? Or having hotter summers, one summer actually being warmer then the previous one, never occurred before 1980? Or are hotter summers in general caused by a global warming of the earth? Did global warming have no effect on hotter summers before 1980?

I vote this to be the most ridicolous title DT has had so far, and it's had quite a few.

RE: Climate Change
By amosbatto on 8/9/2012 1:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
There is no contradiction here, since both Global Warming and Global Climate Change are occurring. The average global temperatures are rising. At the same time, we are having more extreme weather events. For example, the warmer temperatures are causing the atmosphere to hold 4% more water than they used to and stronger winds. That means that we have more hurricanes and violent thunderstorms. It also means more rapid evaporation and a shifting of rain patterns which causes more drought. The question is how are scientists communicating the facts to the public.

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