Like little stars.
The year 2013, if you choose to believe the rigorous data released yesterday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tied for the fourth-warmest on record. Although, if you listen to NASA instead, it was actually the seventh-hottest. Its precise ranking — influenced by differences in data processing — isn’t very important. When it comes down to it, both agencies are saying the same thing: Last year was unusually hot — one of the hottest since 1880 — and it followed a pattern in which unusually hot years are becoming the new normal.
Be it a polar vortex or a record-breaking heat wave, it’s not one unusual weather pattern we need to look at — it’s the progression of things getting more and more unusual over time. An animation of temperature anomalies over 130 years, provided by NASA, shows how that’s indisputably been the case. Note the growing number of red-colored zones where temperatures were warmer than average, which take over the map as time goes on. This is what scientists say when they emphasize the importance of long-term climate trends:
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.More Lindsay Abrams.
Like little stars.
World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.
So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).
My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.
High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.
Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.
New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.
Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.
Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.
Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.
Really does taste like pineapple.