Mars Isn’t The Only Red Planet

It’s been a recording-breaking year for Earth's weather

Looking at the picture below, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a map of Mars.

Alas, it’s planet Earth.

The red parts show areas which have experienced either warmer than average or record-breaking warm temperatures.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last week that the first eight months of 2015 were the hottest stretch on record for the globe's surface land and oceans.

Image credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centres For Environmental Information

It’s hard to argue with their conclusions with Australia about to experiences scorching temperatures across the weekend.

Sydney is set for a four-day run of 30 degrees or more in a month where the average maximum is 22.1 degrees.

By contrast, some areas – those in dark blue – are experiencing record cold temperatures. So what in the world is going on?

At the moment, there’s no verified answer, but scientists suspect the cooling may be the result of changes in ocean currents due to global warming.

Experts believe that the hundred billion tonnes of melting ice in Greenland are causing the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation to weaken. The Gulf Stream system is slowing down more than it has for 1,000 years.

Explore more wild weather from 2.30pm today on National Geographic Channel

Image: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centres For Environmental Information

 

 

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