In a typical year, the polar ice cap in the Arctic Ocean spends the six months from April through September shrinking, then grows again from October to March.
In August and September, typhoons hit the Philippines, Taiwan and southern Japan, even as the monsoon failed in India.Her light-brown hair was pulled back and threaded through an O-ring to keep it out of her face.As she exercised, Isabel cast an occasional guilty glance at her school reader, which had all her textbooks downloaded onto it. It was warm enough, however, to complete a process which had begun many years earlier and which last year had nearly finished. Going by average global temperatures, this was only the second-hottest year on record—the previous year had been the hottest.Isabel was in the neat half, where there was room on the floor for a yoga mat.Her face turned pink as she curled her fingers behind her head and pulled herself up into a sitting position.And if you miss out, well, you can always make them at home.An unexpected chain reaction in the climate creates a new weather pattern, bringing devastating floods every autumn after the droughts and heat waves of summer. In Barrow, Alaska, temperatures in the summer went into the seventies.Follow five people in their struggle with this new environment. In Europe, March was so warm it was described as “May come two months early.” Strong south winds in May and June brought Sahara-like conditions to the Mediterranean lowlands and flooding to the southern slopes of the Alps and Pyrenees, even as the pleasant weather that Spain, Italy, and Greece should have been enjoying held sway from Ireland to Karelia. The Rockies and the West Coast, on the other hand, were dominated by a searing heat wave that began in April and continued for most of the year.