The United States recently went through the hottest 12 months ever, since record-keeping began in 1895.
National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration said that for the period from May 2011 to April 2012, the nationally averaged temperature was 55.7 degrees, 2.8 degrees higher than the 20th century average. The national average temperature for April was 55 degrees, 3.6 degrees above average.
To be sure, the higher temperatures haven’t hit every region equally. The Pacific Northwest actually saw cooler-than-average temperatures over the past year, according to NOAA data. Much of California was also cooler than normal; Southern California had an average year.
But record averages for the year scorched central Texas — which saw a horrific drought last year — the upper Midwest, and much of the Northeast.
The last time the globe had a month that averaged below its 20th century normal was February 1985. April makes it 326 months in a row. Nearly half the population of the world has never seen a month that was cooler than normal, according to United Nations data.
via L.A. Times
A recent study from the USDA released this map of farmers markets. Notice that the Northeast and West Coast dominate (dark blue).
From the report:
“Direct-to-consumer sales are highest in the Northeast, on the West Coast, and around a few isolated metropolitan areas throughout the country.”
“Farms with direct-to-consumer sales are most likely to have neighbors who also participate in direct sales—this is a neighborhood effect”
…choosy moms choose farmers markets and the whole neighborhood improves?
“The West Coast has a long-standing system of farmers’ markets and farmerto-grocers’ marketing channels dating back to the 1970s. Small-scale farmers began selling organic and high value-added niche foods to upscale restaurants in the late 1970s (now a national trend) and are now part of farm-to-school marketing arrangements.”
“Another U.S. hot spot for local food sales is the Atlantic seaboard, particularly the Northeast census division. Local food sales farms in the Northeast generated 14.4 percent of U.S. local food production.”