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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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The Heat, in Global Context

July 19, 2013, 12:00 PM

If you are feeling hot today, you certainly are not alone. Nearly every state in the U.S. is experiencing temperatures in the 90s or above. And the U.S. is not alone.  And we're not just talking about the current heat wave. 

The June numbers have been crunched and, according to NOAA, the combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces last month made it the fifth hottest June on record, tied with 2006. 

Also, the combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–June period (year-to-date) was 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average of 13.5°C (56.3°F), tying 2013 with 2003 as the seventh warmest period on record.

If you remember back to 2003, a heat wave that summer killed an estimated 20,000 people in Italy and an estimated 15,000 in France. 

Photo Credit: NOAA Climate.gov team

For a larger version of this image, click here
You can view the latest statistics from the National Climatic Data Center here




The Heat, in Global Context

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