The Hottest Year On Record… Again
This news story will feel old to anyone that has been paying attention to climate change. It is a fact that 2016 was the hottest year on record. This also makes 2016 the third year in a row that it has been the hottest year on record. At this point it seems undeniable that the Earth is undergoing climate change. The global-average temperatures have been going up gradually and reliably for the last decade, and when compared to records from when modern recordkeeping started in 1880, a significant change can be seen.
In 2016, the global-average temperatures were 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit above the mean temperatures in the 1900s. The data that backs this was taken from over 6,000 weather stations, and then the findings were reviewed by both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Both organizations reviewed the data separately and came to the same conclusion.
This now also marks the 5th year the record has been broken since the start of the 21st century. Likewise, the top 16 hottest years have occurred in the last 17 years, but it does not stop there. Eight of the 12 months in 2016 were the hottest on record. The Antarctic had the second lowest average levels of sea ice since we began tracking it in 1979, and the Arctic had the lowest average level of sea ice ever measured. Continuing with the theme, North America had the hottest year ever recorded, South America and Africa had their second hottest years, and Europe and Asia had their third hottest year ever. And this is not even it, a list of “Significant Climate Anomalies and Events in 2016” can be found on the NOAA website. These anomalies and events include recorded temperatures, wildfires, tropical storms, missing ice caps, hurricanes and droughts. An overwhelming majority of climate scientists know climate change is unfolding, and they have the data to back up their claims.
Moving into a world where President Donald Trump has said that climate change is a hoax, it is important to stay conscious and alert. However, we may be in luck. President Trump has stated, “I have an open mind to it … I do have an open mind” in reference to climate change. It is good to know he is making positive progress on this issue in his mind. Now all we can hope is he does not regress, and get bullied and fooled back into believing the unbelievable. Issues like this one will needs special attention. It is an issue that will have a drastic effect on everyone, everywhere, and for that reason it is our job to assure the rest of the world that our country will continue to make progress on the climate change issues. We must hold President Trump to his “open mind” about climate change, because every day we don’t make progress towards halting climate change, we only increase its eventual severity.
NASA, NOAA Data Show 2016 Warmest Year on Record Globally. (2017). NASA. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
Trump Says He Has 'Open Mind' On Climate, But Staff Pick Raises Questions. (2016). NPR.org. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
2016 marks three consecutive years of record warmth for the globe | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2017). Noaa.gov. Retrieved 2 February 2017.