Temperature records are being broken yet again. And these are the type of records we do not want to be breaking.
U.S. scientists reported Monday that the first half of this year was the world's warmest first six months ever, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, with last month being the hottest June on record.
And just last week the NOAA State of the Climate in 2014 report came out announcing even more records broken in 2014, including:
- Record high average concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Global average carbon dioxide concentrations rose to 397.2ppm.
- Highest annual average global surface temperature since records began. Eastern North America was the only major region to observe a below-average annual temperature.
- Average global sea surface temperature was the highest on record.
- Global sea levels hit a record at 67mm (2.6in) higher than when satellite measurements began in 1993.
The State of the Climate report aptly turned to poetry to express the future for our warming world:
"Seas warm, ice caps melt,
waters rise, sour, rains shift salt,
Climate change is indeed upon us with fourteen of the 15 hottest years having now occurred in this century.
Action is urgently required and that is what President Obama's Climate Action Plan with its cornerstone the Clean Power Plan to limits carbon pollution from U.S. power plants is all about.
So, for now, 2014 still stands as the planet's warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880. But if the present trend continues, this current year will win the dubious honor.