just the past three years, global temperatures have risen by about
0.4 degrees Celsius.This
was an extreme acceleration in the rate of warming.One
that is unmatched in all of the past 136 years of climate record
2016, according to NASA, global temperatures hit 1.21 C above 1880s
averages. This is a new record high to shatter all previous heat
records. More to the point, the
world’s atmosphere and oceans are now hotter than they’ve been in
at least the past 100,000 years. This
is considerable global warming.
to tip the world into a new climate age and bring about substantial
a result, one of the most vulnerable areas of the world — the
Arctic Ocean — was subjected to extraordinary warming. A warming
that is now removing a considerable chunk of heat-deflecting sea ice
from the Arctic environment and helping to set the stage for further
rapid Arctic warming and worsening glacial melt in Greenland.
this heat in the global system means that the world has crossed a
number of critical climate thresholds. This is a bad
cities and island nations are now in peril due to sea level rise.
Both stable growing seasons and the stability of regional weather are
also now at risk as worsening
glacial discharge and changes to ocean surface heat distribution
appear to be ongoing and imminent.
are hard consequences. But even worse consequences are on the way
unless fossil fuel emissions are rapidly reduced.