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Climate Change Ploughed Through Records in 2015
People, Environment

Climate Change Ploughed Through Records in 2015

Environmental records of all kinds are being shattered, as climate change takes effect in real time, scientists warned on Tuesday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association released its annual State of the Climate report with the dire warning that 2015 was the hottest year on record since at least the mid-to-late 19th century, confirming the “toppling of several symbolic milestones” in global temperature, sea level rise and extreme weather.
“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” Michael Mann, a leading climate scientist at Penn State, told the Guardian.
“They are playing out before us, in real time. The 2015 numbers drive that home.”
Last year’s record heat was fueled by a combination of the effects of global warming and one of the strongest El Nino events on record since at least 1950, NOAA said.
“When we think about being climate resilient, both of these time scales are important to consider,” said Thomas R. Karl, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
“Last year’s El Nino was a clear reminder of how short-term events can amplify the relative influence and impacts stemming from longer-term global warming trends.”
Greenhouse gas emissions have been the highest on record, while global and sea surface temperatures have also reached a new peak, the NOAA report said. Furthermore, global average sea level rose to a new record high in 2015, while more extremes were observed in the water cycle and precipitation, boosted by one of the strongest El Nino events ever, Commondreams.com reported.
Meanwhile, the Arctic continues to lose sea ice, impacting marine life by forcing walruses to shore and sending fish populations out of the region; harmful algal blooms spread in the northeast Pacific; and tropical cyclones worldwide were well above average, NOAA said.
The report is released amid a rash of climate-related nightmares taking place around the world. In Maryland, historic rainfall killed multiple people this week; in Siberia, melting permafrost released long-dormant deadly anthrax into the air, sickening several people and killing thousands of reindeer; in the Middle East last week, scorching temperatures smashed historic heat records for the Eastern Hemisphere.
Kate Willett, a senior scientist at the United Kingdom’s Met Office, told the Guardian on Tuesday, “Looking at a range of climate measurements, 2015 was yet another highly significant year. Not only was 2015 the warmest year on record by a large margin, it was also another year when the levels of dominant greenhouse gases reached new peaks.”

 

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