NASA recently released an article affirming that 2017 has been the hottest year registered since 1880, which also happens to be the year from which the record keeping began. Even though 2016 and 2015 were the hottest years ever registered, they were under the influence of El Nino, while 2017 was not.
El Ninos are certain atmospheric patterns which cross the Pacific ocean causing a rise in global temperatures. Given that, the hot weather of 2017 could not be related in many ways to a natural cause or source. What is more unbelievable about this weather shift is that scientists were expecting the opposite of what actually happened.
What forms the basis of this claim?
Most scientists predicted that 2017 would have been much colder, as La Nina, a different pattern that brings cold, would have crossed the oceans. Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, declared that this was the new normal. Schmidt also confirmed that the weather situation is always very unstable, so the patterns will constantly change.
These constant changes are caused by the high emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that make the temperatures go higher year after year. We are basically fronting a new era of climate change.
It is very worrying what the scientists declared: “The only way to avoid disastrous consequences of climate change is by trying to not increase the global temperatures more than 2 degrees Celsius.”
What were the consequences of this climate change?
2017, effectively showed the alarming side of the climate change. In the USA, the month of February was abnormally warm. So was the scenario in June in Europe, which saw numerous wildfires caused by the extreme heat.
A series of natural disasters happened last year almost everywhere in the world – from the Caribbean to California, from Australia to Europe, and so on. Unfortunately, this kind of natural catastrophes seems to be more frequent than before.
Researchers concluded that the 2017 heat will end the circle of three consecutive years of abnormal temperatures. The increase in the temperatures leads to warmer oceans because the heat reflects upon the surface of the water. Thus, the global temperatures are bound to rise all the more.
What measures are being taken up by the authorities?
The planet is in a serious danger and American President Donald Trump is avoiding climate-related policies. For example, he proposed the NASA should eliminate their climate change programme, arguing that it was wasteful.
The worst action he took was to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord and the Clean Power Plan – the latter one created by ex-President Barrack Obama, specifically designed to reduce emissions from power plants. However, the basic guideline is that we, as global citizens, should all take care of the planet in which we are nothing more than guests. Plus, authoritarian figures and leaders should set an example good enough for all to follow.
For example, what happened in the Arctic last year was a huge sign of danger. Greenpeace campaigns did their best to fight against some not-so-environmental-friendly policies in the Arctic. The Arctic is warming up much faster than the other zones of the Earth, causing terrible damages to the animals and the region – which continues to lose sea ice and permafrost.
Schmidt is of the opinion that individually judging years based on their warmth is going to lead us nowhere. In a recent interview, he told The New York Times that the overall temperature of the Earth is constantly increasing by at least 1 degree each year. The future doesn’t seem so bright either.
Climate change is happening – right here and right now. All we can do to stop this is to be more conscious and careful about the beautiful planet we are living in.