11 August, 2017
Last year was the hottest year for the planet since records began, according to a new NOAA climate report. The first such assessment was completed in 2014. In the past, the reports have been published by the 13 agencies at globalchange.gov. "Our ability to attribute the characteristics of some types of extreme events to climate change has been confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences".
They have good reason to be concerned. "The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration", noted the lead of the article, which was written by Lisa Friedman. The antipathy to science has never been greater since the days when Galileo locked horns with the Vatican over his findings derived from dropping objects from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. "For example, the impact of El Nino on the climate is completely downplayed and misconstrued to conflict with historical reports".
"Evidence of a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans", scientists write, who also note that "[many] lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change". "There are no alternative explanations".
The only problem: The draft report has been online since January. In fact, many of you - I don't know if you saw this article or not, but the Climate of Complete Certainty, by Bret Stephens, that was in the New York - the New York Times talked about - and I'll just read a quote, because I think it's a very important quote from this - from this article.
This national assessment lays a foundation for securing federal funding and regulatory direction on climate policy, and it offers state and local governments the technical assistance they need to incorporate the impact of climate change into their planning for infrastructure, land use and other long-term issues. The Times reported that scientists leaked them a copy of the report, "which has not yet been made public", because they were "concerned that it would be suppressed". The amount of additional warming coming from human activity - mostly burning of coal, oil and gas - is more than 40 times stronger than changes in the sun's heat. University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd calls this a "zombie myth" long disproven but somehow still sticking around. Globally, temperatures were up nearly a full degree over the average measured from 1981 to 2010.
The findings contradict the talking points of the Trump administration, which has openly questioned the science behind climate change and the degree that humans contribute to it, and which has moved to reverse the clean-air initiatives of the Obama White House.
"It's a fraught situation", says Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geoscience and global affairs at Princeton University, who was not involved in the study. Another new analysis from European Union researchers warned that deaths due to extreme weather across Europe could increase from about 3,000 per year to 152,000 annually if the Earth warmed 3 degrees by century's end.
Much of the talk about rising temperatures assumes that the increase is uniform in all areas of the world. "It is also the most up-to-date one, since the latest IPCC report is now four years old".