News Article | November 14, 2016
Simply switching to renewables alone will not solve the climate change problem, writes Steffen Böhm, Professor in Organization and Sustainability at the University of Exeter. We need to start removing carbon from the atmosphere. And we need to tackle the demand side. We cannot simply assume that relentless economic growth is compatible with a green future. Courtesy of The Conversation. The Paris climate agreement has now officially come into force. Although Donald Trump and other climate change deniers have vowed to abandon it, most have hailed the agreement as a huge success and a significant milestone in our quest to limit the effects of global climate change. But here’s the problem: many climate experts warn that the commitments made at Paris still fall far short of what is required to halt global warming at the 2°C mark, never mind reversing the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The simple truth is that the Paris agreement is blind to the fundamental, structural problems that prevent us from decarbonising our economies to the radical extent needed. Take renewable energy. Among the most progressive leaders in business, government and NGOs there is a shared belief that, if only we could switch off the fossil fuel tap and quickly transition towards renewable energy sources, we still have a chance to save the world from runaway climate change. All that’s needed is massive investment in wind, solar, geothermal and other renewables. International agreements such as those reached in Paris are what makes those investments possible, providing business confidence and policy commitment. While I feel part of this group of progressives, there are some hard facts that cannot be ignored. First, the renewable schemes to date have largely been at the expense of unpopular nuclear installations, while the global share of fossil fuel-generated energy consumption remains at about 80-85%: just where it’s been since the early 1970s. Yes, massive solar and wind parks are being built around the world, but they haven’t yet changed the business models of Shell, BP and other fossil fuel giants. On the contrary, they feel more secure than ever to invest in fossil fuel sources, particularly gas, which they see as a “transition fuel” – here to stay until at least 2050 they say. Second, the massive amounts of land required for installing gigawatts of solar and wind power will destroy natural habitats and take away valuable farmland. This is already evident in the way existing biomass production schemes – forests in the US for instance, sugar cane in Brazil or palm oil in Malaysia – have had serious environmental and social side-effects to the extent that they have been labelled as “greenwash. There simply isn’t enough accessible land for all the solar or wind farms that would be needed to transition to a renewable future. Wherever renewables have been developed at the “mega” level, they end up bulldozing, quite literally, people and wildlife. And generally it’s the poorest, usually rural, communities who are disproportionately affected, given that their land values are lowest and existing users have little power or formal land rights. For example, large-scale hydroelectric dam projects, currently the greatest source of renewable energy, have destroyed many human communities and flooded irreplaceable natural habitats. Yes, offshore wind can fill some of the gaps, but it is more expensive to build and maintain than onshore, and the generated energy has to be transmitted over long distances. Third, as French scientist Olivier Vidal and his colleagues recently pointed out, the shift to renewable energy will “replace one non-renewable resource (fossil-fuels) with another (metals and minerals).” Vidal estimates that 3,200 million tonnes of steel, 310 million tonnes of aluminum and 40 million tonnes of copper would be needed to build the latest generations of wind and solar facilities. Together with demand from electric vehicle manufacturers, a worldwide renewables boom would rely on a 5% to 18% annual increase in global production of minerals for the next 40 years. Similarly startling projections are made for other materials oiling the wheels of green capitalism, including silver, lithium, copper, silicon, gallium and the rare earths. In many cases, supplies of these raw materials are already dwindling. The Toyota Prius, for example, one of the greenest cars on the market, relies on a range of very dirty rare earth minerals, the excavation and processing of which has devastated large areas of Inner Mongolia in China. Lastly, the climate challenge is so urgent and huge that we actually need to remove carbon from the atmosphere, rather than just switching to renewables. That’s the view of prominent climate scientist James Hansen, the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who has shown that, even if we switched to zero-carbon energy sources today, we would still be facing a serious climate challenge for centuries to come. What this all means is that the Paris agreement doesn’t go far enough. In fact, it might give us the impression of moving in the right direction, but actually the pledged actions are so far off what is needed, it spreads false hope. So, what is needed then? These points raise uncomfortable questions that only those who can think and act against the grain dare to ask. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t transition to renewable energy. Not at all. But that alone will not save the climate. The world’s climate experts and leaders in business, government and NGOs, who are gathering in Marrakesh for yet another UN conference, would do well in starting to engage with this uncomfortable truth. Steffen Böhm (@SteffenBoehm) is Professor in Organization & Sustainability and Director of the Sustainability & Circular Economy Research Cluster at University of Exeter Business School. See his lively website for a complete overview of his activities and background. This article was first published on The Conversation and is republished here with permission from the author and from the publisher under a Creative Commons license.
News Article | February 15, 2017
When climate deniers are desperate because the measurements don’t fit their claims, some of them take the final straw: they try to deny and discredit the data. The years 2014 and 2015 reached new records in the global temperature, and 2016 has done so again. Some don’t like this because it doesn’t fit their political message, so they try to spread doubt about the observational records of global surface temperatures. A favorite target are the adjustments that occur as these observational records are gradually being vetted and improved by adding new data and eliminating artifacts that arise e.g. from changing measurement practices or the urban heat island effect. More about this is explained in this blog article by Victor Venema from Bonn University, a leading expert on homogenization of climate data. And of course the new paper by Hausfather et al, that made quite a bit of news recently, documents how meticulously scientists work to eliminate bias in sea surface temperature data, in this case arising from a changing proportion of ship versus buoy observations. To illustrate the shenanigans of self-styled “climate skeptics”, take for example the following graph, which has been circulating for a while on climate denier websites. It beautifully illustrates two of the favorite tricks of climate deniers: cherry picking and deceptive trick graphics. Fig. 1 Revision history of two individual monthly values for January 1910 and January 2000 in the GISTEMP global temperature data from NASA (Source: WUWT ) If you look at the black arrows, do you have the impression that the 0.71 ° C temperature difference is mainly due to data adjustments? Because the arrow on the right is three times longer than that on the left? Far from it – can you spot the trick? In the vertical axis, 0.3 ° C is missing in the middle! The adjustment is actually only 0.26 °C. Even that is quite a lot of course – and that’s because it is an extreme example. The January 1910 shown is the month with the second largest downward correction, obviously cherry-picked from the 1,643 months of the data series. In the annual mean values and particularly for the temperatures since the Second World War, the corrections are minimal, as the following graph shows: Fig. 2 Revision history of global temperature data set from NASA. Here, too, one can see that in 1910 the greatest correction occurred. (Source: Goddard Institute for Space Studies ) This graph must be familiar to anyone who works with the NASA data, because it is in the notes to the data on the NASA site (even interactive). Incidentally, Gavin already debunked the misleading representation in Fig. 1 last March on Twitter. Anyone who shows you Fig. 1 without also explaining the big picture as shown in Fig. 2 is trying to fool you. A denier favorite is to suggest that NASA deliberately adjusts temperatures upward to exaggerate global warming. An absurd conspiracy theory, as demonstrated by the basic fact that the net effect of the data adjustments is to reduce global warming. The next figure shows this. If climate scientists were trying to exaggerate global warming they’d show you the unadjusted raw data! Fig. 3 The NASA data of global temperature compared to the uncorrected raw data (light blue) and two global temperature data sets from other institutes. (Source: Goddard Institute for Space Studies ) It is not surprising that you find such conspiracy theories on Anthony Watts’ sectarian blog WUWT, a place where climate science amateurs present earth-shattering insights to their echo chamber like: The CO2 increase is not due to burning fossil fuels, but to insects! Global warming is caused by the nuclear reactor in the Earth’s core! The warming of Antarctica comes from “waste heat from little pockets of humanity” there! The Greenland ice sheet can be at most 650 years old! (That’s obvious – how could the Vikings otherwise have grown crops there?) The claim that the NASA data can’t be trusted has recently turned up at WUWT once again because we had compared these data to a cooling forecast made by two German climate denialists, and the comparison wasn’t exactly looking good for that forecast. Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning, both former employees of Europe’s largest single CO2 emitter RWE, had made this forecast of imminent cooling in their 2012 book “Die kalte Sonne” (The cold sun), where this forecast is shown in relation to the HadCRUT surface temperature data in running mean over 23 months. So if they don’t like the fact that we compared their forecast to NASA’s GISTEMP data, let’s just do it with the HadCRUT data. Fig. 4 The “Cold Sun” forecast of Vahrenholt and Lüning compared with global surface temperatures of the British Meteorological Service (HadCRUT data), moving average over 23 months to end of October 2016. Graph: Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf, Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 . Hmm. Still not so convincing for the cold-sun forecast. Thus in defense of their forecast at WUWT, Vahrenholt and Lüning have therefore applied three tricks which reduce the discrepancy of data and forecast. But even with these three changes compared to the original forecast graph in The Cold Sun, Vahrenholt and Lüning don’t succeed in preventing the observed temperature curve from rising out of their forecast interval. They try to belittle that with the argument that last month’s value just returns to the top edge of the forcast interval – which is irrelevant, however, because this forecast does not apply to individual months, which are always strongly scattered. The second step alone – just switching from surface to the satellite data – would not have helped them much by the way, bringing only a reduction from 0.34 to 0.30 °C. One can guess that this is why Vahrenholt and Lüning have also extended the smoothing period from two to three years. But let’s accept this longer averaging period as a legitimate choice, since the forecast applies to the medium-term climate evolution and not short-term fluctuations, so that the latter can be filtered out by smoothing. Using a period of three years instead of just two will take out El Niño better. With the 37 months smoothing period the comparison looks as follows: Fig. 5 The “Cold Sun” forecast of Vahrenholt and Lüning compared with global surface temperatures of the British Meteorological Service (HadCRUT data), running average over 37 months. Graph: Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf, Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0. This still clearly falsifies the cooling forecast of Vahrenholt and Lüning. I have discussed this example here in some detail because it exemplifies the methods of so-called “climate skeptics”. People like Vahrenholt and Lüning trust that a layperson won’t notice their various tricks. An outsider can ultimately hardly recognize these unless he studies intensively the available data and scientific literature. However, applying some common-sense criteria can give a layperson a clear indication of the lack of credibility: the source is a “climate skeptics” website, there is no research institution and no professional climate scientists behind these claims, and there is no peer-reviewed publication with the cooling forecast, rather it is directed exclusively at a lay audience. Finally there is a connection of the authors to the fossil energy business. As in professional journalism, there are several levels of quality assurance in professional science. A long study and training time, which conveys methods and ethics (like the search for truth and the continuous questioning of own assumptions). The standards of good scientific practice (non-compliance, such as manipulation of data, can cost a scientist their job and future prospects.) The reputation as the greatest asset of the scientist and his research institution, that is rapidly lost when making wrong claims. Peer review, i.e. the critical assessment of scientific publications (and even institutions) by independent third parties (mostly competitors). And last but not least, the culture of critical, open debate, which is very much alive e.g. at conferences, which will quickly identify most problems or mistakes. None of this is infallible, and professional scientists sometimes make mistakes. For this reason, one should not necessarily believe every individual statement by a scientist, not even each peer-reviewed publication. It is better to base ones assessment on the bigger picture. There is good reason why every few years, hundreds of climate scientists from around the world voluntarily and unpaid tackle the big task of sifting through the scientific literature and debating it and summarizing the state of knowledge in the reports of the IPCC. There has long been an overwhelming consensus about the basic facts of global warming. Anyone who finds serious, defensible counter-evidence would quickly become famous – a place in the top journals Nature, Science or PNAS would be assured. The likelihood that you will find a scientific sensation on a shrill layperson website like WUWT is infinitely smaller than that you are simply being fooled there.
News Article | March 1, 2017
It looks like spring is arriving in many parts of the country ahead of schedule, based on a new set of maps from a federal agency. Unusually warm temperatures have conquered large swathes of the United States, from coastal California and southern Nevada to southeastern Colorado and a number of Midwestern states, according to new maps from the USA National Phenology Network of the United States Geological Survey. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Feb. 2 and predicted six more weeks of winter, after which spring would spring ahead of historical norms in the United States. In fact, it already sprung 22 days ahead in Washington, the agency reported. The surprising weather changes, however, could come at environmental and economic costs. “[An earlier spring] poses significant challenges for planning and managing important issues that affect our economy and our society,” said USGS ecologist and USA-NPN executive director Jake Weltzin in a statement. The consequences include an influx of disease-carrying ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects, as well as a stronger pollen season that can spell trouble for persons with allergies. A longer crop-growing season can translate to some increased yields, but it can also be risky since returning to seasonal winter temperatures could bring snow or frost and kill crops that began growing too soon, the agency warned. These unusual season changes could also affect recreational activities including the timing of hunting and fishing seasons. The new findings are deemed consistent with records showing 2016 as the hottest year ever for Earth, as well as the third record-setting year in a row. The new maps reveal that 2017 is so far shaping up to be another warm year, with January emerging as the third hottest in 137 years. The team built the maps using climate change indicators known as Spring Indices, as well as through gathering recent U.S. heat and temperature data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service. Scientists have been aware for more than a decade that climate change is prompting spring to make its way into many U.S. states earlier than expected, the USGS noted. February, usually the third-coldest month every year, saw surprisingly high temperatures in the first three weeks. Climate scientists are not exactly sure why this happened, but they believe that the Arctic polar vortex — sometimes a source of cold spells in the country — had bigger effects on Russia and northern Europe, which experienced relatively cold winters. Furthermore, the contribution of natural factors to the record heat logged last year is seen close to zero, with the long-term trend being witnessed today surfacing as the consequence of human activity. It’s dominantly the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, said Goddard Institute for Space Studies director Gavin Schmidt. Data used for developing the maps were collected by volunteers sharing observations across the country. The USGS is calling for budding citizen scientists to join the project and collect observational data to improve the models’ accuracy, as well as create similar models for other plant and animal species. To join, one can visit www.NaturesNotebook.org, choose the location and species to oberve, and start the fun mission. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | March 22, 2016
France's top vineyards receive a surprising effect from climate change: it makes French wines taste better. A new study has found that climate change makes the conditions needed to ripen fruits more frequently. This phenomenon has been historically linked to producing fine wines. Study co-author Benjamin Cook said that before 1980, vineyards need drought to produce the heat required for early harvest. The climate change-induced heat since 1980 has produced hot summers and early harvests without the need for drought. Cook is also a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The climate change-related heat withstands even the drenching rains during summer. It's the heat that helps ripening grapes to develop tannins, sugars and acids. This means there is an increase rate for earlier harvests, which is good news for vineyards in the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions in France. "There is a very clear signal that the earlier the harvest, the much more likely that you're going to have high-quality wines," said Cook, who worked with co-author Elizabeth M. Wolkovich from the Harvard University in the new wine study published in the Nature Climate Change journal on Monday, March 21. In the study, the researchers analyzed over 500 years of harvest records and found that more recent vineyard harvests across France occurred two weeks earlier, on average, compared to the frequency in the past. "One of the strengths of this paper is that it covers all of France. These records come from ... Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, and even from Switzerland, so we're looking at an aggregate of many data sets that are put together to get one picture of how a large region is changing," said Wolkovich. Wolkovich added that climate is at the heart of a good quality wine and temperature is the biggest driver that signals when to harvest the wine grapes. These fruits need to be perfectly ripe for the picking, just when they had accumulated the right balance of sugar and acid. Climate change coaxes the fruits to mature faster. Cook stressed, however, that the better wine hypothesis may only be good to a limited extent. In 2003, France had one of its earliest harvests during which farmers harvested grapes several weeks in advance during an extremely dry growing season. The wine quality was only average.
News Article | January 20, 2016
Things are definitely heating up. Spurred by global warming and a “super El Niño,” 2015 smashed records, becoming by far Earth’s hottest year since record-keeping began in 1880. Worldwide surface temperatures were on average 0.90 degrees Celsius warmer than the 20th century average of 13.9°, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA reported January 20 in a joint announcement. That’s well above the previous record of 0.74 degrees above average set in 2014 (SN Online: 1/16/15). The 0.16-degree difference between the two years is the largest margin by which an annual temperature record has ever been broken. What’s more, the new record leaves little room for doubt. NOAA reported over 99 percent confidence that 2015 was in fact the hottest year on record, considering gaps in weather data, compared with just 48 percent confidence when 2014 nabbed the title. “2015 was the warmest year because it was warm throughout the year,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. Ten months set all-time records during 2015. December was the biggest record breaker, with temperatures reaching 1.11 degrees higher than the 20th century average for that month. “It was picking up that El Niño assist in the last three months,” Schmidt said. But even without the boost, “this still would have been the warmest year on record,” he said. Earth has now seen 39 consecutive years of temperatures above the 20th century average, as measured by a global armada of weather stations, buoys and ships. Heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere largely contributed to that long-term rise in surface temperatures (SN: 4/4/15, p. 14). Last year, however, got an additional temperature boost from the ongoing El Niño (SN Online: 7/16/15), a naturally occurring worldwide weather disruption caused by unusually warm seawater piling up in the eastern Pacific. The current El Niño, among the strongest on record, contributed as much as 0.15 degrees to the new record, estimates Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. Similar El Niños contributed to high temperatures observed during previous record-setting years, such as 1998, now tied for the sixth-hottest year on record. During non-El Niño years, heat accumulates under the surface in the Pacific Ocean. Every three to five years or so, changing wind patterns push this vast pool of warm seawater eastward toward the Americas and closer to the sea surface. The warm seawater then heats up the atmosphere. Strong El Niño events often precede global cooling, however, especially when an event prompts El Niño’s meteorological sibling, La Niña. The rise and fall of temperatures around the 1997–1998 El Niño contributed to a perceived slowdown in global warming (SN: 6/27/15, p. 6). El Niños usually contribute the most heat during their second years, but that might not be the case this time around. The current El Niño, which kicked off last March, may have done most of its warming early, Trenberth says. That’s partly because the event almost began in 2014 before wavering (SN: 11/1/14, p. 6) and reached its peak strength in November of last year, unlike most events that peak a month later. If the current El Niño is mostly tapped out, 2015’s heat record could stand for a while, Trenberth predicts, though NOAA and NASA gave better-than-even odds of a hotter 2016.
News Article | August 22, 2016
July set a rare temperature record during a year that is featuring off the charts warmth. The month was the warmest month of any month recorded since at least 1880, according to NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Japan Meteorological Agency. NASA found that July 2016 squeaked past the previous top three record warm months, which were each set since 2008. SEE ALSO: Connecting the dots on 2016’s extreme summer weather and global warming “It wasn’t by the widest of margins, but July 2016 was the warmest month since modern record-keeping began in 1880,” said NASA's Gavin Schmidt, who directs the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). “It appears almost a certainty that 2016 also will be the warmest year on record.” To drive home the point that 2016 temperatures are trending well above all other years in recorded history (which, it should be noted, is playing a major role in deadly weather extremes) Joshua Stevens of NASA put together this animation (above). It shows global temperature departures from average for every month since 1880, and uses the baseline of 1980-2015. It, along with other recent climate visualizations, clearly shows that 2016 comes after a long period of increasing global temperatures. This trend has been tied to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases.
News Article | March 9, 2016
The 15-year drought that ended in 2012 in parts of the Middle East was probably the worst dry spell in the region for 900 years. Benjamin Cook at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and his colleagues analysed tree-ring patterns from 1100 to 2012 to estimate drought variability in the Mediterranean. Summer droughts of similar magnitude to those that have hit the western Mediterranean and Greece in recent decades did previously occur. But the researchers found an 89% likelihood that the 1998–2012 drought in the part of the eastern Mediterranean called the Levant was the driest since 1100. Climate change will probably increase the risk of drought in the region, potentially aggravating sociopolitical and economic disruption in crisis regions such as Syria, the authors say.
News Article | January 19, 2017
Scientists have reported that 2016 is the hottest year on Earth since record keeping started in 1880 — and it is the third year in a row to set a new record for average global temperatures. The average temperatures last year were the highest recorded since over 130 years ago: 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average according to NASA, and 1.69 degrees Fahrenheit above the same period’s average according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These recorded temperatures “continue a long-term warming trend,” scientists from NASA said in a statement. Across Earth too, there was not a single land area that enjoyed lower-than-average temperatures last year, warned NOAA. The year 2016, in fact, marked the third consecutive warmest year on record globally, with the months from January to August emerging as the warmest on record. "This was the third year in a row in our analysis to set a new record. That happened only once before in our record, and that was in the years 1939 through 1941, which now don't even fit in the top 30 [warmest years] of the record,” explained Deke Arndt, global monitoring chief at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, at a press briefing. The poles felt the brunt of this warming trend, with the estimated average yearly sea-ice extent last year in the Arctic appearing to be the lowest annual average on data. It was 3.92 million square miles, the National Snow and Ice Data Center revealed. The Arctic was nearly 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit hotter last year than in preindustrial period, a “very large change” according to Goddard Institute for Space Studies director Gavin Schmidt. The El Niño phenomenon, a climate cycle marked by abnormally warm temperatures in the Pacific, raged through 2015 and 2016 and contributed to the record temperatures. Phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña warm or cool the upper tropical Pacific Ocean and result in corresponding global wind and weather pattern variations. However, 90 percent of the warming was because of human activity, primarily via greenhouse gas emissions, Schmidt said further. The scientists used global climate models to probe how various factors such as solar changes, volcanic impacts, changes in Earth’s orbit, and man-made effects such as greenhouse gases played a part in climate change. They analyzed not just surface air temperatures but also the data from the upper atmosphere, stratosphere, and deep ocean. What they discovered: the natural factors’ contribution to the record heat is so close to zero, with the long-term trend being seen today surfacing as the consequence of human activity. It’s dominantly the climb in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, Schmidt added. Tech Times previously reported that in the United States, 2016 ranked second warmest in records dating back 1895, with every single state and city in the Lower 48 states getting warmer than usual last year. Average temperature in the country last year was 54.9 degrees Fahrenheit, which was nearly 3 degrees higher than long-term average. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Ice in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea region. “What’s going on in the Arctic is really very impressive; this year was ridiculously off the chart,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
News Article | February 17, 2017
While January 2017 did not get a further temperature boost from the El Niño that affected the same period in the previous year, it doesn’t mean it’s not record warm. In fact, it has emerged as the third hottest January in 137 years of modern record-keeping. This finding was released by scientists at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA, based on a monthly global temperature analysis. Last month, global temperature was 0.20 degrees Celsius (32.36 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than January 2016, the warmest recorded January, but it was 0.92 degrees Celsius (33.656 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the mean temperature of January from 1951 to 1980. On the upside, January 2017 appeared to be the first time in a while that global temperatures strayed from a steady upward trend, but it placed third among modern January records, where 2016 was the hottest at 1.12 degrees Celsius (34 degrees Fahrenheit) than the mean temperature. Not far behind it in second place is 2007 at 0.96 degrees Celsius (33.728 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the base period. The monthly GISS analysis is based on data from around 6,300 meteorological centers worldwide, ship- and buoy-based instruments that measure sea surface temperature, and research posts in the Antarctic region. Observations began in 1880, as the ones before that did not cover enough of Earth. A mild, rather short-lived La Niña episode came after 2016’s El Niño, but it has gone away, and no similar cooling influence is expected soon. As grimly forecasted, 2016 is the hottest year on the planet, and the third consecutive year to break the record in average global temperatures. It was 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average according to NASA, and 1.69 degrees Fahrenheit above the same period’s average based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Last year, there was a single land area on Earth that enjoyed lower-than-average temperatures. It was actually the third warmest year in a row, with January to August serving as the warmest on record. Tech Times also previously reported that in the United States, 2016 ranked second hottest in records since 1895. Last year, every single city and state in the Lower 48 states sizzled than usual, with almost 3 degrees higher than long-term average. Climate scientists warn about a consistent warming trend, although certain findings still point to a so-called global warming pause or when temperature rise appears to plateau. A study earlier this year, however, negated the idea and asserted that no, a specific set of NOAA data is not proof of a hiatus. Instead, the oceans have been warming at a relatively stable clip over the past 50 years. Scientists continue to highlight grim predictions of climate change effects. In the recently held Climate & Health Meeting in Atlanta, in place of the cancelled CDC summit, experts warned of heat waves, disease outbreaks, and mass-scale hunger as the likely public health risks. The World Health Organization estimated the climate crisis will lead to about 250,000 additional deaths every year from 2030 to 2050 because of these fatal risks. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.