Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 Was Hot!

a future possibility?
Right now New York City is fourteen degrees above normal and the entire east coast is expected to experience record setting warm temperatures this holidaze weekend. A fitting exclamation mark to the hottest year on record according to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Last November was a record setter for warm temperatures, the seventh month in a row for records; thirteen of the fourteen hottest years have occurred in the 21st century.  Record keeping began in 1880. Certainly this data is not mere coincidence, but is consistent with the predicted effects of climate change. This year is one of the strongest El Niños recorded, so that is also contributing to the strange winter weather affecting the US. When asked by the New York Times Bill McKibben, a well-known climate activist, said "We're are living through history, and not of a good kind."

One only has to travel to the Greenland ice sheet to know climate change is a reality. Greenland's ice sheet, supported by land, is literally melting away and rushing into the sea in fast rivers of flowing water.[video]  A complete melt down could raise sea levels by twenty feet. The federal government spends about $1 billion a year studying the changing conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. It is money well spent because computer modeling of climate cannot give scientists a full understanding of the phenomenon that will affect the world for centuries. Incredibly that relatively modest amount of funding is under attack from climate deniers in Congress. Representative Lamar Smith of Texas is leading the fight to cut NASA climate research budget by $300 million, and began an investigation into fifty National Science Foundation grants. We will pay the price of deliberate ignorance.