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You are forgiven for not paying attention to this headline. Because, really, if we keep breaking records at this rate, who’s to say what’s normal anymore? But while news media are always grasping for a superlative, this is one trend you’ll want to tune into. Remember how 2014 was the warmest year on record? Well, 2015 is passing that mark— at least until 2016 steps in to grab the title. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) are reporting that 2015 temperatures will be 1.5 degrees warmer than the long-term average, which goes back to the late 1800s. Someone please pass the sunscreen!
All In on Temperature: Climate Change’s Poker Tell
Really, there’s no need to wonder if climate change is bluffing, or if it’s going to keep playing a royal flush year after year. At this rate, three of the warmest years on record will have occurred in the past five years, with 9 out of the ten warmest falling in the 21st century. The fact that we keep breaking this dubious record again and again in recent years is a scary confirmation of how climate change is accelerating.
Warm Temperatures Accelerating Weird Weather
But the story of how climate change is accelerating extreme weather goes deeper than “warmest ever.” Take, for instance, how 2014 saw record temperature swings across the world, along with deadly heat waves from China to South America. This year, the east coast of the US saw wild changes from 90-inch snowfall and single-digit winter to a record-breaking balmy May; places like Texas and South Carolina experienced over 27 inches of record rainfall and flooding; and, of course, the west coast is still reeling from record-low snowfalls, drought and wildfires. And as global temperatures ratchet higher each year, there’s every indication that weather extremes will become our new “normal.”
We Need to go All In on Renewables
There’s really only one good way to shift the tables on climate change— go all in on renewable energy. Right now, Avaaz is collecting signatures, calling for 100% renewable power by 2050, to let world leaders at the 2015 UN Climate Summit in Paris know that we’re more than ready for a big change. Add your voice to this call for a sensible transition off fossil fuels, and let’s make sure the next headlines are about record activism, not record temperatures!
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