For those who still harbor a shred of doubt about the reality of climate change, a recent report released by NASA should put those doubts to rest. According to the report, four independent institutions tracking climate trends have confirmed that the planet is continuing to get warmer. The information shows that not only is the increase trending as predicted, but that the warming is indeed man-made.
Every year, four independent centers track and tally information from data centers around the planet and make independent judgements based on that information. The NASA report shows that all four centers, including NASA’s own Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, the Japanese Meteorological Agency, and the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom, show similar peaks and valleys across the board, starting in 1880 and continuing until 2012. Overall, each institution identifies a distinct warming trend.
According to the report, 2012 was the ninth hottest year since 1880 and the ten warmest years have all occurred since 1998. In fact, the last year that the temperature was below average was in 1976. Although temperatures tend to fluctuate from year to year, the overall trend shows a distinct increase, which trends right along with the amount of CO2 that is being released into the atmosphere. The continued warming is already impacting life on the planet and the effects will only get worse unless CO2 levels decrease.
Images © NASA and Horia Varlan