It's getting hot in here...
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, 2014 was hotter than any other year in their 120 years of record keeping. Here in the U.S., NOAA and NASA are expected to make similar announcements in the coming weeks. And, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that if we stay on this path, the result will be dangerous and irreversible.
Although some of our lawmakers here at home continue to deny the obvious, just about every scientific agency on Earth is calling for immediate action on climate change. Science-denying legislators may be able to fool their constituents in most of our country, where temperatures were not particularly hot last year. But, try that with someone living in California or Alaska, or anyone who traveled over seas, and you'll find that they aren't easily fooled.
These extreme temperatures have contributed to California's intense heat and severe drought, and Alaska's average temperature in 2014 was more than three degrees higher than the previous year. In Australia, temperatures spiked over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and Europe was hotter than it's been for 500 years.
If ever there was a sign that we need to act, last year was it, and we need to act now if we want to save our species. These rising temperatures bring bigger super storms, more widespread droughts, and more overall destruction. The fight against global warming isn't just about hotter summers, it's about saving our planet and our future, and it's not too late to take action.
According to the IPCC, “The solutions are many and allow for continued economic and human development. All we need is the will to change, which we trust will be motivated by knowledge and an understanding of the science of climate change.”
In other words, there is a lot we can do to prevent the following years from being even hotter than 2014, but all of it starts with the belief that we can, and must, do more to stop global warming.