Both NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their 2018 temperature data. The global average temperature last year was 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit above 20th century averages, making 2018 the fourth hottest year ever recorded. In fact the five hottest years have all been in the past five years.
The world is getting hotter, and it’s doing so at an alarming pace. The international community has set 1.5 degrees Celsius as the preferred target for how much global warming we can take before undergoing severe consequences. Yet we’re already seeing dangerous affects today, and we’re well on our way to blow post 1.5 degrees C.
In 2018, the U.S. alone experienced 14 billion-dollar weather and climate related disasters, totaling $91 billion in damages. While the west was crippled by the worst fires in California’s history, much of the rest of the country suffered from tremendous rainfall, with 2018 serving as the 3rd wettest year in U.S. history. Much of the warming has taken place in the Arctic. While this may not seem to impact us as directly, Arctic warming is far more dangerous because of it’s role in accelerating climate change due to the fact that dark-colored, open water around the poles absorbs heat significantly faster than ice.
Never mind the cost of addressing climate change. It’s already costing too much to ignore it.
So next time your Uncle or friend or neighbor makes a wise-crack about “needing some more global warming” on those cold February days, don’t hesitate to (gently) call them out on it. Yes, it gets cold during the winter, but overall temperatures are undeniably rising—and this is a huge problem.