Global warming is now affecting the United States more than ever, and the risks of future disasters — from flooding along the coasts to crop failures in the Midwest — could pose a profound threat to Americans’ well-being.
Global Temperature Records
2016 was the third year in a row to set the average global temperature record. Of the 17 hottest years, 16 have occurred since 2000. The five hottest years have all occurred since 2010. Read the complete global temperature analysis for 2016 by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
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Global warming is posing such wide-ranging risks to humanity, involving so many types of phenomena, that by the end of this century some parts of the world could face as many as six climate-related crises at the same time, researchers say.
The special report ‘Global Warming of 1.5°C’ says emissions of methane and black carbon need to be reduced by 35% or more by 2050
Warning of a possible domino effect as multiple climate feedback loops are triggered within a dynamic cascade of rising temperatures and warming oceans, scientists behind a frightening new study say that for the sake of humanity’s future they hope scenarios explored in their new models do not come to pass.
This Sunday, the entire New York Times Magazine will be composed of just one article on a single subject: the failure to confront the global climate crisis in the 1980s, a time when the science was settled and the politics seemed to align. Written by Nathaniel Rich, this work of history is filled with insider revelations about roads not taken that, on several occasions, made me swear out loud.
NASA reports that July 2017 edged out last year’s July as the hottest month ever recorded… The world’s leading scientists say the recent surge of super-potent methane is a key factor in the unexpected rate of warming.
As regional heatwaves, wildfires and other extremes continue their nightmarish advance alongside the incredible rate of global heating, the oil, gas and power industries don’t want the public to know about the methane-climate connection. They prefer to keep building unneeded power plants and pipelines while stifling the transition to economically superior clean energy solutions.
But Robert Howarth, an environmental biology professor at Cornell University, estimates that methane emissions produced by shale gas from wellhead to delivery could add up to a 12-percent leak rate — causing substantially more warming in the short term than coal. Howarth sees the rapid rise in gas development as a contributor to the recent spike in global temperatures, including record-breaking heat waves in 2015 and 2016. “The buildout of pipelines,” he said, “is a true climate disaster.”
The EPA’s inspector general’s office announced Wednesday that it will evaluate EPA methane emissions estimates for the oil and gas sector to determine “whether concerns about technical or other problems with [the Allen studies of 2013 and 2014] were … addressed or resolved” by the EPA. Those problems were the subject of a June 2016 complaint filed by NC WARN. See report on Inspector General’s announcement in Inside Climate News.
This ongoing heat wave supports the case made by Cornell scientists and others who argue that methane emissions from the US fracking boom
are a key factor in the unexpected rate of heating since 2014. That fracking boom is being driven by Duke Energy and other utilities burning more and
more shale gas.