Global temperatures are moving higher, and higher. The land and sea were 1.4 to 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average in 2018. This is according the the NOAA and NASA. Now we are hearing a NASA report that says the rising global temperatures are driven by growing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from human activity that is only increasing. The damages caused by these temperatures cost 1 billion dollars or more in several isolated incidents in 2018.
NASA chief Gavin Schmidt is now saying that “the impact of long-terem global warming are already being felt – in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change.” This past year was the 4th warmest year since records were kept since 1880. In the US, much of the Lower 48 was warmer than average according to reports. Arizona was at the top with a multi-year heat wave. The amount of precipitation going back to 1895 was near the highest in the US in 2018.
The strongest warming trends are now showing up in the Arctic where large amounts of ice from ice sheets are falling apart, are breaking and moving into oceans. These ice melt will allow new industries to appear in Northern Canada and the US state of Alaska. There are also ships, taking some risk, but traveling in the new open waters in Northern Canada. This new passage would save time and energy costs for moving goods from the US West Coast to Europe.
Still, there is a 2-degree Fahrenheit increase in global temperatures since the late 19th century. The man-made gas and greenhouse gas emissions from a wide range of human activity are responsible for the changes in climate. More on this topic in the coming weeks and months.