According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2018 is on pace to be the fourth hottest year on record. Only three other years have been hotter: 2015, 2016 and 2017.
"The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle," Michael Mann, a climate scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, told CNN.
"We are seeing them play out in real time in the form of unprecedented heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires. And we've seen them all this summer," he said.
Even more than extreme weather, climate change is best exemplified by the consistent rise in temperatures year after year.
New NOAA data released Friday shows:
NOAA shows that the first half of 2018 was characterized by warmer to much-warmer-than-average conditions across the Earth's land and ocean surfaces. Record warmth was present across portions of the global oceans as well as parts of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding areas. New Zealand and small areas across North America, Asia and Australia also had record warm year-to-date temperatures. Cooler-than-average conditions were limited to the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean, central tropical Indian Ocean, the North Atlantic Ocean, and parts of western Russia and eastern Canada. No land or ocean areas had record cold January–June temperatures.
Averaged as a whole, the combined land and ocean surface temperature for the globe during January–June 2018 was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average and the fourth highest since global records began in 1880. The global land-only temperature was the fifth highest on record at +1.19°C (+2.14°F). The global ocean-only temperature of 0.60°C (1.08°F) above average was also the fifth highest on record.
Five of six continents had a January–June temperature that ranked among the ten warmest such period on record. Europe, Africa, and Oceania had a January–June temperature that ranked among the five highest since continental records began in 1910.
Climate scientists sounded alarms this week as reports circulated of extreme weather and record-breaking high temperatures all over the globe, with dozens of deaths and thousands of hospitalizations reported in some countries—while one journalist with a major platform on corporate cable news admitted the news media's failure to give serious attention to the link between the climate crisis and such events.
"There is no doubt that the prolonged extreme temperatures and floods we are witnessing around the world right now are a result of climate change," said Caroline Rance, climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland. "Temperature records are being broken across the UK and globally, exactly as climate science has long warned, and with devastating consequences."
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
By Jennifer Skene and Shelley Vinyard
For most people, toilet paper only becomes an issue when it unexpectedly runs out. Otherwise, it's cheap and it's convenient, something we don't need to think twice about. But toilet paper's ubiquity and low sticker price belie a much, much higher cost: it is taking a dramatic and irreversible toll on the Canadian boreal forest, and our global climate. As a new report from NRDC and Stand.earth outlines, when you flush that toilet paper, chances are you are flushing away part of a majestic, old-growth tree ripped from the ground, and destined for the drain. This is why NRDC is calling on Procter & Gamble, the manufacturer of Charmin, to end this wasteful and destructive practice by changing the way it makes its toilet paper through solutions that other companies have already embraced.
By John Rennie Short
As cities strive to improve the quality of life for their residents, many are working to promote walking and biking. Such policies make sense, since they can, in the long run, lead to less traffic, cleaner air and healthier people. But the results aren't all positive, especially in the short to medium term.
By Pete Stauffer
For those of us who love the coast, the negative impacts of offshore oil drilling are obvious. Offshore drilling has a proven track record of polluting the ocean, damaging coastal economies and threatening a way of life enjoyed by millions of people. Yet, the oil and gas industry—and the elected officials who prioritize them over the public interest—would like you to believe that offshore drilling is somehow a safe and necessary practice.
An indigenous environmental activist was killed in Morelos, Mexico Wednesday, three days before a referendum on the construction of a gas pipeline and two thermoelectric plants that he had organized to oppose, the Associated Press reported.
Samir Flores Soberanes had challenged the words of government representatives at a forum about the so-called Morelos Comprehensive Project a day before his murder, The Peoples in Defense of Land and Water Front (FPDTA), the group Soberanes organized with, said in a statement.