Obama to Nominate Climate Leader John Kerry to Be Next Secretary of State
President Obama will nominate John F. Kerry, the five-term senator from Massachusetts, today, according to Washington officials, to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of State.
“Given the tremendous threat posed by climate change to global human security, and indeed to all of humanity and the planet we inhabit, we expect Senator Kerry to make clear his commitment to making climate change the signature issue of the State Department under his leadership," said Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica.
“Senator Kerry has a remarkable record as a longtime environmental champion and climate leader, and the Sierra Club is encouraged that he has been nominated to take the reins at the State Department," said Executive Director of the Sierra Club Michael Brune.
“As Secretary, Senator Kerry will face numerous issues that are crucial to both the security of our nation and the future of our planet, including critical decisions on the Keystone XL pipeline and the international financing of dirty energy. We are eager to work with him as he brings his commitment to fighting climate disruption to the world stage," said Brune.
“As secretary of state, Sen. Kerry would have to demonstrate the highest degree of visionary and committed leadership to tackling the climate crisis according to what science and equity dictate. He would be required to fight doggedly to elevate the Obama administration’s prioritization of climate change to the highest level, with such a mandate to be carried out internationally by climate negotiators operating in a spirit of cooperation and respect for the global crisis we all face and for which the U.S. bears the greatest historical responsibility," continued Pica.
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One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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