Feb 23, 2020

Global temperatures rise at unprecedented rate, NASA says

Global temperatures for February increased by, seasonally adjusted, the largest margin in over 100 years of record keeping, said National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NASA’s data, which was released on March 12, showed that February ran 34.43 Degrees above the 30-year global average for the month. The previous record was set the month before, in January 2016. That month came in at 34.05 Degrees above the average.

February surpassed the one-month-old record by more than 0.20 degrees.

On March 11, climate scientist Dr. Benjamin Santer spoke to scores of Fresno State students about the research he’s done to measure human-caused climate change and the changes he’s witnessed in the environment over his career.

“I’ve spent the last 40 — 50 years in high alpine environments around the world,” Santer said, an atmospheric scientist at the San Francisco Bay Area’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “And in addition to the scientific imperative to understand the nature and causes of climate change, I firmly believe there’s also a moral and ethical imperative to preserve these and many other high alpine places and environments for future generations.”

Santer had recently visited the Juneau icefields in Alaska in regard to some climate work, physics professor Dr. Doug Singleton said. Singleton helped organize Santer’s lecture, which was the keynote talk for the Society of Physics Students Zone 18 Meeting.

“Folks have been going to the Juneau icefields since the late 1940s to look at changes in Alaskan glaciers,” Santer said. “And if you stand there, looking down on the top of a glacier, climate change isn’t academic, it’s not some theoretical thing — you see evidence of change in Alaskan glaciers everywhere you look.”

The arctic regions have been among the hardest hit by rising temperatures, said Santer, who was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for his research.

“Over one human lifetime, I’ve witnessed profound changes in some of these places,” he said. “Some of the glaciers I stood on in the Alps are very, very different.”

Some glaciers have lost up to 75 gigatons of ice since the year 2000, Santer said.

Changes in the environment haven’t been linked to just temperature.

On March 9, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report titled, “Record annual increase of carbon dioxide observed at Mauna Loa for 2015.” It’s stating that carbon dioxide levels measured at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory have risen in 2015 by the largest year-to-year margin since 1998.

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