NASA and NOAA scientists have concluded 2016 was the warmest year on record since 1880. U.S. experts attribute the record-high temperatures to gas emissions product of human activity.
The two agencies reached the same conclusion through different methods and released separate reports this Wednesday saying 2016 was just below 2 degrees Fahrenheit, or nearly 1 degree Celsius higher than last century’s averages.
The scientific community has reacted accordingly and expressed their concerns over the world’s unmistakable climate change phenomenon.
Many expect the facts and numbers will end up convincing those still skeptical about the Earth’s warming, including President-Elect Donald Trump.
2016 continues a worrying trend of global warming
Both the NASA and NOAA agree that, regardless of the methodology, instruments, or algorithms used to calculate global temperature averages, the results are as conclusive as they are worrisome for the near future.
First and foremost, numbers show that 16 of the 17 warmest years ever recorded took place between 2001 and 2016. In contrast, the last year to register record-low temperatures occurred over 100 years ago in 1911.
Furthermore, out of 2016’s twelve months, eight of them were the hottest ever recorded, and three of the remaining ones were the second warmest since recordkeeping started in the late 19th century.
Research outside of NASA records estimates that the Earth has not been this warm for at least 100,000 years and that carbon dioxide emission levels have not been ash high as today for 4 million years.
Scientists say humans are responsible for the rising temperatures
Researchers say that, while the influence of El Niño and La Niña is undeniable, human-made emissions are the main factor behind the Earth’s changing climate.
“THE HUMAN-CAUSED, LONG-TERM WARMING TREND IS THE BIGGER CONTRIBUTOR,” said James Hansen, former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, claimed that such consistent and high-temperature rises would be unlikely without human activity.
The next few decades on Earth will only get warmer if we continue to burn fossil fuels, according to Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Other scientists from U.S. universities and institutions concur that the phenomenon we are experiencing is real and that it is of the utmost importance that we act as soon as possible if we want to slow down and decrease its effects.
Will science persuade Donald Trump of changing his policy?
While many reacted first to the NASA and NOAA statistics themselves, others took the chance to address the elephant in the room that is Donald Trump and his cabinet of climate change deniers.
President Obama recently paid the UN Green Climate Fund $500 million as part of a $3 billion pledge made in 2015 to fight global warming. Trump has vowed to redirect funds towards investments in local growth.
Donald Trump has called climate change a hoax in the past, and several of his appointees either deny such a thing exist or ignore it due to conflicts of interest with their business or political affiliations.
Scientists hope that the soon-to-be Commander in Chief will pay attention to concrete facts since he won’t listen to reason, but others don’t expect much from him since the data is coming from NASA.
Trump’s plans for NASA include a paradigm shift to focus more on deep space exploration, even if that involves cutting funds for the very same climate research program that came up with the 2016 findings.