The 27th annual “State of the Climate” report, led by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), stands as the first comprehensive rebuke by the nation’s and world’s climate scientists to the presidency of Donald Trump. Trump has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax” and reaffirmed last week that he intends to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, which remains the best hope for America and the world to avert catastrophic impacts.
“Surface temperature and carbon dioxide concentration, two of the more publicly recognized indicators of global-scale climate change, set new highs during 2016,” the report explains, “as did several surface and near-surface indicators and essential climate variables.”
NOAA’s news release explains that 2016 set several major new climate records — all of which topped records previously set the year before:
- Greenhouse gases were the highest on record.
- Global surface temperature was the highest on record.
- Average sea surface temperature was the highest on record.
- Global sea level was the highest on record.
There were other records, too. For instance, 2016 saw record Arctic land temperatures, record temperatures for lakes around the world, record levels of serious drought globally, and “a record low value” for the “mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which has the capacity to contribute ~7 m [23 feet] to sea level rise.” [Continue reading…]