Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year by Justin gillis

Scientists on Friday (Jan 27th) have announced a grave milestone for planet Earth. For the third straight year in a row, Earth has reached it's highest temperatures with 2016 blowing past 2015 and 2014 and setting a new record. While one or two warm years may just be curious, this consistent pattern of rising temperatures has alerted scientists of a trend of global warming, which they have accounted to be the product of increasing amounts of Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. While temperatures on the planet were intensified by el Niño in 2015-16, scientists have been shocked by the scale of the heat burst and it's effects. Although 2017 would be expected to be a cooler year, the scale of the abnormally high rising temperatures makes it concerning. The main portion of the earth that rising temperatures are affecting immediately and visually is the arctic.

Penguins crowded on an isolated ice block.

This fall the Arctic and it's large masses of frozen water have experienced temperatures 20-30 degrees over their normal fahrenheit scale. The effects of this are very hard to ignore. The rising temperatures have not only caused ice to melt at an alarmingly more rapid rate than usual, but this has also caused rising sea temperatures, as well as rapid coastal erosion. A loss of glacial land means less room for Polar Bears and other natively arctic creatures to live as well as to hunt on. As a result, we are seeing Polar bears becoming extinct due to starvation.

Polar bear eating prey on a melting ice block.

This content is noteworthy now due to the recent election of President Trump who has repeatedly expressed doubt in the reality of Global Warming. Organizations such as NOAA and NASA who have recorded extensive data on the melting of the ice caps are worried they will be overlooked in upcoming policy making regarding legislature that could affect the environment. In order for the ice to be protected and for waters levels to stop rising, legislature needs to be passed further restricting the limits on Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from major resource plants.

Arctic ice breaking up into fragments.

I picked this article because with the new President's doubting attitude about Global Warming I believe it is important to stay informed and aware of what is happening around the world and how we as individuals and a society contribute to it. In a recent press conference Mr. Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, did say, “I do not believe that climate change is a hoax.” It is to be seen as to whether or not he/policy follows through with validating the legitimacy of Global Warming. I hope to learn in the future that rising temperatures and sea levels will be combatted in unity.

Warmer waters in the arctic.

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