That headline is not clickbait. Scientists are urging legislators and corporations to quit dragging their feet over climate change and call a spade a spade: this is a climate emergency, the biggest existential threat to human life in recorded history.
“We are living a global cataclysm.” Reads an open letter signed by 200 scientists and numerous others, published by France’s biggest news publication Le Monde. “Global warming, drastic decrease of living spaces, collapse of biodiversity, deep pollution of soil, water and air, rapid deforestation: all the indicators are alarming. At the current rate, in a few decades, there will be almost nothing left. Humans and most living species are in a critical situation.”
While politicians bicker and citizens live their lives, scientists are getting increasingly scared, and depressed, over what the data is telling them about our immediate future. They say our ecosystems face collapse, and civilization with it.
“We probably shouldn’t be surprised that some climate scientists are a little spooked by the radical implications of their own research. Most of them were quietly measuring ice cores, running global climate models, and studying ocean acidification, only to discover, as Australian climate expert and author Clive Hamilton puts it, that in breaking the news of the depth of our collective climate failure, they were ‘unwittingly destabilizing the political and social order.’”Naomi Klein
Despite this, many still (somehow) question climate change. How can the ice caps be melting if it still snows every winter? Perhaps this warming trend is just part of the Earth’s naturally fluctuating temperature. However, at this point the data and evidence are undeniable. The Earth is heating, and far faster than was anticipated even just a few years ago. Not even the best climate skeptic theories stand up to scrutiny, and today nearly 99% of scientists around the globe are in agreement on the climate crisis. These are not natural fluctuations, and here’s why:
Last spring, for example, a number of media outlets and websites reported on a story that looked at data acquired from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP), which estimates changes in global surface temperature. The article discussed a short-term cooling period that showed up in the data in 2017 and 2018 and correctly stated that short-term cooling cycles are “statistical noise compared to the long-term trend.”
Afterward, we received some queries from readers who wanted to know if this finding meant a significant period of global cooling either could be or already was under way.
The answer is no. This story is a great example of why focusing on just a short period of time – say, one, two or even several years — doesn’t tell you what’s really going on with the long-term trends. In fact, it’s likely to be misleading.Alan Buis, NASA Global Climate Change
What of that other bit in the headline, the one about it being hotter than any year since Christ walked the Earth? The latest studies say it’s true. From the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the sweltering city streets of the Industrial Revolution, this year was hotter than any of those, by a long shot.
One of the three new research publications specifies: “This [research] provides strong evidence that anthropogenic (human induced) global warming is not only unparalleled in terms of absolute temperatures but also unprecedented in spatial consistency within the context of the past 2,000 years.”
We don’t want to leave this on a high note. This is worse than the nuclear threat of the Cold War, worse than 9/11, worse than fears of alien invasions or asteroid impacts. The climate emergency is real, and we’ve already locked in damage that will devastate the planet for your entire life, and far beyond that. There is hope to mitigate the worst case scenarios, but that is our reality now; mitigation instead of prevention.
5 thoughts on “2019 Is Hotter Than Any Year In The Past 2,000 Years, and Scientists Are Panicking Over Earth’s Prognosis”
Dear god..that chart is a slap in the face to anyone not legally blind. I mean, I knew, intellectually, but seeing it like that…now I’m getting scared. What kind of world will my Offspring grow old in?
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I got scared about it a few years ago when I was in uni, studying physics and in “physics of atmosphere” we’ve been learning (to write it at exams to pass the lesson, mind you!) “We currently burn a year as much oxygen as earth created in a thousand years, which is not alarming, at all”. This, to me, was alarming. To save you the maths, it actually means, even if we forget this oxygen turns into carbon dioxide (which cause the global warming), human’s future is bound to be shorter than human’s past. And we were thought to consider that as “not alarming”. If “we”, the “specialists” think that, try to convince the ones that don’t know any better.
Now, to make a few things clear, if I may, global warming would have happened even if humans had never existed. But, as the chart shows, in a much slower pace. Also, the Sun’s regular 11-year circle raise of activity affects Earth’s temperature. But right now, Sun’s activity is at its lowest. Therefore, 2019 – if the Sun was the reason – would have been one of the coolest years of this decade. So, no, don’t blame the Sun. If you don’t believe me, check SOHO’s photos and you’ll see there are no spots on the Sun (the more the spots the hotter the Sun is). I’m mentioning this, because I’ve heard more than a few saying, “it’s the Sun. We can’t do anything!” It’s not! Furthermore, immigration to Mars (or anywhere, if that matters) is something that is not feasible, and won’t be feasible for centuries, but let’s say, 50 years. So, no, this isn’t a solution.
Finally, Earth is not in any danger. This change that affects less than 32km ring (including Troposphere) of a 16,400km radius sphere (including the whole atmosphere) doesn’t bother Earth, at all. But! It affects nature and life on Earth. And this nature, indeed, has its ways of “reducing damage” but doesn’t care about a few species, like humans. It won’t protect us, by all costs. Cockroaches and plants are enough for it. Also, neither a God, nor an alien super-civilization cares to save us. So, we should not expect a miraculous solution.
So, then “It’s the governments”. Right. That’s true, I won’t deny that, but, it’s also in the hands of each of us. Do you leave your router on while sleeping? Do you leave other devices on stand-by, instead of turning them off? Do you leave lights on, when you don’t need them? Do you use your car, unnecessarily often? These and so many other things we do daily, without giving them a second thought, are translated in raise of carbon dioxide (why the electricity part? because of the factories creating it). And you may think, “what difference will it make if I don’t do that?” A small one, true. But if all people do that it will make a huge one. So, it’s a start. So, yes, the governments and the industries should adjust, but this isn’t in my hand, but there are things that are in my hand. And your hands, too, so, let’s do what we can do.
That’s all. Sorry for the long, boring reply. Thank you for the very interesting post. And let me correct a fact on the chart: There are still Pokemons in North America 😁
-huge hugs- Thank you. I like this ‘long, boring reply’ so much, I’m going to create a post around it, and add my two cents worth on the biology side of things. People without a science background of any sort have no way of properly choosing between 99% of scientists who say climate change is real and thed 1% [backed by vested interests] who poo poo it. We need simple to understand explanations to be able to choose wisely. And /act/ wisely afterward.
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Hopefully one where humanity has skirted the worst projections, and one where the world is united against a shared cause, the way we celebrate the moral cause against Nazism and Fascism in 1940s.
I sincerely hope you’re right. Just at the moment, however, my faith in humanity isn’t terribly high.