“July 2016 was the 379th consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th-century average,” says the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. July 2016 was also the 40th July in a row of above average temperatures.
Those statements should shock you because they’re undeniable facts.
By the mid-19th century, we had collected enough data in enough places to figure out an average temperature for the whole world. In the ensuing decades, climate scientists have looked at those statistics through many different lenses. And, every time they do, they get the same answer: Earth is warming up, and it’s doing so extremely fast. In fact, if you were born after December 1984, you haven’t seen below-average 20th-century temperatures in your lifetime.
What’s the cause? Skeptics of human-generated climate change offer various natural reasons why the Earth has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, such as orbital changes, or solar or volcanic activity. But scientists understand that the Earth’s climate is a complex puzzle whose pieces affect one another in many ways; and they’ve researched every one of those possibilities. The resultant picture is clear. And that’s what the following video, titled What’s Really Warming the Earth: Explaining Climate Change, is all about.
Watch the six-minute clip below, which was based on findings from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and produced by PBS Digital Studios.
Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,
Note: The Bloomberg graphs referenced at the end of the video can be found here.