I mentioned a couple days ago that the first half of the year has been the hottest on record. This press release from the desk of Congressman Ed Markey explains what the impacts are.
Hottest Half Year on Record, Foretells More Climate Change Impacts
As global temperatures reach new highs, the National Academies warn of severe impacts
July 16, 2010 – Last month was the hottest June on record and completed the hottest first half of a year dating back to 1880. The record-breaking temperatures were reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). All of the years since 2001 have been in the top 10 hottest and this latest temperature check shows that between increased greenhouse gases and the tail end of El Nino, 2010 will be another scorcher.
“The only person in America not running from the heat this summer is LeBron James,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). “The record breaking temperature is another warning siren that should serve as a wake up call to Congress to take action to reduce carbon pollution and add clean energy jobs so we can mitigate the impacts of climate change.”
Meanwhile, Arctic sea ice has continued its rapid decline, driving polar bears closer to extinction and threatening other Arctic wildlife. Arctic sea ice extent in June was the lowest since records began in 1979, according to NOAA. That’s now the 19th straight June with below average ice.
The record-breaking temperatures come as the National Academies release their latest assessment of global warming today. The study finds that for each degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of global warming, there will be approximately a 25% decline in the extent of Arctic sea ice in September, a 5 – 15% reduction in the yields of corn and other food crops, and up to a 2 to 4 fold increase in the area damaged by wildfire in areas of western North America.
The report concludes that these impacts can be mitigated with significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The report makes clear that the more we use clean sources of energy that produce less carbon pollution, the healthier the planet.