National News

2016- The Hottest Year Ever Recorded

2016 has been recognized as the hottest year ever recorded by humans, according to the reports presented by United Kingdom Met Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The record average temperature was set a third time in a row as the same situation took place in 2014 and 2015. Even though scientists agree it is an effect of global warming, President Donald J. Trump denies its existence, according to The Guardian.

The three independent organizations, as mentioned before, presented reports specifying that 16 of the 17 hottest years that have ever been recorded by people occurred in this century, reported The Guardian. The article also mentions that scientific research indicates such temperatures did not occur during the last 115,000 years, and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have not been as high in the last four million years as they are nowadays.

Despite all the scientific data presented each year, Trump denies that global warming exists and does not only he called it a hoax in one of his tweets, but also he filled his administration with many people who share his opinion about climate changes, according to http://www.motherjones.com.

Trump also plans to revive the U.S. coal industry, and he promises to put coal miners back to work by investing in the infrastructure and changing regulations established by Barrack Obama’s administration as well as canceling Obama’s Clean Energy Plan, according to the CNBC.

“We know that combustion of fossil fuels, especially coal, releases tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leading to climate change,” said Christopher J. Miller, an associate Professor of Biology and Economy at Saint Leo University.

Despite the new President’s statements about reviving the coal industry and his thoughts about global warming, it is possible that not all his words will be mirrored in his actions.

“Trump will likely be less successful (despite his rhetoric to the contrary) in bringing back coal as a source of fuel. Simply stated, coal will likely be used less because of economics: other fuels are cheaper to use for energy production, most notably natural gas. We will also see the continued expansion of renewable energy,” added Miller.

Dr. Miller indicates that the climate changes the earth is experiencing right now are not a result of natural processes. He notes that there exists scientific evidence that proves the statement.

“This has been empirically shown to be caused by humans and is not the result of natural causes,” said Miller.

If the statement is true, implications of ignoring the problem might be disastrous. While the temperatures continue to rise, the Earth’s climate will not only become warmer, but extreme weather events will begin to occur more often. The problem is already noticeable as global warming has contributed to at least 50 percent of all extreme weather events studied during the last years, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

“The worst implications are irreversible and catastrophic impacts on our society and civilization. The worst case scenario paints a very bad picture of sea level rise impacting coastal cities and ecosystems; droughts, flood, and long-term climate change,” said Miller.

The article presented by The Guardian also states that even though the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is very high, it has not grown significantly during the last three years, and the main reason for that is that China burns less coal.

There is a strong evidence that human activity, including burning coal, greatly contributes to the global warming.

“The fact is the earth is getting warmer, and this is caused by greenhouse gas emissions produced by fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, and other anthropogenic factors. This is not a coincidence,” added Miller.

If Trump manages to put his words into action, and invest in coal, its use on a large scale might cause irreversible changes to the climate which could be avoided if some steps towards resolving the issue were taken.

Trump’s decisions could also affect the United States’ image as it will no longer be a leader in the international fight against global warming, according to http://www.reuters.com. The article also reminds Trump plans to remove the U.S from the Paris Agreement which is a historic climate agreement in which 200 countries agreed to support lowering the emission of greenhouse gasses.

“Both the President and his cabinet probably need to be educated on these issues. Neither willful nor implicit ignorance is acceptable. He will at a minimum need to continue Obama’s commitment, especially with respect to the Paris Agreement,” said Miller.

Even though Trump has just started working in the White House, his statements from the past cannot be ignored as the climate issues are problems of not only Americans. Taking steps in a wrong direction and making bad decisions might affect the country’s image, as well as cause trouble for the whole world as the U.S remains to be the world’s largest energy producer, according to the U.S Energy Information Administration.

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