Record Heat-2016

January 23, 2017

BW photograph of silhouetted trees with a partially rain clouded sky in the background.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It is official-2016 was the hottest year on record.  It is very significant to note that this was confirmed by both NOAA and NASA.

BW photograph of a tree in front of a building with a broken window and vines creeping up one side.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

That significance is demonstrable in at least two ways:  One, the recently elected president has suggested cutting NASA’s climate research budget-“politicized science” as it is referred to here; and, two, according to The New York Times “Within moments of the inauguration of President Trump, the official White House website on Friday deleted nearly all mentions of climate change.”

Disagreement between the president and his cabinet appointees on several issues is evident based on the congressional hearings held thus far.  For example,  EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt has acknowledged that climate change in real and that human activity plays “some” role.  This is in comparison to the president’s referring to climate change as a “hoax” as is also mentioned in that last link.

So many posts on this site contain the phrase “time will tell” and once again that is the case.  We will see how the new administration actually responds to climate change.  Given the important role that NASA plays in the measurement and observation of said change, one directly relates to the other.  One way or another, the seas will continue to rise, desertification will continue to progress, and populations will continue to be impacted unless there is a concerted, organized effort to reduce greenhouse gases.  If those types of initiatives are not supported, then there needs to be the same effort directed toward adaptation and mitigation.

This article highlights one of the reasons that time will tell.  For years China and India resisted efforts to rein in greenhouse gases by making the argument, essentially, that as developing nations, they had every right to advance by using the same resources as most-developed nations, chiefly the U.S., to advance their economies and standards of living.  As per the article, that position has changed.  Having some of the “…most polluted cities…” on the planet most likely influenced this point-of-view.

For the U.S., the zeroing out of a budget item and the removal of a website, much like pulling the covers over one’s head, does not make the problem disappear.

Take care.



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