June 26 – Too Darn Hot

Today’s Factismal: The annual global temperature has changed by less than 0.4°F in the past fifteen years; that’s why fourteen of the fifteen hottest years since we’ve been keeping records have happened in the past fifteen years.

For thirty-seven years in a row, the annual global temperature has been above average. And, until recently (climatologically speaking), things just kept getting worse. Though some years would backslide a bit, the trend was ever-upward. And the cause was well-known (again, climatologically speaking): ever since 1896, scientists have said that changing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would change the temperature. But though the cause was well-known, the effect has often been debated by those outside of climatology. Is the climate really changing?

The annual global temperature (Data courtesy NCDC)

The annual global temperature
(Data courtesy NCDC)

The numbers say “yes”. The world is becoming a warmer place. And now the only real question is “what can we do about it?” It turns out that there are a lot of simple things that we can do that will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide int he air and (even better) save us money. (Saving money is still a good thing, right?)

For example, making certain your tires are properly inflated improves gas mileage and again saves you money. Using CFC or LED lights reduces your energy use and saves you money. Changing your water heater setting from “scalding” to “unpleasantly hot”, wrapping it in a thermal blanket, or changing to an “on demand” heater reduces energy use and saves you money.
If saving money isn’t enough for you, then why not participate in iSee Change? This online community collects information on local changes and helps you piece them into the larger and longer-term climate change framework.

2 thoughts on “June 26 – Too Darn Hot

  1. Pingback: July 12 – What A Croc! – Little facts about science

  2. There is some evidence that this year will break the record. We’ve been stuck at about the same temperature mainly thanks to an extended series of La Nina events that helped keep the globe cool. But this year will be a strong El Nino which means that the global average temperature will take a sharp tick upward!

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