After Australians experienced searing temperatures last month, NASA has confirmed that February was, in fact, the hottest month since global warming records began.
NASA’s analysis was conducted using the average temperatures from the time when records began in 1880, to average temperatures between 1951 and 1980. The findings reveal that February was the hottest month on record in the world.
Australia’s chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel says that this confirms the planet is fighting a losing battle against climate change.
According to Meteorologist Dr Jeff Masters, February 2016 was exceptional because it was, on average, 1.35 degrees Celsius hotter than the long-term average.
Most leading climate scientists agree that the world experiences natural variability in warming and cooling weather patterns over time. However, this does not account for the rising temperatures the world has experienced over the last 20 years.
Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Melbourne, David Karoly, said it’s not simply a matter of a more intense El Nino, because the El Nino of 1997-98 was stronger than 2016. Rather, he suggests, a greenhouse-induced climate change is likely to be responsible.
“It could be natural variability but in practice when we look at the long-term records we know that global warming, due to increasing greenhouse gases, has been causing long-term warming of about nine tenths of a degree over the last 100 years,” Professional Karoly said.
In Monday’s episode of Q&A, Dr Finkel, a highly-regarded neuroscientist, engineer and supporter of nuclear energy, said that there is “genuine reason for concern”.
“For all the effort we are putting into trying to avoid increases of emission, we are losing. What we are doing with solar, wind, changing practices, behavioural practices and things like that, we’re not winning the battle.”
Read more at abc.net.au.
What do you think? Could we be doing more to tackle climate change or have we already lost the battle? What practices would you like to see Australia and the world adopt to help prevent further climate destruction?