Environmental records of all kinds are being shattered as climate change takes effect in real time, scientists warned on Tuesday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) released its annual State of the Climate report with the dire warning that 2015 was the hottest year on record since at least the mid-to-late 19th century, confirming the “toppling of several symbolic milestones” in global temperature, sea level rise, and extreme weather.
“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” Michael Mann, a leading climate scientist at Penn State, told the Guardian. “They are playing out before us, in real time. The 2015 numbers drive that home.”
“When we think about being climate resilient, both of these time scales are important to consider,” said Thomas R. Karl, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. “Last year’s El Niño was a clear reminder of how short-term events can amplify the relative influence and impacts stemming from longer-term global warming trends.”