The Heat is On: Planet Earth Sets Global Temperature Record This Week
We were spoiled by a lingering Spring this year, but goodness gracious when Mother Nature suddenly decided to heat things up, she was not playing around! As Kentuckians, we all prepare for the uncomfortable heat of summer, however, this year has been a doozy so far. With heat indexes already tipping over the hundred-degree mark, it has definitely seemed abnormally hot. I'm no expert though! All I know is that when I leave for the radio station it's already swampy before the sun even comes up.
The National Center for Environmental Predictions are the expert, however, and they have been tracking global temps since 1979. Earlier this week, they announced the highest average temperature for planet Earth in recorded history at 62 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the Associated Press, this is partially due to an unusually mild winter in the Antarctic.
"Parts of the continent and nearby ocean were 18-36 degrees Fahrenheit (10-20 degrees Celsius) higher than averages from 1979 to 2000".
Have you ever seen videos of poor Polar bears struggling to find appropriate habitats because of melting polar ice? The World Wildlife Fund has now classified them as a vulnerable species which is the step right before they are endangered. Other animals such as Penguins, Caribou, Snow Leopards, and many more are all at risk as their arctic environments warm to temperatures they have never experienced before.
NASA's Earth Observatory states, "Air temperatures on Earth have been rising since the Industrial Revolution. While natural variability plays some part, the preponderance of evidence indicates that human activities—particularly emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases—are mostly responsible for making our planet warmer.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a body of the United Nations made up of experts and leaders in the field of environmental studies from all over the world. Unfortunately, they predict a trend of increasing temperatures in years to come. You can read the studies for yourself in the links above.