GENI-us Letter 2015-01
|J a n u a r y 2 0 1 5 — Volume 23, Issue 01|
The Hottest Decade Ever
Dear GENI Friend,
The headlines are sobering: 2014 was the hottest year on record ï¿½ and the last 10 years are the hottest decade since we began taking readings! The trend is clear, since WWII, mankind has grown in population and economy, dumping fossil fuels into the atmosphere without penalty.
The vast majority of those who study climate say the Earth is in a long term warming trend that is profoundly threatening and caused almost entirely by human activities. They expect the heat to get much worse over coming decades, but already it is killing forests around the world, driving plants and animals to extinction, melting land ice and causing seas to rise at an accelerating pace. (NY Times, Jan 17, 2015)
"These higher air and ocean temperatures 'speed up' the water cycle, leading to increased droughts and floods, more intense rainfall, and potentially stronger hurricanes and typhoons. These changes to our weather and climate affect not only the environment, but all of us, forcing us to either adapt to these more extreme periods of heat, floods and drought, or to suffer the consequences. When will this trend end? Only when we resolve to stop dumping excessive greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere."
David Titley, director for Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Penn State University
We do see national commitments coming from around the world to reduce CO2 emissions and pledges to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions. The World Bank, International Union of Architects, numerous cities and Pope Francis are calling for the end of fossil fuels by 2050 [ed: GENI.org version]. This will be hard ï¿½ and it is what is wanted and needed to avert further climate consequences. What is your commitment?
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