Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released data showing that 2015 was by far the warmest year on record, surpassing the 20th Century average by an unprecedented 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
The news drew international headlines because of the broader context:
- Ten of 2015’s months tied or broke existing records.
- Since 1970, every succeeding decade had been warmer than the last.
- The 16 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998.
- For Asia and South America, 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded. In the United States, 2015 was the second warmest year, and the third wettest year on record.
- Even without El Nino 2015 would have been the warmest year ever.
Dr. Gavin Schmidt, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies summed up the results simply: “Temperatures will continue to rise because we know what’s happening, it’s the increase of carbon dioxide which is caused by tropical forest destruction and burning of fossil fuels.”
These new data confirm that now is the time to take global action to address climate. Thankfully, 195 countries from around the world now have a framework in place to move in that direction. On the heels of the historic Paris Agreement, it’s crucial that Minnesota continue to lead by example on energy policy that can grow local businesses and create well-paying jobs all while reducing emissions from dirty, imported fuels.
You can learn more about the Paris Agreement and next steps by exploring:
- Our webinar analyzing the impact the agreement will have in Minnesota and across the globe
- The running blog I kept during my two weeks as an official delegate to COP 21 in Paris, taking part in discussions with other delegates and serving as an analyst commenting on President Obama’s speech
- Several upcoming events where you can learn more