A couple weeks ago, scientists reported that the Earth set a new temperature record for the third year in a row. The data, supported by the two leading science agencies in The United States, was issued around the time of the inauguration of President Trump, who believes climate change is a conspiracy created by the Chinese “in order to make U.S manufacturing non-competitive.” In reality, climate change is a very real and very serious threat. From serious droughts in southern Africa to wildfires in Canada, the effects of the rise in Earth’s temperature has been felt across the globe.
Scientists with NASA have stated that the Earth’s average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Celsius since the nineteenth century. The average world temperature reached 1.43 degrees Celsius in 2016, which is 0.17 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average. The world temperature has come shockingly close to the previously set standard by the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement, ratified by 127 countries, was created to respond to the threat of climate change by keeping the rise in global temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius.
This trend of increasing temperature can be credited to the excessive amounts of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide have a significant impact on global temperatures. There are many factors that contribute to the various types of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere. For example, animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. In addition, research has shown that livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
With transportation emissions and other sources of carbon dioxide, these factors have contributed the increase in the overall global temperature. NASA and NOAA have concurred and identified 2016 as the warmest year in their records. However, the current heads of our government, President Donald Trump and his appointed officials, still remain unconvinced that climate change is in fact an urgent and important issue to address. Potential future Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence have expressed their strong belief that climate change is a myth. Many are concerned by these viewpoints because of the drastic and dangerous effects that could come from global warming. Regardless of the different standpoints within the government, the reported facts stand as they are, and many, especially known and respected scientists, recommend agreeing to what appear to be undisputed statistics. The average worldwide temperature has increased by 0.17 degrees Celsius in the past century.
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