Jan 19, 2017 - 10:24amWith yet more data released by leading international scientific agencies showing we have lived through not just the hottest year on record, but consecutively the three hottest years on record, it is becoming harder and harder to refute the clear evidence of escalating global warming.
“The critical point from these latest findings is that it provides yet more evidence, not simply that the planet has just endured its hottest year on record, but of a clear and ongoing warming trend whether it has been an El Nino year or not,” said the CEO of The Climate Institute, John Connor. “And the scientists lay responsibility at the feet of human activity.”
The final data for 2016 was released on Wednesday by the UK Met Office, NASA and NOAA (the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). It also revealed that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century.
Mr Connor said it was important to grasp that climate change does not take place in a simple, orderly pattern that makes for easy headlines.
“Climate change is a phenomenon of complex global atmospheric and environmental interactions that cannot be neatly summarised or predicted in a two sentence news grab,” Mr Connor said. “For example, 2017 may not be as hot as last year, but the level of heat will nevertheless be such that the human, environmental and economic costs of climate change will continue to grow.”
He said that results of this sort of ongoing research serve as a sobering reminder that climate change is real.
“This sort of research, which now forms part of a long line of periodic results that reinforce the onward march of climate change caused by human activity, also loudly reminds us that we need to switch to modern, net zero emissions energy, transport and other industry operations if we are to halt and reverse this trend,” Mr Connor said.
He said that, for Australia, this means the most pressing task is to integrate climate and energy policy with an inclusive national plan to steadily replace our old, polluting coal fired power stations with clean energy and net zero emissions technologies.
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