The medium annual air temperature over land areas between October 2014 and September 2015 reached the highest level since 1900 –when the register started– according to a statement from the U.S National and Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, in collaboration with 70 authors from 10 countries.
There is evidence that the temperature was 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.3 degrees Celsius) above average. The temperature increases in the Arctic should have special emphasis as the place made of mostly ice is warming faster than any other in the whole world.
Scientists declared this happened for a second straight year, it would have immediate consequences such as a decreasement of walrus populations because ice sheets that are fundamental for their survival, are getting thiner and thiner.
Researchers also seem to suggest that cities located along the Atlantic coast from Miami to Boston would see an expansion of the oceans and an increasement of the level of the sea as a response of the air temperatures which are melting ice blocks.
“The conclusion that comes to my mind is these report cards are trailing indicators of what’s happening in the Arctic. They can turn out to be leading indicators for the rest of the globe” NOAA chief scientist Richard Spinrad said to reporters in San Francisco at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
Spinrad stressed warming is occurring twice faster in the Arctic than anywhere else in the world, due to climate change.
Arctic mammals are among the most affected by the higher temperatures since they need to give birth on ice sheets, said the Washington Post. According to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service walruses number is reducing.
Mothers use to give birth in moments when there are higher amounts of ice that let them protect their pups from trampling events and allow them to reach food in an easier way. When ice sheets fade, walruses are exposed to the land, which is unsafe.
Scientists calculate that Pacific walrus populations have been decreased to about a half. They explained ice melt is already a constant threat to them, however the hazard depends on the ability of animals to adapt to change.
“If the Greenland Ice Sheet were to melt away completely, ocean level would rise roughly 23 feet. So scientists have good reason to watch Greenland melt closely” ” NOAA stated in a press release.
Paris climate agreements
On December 12, delegates at the United Nations from 196 countries recognized the urgent threat climate change represents to planet Earth and established an agenda to act against it. This is the first agreement ever to call on all nations, including developing countries, to take action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change started on November 30, bringing together world leaders to discuss plans to stop global warming by preventing temperatures from increasing over 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels, an average believed to be the highest amount of warming our planet can afford to reach without a collapse in natural ecosystems
“This universal and ambitious agreement sends a clear signal to governments, businesses, and investors everywhere: the transformation of our global economy from one fueled by dirty energy to one fueled by sustainable economic growth is now firmly and inevitably underway”, declared Al Gore, Vice President of Climate Change for the World Wildlife Federation.
Source: NOAA Press Release