On Tuesday, the federal government announced that 2012 was the hottest year on record in over a century, beating the mark set in 1998 by a large amount. Researchers recorded the average temperature of 2012 to be 55.3 degrees which was one degree above the previous record and a whole 3.2 degrees higher than the 20th century average. The causes of this temperature increase are debated by scientists and researchers, but it can be agreed upon that a large contributing factor is the burning of fossil fuels which produces greenhouse gases.
Many of us believe that climate change and global warming are part of the distant future but we are already experiencing warmer temperatures in our every day life, which we are not used to. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explained that these types of weather patterns won’t occur every year and we won’t continue to see breaking records with each passing year but we will see climate changes with increasing frequency. Other researchers have noted that these greenhouse gas emissions that lead to the climate changes will not end in the near future. Carbon is a very accessible and affordable way to supply energy so CO2 emissions will continue to rise because of the benefit carbon energy brings. We are continuing to see a warming world and without a stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures could reach dangerous levels by the end of the century.
What can you do to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions? You can all reduce these emissions through simple actions like changing a light bulb, powering down electronics, using less water, and recycling. It may not seem like much now, but if everyone tried to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions through these simple actions, we might be able to protect the climate for the future.