In climate change fight, record high temperatures for 2016 surprise scientists

There's some discouraging news concerning the fight against climate change today, as scientists with the World Meteorological Organization's climate research arm are saying that the record high temperatures we've seen so far this year are coming as something of a surprise to them. Though they predicted to see increasing temperatures this year, it would appear that the highs we've been experiencing have exceeded expectations, and that may have some worrying implications for the rate at which the climate is changing.

The WMO suggests that climate change may be ramping up, pointing to these high temperatures along with arctic ice melt that's occurring faster and earlier than usual and higher-than-ever levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, as many of you know, facilitates climate change when it gets trapped in the atmosphere and creates a greenhouse effect that keeps heat in and warms up the Earth. These factors all come together to show that maybe it isn't such a good idea to wait on a solution for climate change.

Speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, David Carlson, director of the WMO's climate research program, said it was concerning that scientists weren't able to anticipate these highs, pointing out that while they expected "moderate warmth" for the year, what we're actually seeing is anything but moderate. Carlson also urged people to push their governments to find a solution to climate change, saying that climate change needs to be a higher priority than it currently is for the powers that be, and the only way that's going to happen is if people push pressure on governments to make the necessary changes.

All in all, it's more than a little worrying that the temperatures this year are surprising even climate scientists, and it stresses the importance of a comprehensive plan of action. The Paris Agreement was a good start, but it doesn't mean much if the countries agreeing to the changes don't start working toward a way to reduce carbon emissions. Perhaps this news will get governments around the world to view the fight against climate change as a more pressing issue?

SOURCE: Thomson Reuters Foundation