Newsday Tuesday – Why Two Degrees Celsius Matters

By Jenny Noonan

November 24, 2015

2015 will rank as the warmest year overall, breaking the record set just last year.

CNN reports a study released from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) backs up similar findings from NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency, all of which show the average temperature for the month of October (2015) to have been .98 degrees Celsius (1.76 F) warmer than average for the month of October. Yes, it was the highest average temperature reached in Earth’s historical record.

What does this all mean? If the increase reaches two degrees, we start to see very real and lasting negative consequences. CNN’s John Sutter says we could see a significant increase in the number of wildfires in the United States, hurricanes would be more intense, and certain species would be at risk for extinction. Furthermore, as Arctic ice continues to melt, the availability of fresh water would decline and crop yields would decrease.

This information can seem overwhelming, but there’s reason for hope.

Government and world leaders make important decisions to lead the charge, but smaller communities and individuals also make a significant difference. The time is now to reimagine our world’s energy future. As world leaders meet in Paris for #COP21, remember to send your creative messages on social media to make your voice heard.

Take Action Challenge

Watch and share this video on Facebook about the reality of climate change, what we can do about it, and ways certain countries and cities are already addressing these challenges. What strides have you seen in your communities to improve energy efficiency?

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 11.54.05 AMPhotograph and video courtesy of our partners at National Geographic. See www.natgeo.com/climate for more information. Visit earthtoparis.org to take climate action!

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