BEING HOT IS NOT THE NEW BLACK ANYMORE. CLIMATE CHANGE LAST YEAR

BEING HOT IS NOT THE NEW BLACK ANYMORE. CLIMATE CHANGE LAST YEAR

We used to say that one year or another was “hot”, as in it was awesome, filled with interesting events – movie or book launches, scientific discoveries, celebrity marriages and whatnot. This was also applied to people. One would be “hot” if he or she looked gorgeous, extravagant, or if doing something worth talking about.

Yes, it was quite “cool” for something or someone to be “hot”.

But it seems those days came to an end, as 2018 was reported to have been the 4th hottest year, surpassing the 20th century temperature average by 0,79 degrees Celsius. And this clearly marks the difference between “hot” and “cool”.

HOTTER THAN EVER

2018 was the 14th hottest year in the last 124 years recorded in the United States, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed. Deke Arndt – chief of the monitoring section of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina – says that record land and ocean temperatures were registered in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, New Zealand and in some parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

While being hot, in the U.S. 2018 was the 3rd wettest year on record, NOAA reports. And droughts in the American Southwest were even worse, due to increased temperatures and the soil drying out, while in Hawaii it rained 126 centimeters (Kauai, April 14-15), setting the record as the rainiest 24-hour period in the entire U.S. history.

Since 1880, when scientists began keeping climate records, only three other years were hotter: 2016, 2015 and 2017.

THE WARMING’S EFFECTS – PLAIN AND CLEAR

Global warming also has some surprising effects – which some may consider fascinating, as unknown processes of the planet are being unraveled.

Deserts, as desolate as they may seem, make a good home to bacterial colonies. They form biocrusts, that stabilize the soil. But as climate changes and temperatures go up and down in an erratic manner, the bacteria may struggle to adapt. And the desert soil will likely be more prone to erosion.

With the increase in precipitation in several areas across the globe, rivers flow stronger, which stirs up silt and debris, that finally flow into the ocean and makes it opaque. But this also changes ecosystems – maybe in ways that we cannot yet comprehend. Also, as sea ice melts, the coastal regions around the poles will receive more sunlight. But in opposition with the murkier waters, here the seafloor that has been in darkness for a very long time – as it was covered by ice – will also be warmed by the sun. Therefore, the communities of invertebrates – worms, sponges – will be dramatically altered, as algae and seaweeds will gain more ground. This already has been observed in the Arctic and the Antarctic regions.

As those changes weren’t quite enough, reports show spring is coming out earlier, so the overall pollen load will increase with every year and it could be more than double by 2040. And as it is known to be sneeze-inducing, people with allergies will feel it the most.

“The key message is that the planet is warming. And our understanding of why those trends are occurring is also very robust. It’s because of the greenhouse gases that we[‘ve] put into the atmosphere over the last 100 years,” confirmed Gavin Schmidt (director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City).

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