The New York Times article “Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year” by Justin Gillis reported that in 2016 the Earth broke its highest temperature record. Some main points in the article pointed to the frequency of high temperature record breaks, and the damage it is causing now and may cause in the future.
One shocking statement in the article was: “Of the 17 hottest years on record, 16 have now occurred since 2000”. What does this mean for the Earth? They also elaborate on how the heat extremes are affecting the world globally. In the Arctic temperatures are 20 to 30 degrees above normal across the Arctic Ocean. In Africa people are being affected by drought and starvation. Phalodi, a town in India, has recorded the hottest day in history with the temperature reaching 123.8 Fahrenheit.
It’s not just about how temperatures are rising, but also how this warming affects the Earth. Currently, billions of tons of land ice are melting or sliding into the ocean, and the sea is absorbing excess heat, both of which cause the ocean level to rise. These factors will end up leading to coastal erosion, increases in tidal flooding, and will affect coastal communities.