June 13, 2024

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Report: Last 12 months were the hottest ever recorded due to burning fossil fuels

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The last 12 months were the hottest Earth has ever recorded, according to a new report by Climate Central, a nonprofit science research group.

The peer-reviewed report says burning gasoline, coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels that release planet-warming gases like carbon dioxide, and other human activities, caused the unnatural warming from November 2022 to October 2023.

Over the course of the year, 7.3 billion people, or 90% of humanity, endured at least 10 days of high temperatures that were made at least three times more likely because of climate change.

“People know that things are weird, but they don’t they don’t necessarily know why it’s weird. They don’t connect back to the fact that we’re still burning coal, oil and natural gas,” said Andrew Pershing, a climate scientist at Climate Central.

“I think the thing that really came screaming out of the data this year was nobody is safe. Everybody was experiencing unusual climate-driven heat at some point during the year,” said Pershing.

The average global temperature was 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the pre-industrial climate, which scientists say is close to the limit countries agreed not to go over in the Paris Agreement — a 1.5 C (2.7 F) rise. The impacts were apparent as one in four humans, or 1.9 billion people, suffered from dangerous heat waves.

At this point, said Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist at Columbia University, no one should be caught off guard. “It’s like being on an escalator and being surprised that you’re going up,” he said. ”We know that things are getting warmer, this has been predicted for decades.”

Here’s how a few regions were affected by the extreme heat:

  1. Extreme heat fueled destructive rainfall because a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, which lets storms release more precipitation. Storm Daniel became Africa’s deadliest storm with an estimated death toll that ranges…

Isabella O’Malley, The Associated Press

2023-11-09 09:53:41

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