WASHINGTON—(WJZ) It may not feel like it today, but the earth has set a new high for heat.
Alex DeMetrick reports on what scientists are calling the hottest year on record.
Global warming is on a roll.
“The global temps for 2014 are the warmest temps for 2014,” said Dr. Steven Pawson, of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Observations begun on the ground in 1880 and temperatures are still recorded on the ground today. The results show a planet warmer now than it has been in the last 100 years, likely even in the last five thousand. An increase of 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which may not seem like much.
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“No, but when you average that over the entire earth, that’s quite substantial. It can have adverse consequences, such as ice melting in the polar regions, and that increases sea level rise which threatens the coastal cities we live in,” said Pawson.
So if the world is warming up, why have our past few winters been so cold?
“Every year you’ll see some regions are warmer than that and some are actually cooler,” Pawson said.
Shifting weather patterns are short term, global warming long range with increasing temperatures, tied to the burning of fossil fuels, which pile carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and traps heat beneath. And as long as it continues…
“There’s more capability for the atmosphere to absorb that heat and continue warming.”
And with the new global average of 58.24 degrees already a threat to polar ice, every increase heats up the potential for warmer, wetter Maryland.
Scientists say it isn’t so much the land that’s heating up from global warming, but the ocean.