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Flowers bloomed in the middle of winter. Across the country, record high temperatures felt like a taste of summer in the middle of winter. Washington, D.C. had its hottest February ever and buds formed on the cherry trees. New Jersey set records that were 30 degrees above normal. Temperatures were 50 degrees above normal in the Arctic. Oklahoma set a new record of 99 degrees!
Climate records and trends
Arctic and Antarctic sea ice were at record lows.
Permafrost melted in Canada, releasing methane, which is a greenhouse gas.
The Canadian glaciers are melting 10 times faster than they were just 10 years ago, and contributing to sea level rise.
Impacts on communities
“If it seems like you’re reading about devastating floods, droughts, and storms way more often than you used to, it’s because these extreme events are actually happening more frequently.” (Popular Science)
Climate change is creating more frequent extreme weather, which can cause “post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, the abuse of alcohol and drugs, and more.”
In Monmouth County, more than 70% of adults agree with all of these statements:
The numbers are almost the same at the state level, and within District 4 (where the first statement gets 68% support and the others are over 70%).
Republican Representative Darrell Issa has joined the Climate Solutions Caucus, bringing membership to 26 (with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats).
Former Republican cabinet members George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III pitched a revenue-neutral fee-and-dividend proposal to put a price on carbon.
What other countries are doing
China’s coal use continued to fall.
China doubled its solar capacity in 2016.
The city of Beijing announced plans to cut coal use 30% this year.
Clean energy progress
Electric vehicle sales in the U.S. were up almost 40% from 2015 to 2016.
Texas has harnessed the wind to become a leading producer of clean energy.
Examples of the kind of disruption caused by climate change
Extreme heat, droughts, and extreme rain are effects of climate change that are especially disruptive. Below are examples of the types of disruption climate change is already causing. In other words, climate change is causing more of these events to occur.
Reference for tracking impacts: http://www.climatesignals.org
Reference for tracking flooding: http://floodlist.com/
After years of drought, California is now getting hammered by extreme rainfall.
Syndney flooded after extreme rainfall
Communities in Somalia are facing food shortages caused by drought.
School was closed in Monmouth Beach when streets flooded.