End of the year data is in, and it supports the ever-growing evidence that planet earth is warming in an alarming trend. According analysis conducted by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2018 was the fourth warmest year in recorded history. The past year’s surface temperatures a line well with the data seen over the past five years, which were the hottest ever seen since humans started keeping track in 1880.
The new data gives more fuel to the newly elected Democratic congress which has used global climate change as a unifying issue for the lawmakers. They are pushing for a “Green New Deal” which they hope will get the US economy to quickly shift away from the use of fossil fuels, which contribute to the warming trends, and rely more steadily on renewable energy sources.
“The long-term trends are extremely robust,” said NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt. “Our understanding of why those trends are occurring is also very robust: It’s because of the increases in greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere over the last 100 years.”
There is mounting pressure on the leadership of the Democratic party to do more to avert climate change trends as more activists and climate advocates gain more power in the party. Newly elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York told reporters to expect a resolution describing the “Green New Deal” to be released “in a couple of days.” Ocasio-Cortez has worked to write this manifesto with Senator Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts.
These hearings come after eight years of Republican control of the House in which there was very little done to improve the factors that contribute to climate change or to prepare for the effects of sea-level changes and more severe weather-related disasters. Frustration levels among Democrats are high, especially in light of the fact that, although most people in the country accept that we are facing a serious danger from climate change, the government led by President Trump does not seem concerned. The President did not mention climate change even once in this week’s State of the Union address.