This is what global warming looks like. This video was produced by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and shows the change in temperatures between 1880 and 2011 as compared to a baseline of the average temps between 1951-1980.
There are a few take-aways here:
- Things are only going to get hotter for a long time, no matter what we do regarding our output of greenhouse gases. There is a large lag in time between when the CO2 leaves the pipe/smokestack and when its full warming effect on the atmosphere is felt. We won't be feeling the effects of today's emissions for a while and then for a long time after that. Our climate and weather is going to get even more crazy.
- If we want to avoid baking ourselves right back to a "Mad Max" situation, we need to take serious action to cut our emissions of greenhouse gases. I say this knowing full well that this is not going to happen. With the Republican Party dedicated to the line that global warming is a hoax perpetuated to enrich Al Gore and Van Jones, there is no chance at all of making the kind of large systemic changes that need to take place to build a truly sustainable world society and economy in time to avoid things like Miami being drowned by rising sea levels. I wish I were being hyperbolic, but I'm not. Instead we'll limp through natural disasters after record-breaking temperatures after runaway species extinction. I wouldn't be overly surprised if future Republicans somehow manage to shift the blame for global warming to Democrats. When it comes to the fear game, no one plays it better than the Grand Ol' Party.