21 January 2011
Not only was 2010 equal to the world’s hottest year on record it was also the wettest. Nine of the ten warmest years in history have now been recorded since 2000.
Arctic sea ice cover is now the third smallest since records began in 1979, trailing only 2007 and 2008. The ice cover is considered a marker of climate change as global warming tends to be seen first at the poles.
The melting ice is a contributing factor to the steadily rising sea levels that have been recorded over the past century and which threaten the very existence of low-lying island states such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, as well as massive disruption to agriculture, fresh water supplies and the creation of millions of climate refugees. Fifteen million people in Bangaladesh live within 1 metre of sea level for example when some predictions estimate sea levels will rise by up to 2 metres over the course of this century.
A recent Australian government report projects that low lying coastal areas including suburbs of Australian cities will be regularly inundated because of climate-change-driven sea-level rises, threatening billions of dollars in damage to homes and community infrastructure by the end of the century.
Despite an overwhelming scientific consensus about the reality of climate change and the urgent need to act, powerful vested interests continue to try and sow confusion in the public mind with the result that politicians who are primarily concerned about retaining power are reluctant to act.
For a summary of the compelling evidence of climate change, vist the NASA website.
To join the international campaign to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis visit the 350.org website.