Who Turned Up the Heat?

On January 8, 2013 the federal government made a public announcement stating that the year 2012 experienced abnormally hot temperatures that were especially record breaking. These astonishing heat waves broke the mark set in 1998. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that the data they collected from this abnormal year had a trend of hotter, drier, and potentially more dangerous weather.

After evaluating the data scientists have said that the average temperature for 2012 was 55.3 degrees which is one degree above the 1998 record and 3.2 degrees above the average. This extremely hot weather could possibly be described as part of a cyclical weather pattern. However, other scientists have said that the excessive amount of greenhouse gases that are constantly being excreted into the air because of the constant burning of fossil fuels have contributed to the climate changes.

Thomas R Karl, the director of the National Climatic Data Center, states, “That doesn’t mean every season and every year is going to be breaking all-time records, but you’re going to see this with increasing frequency.”  This kind of anticipation has caused scientists to reevaluate exactly how dangerous the temperatures will each by the century’s end.

However, not all scientists believe that the climate change is anything to worry about. For example, Jon R. Christy, the director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, said that many of these scientists are over exaggerating. He also claims that the situation can only be judged by the “eye of the beholder”.

The federal government has taken action because some Democrats have encouraged the Obama administration to impose new carbon limits on existing power plants through regulation. President Obama has already restricted carbon emission on vehicles and new power plants adding, “The president has made clear that this administration will continue to build on this progress, and climate change will be a priority in his second term.”

Regardless of what opinions are thrown around, the climate is getting hotter and the accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere is causing more heat waves and rainy events. The federal government has already taken pertinent steps to help prevent these changes; however, how much longer will these changes be affecting our nation? Although many scientists have confronted this question, the reality is that our national climate is changing and the nation has to address this problem before it’s too late.