NASA’s former climate chief has issued a stark new study that finds that the world’s current climate goal could be inadequate and may not prevent catastrophic losses from rising seas, ocean temperatures and changes in global weather.
Record warm sea surface temperatures in Hawaii's waters threaten to bring a second consecutive year of record coral bleaching to their precious coral reefs this summer. According to NOAA, ocean temperatures in the waters near and to the south of the Hawaiian Islands were 1 - 2°C (1.8 - 3.6°F) above average in June, which was the warmest these waters have been since record keeping began over a century ago.
The observed 0.3°C (0.5°F) warming of Earth's oceans over the past 30 years has made more energy available to tropical cylones, leading to an average increase in wind speed of about 3 mph (1.3 m/s) for each storm--but 6.1 fewer named storms globally each year because of the warmer oceans.
The 2014 State of the Climate makes it plain that last year was a landmark in global warming. The record high in globally averaged temperature (a mark almost certain to be topped in 2015) got plenty of press, but other records were set as well.
June 2015 was Earth's warmest June since global record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA and NASA. June 2015's warmth makes the year-to-date period (January - June) the warmest such period on record, and 2015 is likely to be Earth's 2nd consecutive warmest year on record.