The effects of climate change are getting more and more apparent as scientists continue to compile present data and compare it to recorded history.
According to Live Science, 2013 tied for the fourth hottest year ever recorded on Earth due to climate change. Information released by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that the combined land and ocean surface temperatures across the globe were 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0.62 degrees Celsius) above the average temperature of the 20th century, which was 57 F (13.9 C). Climate data from the past 134 years has been examined to identify a steady trend of rising temperatures, which most climate scientists attribute to the increase in greenhouse gasses (like carbon dioxide) due to emissions from industry, power, and transportation.
According to NASA, as a result of global warming, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than it has been in over 800,000 years and currently stands at 400 parts per million.
"Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change," said climatologist Gavin Schmidt from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "While one year or one season can be affected by random weather events, this analysis shows the necessity for continued, long-term monitoring."
Yahoo! News reported that global warming was responsible for record highs throughout 2013, showing a trend of gradually rising temperature over the past few decades. In fact, most parts of the planet experienced annual temperatures higher than average. Australia experienced the warmest year it has ever had, and Argentina and New Zealand their second and third warmest, respectively. The temperature record at the South Pole was also shattered, with a peak temperature recorded at -53 degrees Fahrenheit (-47 degrees Celsius).
"The climate is changing more rapidly in today's world than at any time in modern civilization," said Thomas Karl, director at NOAA National Climatic Data Center. "If we look at it like we're trying to maintain an ideal weight, then we're continuing to see ourselves put more weight on from year to year."
This information comes directly from the American Meteorological Society, which published an online report you can read here.
The Inquisitr has reported on climate change many times in the past, speculating about the long term effects of global warming. Rumors of its damaging effects range from the extinction of redheads to the vulnerability of the military. While it's still uncertain what will happen to the planet in the long run, few experts deny the existence of climate change or humanity's influence on it. Some are still skeptical, of course, but NASA reports that 97 percent of scientists agree on global warming and cites a long list of scientific organizations that support the theory of climate change.
"Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position."
What do you think about climate change and the record-breaking temperatures in 2013?