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  1. Senate panel grills Trump's EPA pick over energy ties

    Scott Pruitt Attorney General of Oklahoma arrives to meet with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New YorkBy Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Senators quizzed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, over his energy industry ties during a contentious confirmation hearing on Wednesday that was briefly interrupted by protesters. Pruitt, 48, is a climate change skeptic who sued the agency he intends to run more than a dozen times as Oklahoma's top lawyer.

  2. Earth breaks heat record in 2016 for third year in a row

    The global average temperature last year was 1.69 Fahrenheit (0.94 Celsius) above the 20th century averageLast year, the Earth sweltered under the hottest temperatures in modern times for the third year in a row, US scientists said Wednesday, raising new concerns about the quickening pace of climate change. Temperatures spiked to new national highs in parts of India, Kuwait and Iran, while sea ice melted faster than ever in the fragile Arctic, said the report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Taking a global average of the land and sea surface temperatures for the entire year, NOAA found the data for "2016 was the highest since record keeping began in 1880," said the announcement.

  3. Trump environment pick admits to human impact on climate change

    Oklahoma Attorney General and President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt testifies on Capitol Hill on January 18, 2017US President-elect Donald Trump's controversial pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged Wednesday that human activity affects climate change, but he insisted the extent of that impact remains subject to debate. Scott Pruitt set out in his Senate confirmation hearing to counter critics who see hin as a climate skeptic intent on rolling back environmental regulations. "Let me say to you: science tells us that the climate is changing, and that human activity in some manner impacts that change," he told senators.

  4. Last year was the hottest year on record, again

    The results are in: 2016 was the hottest year on record, marking the third year in a row that climate records have been broken. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA jointly declared the finding on Wednesday, using two different data sets and methodologies to reach the same conclusion: we're kinda screwed. According to the NOAA, average surface temperatures for the year were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2015, and eight months were individually the hottest since records began in 1880. NASA's data actually suggests things are worse: according to the space agency, average surface temperatures rose 0.22 degrees last year. Yes, El Niño contributed to warm temperatures last year, particularly the run of warm months earlier in 2016. As that's an event that only occurs once every few years (and has now concluded), it is unlikely that we're on track for another record-breaking year in 2017. But that's not even remotely a sign that global warming is slowing down. Instead, as one NASA administrator told the  Washington Post , "We don’t expect record years every year, but the ongoing long-term warming trend is clear." 2016 is the fifth year since 2000 that has been the hottest on record. Statistics aside, 2016 was also a bad year for events that can be linked to climate change. Sea ice levels were at record lows for much of the year, a catastrophic wildfire early in the fire season engulfed an entire Canadian city, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef was badly impacted by rising sea temperatures.
  5. These 3 graphics explain 2016’s record warmth

    These 3 graphics explain 2016’s record warmthClimate scientists around the world just announced that 2016 is the warmest year on record, beating out 2015 and 2014 for the dubious distinction.  The temperature milestone means that 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001, with each of the past three years setting global heat records.  SEE ALSO: 2016 sets 'terrifying' milestone as Earth's warmest year on record It's all well and good to say that 2016 was the hottest year on record, but to put that figure into context, you need decades of data.  On Wednesday, NASA and media outlets (including Mashable ) released graphics to do exactly that by showing exactly how 2016 eclipsed other years to become Earth's hottest year on record.  The graphics below help drive that grim reality home:  NASA's record warm years animation Image: NASA/Earth Observatory.Joshua Stevens NASA scientists released the above animation showing the long-term warming trend, with record warm years listed on the right hand side.  This graphic makes clear that 2016 exceeded past years by a considerable amount, owing to NASA's inclusion of Arctic temperature data. The Arctic was record warm during 2016, scientists have found, with record low sea ice and other widespread environmental changes.  Decadal Temperature Trends Temperature deviations from the 1951-1980 average by decade through 2016. Image: bob al-greene/mashable This temperature chart, based on NASA data, shows temperature deviation from the 1951-1980 average per decade.  It illustrates that climate change has accelerated in recent decades, with the current decade ranking as the warmest so far, though that could change if there are several unusually cold years from now through 2020.  Temperature anomalies show a world turning red Both NASA and NOAA released versions of temperature animations showing the progression of temperature anomalies over time, which eventually paint the planet orange and red hues as recent decades show up.  NOAA found that global land and ocean surface temperatures were 0.94 degrees Celsius, or 1.69 degrees Fahrenheit, above the 20th century average, which beat the 2015 record by 0.04 degrees Celsius, or 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Wednesday announcement. The first eight months of the year were each record warm, NOAA said.  Using independent methods, NASA found that globally-averaged surface temperatures in 2016 were 0.99 degrees Celsius, or 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit, warmer than the mid-20th century average. NASA and NOAA differ in their base period as well as their precise methodology, which accounts for the divergent temperature findings. What's more, according to NOAA, not a single land area on the planet was cooler than average last year. BONUS: This 30-second animation shows how much the world has warmed since 1880


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