Dec 23, 2015

A Fitting End for the Hottest Year on Record

by
Jonah Bromwich
,
New York Times
Tuesday was a warm and wet day in Manhattan. Image: Damon Winter, The New York Times
Tuesday was a warm and wet day in Manhattan. Image: Damon Winter, The New York Times

Thirteen of the fourteen hottest years in memory have been recorded in the 21st century, a development that goes hand-in-hand with the expected effects of climate change. An overwhelming majority of scientists believe that global warming is being caused by human activities. In a response to an emailed question, the climate activist Bill McKibben compared the rising temperatures to “waking up in the first reel of a dystopian science fiction film.” “We’re living through history, and not of a good kind,” he said. “2015 didn’t just break the global temperature record — it crushed it. Think of the energy needed to raise the temperature of something as large as our planet by this much this fast.”