climate crisis
September 11, 2019

Global temperature rise is indisputably here.

Two degrees Celsius has become the politically agreed-upon — albeit somewhat arbitrary — limit scientists have warned we need to keep global warming below to prevent the worst effects of climate change. But much of the world has already warmed past that threshold, and the heat is leaving very obvious consequences in its growing wake, a Washington Post analysis has found.

In the last five years, between 8 and 11 percent of the world has seen temperatures rise 2 degrees Celsius or higher when compared with pre-industrial temperatures. When the last 10 years are taken into account, that drops to 5 to 9 percent of the world, showing that temperatures have continued to rise in the most recent years.

Most of this temperature rise is centered around the Arctic, with northern countries such as Switzerland and Kazakhstan entirely encompassed by 2-degree temperature rise. But there are anomalies too, like a hot spot off the coast of Uruguay and Argentina that is killing off clam populations. The Washington Post has animated a map of the Earth to show where temperature rise is harshest, which you can watch below or explore more in depth here. Kathryn Krawczyk

August 15, 2019

July 2019 is officially the hottest month on record. The average global temperature soared to 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday.

The report comes after speculation and earlier data from the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service that made the same conclusion.

July marked the 415th consecutive month with above-average temperatures world-wide, according to data from NOAA, a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce that studies climate and weather. The previous hottest month recorded was July 2016; records date back 140 years to 1880.

Last month also saw record-low Arctic sea ice at 19.8 percent below the historic average for the same time of year.

Earlier this month, United Nations secretary-general António Guterres said "beautiful speeches" are not enough to combat climate change — action is needed. The UN released a report on climate change last week and is holding a Climate Action Summit in September "to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change." Taylor Watson

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