Transcripts of GSFC_2015WarmestYear_VF_Radcliff_appletv

2015 was a scorcher of a year in the instrumental record. It was very, very clearly the warmest year by a long chalk. 2014 was also a record year, but only by a little bit. But 2015 has totally knocked that into the grass. The temperatures are about 1.8 Fahrenheit above what it was in the 19th century, and that's about halfway to the target that the UN Climate Talks have identified as the target we should be avoiding if we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This record year really is just emphasizing the fact that there is a very, very strong long-term trend in temperature that we have associated very strongly with the human emissions of greenhouse gases. While one degree might not mean very much to you basically on a daily cycle, it really gets noticed by the planet and the systems on the planet. Glaciers notice that the planet is more than a degree warmer than it is. We've seen glaciers retreat almost everywhere where there are glaciers on the planet. We've seen shifts in eco-zones, so where ecosystems are happiest these have been moving poleward and upward over the decades, and that's going to continue. We're currently in a big El Nino event, and that's going to persist through the spring and perhaps into the summer. 2016 is going to start off very, very warm as well, and in fact, it might be as warm as 2015 going through the rest of the year. We actually anticipate that 2016 might also be a record warm year, and that will be the first time that we've had three record warm years in a row in the whole record.