I fear this news story might turn into a blip that gets tons of attention and is then forgotten after a few days. But it's a topic that deserves sustained attention.
This week, the Oscar race heated up, with Birdman and Grand Budapest Hotel leading the way with nine nominations each. In much more serious news, the planet itself continues to heat up, with NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announcing that 2014 was the hottest year in the 135 years since record-keeping began. What's more, the next 10 hottest years have all been since 1998. "The record 2014 temperatures underscore the undeniable fact that we are witnessing, before our eyes, the effects of human-caused climate change," said climate scientist Michael Mann. Of course, we've seen this movie before -- with alarming warnings about our steadily warming world repeatedly met with inaction. It's like "Groundhog Day," only without the laughs. Unless we rewrite the script, and push our leaders to adopt the long-term thinking that this challenge requires, we'll soon be facing a [SPOILER ALERT] very unhappy ending.
This long-running record heat contributes to an expensive "new normal" for global businesses and national economies, raising the cost due to shifting weather patterns and more extreme heat waves, storms and droughts that can be fueled by a changing climate.
Six months in 2014 also set monthly global heat records: May, June, August, September, October and December of last year
With 2014 weighing in as the hottest year on record, the window to mitigate global warming rapidly shrinks. It's time to eliminate the debate that action on climate change will harm economic growth.
The WMO has aimed its statement, which also provides an overview of extreme weather events around the world, at the Lima