A report just released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says that 2015 is on track to be the warmest year on record. That’s right; this year has been the hottest year in recorded history. WMO blames the temperature rise on the effects of El Niño and on human induced global warming.
According to the data from the WMO, by the end of October of this year, the global average surface temperature has risen to 14.73° Celsius (58.51° Fahrenheit), which is roughly 1° C (1.8° F) higher than the temperatures in the pre-industrial era (1880-1899). The World Meteorological Organization study took five years to complete and analyzed temperature data from 1850 – 2015.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations, and it is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The WMO is responsible for gathering and analyzing data on meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.
WMO also just issued a press release, Climate Change Breaches Symbolic Thresholds, Fuels Extreme Weather, which states unequivocally that 2015 is likely to be warmest year on record, and that 2011-2015 is the warmest five year period on record. “The global average surface temperature in 2015 is likely to be the warmest on record and to reach the symbolic and significant milestone of 1° Celsius above the pre-industrial era.”
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said, “This is all bad news for the planet. Greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing climate change, can be controlled. We have the knowledge and the tools to act. We have a choice. Future generations will not.”
The 1-degree change is significant because scientists say that there is a 2-degree threshold beyond which the effects of climate change will almost certainly be catastrophic. For example, a 2 degree warming would cause a sea level rise that would threaten low-lying cites such as New Orleans and Miami.
The WMO report was issued now in hopes that the data will influence the decisions made at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change that will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. The conference is known also as COP 21, because it is the 21st Conference of the Parties, the 21st annual meeting of all countries concerned about climate change.
During the conference, more than 130 world leaders will work to finalize a new international agreement on climate change intended to limit global warming to 2 degrees. Six years ago a similar conference in Copenhagen failed to reach an agreement on how to deal with climate change. The threat of the rising sea levels caused by climate change is so serious that during the COP-21 conference a bloc of 39 island nations will push for the temperature ceiling to be lowered to 1.5 degrees Celsius in an attempt to protect their very land they live on.
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson and Donald Trump continue to say that they don’t believe that human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, cause climate change. Neither one of them is stupid, but they are both clueless about global warming. They never seem to have learned the lesson of the six Ps.
It should be obvious that it is a good idea to plan what you need to do first, and then try to do it. That’s what the COP-21 conference is all about. Some people are lucky enough to learn the importance of planning early in life, but unfortunately other people, especially climate change deniers, never seem to have learned that lesson.
During the Vietnam War, a group of young Lieutenants assigned to the 3539th Navigator Training Squadron (3539 NTS) at Mather Air Force Base, California gathered in a large mission planning room. They were there for a mission planning session before flying a check flight, a flight that would determine if they would become aviators or get washed out of the program. Virtually all of them were headed for Vietnam.
The instructor scheduled to lead the planning session was a senior Captain, who had the reputation of being hard-nosed and unforgiving. Nobody in that room had ever had him for a class before, but they all knew that if he was the instructor on your check flight, then the squadron staff was thinking of washing you out of the program. Somebody in that room was a target, but none of them knew who it was.
The class was scheduled to start at 0800 hours (8:00 AM), but the instructor was nowhere to be seen as the clocked ticked closer and closer to the hour. The young Lieutenants took their seats and looked around at each other, wondering how the senior Captain had ever gotten such a tough reputation when he couldn’t even be on time for class. They knew he was going to be late, and started counting down the time: 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute to go and he still wasn’t there.
But the instant the second hand reached the top of the hour, the door opened and the hard-nosed Captain walked into the room, with a newspaper under his arm and a cardboard cup of coffee in his hand. Without even looking at the men sitting in the room, he walked over to the instructor’s desk and put down the newspaper and the cup of coffee. Then he picked up a piece of chalk and wrote 6 letters on the blackboard.
P P P P P P
Then he walked back to the desk, sat down, picked up the newspaper, put his feet up on the desk, and started to drink his coffee. The only things the men sitting in the room could see were his legs sticking out from under the newspaper and his hands holding the newspaper up in front of his face. Everyone in the class looked at each other again, totally confused. Then, after a few minutes, the section leader stood up and asked, “Sir, what do those letters mean?”
The hard-nosed Captain lowered his newspaper, and glared at the young man who had dared to interrupt him while he was drinking his coffee and reading the morning newspaper. With a scowl on his face, he got up, walked over to the blackboard and pointed to each letter as he spoke. Proper Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance. Then he walked back to the desk, where he sat down, picked up the newspaper, and put his feet up on the desk again. Those six words were the only words he said during the entire two-hour mission planning session. Nothing else needed to be said. If you want to do well, plan well.
If we want to prevent climate change from destroying the world we know¸ then we should do some proper planning to prevent pitifully poor performance. It is long since time that world leaders gather together, as they will in Paris next week, and put plans in place to ensure that we don’t cross that 2-degree threshold.