Sure, sometimes it snows where people live. This does not change the fact that 2014 is set to be one of the hottest, if not the hottest year on record.
This past week, the World Meteorological Organization released a report looking at warming trends over the past year. The meteorologists found that record-breaking sea surface temperatures had led to increased rainfall and floods in some areas, but also drought in other places. If the rest of December shows similar patterns, 2014 will be the hottest year yet.
“What we saw in 2014 is consistent with what we expect from a changing climate. Record-breaking heat combined with torrential rainfall and floods destroyed livelihoods and ruined lives,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement. “What is particularly unusual and alarming this year are the high temperatures of vast areas of the ocean surface, including in the northern hemisphere.”
The news arrives less than a week after U.N. negotiators flew to Lima, Peru, to discuss an increasingly chaotic, but realistic set of circumstances: That instead of a two-degree rise in global temperatures over the next century, which could conceivably stave off some of the worst worst-case climate scenarios, the planet could see a four- to 10-degree rise by 2100. At that point, widespread drought, food shortages, water scarcity, and flooding would become our new future, the New York Times warned earlier this week.