LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Some records are worth cheering about – like the 24,000 people who came to Actors Theatre over the holidays to watch A Christmas Carol - the most ever in that long run of the show. Others are cause for concern - like the third straight year of record warmth on planet Earth.
The average temperature on Earth last year was nearly 59 degrees, almost two degrees above average, the largest margin an annual global temperature record has ever been broken.
Of the 17 warmest years ever on Earth, 16 have occurred in the past 16 years. Judging by the warmth we and many others have had this January in what is usually the coldest month of the year, 2017 will likely make it 17 of the 18 warmest years ever on earth occurring in the past 17 years.
Many of us enjoy the warmth and are not complaining, but record-low sea ice in the Arctic does make one wonder - are the catastrophic storms we have been experiencing connected in any way to this warming?
Researchers published today an examination of meteorological satellite data the past 35 years, suggesting more potential energy is being converted to kinetic energy because of the warming - and that energy is driving atmospheric movement, resulting in a greater potential for destructive storms.
While the winter warmth may be a blessing, it ultimately may be a curse, with deadly heat waves like the ones in Asia and the Middle East last year.
A continued increase of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will also likely impact our food supply, water resources, and ecosystems.
There is no guarantee a concentrated effort worldwide to decrease greenhouse emissions will halt the dangers already being felt, but the urgency to do it should be intensifying.