NASA, NOAA Data Show 2016 Warmest Year on Record Globally

Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — Earth’s 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Globally-averaged temperatures in 2016 were 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit (0.99 degrees Celsius) warmer than the mid-20th century mean. This makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures.

The 2016 temperatures continue a long-term warming trend, according to analyses by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. NOAA scientists concur with the finding that 2016 was the warmest year on record based on separate, independent analyses of the data.

Because weather station locations and measurement practices change over time, there are uncertainties in the interpretation of specific year-to-year global mean temperature differences. However, even taking this into account, NASA estimates 2016 was the warmest year with greater than 95 percent certainty.

“2016 is remarkably the third record year in a row in this series,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. “We don’t expect record years every year, but the ongoing long-term warming trend is clear.”

The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.

Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. Not only was 2016 the warmest year on record, but eight of the 12 months that make up the year – from January through September, with the exception of June – were the warmest on record for those respective months. October, November, and December of 2016 were the second warmest of those months on record – in all three cases, behind records set in 2015.

Phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña, which warm or cool the upper tropical Pacific Ocean and cause corresponding variations in global wind and weather patterns, contribute to short-term variations in global average temperature. A warming El Niño event was in effect for most of 2015 and the first third of 2016. Researchers estimate the direct impact of the natural El Niño warming in the tropical Pacific increased the annual global temperature anomaly for 2016 by 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit (0.12 degrees Celsius).

Weather dynamics often affect regional temperatures, so not every region on Earth experienced record average temperatures last year. For example, both NASA and NOAA found the 2016 annual mean temperature for the contiguous 48 United States was the second warmest on record. In contrast, the Arctic experienced its warmest year ever, consistent with record low sea ice found in that region for most of the year.

NASA’s analyses incorporate surface temperature measurements from 6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations. These raw measurements are analyzed using an algorithm that considers the varied spacing of temperature stations around the globe and urban heating effects that could skew the conclusions. The result of these calculations is an estimate of the global average temperature difference from a baseline period of 1951 to 1980.

NOAA scientists used much of the same raw temperature data, but with a different baseline period, and different methods to analyze Earth’s polar regions and global temperatures.

GISS is a laboratory within the Earth Sciences Division of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The laboratory is affiliated with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Engineering and Applied Science in New York.

NASA monitors Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites, as well as airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. The agency develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. NASA shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet.

The full 2016 surface temperature data set and the complete methodology used to make the temperature calculation are available at:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp

The slides for the Jan. 18, news conference are available at:

https://go.nasa.gov/2016climate

For more information about NASA’s Earth science programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/earth

Save

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I sure hope Mr T has NASA turn those temp sensors off and has them focus on other planets. Fake news, obviously …. Three record years in a row. Something radical is happening if indeed this is correct. I suspect methane. If indeed this trend continues we’re probably going to have to start considering geo-engineering to abate it. It’s a great thing we have the current team in charge of the executive branch in general and the dept of energy specifically, once we get NASA off the case we can leave this pesky problem to the crafty lefties of what’s left of the EU, Russia and China. Since the US gov will be pouring its money into coal instead of wind, solar, and nuclear,(Funny, I’ll bet the rep party will have forgotten Solynrdra when it comes time to pour money into coal mining.) the US will lose out on any money to be made in the long change over in electrical generation that will need to happen.

  • JamesG

    Yes there will be engineering needed. We’ll need to either move cities or modify them for higher sea levels. The planet changes, it gets warmer its gets colder. Sea levels rise and fall. The continents drift around and life adapts. We have now been around long enough to realize that Earth is not a static unchanging place. The planet has been warming for the past 10K years. It is typical liberal narcissism to think we are effecting it or could do anything to change planetary processes.

    What this preoccupation with relatively minor temperature changes and the inconvenience it is placing upon the developed world, is distracting people from the utter havoc we are causing to the biosphere which we actually CAN and have been a major influence. Chemical pollution, the chopping up and disruption to ecosystems, etc. are all going to have permanent and potentially far more dangerous consequences than the weather.

    But those are hard, pretty much impossible problems to solve, its much easier to rattle on about vague someday effects and its easy to get governments and suckers to throw money at more data collection and “solutions” that mostly just line the pockets of the climate science and carbon market con game. People won’t complain too much if they only have to pay a little at a time and “someone else” has to do without. Best of all the climate is so variable and subtle that you can keep the game going for generations, when its cold you can claim credit, when it gets warm or there is bad weather you can demand even more money.

    Meanwhile species continue to wink-out, toxins and garbage are saturating the land and water and humans continue to spread across the planet like a plague of locusts.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Okay then James what levels of CO2 and Methane can be safely poured into the atmosphere before it’s a problem? You obviously think it’s slam dunk that the atmosphere can sink quite a lot more. How much more? In your SCIENTIFIC reasoning .. of course?

    And … Do you really think Mr T and his administration are going to attack your list of ….. “Chemical pollution, the chopping up and disruption to ecosystems, etc”. How long did it take you to accept that acid rain was real? Or did you ever? Remember when the Black Forest in Germany almost went away all the while we had the same cycle of science denial in Europe and the US? I’ll bet you thought that was not happening either. Maybe you think it never did?

    So I’m interested James, I have no idea on this, but I’ll ask you since I’m sure you have sophisticated ideas on what the limit is. How many giga-Watt class coal plants can we run around the planet before it starts being a problem? If you doubt the current research, obviously you must be educated on the subject and have a different limit in mind. I’m interested as to what you think it is. I only have basic understanding of thermo-dynamics and statistical mechanics. Clearly not enough to fully understand the problem. And I’m not being sarcastic there, it’s not. I assume you have a more in depth background and I would appreciate some insight from your point of view being more educated than mine and the crooked scientists.

  • Pasi Jokela

    JamesG: “It is typical liberal narcissism to think we are effecting it or could do anything to change planetary processes.”

    Dude, you simply do not realize HOW MUCH carbon dioxide we emit.

    I recently calculated that with humandkind’s yearly emissions of CO2 (35 billion metric tonnes, the lower estimated value for 2015) we could cover the whole of the land area of the continental United States with a 2,3 meter (or 7.5 feet for the SI-challenged) layer of 100% carbon dioxide.

    Your head would not be above that level unless you’re a very tall basketball player. And since CO2 is much heavier than “normal” air, it would tend to stay in place in flat areas.

    The end result would be that nearly every oxygen breathing organism on the ground level in the whole of the continental United States would suffocate to death (asphyxia).

    Perhaps this mental image makes you realize that the amount of CO2 we emit is not insignificant. We CAN, and we DO change this planet. In this case, we’re just doing it wrong.

  • Vladislaw

    “A curious phenomenon has been witnessed on Bely Island, north Russia. Underground methane bubbles are surfacing, making the soil wobble rather peculiarly.

    This phenomenon is a consequence of climate change. The Russian tundra is in a state of permafrost, where the deeper layers of soil, rock, and sediments are frozen. Due to global warming, the permafrost is thawing, which leads to a release of gas trapped in the ground.”

    http://www.iflscience.com/environment/underground-methane-is-making-the-russian-tundra-wobble-like-jello/
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/14d570142edda0bc4a44d11eb1acd6a1d4bd12161064b8308656fdd05cf6fa33.jpg

  • Mass extinctions are hard to miss. I’m not sure what your problem is, exactly. Your brain is just wired up differently I guess.

  • JamesG

    Except what you aren’t considering is how many billlions of tons of CO2 gets obsorbed by plants, plankton in the oceans. The oceans themselves, and rocks. Or the billions of tons produced by all the other biology in the world. So calm yourself.

  • Your alternative facts are impressive.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-016-3079-6

    Now what do you not understand about the human footprint being the overwhelming dominant factor in the recent linear warming trend with respect the the various forcings? Again?

  • JamesG

    Except we do know that its a closed loop system. If we emit more CO2, the biosphere will react by growing faster and absorbing more of it and emitting more O2. That is a fact being completely ignored by the Global Warming/Climate Change Industry because its not convenient to the “We Must Do Something (ie: give us more money)”.

    The Black Forests and the Hardwood forests of much of the N. hemisphere were dying out because of acid rain, from sulferious coal being burned by industry, not from gross CO2 contamination. Very similar to leaded gas, dioxins, etc. And it wasn’t denied, it just took time to get the wheels turning install the scrubbers and for the trees to recover. Not the same thing at all.

    Take the time to read the actual papers that are quoted in the headlines and by the politicians. In them they have to admit that much of the data is speculation or based upon assumption (are 100K yr old ice cores reflecting real CO2 levels etc.). Then factor in the conflict of interest between the science and the scientists who have vested personal and financial interest in one hypothesis or another. Now engage your skepticism and you will see that it is much more likely that the Earth is just doing its thing and doesn’t even notice us.

    If it makes you feel better, no. I don’t think Mr. T was going to do anything better than Mr. O did besides maybe stop wasting so much money that we didn’t have. Maybe in 20~50 yrs. when sea-levels rise due to natural cycles, and the natural ecology of the planet collapses, we will still have the wealth and resources to deal with it instead of spending it all sticking our fingers in the dykes of the wrong problem.

  • Paul_Scutts

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth's_atmosphere

    The problem with your argument, James, is that the level of CO2 is increasing at an accelerating rate. This is happening because the natural CO2 absorption systems are saturated. The worry is that If the CO2 level keeps rising the Earth will reach a critical point where the sea floor Methane Hydrates would let go. If/when that happens it’s game over for most life upon the Earth. 🙁 Regards, Paul.

  • JamesG

    We are being told that CO2 levels are “increasing at an accelerating rate”. Can we be sure? We do not know the reaction time in the Carbon-Cycle of the biosphere. How fast will photosynthetic life and other carbon sequestration mechanisms grow in reaction to increased CO2 availability? We don’t know, although in small scale labs its promising (they grow like weeds).

    Hydrates and permafrost are dependant upon temp, not CO2. Is the Earth atmosphere heating because of increased man-made CO2 and our perchant for cutting down forests? Or is it because of solar heating and maybe natural cycles we don’t know about? We don’t know the trigger point for hydrates release, we don’t know how much of it will let go. And so on and so forth…

    Are you ready to sacrifice the resources and options of future generations to try to address a maybe, could be problem, dreamed up by the people who’s income comes from said problem? A problem that most likely we can’t fix (in any practical, voluntarily way anyway)?

  • Jacob Samorodin

    It’s been 20-30 below zero here for more than half of the past 30 days.

  • Paul_Scutts

    James, IMO, the Earth’s climate system is under (more) stress due to human CO2 production activities. It is insanity to dig up coal and liberate the Carbon back into the atmosphere. Common sense would dictate the we should be going the other way (and we have already developed the technology to do so (go onto Berkeley Lab website)). We can fix the problem. Sure, in the short term, it will cost, but, I for one, would pay my fare share. I would gladly pay it on behalf of future generations, like for my children, for my grand children and so on. I’m not being emotional, I’m being responsible. If they refuse to go to the effort/expense of trapping and re-solidifying all the Carbon from it’s combustion, then they should be made to leave the coal in the ground. Regards, Paul.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    For the first time in while of arguing with you. A intelligent response. Thank you. I’ll address this in a bit. I need to go for a walk in the park and enjoy the night air.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I never implied that acid rain was caused by CO2. My memories were of a strong opposition campaign along the lines of global warming deniers today. I remember the rough dates of articles from major news papers from the era, I should be able to reproduce them if you like.

    As for data on CO2 levels from the past there are ice cores, as well as tree ring analysis. I’m not aware of a major discrepancy between the two methods.

    As far as engaging my scepticism, I work with scientists on a daily basis and have been doing so since the late 1980’s. They are a fractious bunch, if someone were fudging, assuming too much, faking data, or just flat out wrong, you’d have scores of new PhD’s falling over themselves to make a name for themselves by point this out. Not to mention professional jealousy it sometimes looks as silly at Trump’s insistence that his crowd was bigger than O’s back in 2009. If they can go that far out of bounds, they can and will. They’re people too. This cabal of researchers that right wingers invoke is laughable.

    You invoke natural cycles of future sea rise. Can you name this cycle? Cycles like that are given names. Can you cite any papers or theoretical schools of thought that predict a future rise in temperature independent of human influence on atmospheric thermo-chemistry? A theory would look like this. It will have a name, a physical cause based on well understood natural process, it will be numerically modelled, and make a prediction that is tested against the past. And it will have a fair number of detractors in the field who will be pointing out the weak spots in the theory until after it’s tested. So in a very friendly way I ask, can you cite a theory about us being in a natural warming cycle that is independent of human activity?

  • JamesG

    You vastly underestimate the power of group think.

    Lots of documentation of fluctuations in sea-levels, even in the modern epoch. It gets even wilder in earlier times, huge to zero ice caps and a hundred meter water level differences. More information than you can shake Google at.

    Complimentary to the link you posted:
    http://www.fel.duke.edu/~scafetta/pdf/scafetta-JSTP2.pdf

    And you can always go surf Wiki and see about a dozen different theories or hypothesized cycles or oscillations over various time-scales.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_oscillation

  • JamesG

    Yes the coal should be left in the ground. And the natural gas, and the rest of the hydrocarbons except to make stuff with.

    But they aren’t going to because at our population levels and near term technology levels, there is no practical alternative. People will have their lights, heat, cold, cars, and fresh fruit from the other side of the planet. And every day there are more people, and more of those people want the good life we enjoy here. Even dirty power generation can’t keep up, there is no way they are going to accept limitations or pie-in-the-sky sequestration schemes that require more energy (and carbon!) than they squirrel away. Might as well pin your hopes on a magical perpetual motion machine.

    BTW- All you your money has already been spent Paul. $19 Trillion dollars worth of opportunity cost. We are already spending your great-grandchildren’s money.

  • Vladislaw

    Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)

    Watching the Earth breathe from space… Measuring carbon dioxide from space

    OCO-2 daily Lite files are now available!

    https://co2.jpl.nasa.gov/

  • Paul_Scutts

    James, it’s ok, I have the faith that when push comes to shove, we humans will innovate through these problems. I was serious when I mentioned about the work being undertaken at Berkeley and have provided the direct link for you to watch. It shows one alternative being developed to capture and utilize the CO2 “resource” that is currently being thrown away. Not the MPM machine, it really is practical, exciting stuff.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hW3QF2fSQc&list=PL10F61E434B646DE1&index=6

    Regards, Paul.

  • JamesG

    Or we could just stop cutting down the trees…

    but that doesn’t get you grant money to develop neato sounding tech that isn’t practical on the mass scale and simply won’t be used where its really going to make a difference, Asia and Africa where the populations are growing and where heavy mfg. is going and where carbon emissions are going to be coming from in the future.

    We will innovate thru, but it does require knowing which direction you’ve been shoved in.

  • Paul Thomas

    lol. Is it Winter?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Were you bent out of shape when Bush Jr took the country from the path of being debt free by 2012 -2014 to 9 thousand billion dollars in debt from 4 thousand billion dollars in debt?

  • JamesG

    Yes.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    None of those links you provided will resolve in my browser. So can you provide the name of the papers, theories, or even geologic eras you are providing links to.

    I hope those links are not ice free, or ice ages of which we have no ability to meter CO2 content. We all know Earth’s climate can swing radically. I’m interested in your scientific basis for making the claim that what we are seeing now is entirely natural.

  • According to some astronomers I know, it’s called semi-annual regional hemispherical cooling. Who knows, analytic geometry is just a theory!

  • It’s weird that over those timescales you speak of the fundamental constants of the universe varied very little, according to astronomers. Therefore, greenhouses gases still acted like greenhouse gases, and they still determined the temperatures of the surfaces of planets with atmospheres, and thus the amount of ice on the surfaces of planets with water.

    And get this, gravity still created spherical objects in the universe. But I understand you think gravity is just a theory.

    Tes gravity sometime. I’m sure you will find it still works.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Any analysis of CO2 levels takes that into account, I’ve never seen study of the problem that does not take that into account. I’ve seen graphs like this for over 30 years now.

    NOAA CO2 Observatory

    Past 5 years

    Past 56 years

    Those saw tooth patters are plants using CO2, yet the overall trend from year to year is still a net increase in overall atmospheric CO2.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    The ISP i’m at is bocking URL’s from the blog server. I’ll hand parse them.

  • JamesG

    That has to be the weakest dodge I’ve read in a while. “My browser ate my homework.” LOL

  • JamesG

    There is also a sawtooth pattern to CO2 levels as far back as we can measure (~100K yrs). We are still well within the median of the long-term, notwithstanding Al Gore’s hockey stick….

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Okay Scafetta’s work, which do you want me to read?


    Disrupted Networks: from physics to climate change,”
    Bruce J. West and Nicola
    Scafetta , World Scientific (March, 2010).
    “Fractal and Diffusion Entropy Analysis of Time Series: Theory, concepts,
    applications and computer codes for studying fractal noises and Lévy walk
    signals”.
    Nicola Scafetta, VDM Verlag Dr. Müller (May, 2010).


    Climate Change and Its Causes, A Discussion About Some Key Issues
    ”,
    NicolaScafetta, Science and Public Policy Institute (2010)


    Climate Change Reconsidered,
    2009 Report of the
    Nongovernmental Panel
    on Climate Change (NIPCC).

    Editors C. Idso and S. F. Singer,
    Chicago, IL: The
    Heartland Institute, (2009).

    And I ask, which of those have you read?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    So what? Provide the title of the paper you want me to read. I have his CV in front of me, which of his works have you read, provide the list, which which ones do you want me to read? I’m sure you’re familiar with his work, so why don’t you give us a short paragraph about him and his theories and the causes for his claims.

  • windbourne

    really?
    What does Mr. T have to do with NASA?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._T

    On a serious note, it would be a horrible mistake to stop NASA.
    They are the ONLY ones that measure the same across the world.
    As such, we will see the same issue everywhere, which is preferable to what NOAA and others are doing.

    And if you think that America will be pouring money into fossil fuel esp Coal, you are sadly mistaken.
    IN addition, we will FINALLY see a nuke renascence here.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Okay, I think I found the Wini article. That mentions several climatic cycles. Which ones are you referring to? What specific cycle are you claiming we are in and is causing the warming we are seeing now that is fooling us, or allowing others to fool, into thinking it’s man made?

    Did you read that article? Because even it says we are in a cycle of warming that has a heavy contribution from human effects.

    Are you just throwing out links that you think support your case? Are you at least reading the abstract? Are you reading the articles and papers?

  • windbourne

    and that is just relative numbers. We need OCO-3 for absolute numbers.

  • windbourne


    Are you ready to sacrifice the resources and options of future generations to try to address a maybe, could be problem, dreamed up by the people who’s income comes from said problem?

    Sorry, but You have that backwards.

  • JamesG

    Keep reading.

  • JamesG

    Actually it works both ways. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.

  • JamesG

    i am in no way obligated to waste my time humoring your passive aggression. I’ve led you to alternative ideas/facts/opinion. You can drink or rear back. I don’t care.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    James you have no idea what the content of that counter argument even is! Of course I know there are detractors out there, I said as much about how science works. YOUR JOB as an analyst who makes the claims that that the alternative arguments are even rational is to READ THE FRIGGIN’ PAPERS and judge the merits of the claims. You’re pointing to the wind in an attempt to make your points. You don’t even know if these people back your claims! Do you even know what your claims are?

  • JamesG

    My job is to get stuff done. Not have meaningless arguments on the Interwebs.

  • windbourne

    I sure was, and still am.
    And even angrier at the tea* for blocking any real efforts on balancing the budget.
    We DESPERATELY need to balance our budget and pay down that debt.
    Sadly, both Trump and Clinton ideas would wrong. Clinton’s would cut the deficit a bit, but still increasing the debt. And Trumps, esp if implemented, will increase deficit AND debt.

    Trump needs to make cuts, but if he thinks that cutting less than .1% by going after arts really matters, is going to leave us in deep trouble.

  • windbourne

    well, we need to have ALL nations cut their emissions at the same time.
    Most on the far left scream that China is doing so much, but their AE increase is actually less than what their coal power increase is. IOW, they are NOT cutting their emissions, but still growing.

  • windbourne

    that is not accurate. What you describe for a closed system IS accurate. However, our current situation is NOT closed. We are adding CO2 at a rate faster than what nature (as in plants) can process it to O2. So, we are seeing CO2 going into other areas such as rocks, and oceans.
    The fact that reefs are dying should be proof enough, but even the ice is retreating all over. Yes, there are examples of both in which the reef is not dying and the ice is not retreating (for example, ice is building up at the south pole, but losing quickly at the edges of Antarctica; and that would be expected with a temp increase ).

    As to Trump, I do not think that anything that he does will actually increase American CO2 output. The fact is, that utilities are NOT going back to coal, and he will likely allow exports of nat gas which will raise our prices.
    BUT, he is supposed to pour a lot of money into nukes shortly. If he does that, those will replace coal and nat gas.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    That’s a poor excuse to justify your intellectual lazyness and bankrupt opinions that you hold with such emotional fuvor. You in no way hold up to the standards set up by most of the folks on this blog. Even the two racists from Europe, have done more reading on the subjects they have something to say. I have to admit I gave you far more credibility than I should have. I really thought were read up on theory counter to global warming and that you were trying to make a real argument. Now I know otherwise. You’re just a blow-hard.

  • JamesG

    Pots and kettles…

  • MzUnGu

    It’s only the warmest, if you decided to throw out a few hundred thousands years of data/record… Last time it happened, it was 5 deg warmer…. Get used to it. 😛

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/ca/EPICA_temperature_plot.svg/500px-EPICA_temperature_plot.svg.png

  • Aegis Maelstrom

    Not really. IDK why you believe that a dynamic system can have only a single steady state attracting from all the points of the states’ space. This is not true and anyone who has learned of the basiscs of dynamic systems and chaos theory during his/her studies in mathematics, physics, economics, chemistry, environmental sciences knows you may have infinite steady states or even going out of a field of attraction.

    In terms of environment it is quite easy to kill an ecosystem, eg human behaviour in Ethiopia and Somalia did not lead to a spike of vegetation and plants’ growth but to the aridity and desertification of once fertile land.

    The ecosystem has limited ways to recover which should be obvious when you realize how many fauna and flora species went extinct and how long it took to develop a new life. The problems are: we as humans don’t have that much time and we are creating a problem globally.

    The saddest thing is that the US is the worst per capita, mostly due to city sprawl and bad architecture (like low thermal insulation). Fun fact: US may become a green leader due to large areas, arid lands quite close to equator hence very profitable sun energy.

  • JamesG

    The Earth does not work on human lives time scales.

    What some see as “OMG! Global Warming! Shrinking glaciers! Polar Bears with no ice! Environment shifts! Waaaa! We’re all gonna diiiiiiieee!!”

    Is just a continuation of a trend that has been going on for 10s of thousands of years. We just finally have the collective memory long enough to actually be aware of it. Before, when ever there was a change that effected isolated human cultures, within a generation or two it became “the way things have always been.”

    Ecosystems always “recover”. Even if there is noting it in except humans , rats, and cockroaches.

  • Aegis Maelstrom

    Except it sometimes does. Sudden dramatic changes in the dynamic systems are perfectly viable, in mathematics this is precisely the reason of the name “chaos theory”.

    Heck, we as humans have already proved that we are able to geoengineer Earth in terms of ozone layer during a few decades: firstly diminishing it with freons and then giving time to regenerate. This time the time scale will be bigger as we have been heavily polluting since 19th century and we only increase the emission. Aand ofc we will not stop emitting CO2 as easily as we did with freons. But we need to react to not end like Somalia – they thought that they can burn plants forever and it will always regenerate. But boom, the threshold was exceeded.

    Every system brakes after enough pressure is applied just like a metal spoon easily bent will break if you use proper force. The recovery of the system is not magical – it has its limits. And science warns us we might have entered a slippery slope and we are running into a different steady state – which means not yet understood but dramatic changes. BTW these changes may mean you will have Sahara in half of US and many other problems (I would reconsider owning anything in Florida eg). And the places not that affected directly will be flooded by migrants. Oh, interesting times to come.