We’re big Madonna fans, but not when it comes to this: the last time the earth had a cooler than average month was when ‘Like a Virgin’ was a chart topping success in 1984.
According to a new report by federal scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this April marked the 400th consecutive months with higher than average —a statistic that is unquestionably linked to climate change. The cause of that climate change? According to scientists, humans burning fossil fuels. While this is a startling streak, the dangers of a warming planet have been evident for a long time.
“We live in and share a world that is unequivocally, appreciably and consequentially warmer than just a few decades ago, and our world continues to warm,” said NOAA climate scientist Deke Arndt. “Speeding by a ‘400’ sign only underscores that, but it does not prove anything new.”
Climate scientists use the 20th-century average as a benchmark for global temperature measurements. That’s because it’s fixed in time, allowing for consistent “goal posts” when reviewing climate data. It’s also a sufficiently long period to include several cycles of climate variability.
Another milestone was reached in April, also related to the number “400”: Carbon dioxide — the gas scientists say is most responsible for global warming — reached its highest level in recorded history at 410 parts per million.
This amount is highest in at least the past 800,000 years, according to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
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