David Lodge, Director of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University, says today’s announcement that the planet saw its third straight record-hot year serves as a warning to the new administration that without dramatic reductions in greenhouse gases the “inexorable march toward a warmer planet accelerate.”
Lodge is also the current president of the Ecological Society of America and former Senior Science Advisor in the Office of Polar Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.
“While political rhetoric on climate change lurches from one extreme to the other, today’s news demonstrates that the actual climate continues an inexorable march in one direction – warmer. Although the new administration may seek to change some laws of the United States, the laws of nature will remain unchanged. And those laws, and today’s new analysis, quite clearly indicate that without reductions in greenhouse gases, the inexorable march toward a warmer planet will accelerate.
“Today’s news highlights what has been obvious to those living in the Arctic for many years: climate is warming, sea ice is disappearing, and coastal towns are washing away. As the global equivalent of the canary in the coal mine, the Arctic is the harbinger of additional changes to come in other parts of the planet.
“As the U.S. military has often emphasized, climate change is a threat multiplier, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the Arctic, an area of increasing strategic importance, given tensions with Russia on many fronts.”
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