Jan 12, 2011: It

As global temperatures rise, NOAA documents climate change impacts, extreme weather consequences

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced 2010 tied 2005 as the hottest year on record. Following the hottest decade on record, last year’s temperatures continued the upward trend. NOAA’s report also warned of more intense flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes. Every year since 1976 has been above the 20th century average in temperature, and this latest analysis highlights the relationship between unchecked carbon pollution and extreme weather events.

The hottest year on record is a difficult fact to deny,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. “This is another warning siren that should serve as a wake up call to Congress to take action to reduce dangerous carbon pollution and create clean energy jobs that reduce the impacts of climate change.”

The shocking headlines from 2010 paint a dangerous and costly picture of a warming planet. Click here to download a document featuring headlines and images from 2010 extreme weather events.

In 2010, we witnessed warnings from climate scientists played out before our eyes. In the United States, flooding cost local communities billions. Extreme weather events devastated towns from Massachusetts to Nashville. We saw the effects of deadly heat waves and wildfires in Russia kill thousands. Pakistan may be the most dramatic example, where flooding displaced millions last summer, threatening to derail the fight against terrorism. 

The NOAA report makes clear that extreme weather events, such as flooding, drought, hurricanes, and tornadoes, are becoming more commonplace. This highlights the critical need to fight carbon pollution by harnessing America’s clean energy resources to create millions of new jobs.

Yesterday, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers also released a report , which recognizes the importance of incorporating climate science into the management of our water resources and starts a dialogue between the needs from the water managers to the science community.