Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you’re not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released its annual State of the Climate report, which says it’s the hottest it has been since scientists started tracking global temperatures in 1880.

A separate analysis, by NASA scientists, came to the same conclusion.

2016 Was The Hottest Year Yet, Scientists Declare

Graphic: Alyson Hurt/NPR


Global sea level rise will disproportionately affect much of the US coastline

  • A new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that, while sea levels are rising around the world, they’re rising faster than the global average along much of the U.S. coastline.
  • “The ocean is not rising like water would in a bathtub,” NOAA oceanographer and lead author William Sweet said. “For example, in some scenarios sea levels in the Pacific Northwest are expected to rise slower than the global average, but in the Northeast they are expected to rise faster.”
  • As CBS News reported Tuesday, “In the mildest projected scenario, global sea levels will rise by about one foot by the end of this century. In the worst-case scenario, global sea levels will rise by 8.2 feet … A lower rise of six feet would be enough swallow up the homes of about 6 million Americans.” Read more

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On July 5, 2016, the moon passed between NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite and Earth. NASA’s EPIC camera aboard DSCOVR snapped these images over a period of about four hours. In this set, the far side of the moon, which is never seen from Earth, passes by. In the backdrop, Earth rotates, starting with the Australia and Pacific and gradually revealing Asia and Africa.

Watch the YouTube video

Credits: NASA/NOAA

A little Wednesday Wisdom: Wisdom, the oldest known bird in the wild, is a mother again! 

Approximately 66 years old, Wisdom returns each year to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Her chick hatched approximately two months after she was first spotted incubating an egg at the same nesting site she and her mate, Akeakamai, use each year. Congratulations, Wisdom! 

(Photo: Naomi Blinick/USFWS)


“Global temperatures have continued to rise, making 2016 the hottest year on the historical record and the third consecutive record-breaking year, scientists say. Of the 17 hottest years ever recorded, 16 have now occurred since 2000.”

Read more from the NYTimes, here. 


Climate science isn’t political. Lying about it is.

“Our politicians may deny it. Our corporations may deny it. And even the secretary of state and the president may deny it. But denying it doesn’t change reality. The Earth is warming; we are the cause; the consequences are severe and increasing; it’s up to all of us to do something about it. Even with La Niña in place for 2017, global temperature levels are likely to never sink back to the 20th century average, not for a single year in the 21st century. The Earth belongs to us all, including all the humans who’ll come after us. If we have any hope of taking care of it, it has to start with accepting the truth. Even if it’s inconvenient.”

The latest climate science results are out, and 2016 was the hottest year on record. Again. Breaking the previous record… from 2015. Which broke the previous record of 2014. In fact, of the 17 hottest years on record, 16 of them have occurred in the 21st century. The question isn’t whether the Earth is warming (it is), whether it’s human-caused (it is), whether burning fossil fuels is the major contributor (it is), or whether we need to do something about it (we do). The question is whether we will. And that begins with accepting the scientific truth.

It’s easy to dupe you if you want to be duped, but the science doesn’t lie. Come learn it, and what the arguments you’re likely to encounter are. Arm yourselves. We’re in for a hell of a fight.

a wishing well that all men call the world: earth against the stars, photographed by soho and dscovr, 18th november 2015.

a composite of real imagery: earth is photographed by dscover’s epic instrument (11 times over 22 hours), but epic exposures are too short to pick up stars; instead, i have used a starfield synthesized from soho images earlier in the year when the sun was moving through taurus and auriga, where the earth is now. the framing of the images and the apparent motion of the stars are also based on soho images. 

the numerous inaccuracies and creative slights of hand are mine.

image credit: nasa/soho, nasa/noaa. animation&composite: ageofdestruction. title: leonard cohen.

( i balance on a wishing well
that all men call the world
we are so small between the stars
so large against the sky
and lost among the subway crowds
i try to catch your eye -

The Hawaiian monk seal may have colonized the Hawaiian Islands as early as 10 million years ago, but today this seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, with only about 1300 remaining in the wild. 

Most Hawaiian monk seals now live in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, but some live in the main Hawaiian Islands, including in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Young Hawaiian monk seals sometimes become entangled in plastic debris and derelict fishing nets and can drown – so one of the best things you can do to help these endangered seals is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic you utilize and to participate in a beach cleanup near you! 

(Photo: Ed Lyman/NOAA)


Geological hearts

Since it’s Valentine’s day today and love is being celebrated around our beautiful Planet and sole home, I thought I’d share a few Earthly wonders. The first is a spatter of basaltic lava ejected from Kilauea, that mighty shield of the Hawaiian Isles, our second is a cloud above Florida snapped from space, our third is a xenolith, a chunk of foreign material carried up from the world’s depths by rising magma and erupted onto the surface. The fourth is a lush Brazillian piece measuring 7 x 6 x 2 cm and consisting of a 3cm gem rubellite tourmaline sitting on a quartz crystal and my last is a hole in some lava at Nakalele Point in Hawaii. Happy St Valentines to you all.


Image credit:
Lava Brad Lewis/Science Faction/Corbis
Cloud NOAA
Xenolith: James /BBC Scotland
Crystals: Joe Budd/Rob Lavinsky/iRocks.com
Nakalele: Coty Gonzalez