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NOAA confirms temperatures rising

Published: May 8, 2013
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In “For anti-fossil fuel forces, lower emissions a quandary” (Our Views, April 29), the statement that global temperatures aren't rising is misleading. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded for the continental United States. More than 24,000 record highs were set in the United States alone. Unprecedented and disastrous weather events like Hurricane Sandy are on the increase and are costing the U.S. economy trillions of dollars and hundreds of lives. Of the nine hottest years on record, eight have occurred since 2000. Josh Willis, a scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, states unequivocally, “The planet is warming, climate change is happening and the primary cause is greenhouse gases released by human activity.”

Last year's drought, affecting two-thirds of the United States, including much of Oklahoma, was the worst in half a century, contributing to extraordinary wildfires burning more than 9 million acres of land, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. NOAA's Climate Extremes Index tracks extreme temperatures, drought, precipitation and tropical storms. Your editorial gives the impression that the scientists who are calling out for meaningful efforts to address climate change have some nefarious agenda. Climate change is real. It's not a hoax. It continues to be a crisis that isn't going away.

James Stovall, Oklahoma City