By: Kalie Savill

“The whole system is warming up, relentlessly,” said Gerald A. Meehl, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Global warming has been an issue for some time now, but scientists say 2015 was the hottest year in historical record. Global warming is happening now.

Temperatures are increasing and it was said that the energy reaching the Earth from the Sun had been measured precisely enough to conclude that Earth’s warming was not due to changes in the Sun. “Temperatures for December 2015 were especially unusual, with the highest average temperatures on land and sea surface recorded for any single month during 136 years of record keeping.” According to a statement by National Aeronautics and Space Administration  (NASA) and a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on January 20th. It is humans that are causing this to happen. The burning of coal, oil and gas is most likely the main cause to global warming. North Eugene High School student Tony Wilson said, “In my opinion, global warming is a natural process, but due to our heavy use on fossil fuels, I do believe that the greenhouse gases from our machines, cars, etc. are speeding up the process at a dramatic rate.”

Sea levels are rising as well; the global sea level has increased by roughly eight inches over the past century and the rate of increase is accelerating. Additionally, sea ice is melting which is the most visible sign of global warming on our planet. Precipitation patterns are changing with some places are getting less rainfall and others are getting more rainfall. Annual precipitation totals in the Northeast, Midwest, and Plains have increased by five to twenty percent during the last fifty years. The United States is having both more droughts and more floods. Oceans are also acidifying. The ocean has absorbed a large fraction of the carbon dioxide fossil fuel burning has gone into the atmosphere.