Is Baltimore Getting Hotter Because of Climate Change?

2
Share the News


Maryland's mean air temperature has risen steadily since the 1970s because of increased greenhouse gases in our atmosphere from vehicles and power plants. Graph source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A.)
Maryland’s mean air temperature has risen steadily since the 1970s because of increased greenhouse gases in our atmosphere from vehicles, agriculture, deforestation and power plants. Graph source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A.)

Yes. Here’s why.

It feels warmer these days. Maybe this warm October day might just be a weather blip?

Unfortunately it’s not a blip. It is warmer in Maryland, as well as the U.S. (see graphs).

The hottest August ever recorded in Maryland was August 2016. Today, October 18, is a record high. Tomorrow is also forecast to hit the weather record books. Climate scientists have predicted for decades that global air temperatures will rise. And they have. 2016 is the hottest year ever recorded since the U.S. began decent weather keeping in 1895.

It's getting hotter in the U.S. according to N.O.A.A.
It’s getting hotter in the U.S. according to N.O.A.A.

Why? Too many greenhouse gases have been trapped in the atmosphere from burning oil, coal and natural gas (see graph below). These gases are trapping in too much of the sun’s energy.

If you’re interested in making a difference, consider scanning the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) online report card slide show. This easy-to-follow slide show summarizes over 26 years worth of scientific research explaining how we got here.  The main point is that we need to transition to clean energy by 2050. 

Whew. This is a lot to take in. Here are a few simple things to make a difference:

1.Read the United National’s IPPC online report card slide show.

2. Take 2 Minutes and Switch Your Home to Renewable Electricity (and save cash)

3. Heat and Cool Just One Home (your home is probably not energy efficient)

4. Re-think your cars. Go electric, hybrid or fuel efficient.

4. Learn and talk more about climate change. Half of Americans report they never, or rarely, hear any mention about global warming in their media. Eighty percent cite that no one in their social circle discusses global warming. Sign up for newsletters. Like Facebook pages. Read greenlaurel every Thursday.

According to the IPCC report, humans can make a difference if we can reduce our pollution quickly and keep global temperature rise to 3.6℉. We’re at 1.8℉ today.

These are the big bad boy greenhouse gases. Turns out the world's oceans have absorbed 90 percent of the excess energy trapped by these gases in the last few decades (IPCC report). Gases chart: N.O.A.A.
These are the big bad boy greenhouse gases. Turns out the world’s oceans have absorbed 90 percent of the excess energy trapped by these gases in the last few decades (IPCC report). Gases chart: N.O.A.A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laurel Peltier
Follow me

Laurel Peltier

Laurel writes the environmental GreenLaurel column every other Thursday in the Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of UVA's MBA program, she spends her time with her family and making "all things green" interesting.
Laurel Peltier
Follow me


Share the News

2 COMMENTS

    • I’m still getting a chuckle form your comment. At least it will be easier to fix our city’s political system than it will be to transition a world economy where oil and gas is 50% of sales and profits to renewables. be good.

Comments are closed.