2015 Is The Hottest Year On Record: Can Solar Be The Solution?

Winter Storm Jonas was a doozy of a blizzard, breaking records for snowfall that dated back over 100 years. For those of us on the East coast battling Winter conditions by clutching to coffee mugs and or grabbing snow shovels, it’s hard to fathom how Earth’s temperature continues to trend warmer year after year. Still, 2015 stayed the course and eclipsed 2014 as the hottest year on record. Could solar help break this cycle?
 
The global average temperature for 2015 did not just beat 2014’s record, it shattered it. Scientists at NASA found that temperatures were 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit greater than in 2014, while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found temperatures were 0.29 degrees greater.

This Week @NASA includes highlights from our jt. @NOAA @NOAANCEIclimate news 2015 smashed warmest year records. https://t.co/QzM25xAlWx

— NASA GISS (@NASAGISS) January 22, 2016

The Earth’s average temperature has risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, according to NASA and NOAA.
 

Some climate change skeptics blame global warming on complex weather patterns from fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and the atmosphere, known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillations (ENSO) cycle.
 
“Even without El Niño, this would have been the warmest year on record,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies said at a press conference. “We’re looking at a long-term trend, and this is just a symptom.”
 
Instead, NASA and NOAA conclude Earth’s rising average temperature is largely a result of carbon dioxide emitted from industrial and energy intensive processes.
 
If the planet continues to heat-up at this rate, experts predict an increase in severe weather patterns, decreased food security and millions of “climate refugees.”
 
These environmental and security concerns have spurred the world’s interest in solar power, particularly in the wake of the Paris Climate Accord. As a clean and renewable source of energy, intensifying investment in and expanding solar installations can reduce the impacts of climate change.
 
Only exceeded by China, the United States is the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases, with the largest source of emissions coming from electricity generation. America is changing its course and the U.S. solar energy industry is leading the way on this new road; a path to a clean energy future.
 
Already, the U.S. solar industry is offsetting 26.6 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 5.6 million cars off the road or closing seven coal-fired power plants each year. By 2021, U.S. solar generation will offset more than 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of offsetting the emissions of 20 million passenger vehicles or 27 typical coal power plants.
 
While you may be shivering now, things are only heating up. We are confident that the U.S. solar industry can help keep things a little cooler.
 

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