WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — A new report from NASA and NOAA found that 2021 was the sixth hottest year on record, and the past 10 years were the hottest on record.
Agencies say the country is dealing with the fallout from this, which includes extreme heat waves, larger wildfires and more severe storms.
“It’s caused by the increase in greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide,” said Dr. Steven Pawson, Earth systems scientist at NASA. These greenhouse gases come from the use of things like coal, gasoline, and diesel. Pawson said higher global temperatures are having real and devastating impacts on people’s lives.
“If we look at the Pacific Northwest, for example, we saw extremely hot temperatures – temperatures that have never been recorded before,” he said.
Pawson said the heat has also fueled devastating wildfires and droughts in the West and led to more severe storms, increasing coastal flooding.
“If it’s not every day, then when there’s a high tide,” Pawson said. “Especially in areas where there is a major hurricane.”
President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan would invest more than $550 billion in transitioning the country to greener, cleaner energy – however, the plan is unlikely to pass. Republicans, like Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, say the Build Back Better award would have negative impacts.
“Higher taxes, extra spending — things that in many ways would increase inflation,” Scalise said.
Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md) says stopping global temperatures from rising even further is worth the investment so our children and grandchildren don’t have to deal with natural disasters even worse.
“You consider it an expense, we consider it an investment,” Hoyer said.
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