20
January
2016
|
08:25 PM
America/New_York

2015 Hottest Year Ever Recorded

Climate change already having devastating effects on wildlife around the world

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Haley McKey, 202-772-0247, hmckey@defenders.org

Washington (January 20, 2016)– The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) have declared 2015 the hottest year on record, measuring 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. This was the widest margin of any record, and marks the fourth time since 2000 that the global temperature record has been broken. Using NASA technology, the agencies found that warming was spread broadly around the world, with the month of December being the hottest ever recorded.

The following is a statement from Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark:

“This devastating news shows us just how high the stakes are for wildlife and people affected by climate change here in the United States and around the world. This changing climate has serious detrimental effects on species, from polar bears losing their sea ice hunting grounds, to pronghorn antelope pushed to the brink by drought, to coral reefs bleaching in overheated waters. Entire communities are being forced to move as sea level rise renders peoples’ homes uninhabitable. And as the intensity of climate change increases, so do the number of wildlife species which face an uncertain future due to its effects.

“Climate change is here, it is happening and the time to act is now. As President Obama enters his final year in office, we urge him to continue his administration’s forward progress and do everything possible to ensure the fight against climate change continues beyond his final term. The record temperatures of 2015 also remind us of the importance of the Paris Climate Agreement. It is critical that the nations of the world fulfill our commitment to address global warming in the coming years. But we must act as soon as possible-the future of people and wildlife alike hangs in the balance.”

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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.