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Scientists have confirmed the past four years were the hottest in recorded history

Earth has been through a lot over the millennia. Meteor strikes. Tidal waves. Earthquakes. Volcanoes. Despite these events, Earth has kept on trucking, and, for a 4.5 billion-year-old, you have to admit she looks pretty good.

But it is becoming quickly apparent that Earth has met her greatest foe in Humans, and the latest climate data corroborates this.

According to scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2017 was among the four hottest years in recorded history.

The really bad news is all four of those years have happened consecutively (2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017).

Of those four years, 2016 was the absolute hottest and 2015 and 2017 were roughly equal. 2017 is now officially the warmest year without the presence of that little rascal El Niño, which is known to boost temperatures.

Although it has been comprehensively proven that humans are making this worse, some people – including the President of the United States – think that climate change is some kind of hoax.

Their favourite ruse is to conflate weather with climate. “Oh, look it’s freezing cold in summer, pfft climate change my ass”, they’ll say.

The key difference is this: weather is what happens for one or two days, while climate is a long-term thing.

According to all the credible data (not that link your uncle, the Flat-Earther sent you), it’s getting hotter. This is simply irrefutable, and the logical conclusion is that human activity is making it worse.

But hey, if we’re going to talk about the weather, let’s look at 2018. It’s early days to make the call, but ask anyone in the southern part of Australia right now, and they’ll tell you its f’n hot.

Melbourne and Adelaide both hit 40 plus degrees on Thursday and Friday wasn’t much different; Sydney is seeing some extreme heat in the Western suburbs. Welcome to hell the future, where it’s 40 degrees in Penrith every day and the trains don’t work.

Yesterday I made the mistake of going outside at 1PM. As I stepped out the door, I was immediately hit by that sauna feeling of enveloping 40-degree heat.

Watering the plants took Herculean effort and the chickens, who usually fear the hose, ran headfirst into the cooling embrace it provided.

“Better get used to this,” I told the girls.

I can’t imagine what the poor folks cycling in the Tour Down Under or playing tennis at the Australian Open are going through. How do you play tennis in 40+ degree weather? Will you be ded?

If humans want to keep doing things, like going outside, we should probably take a close look at our energy and emissions policies. These record-breaking years are piling up and it’ll no doubt get worse before it gets better.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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