Expert: Climate Change Played Role In 2012 Being Hottest Year on Record for U.S.

A Texas Tech University expert in climate change can discuss how last year’s warm trend is connected to global climate change.

Pitch

Marred by record-setting superstorms and drought, now scientists are calling 2012 the warmest year on record for the United States. A Texas Tech University expert in climate change can discuss how last year’s warm trend is connected to global climate change.

 

Expert

Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University,(806) 742-0015 or katharine.hayhoe@ttu.edu.

Talking Points

  • Natural variability and human-induced climate change play a role in setting records.
  • Continued dependence on fossil fuels will increase temperatures and risk of temperature extremes. Summers such as 2011 and 2012 could become more the norm than the exception.

Quotes

  • “Annual temperature here in the U.S. is affected by two different factors: natural variability and human-induced climate change. In record-setting years like this one, natural variability is acting to enhance the warming trend from human-induced climate change.”
  • “In other years, the two factors could act against each other. So we don't necessarily expect next year to be warmer than this one.”
  • “We do know, however, that if our carbon emissions continue to grow as they have over the last decade, at a rate of more than 3 percent each year, our climate will continue to change.”
  • “Years like this one will become more common and even recent record-setting temperatures, such as were set this year for the U.S. as a whole, and last year for the states of Texas and Oklahoma, will be broken in future decades if we continue on our current trajectory.”