2012 Climate Change News That Made Headlines This Year

From The Huffington Post

By Wynne Parry

Global warming was hot news this year, literally.

Perhaps the most unavoidable climate story of 2012 was the warmth that gripped much of the United States, and to a lesser degree, the planet, throughout the entire year. Heat waves brought “spring in March” to parts of the country, and broke all-time high-temperature records in a number of places. This, inevitably, led to a discussion of global warming and the degree to which it contributes to some types of extreme weather, in this case heat waves.

In fact, prominent climate scientist James Hansen, of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and colleagues published research saying recent heat waves “were a consequence of global warming, because their likelihood in the absence of global warming was exceedingly small.” Some other climate scientists, however, disagreed about the degree to which heat waves can be attributed to climate change.

Meanwhile, many of the top climate stories this year have become something like annual rites recently, as people around the world grapple with human-caused climate change, and attempt to address it and its effects. [7 Hottest Climate Change Stories of 2012]

Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy (actually a hybrid storm) this year like others last year, have sparked discussion of the connection between climate change and increased risk for some extreme weather events. A majority of Americans also seem to be making the connection between extreme weather and climate change, according to surveys by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

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