2015 Is Set To Be The Warmest Year Ever, Because Climate Change Is Real

It's easy to ignore discussions about climate change, because the topic is all-around confusing, not to mention scary. But, for what it's worth, 2015 is set to be the warmest year ever according to new reports, adding mounting evidence to the pile suggesting that climate change is indeed real.

According to analysis by the World Meteorological Association (WMO), a number of things are happening climate-wise right now. Greenhouse gases are up, El Nino is the worst it's been in 50 years, ocean temperature and sea level are rising, and the plain old temperature is rising. Although one degree Celsius may not sound like much, to people who are experts, this change represents a significant new temperature height (as compared to how hot the earth was before the Industrial Revolution and our resulting new environmentally dirty habits).

Depending on where you live, heatwaves and droughts have a disparate impact. California is getting slammed by drought, but some of that problem is political in addition to natural. A heatwave in Denmark is not such an emergency, but a heatwave in Pakistan is.

And while it's tempting to focus on dramatic climate change-related events, like frequent hurricanes, a more certain threat is reduced crop yield worldwide. In the absence of some serious technological innovation, less food (and more people) mean higher prices or even shortages within the next couple of decades. Maybe the lab-grown burger or widespread insect consumption will save us. But it will be harder for farmers in less-developed countries to replace their entire incomes than for Americans (very few of whom are farmers) to spend more on food.

Don't like "studies" or, you know, facts? Just take it from this mural I spotted here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. No one would have bothered to paint such a thing if they weren't worried that it's true, after all.

Images: Giphy; Pamela Hobart/Instagram