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Hottest Year Ever Sparks UN Climate Talks

Dec 01, 2014 04:25 PM EST

This may be the hottest year on record, according to recent research, a notion that has sparked more urgency at UN climate talks.

At the opening of an annual summit on global warming in Lima, Peru, 195 officials with the United Nations (UN) are asking for more drastic action to combat the damaging effects of climate change. Specifically, they want to finalize a climate pact in Paris by the end of 2015, according to BBC News, to cap greenhouse gases in all nations.

Though the United States and China, leaders in greenhouse gas emissions, agreed last month to accelerate efforts to cut greenhouse gases, the most recent climate talks wants to see the same in all other nations around the world.

This is in light of a recent announcement from the NOAA saying the global average temperature over land and ocean from January to October was the hottest since records began in 1880.

"There has never been so much scientific evidence of the severe and irreversible social and natural effects of climate change," Manuel Pulgar Vidal, the Peruvian environment minister presiding over the two-week UN conference, said, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. "Never has it been so clear that the window of opportunity to reduce emissions is closing quickly."

Across the United States in particular, daily tidal floods along the East Coast are predicted by 2045, megadroughts will starve southwestern states of water for 30 years at a time, and lightning storms will strike 50 percent more often. With this kind of extreme weather becoming more prevalent in the face of climate change, the World Bank believes that this is the new norm.

Additionally, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently called for an update of the definition of "normal" weather. They even proposed that the frequency of these updates should be cut down to every 10 years, rather than the traditional three decades, in order to keep up with our rapidly changing climate.

So hopefully this latest UN meeting will build positive momentum in turning words into actions, because 2014 is slated to be the hottest year ever, and emissions are continuing to rise, showing no signs of stopping.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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