Climate Change Ramped Up in 2010

By Matt Baume
|  Friday, Jan 21, 2011  |  Updated 12:45 PM PDT
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Climate Change Ramped Up in 2010

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A warming Earth is bad news for the polar bears.

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We just wrapped up the warmest year in recorded history, and there's even higher temperatures awaiting us in the future, according to United Nations researchers. Scientists at NASA have confirmed the finding.

The planet's long warming trend continued in 2010, which was the hottest year on record. Over the past decade, almost every year set records for heat.

Last month, it was confirmed that the arctic ice cap had shrunk to its smallest recorded size, according to Grist. The arctic has been particularly vulnerable to warming, along with Africa and some Asian countries.

Greenland and Canada also faced higher than normal temperatures.

But climate change doesn't just mean that summers will be hotter. It also means an exaggeration of other extreme climate conditions, such as "abnormally cold" regions in Europe.

Storms and floods are expected to increase as heat causes more moisture to move from the icecaps to the atmosphere.

The global temperature increase is small enough that you might not be able to feel it -- about one degree above the mean temperature from the 1960s to the 90s. But that's enough to shrink ice and alter plant and animal habitats.

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