ANN ARBOR (WWJ) -- According to NASA and NOAA, 2014 was the warmest year on record. In fact, all of the warmest years on record have come in since 1998.
Manmade global climate change is not up for debate in the scientific community, but a recent Pew Research poll found only 61 percent of Americans believe it's an issue. Henry Pollack, Professor Emeritus of Geophysics at the University of Michigan, has a theory on why Americans still reject the idea.
"In the United States in particular, there has been a lot of propaganda against it, principally emanating from the fossil fuel industry," Pollack said.
Pollack says Europe has been more proactive in finding cleaner energy sources and changing policy to curb carbon emissions.
"As the arctic warms -- as a part of the global warming -- it is releasing more greenhouse gases, we call that positive feedback and it's leading toward ever more rapid warming," Pollack said.
Pollack said there is still time to cut back on carbon emissions and slow the speed of warming, but misinformation from oil companies has hindered the support needed to bring about policy change in the United States.
"The observed long-term warming trend and the ranking of 2014 as the warmest year on record reinforces the importance for NASA to study Earth as a complete system, and particularly to understand the role and impacts of human activity," John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington said.
According to the NASA report, the Earth's average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet's atmosphere.
"This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades. While the ranking of individual years can be affected by chaotic weather patterns, the long-term trends are attributable to drivers of climate change that right now are dominated by human emissions of greenhouse gases," GISS Director Gavin Schmidt said.
You can read the full report HERE.
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