CO2 traps the sun’s infrared rays creating a “greenhouse” effect heating up the lower atmosphere and oceans, [1a] [1b] [1c] and shrinking and cooling [2a] [2b] [2c] earth’s outer atmosphere, something verified by multiple satellite observations and average global temperature histories.
The WMO report (based on the records of three agencies: NASA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.K. Met Office.), released February 21, 2016, noted that “the average global temperature for 2015 was 1.37°F (0.76°C) above the average from 1961-1990, making it the “warmest on record by a clear margin.”[3c] [4a] The average contiguous U.S. temperature for the first half of 2015 was 49.5°F, 1.9°F above the 20th century average, and the 10th warmest January–June on record. [4b]
Additional heat will harm Montana’s agricultural production, increasing soil-dryness and surface-water loss, offsetting benefits of longer growing seasons.  Days over 100ºF will double by mid-century.
Since there is a 10% decline in wheat, corn, and rice yields for every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature during growing periods, as temperatures rise our ability to raise food will diminish. [6a] [6b at p. 8] Scientists predict that if we continue burning more and more fossil fuels, we’ll see around 4 degrees Celsius (7.2° F) warming by the end of this century.
More prairie and forest fires  brought on by parched vegetation also are predicted by the Fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Its Fifth Report cited 9200 scientific publications. It was drafted by 809 lead and contributing authors (including Montana’s own Nobel Laureate, Dr. Steve Running), and went through three major iterations over three years after review by 1,089 scientific experts/editors who considered 54,677 comments before the Summary Report was finalized line by line by officials from 195 member governments.
CLICK HERE to let us know you understand how burning too much fossil fuel is heating the earth beyond healthy levels, and that you will sign the petition to put the 80% renewable electricity by 2050 initiative on Montana’s 2016 general election ballot so we can get you in contact with a signature gatherer.
Page last updated 3/27/16.