Long-term records developed from ice cores and fossil records show that climate change has occurred through time — but in the last century, the pace of change increased.
Industrial production adds an excess of gasses like carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere, strengthening its ability to retain heat.
Hotter temperatures are just one impact of global emissions.
Idaho has warmed 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1885, according to the 2021 Idaho Climate-Economy Impacts Assessment produced by the University of Idaho.
The impacts are wide-ranging and expensive. Last year in the U.S. there were 20 weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each — that's tracked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Locally those impacts range from a declining snowpack to an increased potential of drought and wildfires. Not to mention the many economic sectors that rely on a well-functioning ecosystem.
The warming trend is set to continue unless emission scenarios shift - this is referenced within the University of Idaho's assessment listed prior. Click here to explore the website and view their research.
At all levels, people are working to stabilize the climate and prevent catastrophic warming.
Under the a U.S. government Carbon Reduction Program, states receive federal aid for carbon-cutting projects. Idaho will receive $9 million this fiscal year. And Idaho Power, which serves over 600,000 people, plans to reach 100% clean energy by 2045 by shifting their energy portfolio to include more solar, wind and other sources.