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WWF: New 2012 Global Temperature Data Raise Further Concerns of Arctic Warming

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Lou Leonard, Managing Director of Climate Change, in response to today’s joint release by NASA and NOAA of 2012 global temperature data:

“Another day, another alarm bell on the dangers of our warming planet. The 2012 data show that the Arctic, like the United States, was one of the areas on the planet that experienced the most extreme warming last year. Last year’s Arctic warming is part of a long-term trend for the region that has impacts on extreme weather in the northern hemisphere.

“This warming trend is fueling a modern day ‘gold rush’ to claim, discover and exploit Arctic resources as quickly as possible with dangerous consequences such as unsafe drilling practices. However, it should be seen as a dire warning that we are destroying one of our most important natural places and threatening the rest of the planet in the process.

“Arctic warming does not just pose a threat to life in the Arctic. By altering the path of the jet stream, it disrupts weather well to the south, including right here in the lower-48 states. Today’s data shows that the Arctic continues to rapidly warm, with consequences that every American now is beginning to experience.

“Washington can no longer ignore the changing winds when it comes to climate change – the signs are everywhere – Sandy and other extreme weather pounding the country throughout last year, Arctic sea ice reaching record lows, and the catastrophic picture painted by last Friday’s draft National Climate Assessment. President Obama should have the motivation and the tools to lay out a clear national vision by the State of the Union for tackling this crisis and quickly turning rhetoric to action.”

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Media Contact, Chris Conner, 202-495-4786