U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor responded to new climate statistics from NASA with a call to action on the environment.
“Latest @NASAClimate data cannot be ignored,” Castor tweeted on Sunday. “We have a major endeavor ahead to reduce greenhouse gases and build the #cleanenergy economy with quality jobs and innovative technologies.”
The Tampa Democrat linked to data from NASA showing 2018 as the hottest year on record in nearly 140 years.
The space agency worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on a climate study. Scientists found global temperatures last year to be 1.5 degrees warmer than the mean temperatures from 1950 to 1981.
The past five years, scientists said, have been the warmest on record.
“2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
The data shows the average global surface temperature 2 degrees hotter than in the 1880s. Schmidt credited the rise to increase carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.
That’s of interest to Castor. After Democrats took the House following the mid-terms, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi named Castor to lead a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
Earlier this week, Pelosi praised Castor as the best House member to lead the committee because of her work in Florida.
“As a Hillsborough County Commissioner,” Pelosi wrote in a Medium post, “Castor served as chair of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission charged with protecting clean air, clean water, wetlands, land and the delegated elements of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.
“During her time in Congress, Castor has been a leader in protecting the environment and tackling the climate crisis.”
She noted Castor previously led the House Democratic Environmental Message Team, which has slammed President Donald Trump’s policies.
Castor earlier this week said the work by the committee would be among her most important.
“The climate crisis already is taking a toll on my neighbors in Florida and communities across America,” she said.
“We have a moral obligation to act to protect our great country and future generations from the costly impacts of the changing climate. I am determined to begin work immediately and look forward to the commitment, passion, experience and perspectives of each of my Democratic colleagues.”