“Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating”. The acceptance speech for best actor at this year Oscars, definitely made Leonardo Di Caprio a climate champion.

Everybody, even here in Albania (to be realistic, Albanians do not consider climate change a serious problem) were talking more about his speech than about his award. As much as he could be winning the Oscars easier for his actions on the climate change rather than waiting 20 years for the Best Actor Prize.

But, take a look at the sentence below.

‘Climate change is a real, rising, imminent and universal threat to the future of the Earth.’

It’s not Di Caprio. It’s not 2016. It is Al Gore’s speech on the occasion of his 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Former Vice President, Al Gore almost 10 years ago, warned that “we, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency — a threat to the survival of our civilization.” But, he added, “there is hopeful news as well: we have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst — not all — of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.”

But it seems that the threat is increasing. Faster.

‘Shocking’, 'exceptional' are the words used by experts to describe the fact that February was hottest month on record as NASA figures show.

February was the warmest month on record, and 2016 is heading to become the warmest year on record, warmer even than 2015 which had itself set a clear record over previous warmest years, according to the global surface temperature measurements compiled and released by NASA.

In Albania as well, February turned out to be an unusual one. Forecasters said Albania shattered heat records for the winter month. Temperatures in Tirana peaked at 27 Degree Celsius while in the mountainous areas, they capped above 21 Degrees Celsius. For the forecasters this was a little summer in the middle of winter, with temperatures way above normal.

NASA confirmed that February 2016 was not only the warmest month ever measured globally, at 1.35C above the long-term average, but that it was more than 0.2C warmer than January 2016, which itself had held the previous monthly temperature record.

Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said on Twitter that he does not normally comment on individual months because there is “too much weather, not enough climate” but last month was “special”. He summarized his reaction to the data simply with: “Wow”.

Temperatures in the northern hemisphere especially saw temperature rise well above the global average, with the Arctic and northern Russia seeing exceptionally warm surface readings over land and sea.

Scientists repeat warnings global climate system is being strongly influenced by greenhouse gas emissions.

The UN climate summit in Paris in December confirmed 2C as the danger limit for global warming which should not be passed. But it also agreed to “pursue efforts” to limit warming to 1.5C, a target now looking highly optimistic.

“We are in a kind of climate emergency now,” said Prof Stefan Rahmstorf, from the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research in Germany. He told Fairfax Media: “This is really quite stunning ... it’s completely unprecedented.”

The NASA data shows the average global surface temperature in February was 1.35C warmer than the average temperature for the month between 1951 and 1980, a far bigger margin than ever seen before. The previous record, set just one month earlier in January, was 1.15C above the long-term average for that month.

2016 is likely to beat 2015 as the warmest year on record!/AgroWeb.org/