Global Warming Not Going Gently
2009 saw vast patches of the planet protected and world leaders pledge to fight global warming
, but the climate continued to change dramatically
--putting it in the "loss" column for the environment this year, according to experts who spoke to National Geographic. (Also see "Ten Environmental Wins of 2009."
Joshua Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environment Group in Washington, D.C., said the "overarching problem of climate" is one of many environmental challenges that have worsened.
Conservationist Stuart Pimm added, "This isn't just some gentle sort of warming process, we are in major ways disrupting the climate. The debates now on climate change are whether the consensus is too mild. Many people think the Antarctic and Arctic ice is melting a lot faster than the consensus.
"I think [global warming] would probably be my pick for the gloomiest story" of 2009, added Pimm, a conservation biologist at Duke University.
--By John Roach
Photograph by John McConnico, AP