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Is the Climate Changing? Page Title Module
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- May 2010
hey there every one ive posted on here several times but nothing shows up why? i feel the climate changes has to do with how our factories and cars and things are run today
Admin and Dodge,
I am not going to challenge what you are saying in this thread. You have presented facts without some of the hysteria that is in the message of some of the Global Warming freaks.
The Soviet Scientists were afraid of solar flares destroying the earth during the 1970's. Some of the global warming that is taking place is cycles from the sun, and not just man's involvement. Global warming is at a very slow pace, as the recent assessment from the satellite pictures of the ice packs of the Himalayan Mountains shows.
I continually see Liberals being very hypocritical on this subject. They do not convert in the city to electric vehicles, rather when they talk to me they feel guilty that they need their Range Rovers for their jobs, (just 2 days ago...lol). Free electricity for any electric vehicle in the West Hollywood area, but nobody used that free electricity because Liberals drive their big a__ cars...LOL. I drive my Toyota Tacoma w/ 187,000 on it and they drive their Hummers. The Liberals are a bunch of walking Al Gores on this subject, a bunch of hypocrites that preach that we all need electric vehicles, and they do not practice what they preach.
There have been many changes in the climate since the earth came into existence, nothing here is new.
These verses describe greater threats to people than the super gradual increase of the temperature of the earth since Scientists started taking these temperatures in the 1880's.
War is a greater threat to mankind.
"And another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword." Rev. 6:4
Economic Ruin due to inflation and increased population of the earth. There is some truth of the math described in the 1968 book, "The Population Bomb."
"And I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." Rev. 4:5,6
One fourth of the earth's population dying from hunger.
"And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth." Rev. 6:8
The Communistic, and Atheistic governments of the world will continue to murder Christians. They will also continue to murder others of faith, as Atheistic Communism has killed over 94 million people since 1916.
"...I saw under the altar the sould of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they held." Rev. 6:9
Thermal Nuclear War will be a terrible problem when it happens.
That is a very possible way to interpret Rev. 6:12-17, and 8:1-13
Admin and Dodge, global warming is happening at a slow pace, however, these challenges of mankind that I have described are a greater threat.
Colossus: The Forbin Project
There is some truth to these types of movies, and these problems represent a greater threat from a scientific standpoint to mankind than global warming. Global warming has made hypocrites like Al Gore millionaires.
Hi Easeltine. Very little of what you posted has to do with the science behind climate change as it relates to human activity. You wrote about Soviet Scientists being “afraid of solar flares destroying the Earth,” “liberals driving SUVs,” and war. None of that is the topic here. Why do you feel a need to politicize the subject of climate change? Have you read what climate experts are saying? Seems to me that if you want to know the truth then you should attempt to get your information from those who know what they’re talking about. That would be those who have earned degrees and specialize in atmospheric and climate science.
You did write something about global warming as part of solar cycles, and something about an “assessment” of the ice packs in the Himilayas; but you offered no links or references. What are your sources, and what do they say? Where are you getting your information?
- Oct 2003
Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks. These conclusions are based on a substantial array of scientific evidence, including recent work, and is consistent with the conclusions of recent assessments by the United States Global Change Research Program, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, and other assessments of the state of scientific knowledge on climate change.
So says the National Research Council of the National Academies in their book Advancing the Science of Climate Change (National Academies Press, copyright 2010). The NRC is the working arm of the National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine).
Their assessment, and the assessments mentioned above, place high or vary high confidence that the Earth is warming, that most of the warming over the last several decades can be attributed to human activities, and that human-induced climate change and its impacts will continue for many decades, and in many cases for many centuries.
They tell us that there are many indications -- both direct and indirect -- that the climate system is warming. The most fundamental of these are thermometer measurements, enough of which have been collected over both land and sea to estimate changes in global average surface temperature since the mid- to lat-19th century. Independent research teams that use slightly different analysis techniques and data sources show consistent temperature estimates.
The trends in many other types of observations over decades of measurement also provide evidence that Earth is warming. For example: heat waves have become longer and more extreme, cold snaps have become shorter and milder, Northern Hemisphere sea ice is declining in both extent and average thickness, rivers and lakes are freezing later and thawing earlier, glaciers and ice caps are melting in many parts of the world…and precipitation, ecosystems, and other environmental systems are changing in ways that are consistent with global warming.
Based on this diverse, carefully examined, and well-understood body of evidence, scientists are virtually certain that the climate system is warming. In addition, scientists have collected a wide array of “proxy” evidence that indicates how temperature and other climate properties varied before direct measurements were available. These proxy data come from ice cores, tree rings, corals, lake sediments, boreholes, and even historical documents and paintings. A recent assessment of these data and the techniques used to analyze them concluded that the past few decades have been warmer than any other comparable period for at least the last 400 years, and possibly for the last 1000 years or longer.
Human activities have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide and certain other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Detailed worldwide records of fossil fuel consumption indicate that fossil fuel burning currently releases over 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. Tropical deforestation and other land use changes release an additional 3 to 5 billion tons every year.
Precise measurements of atmospheric composition at many sites around the world indicate that carbon dioxide levels are increasing, currently at a pace of almost 2 parts per million per year. We know that this increase is largely the result of human activities because the chemical signature of the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be linked to the composition of the carbon dioxide in emissions from fossil fuel burning. Moreover, the bubble trapped in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica reveal that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have been rising steadily since the start of the Industrial Revolution (usually taken as 1750). The current carbon dioxide level is higher than it has been in at least 800,000 years.
Only forty-five percent of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities remains in the atmosphere -- the remainder is absorbed by the oceans and land surface. Current estimates, which are based on a combination of direct measurements and models that simulate ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycles, indicate that roughly twice as much carbon dioxide is taken up annually by ecosystems on the land surface as is released by deforestation -- that is, the land surface is a net “carbon sink.” The oceans are also a net carbon sink, but only some of the carbon dioxide absorbed by the oceans is taken up and used by marine plants; most of it combines with water to form carbonic acid, which is harmful to many kinds of ocean life.
In addition to increasing global average temperatures, a host of other climate variables are projected to experience significant changes over the twenty-first century, just as they have during the past century. For example, it is very likely that heat waves will become more intense, more frequent, and longer lasting, while the frequency of cold extremes will continue to decrease. Snow and ice extent will continue to decrease. The intensity of precipitation events will continue to increase. Glaciers and ice sheets will continue to melt, and global sea level will continue to rise.
Every Scientific study that I have ever seen states that most species on Earth that are extinct due to Global Climate Warming or Cooling.
I want to know your solutions.
So far Dodge, you are reminding me of Dr. Falkin in the movie, War Games.
Hi Easeltine. Neither of us is an expert in the science of climate change or mitigation policies, so all we can do is read what experts in the field say. I’ve done a lot of research, downloaded some books, and am slowly getting an education.
One of my sources is Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist with a PhD from Harvard. He’s an acknowledged expert both in the science and politics of climate change. He wrote The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: A Guide to the Debate (Cambridge University Press, copyright 2006) based on his experience as Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology; and a college textbook aimed at non-science majors called Introduction to Modern Climate Change (Cambridge University Press, copyright 2012). I bought the last one and have read most of it.
Dr. Dessler’s strategy in this book is to “just explain the science and then lay out the possible solutions and trade-offs among them,” and wrote that “I firmly believe that an unbiased assessment of the facts will bring the majority of people to see things the way I do: that climate change poses a serious risk and that we should therefore be heading off that risk by reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases.” He says that there is “wide agreement that mitigation must be part of our solution to the problem of climate change.”
Dr. Dessler mentions energy efficiency (how the economy uses energy) and the reduction of carbon intensity. This means switching from conventional combustion of fossil fuels to energy sources that do not release greenhouse gases (carbon-free sources). These include nuclear energy, carbon capture and sequestration, and energy sources known as renewable energy (hydroelectric, solar, wind, and biomass energy).
The author goes on to discuss two ways to generate energy from sunlight (solar photovoltaic and solar thermal methods), then about modern advances in wind as an energy source (wind turbines); and explains that these sources are more expensive than electricity from fossil fuels, and that the intermittency problem hasn’t yet been solved. We’re not yet on the verge of a wholesale transition of our energy supply to these renewable sources.
He goes into biomass energy as another renewable (energy through burning crops), and tells us that because the carbon dioxide was absorbed from the atmosphere during the growth of the plant, there is no net increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, a lot of land would be needed to make the work; which would include having to clear forest areas, which would release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in addition to a host of other local environmental impacts (loss of native biodiversity and ecosystem degradation). Not to mention the production of fertilizer that would be needed, which requires large inputs of energy.
Then there is hydroelectric energy, which currently supplies sixteen percent of the world’s energy; but it isn’t likely to increase because the world’s big rivers are already damned, and new dams often cause local environmental problems.
Nuclear energy currently generates about sixteen percent of the world’s electricity; and there is centuries worth of uranium in the ground. Reactor safety is an issue, especially after Japan’s experience following the tsunami (and Chernobyl). Then there is the fact that nuclear reactors are very attractive targets for terrorists. All in all, it’s a risky source of energy; and disposal of nuclear waste is a major problem, having to be isolated for many thousands of years.
One final option to generate energy without emitting carbon dioxide is carbon capture and storage, also known by its initials CCS or carbon sequestration. This refers to a process by which fossil fuel is burned in such a way that the carbon dioxide generated is not vented to the atmosphere. Rather, the carbon dioxide is captured and placed in long-term storage. This is not a renewable energy source, and is almost always used in combination with coal combustion.
Once captured, the carbon dioxide must be stored. The most likely place to put the carbon dioxide is to inject it deep underground into porous sedimentary rocks, which are distributed widely around the world (oil and gas fields, unminable coal beds, or deep saline formations). This process is technically feasible and would use many of the same technologies that have been developed by the oil and gas industry. The capacity of these rocks is large enough that they could conceivably hold all of the carbon emitted by human activities.
There’s a lot of coal in the world that’s likely to be burned, and CCS may be the best way to simultaneously burn this coal while avoiding climate change. Thus far, no large-scale CCS power plant has ever been built.
Then there is the question of how to encourage the world to switch away from fossil fuels to carbon-free energy sources (wind, solar, nuclear, and CCS).
Dr. Dessler follows this by addressing the question of why we need regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Do you think the free market is going to take consumers’ interests into account and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without government intervention? The answer is no.
Introduction to Modern Climate Change is an excellent source for anyone interested in the science behind “global warming,” and the technologies/policies that can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in the future.Last edited by dodge; 05-20-2012, 05:44 PM.
One of the ladies at work yesterday was telling me that she had been a Vegan to help reduce the world's supply of methane gas due to animal waste. A typical West Hollywood person to me, she drives a Mercedes.
I have to get Ron's Powerpoint presentation to you. Ron is the relative that owns the electric vehicle, and is part of a group that is trying to convert the U.S. into electric transprotation. He was showing me areas of the U.S. where one of these scientists claimed we could increase the electric power grid of the United States by taking advantage of the regions benefits for electricity. For example, regions where there is more wind and more sun for making electricity. Renewable energy needs to be improved. The aspect that is beneficial in a Conservative's mind is less dependence on foreign oil, and also not using up natural resources. Conservative's see the global warming thing as a money hoax, and these other issues as more important.
I do think the Obama Administration is allowing the gasoline prices to rise to force people to be aware of these issues.
Dodge, Ron is Chairman of this group - http://www.electricauto.org/?page=AboutLast edited by easeltine; 05-22-2012, 04:07 PM.
Hi Easeltine. I seriously doubt that the President of the United Stares is, as you seem to believe, “allowing gasoline prices to rise to force people to be aware of these issues.” What this appears to be to me is you, as a right-wing propagandist, attempting to discredit President Obama by suggesting he’s responsible for high gas prices. People are not happy with the price of gas, and you want that unhappiness to be re-directed towards the President. It’s an election-year tactic that I believe has no basis in reality. Where did you get that from? Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck or anyone at Fox News?
The accusation was against a comment that Politico stated that Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
I found the source and they state that the original article was a mischaracterization of what the Energy Secretary had actually said. http://www.politico.com/news/stories...#ixzz1nlwKN38K
I think that I may have heard Glenn Beck mention about it months ago. The Energy Secretary's 2008 comment was not too good, but what he is saying in the article is pretty good.
What really is responsible for higher gas prices is that there are more cars in countries like India and China, and so there is more demand for gas than supply.
For the United States to convert to electric vehicles, with China, India, and Europe following our lead is the only solution to these problems we are talking about.
Actually, it is a Republican plot led by Governor Romney to triple the prices from $1.79 in 2009 to $4.35 in 2012 to get the President out of Office.
Discovery News April 22, 2013 by Kieran Mulvaney
There is no real debate about whether climate change is occurring. The only dissent comes from the fringes, and generally from those whose research institutions or blogs are devoted, for ideological or other reasons, to attempting to debunk the notion that human activities are altering the planet's climate. But for many, the discussion, such as it is, can seem confusing. Is the Arctic Ocean predicted to be ice-free by the summer of 2100, or 2050, or 2030? And what exactly does ice-free mean? Are hurricanes supposed to become more frequent, or less frequent but more intense?
For scientists studying the impacts of climate change, such questions - and answers - are constantly being revised and refined as more information is gathered, models are fine-tuned, and feedbacks are better understood. But even as they focus their forecasts, those scientists are increasingly seeing the evidence of global warming happening right now, many of them in line with predictions and some of them even more severe and more rapid than anticipated. The following list provides a sampling of some of the key pieces of evidence that climate change is not just a prediction, it is already underway.
1. CARBON DIOXIDE CONCENTRATIONS IN THE ATMOSPHERE ARE INCREASING
This is the first, key point. By analyzing air bubbles trapped in the ice of Antarctica and Greenland, scientists have been able to determine that over the past 650,000 or so years, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) varied between 180 and 300 parts per million (ppm), and in the years immediately prior to the Industrial Revolution in the mid-eighteenth century stood at approximately 280 ppm. Since then, however, that figure has steadily increased; by the time continuous monitoring began at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, it had climbed above 310 and is now closing in on 400.
Because we know that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, we can reasonably infer that increasing the amount of CO2 that enters the atmosphere, particularly at the level of 90 million tons a day, will increase the greenhouse properties of the atmosphere and thus lead to warming. (And while, as skeptics often like to point out, water vapor is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, we are not emitting vast amounts of water vapor every day; indeed, the atmosphere can only hold a certain amount of atmosphere at a time. But, by warming the atmosphere, increased CO2 levels enable the retention of greater amounts of water vapor, thus enhancing warming.
Furthermore, scientists know, from analyzing the isotopes of the carbon in the atmosphere, that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is the result of burning fossil fuels and forests, and not the result of natural processes. Accordingly, a National Research Council study was able to point out back in 2001 that, "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and sub-surface ocean temperatures to rise." Because, indeed, as that study noted, "Temperatures are, in fact, rising."
2. THE HOTTEST DECADE ON RECORD KEEPS CHANGING
Whether measured from land or from satellite, it is clear that global temperatures are increasing.
Averaged over all land and ocean surfaces, global mean temperatures have increased by approximately 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit (0.74 degrees Celsius) over the past century. More than half of this warming—about 0.72 °F (0.4 °C)—has occurred since 1979. Because oceans tend to warm and cool more slowly than land areas, continents have warmed the most (about 1.26 °F or 0.7 °C since 1979), especially over the Northern Hemisphere.
Global Warming Pushing Trees North: The Evidence
Furthermore, the rate of increase is, well, increasing.
Even with year-to-year natural variations, underlying global surface and lower atmosphere warming trends are maintaining an upward trajectory.
NEWS: 2012 Warmest on Record for U.S.
3. THE RATE OF WARMING IS UNPRECEDENTED IN AT LEAST 11,000 YEARS
Of course, Earth's climate has historically undergone numerous significant shifts. It has been, at various times, both much warmer and much colder on average than it is now. How do we know that what is happening now is not one of those natural cycles? Well, for one thing, none of the natural forces - tilts in the planet's axis, wobbles in its orbit, or increased solar activity - are factors (the Sun, in fact, has been going through a slight cooling cycle even as temperatures on Earth have increased). Another clue that this is human-caused is the rate of change.
A graphic representation of the rate of recent change has long been provided by the famous (or, depending on your point of view, infamous) "hockey stick" reconstruction, which shows a period of relatively stable temperatures followed by an upward surge beginning in the latter half of the twentieth century. Numerous studies have reinforced that finding. In 2008, 14 years after the initial reconstruction, a new version extended the stick's 'handle' back over a millennium, showing that "recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years."
This year, a brand new study combined data from 73 sites around the world to show that temperatures today are warmer than they have been during 70-80 percent of the Holocene Epoch - the stretch of time, beginning about 11,300 years ago, since the last major Ice Age - and that, under all existing scenarios for different levels of greenhouse gas emissions, virtually every model shows temperatures will exceed the very hottest periods during that time. According to Candace Major of the National Science Foundation, "This research shows that we've experienced almost the same range of temperature change since the beginning of the industrial revolution as over the previous 11,000 years of Earth history -- but this change happened a lot more quickly."
4. ARCTIC SEA ICE IS IN A ‘DEATH SPIRAL’
The extent of summer sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean is now decreasing by a rate of about 13 percent per decade, compared to the 1979-2000 average. The six lowest annual minimum extents on record have been in the last six years; in 2012, Arctic sea ice extent reached its lowest level in the satellite record, fully 760,000 square kilometers (293,000 square miles) below the previous record, which occurred in 2007. That difference is an area about the size of the state of Texas. The 2012 minimum was in turn 3.29 million square kilometers (1.27 million square miles) (or 49 percent) below the 1979 to 2000 average minimum, representing an area nearly twice the size of the state of Alaska.
ANALYSIS: Arctic Ice Melt Linked to Chilly Spring
Much of the ice that remains is thinner, first-year ice, rather than the thicker multiyear ice that has characterized the Arctic Ocean in the past. Because it forms each winter, it is more vulnerable to break-up and melt the following summer. The growing dominance of this thinner ice means that the volume of Arctic Ocean sea ice has also collapsed, from approximately 16,855 cubic kilometers in 1979 to roughly 3,261 cubic kilometers in 2012. In other words, Arctic sea ice has lost 80 percent of its volume. As Arctic ice becomes smaller in extent and thinner in volume, it becomes increasingly vulnerable to further melt, prompting National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Director Mark Serreze to say it is in a "death spiral." Some experts think we could see nearly ice-free summers in the Arctic Ocean in a decade if present trends continue.
NEWS: Arctic Going Green from Warming
5. GREENLAND IS LOSING ICE AT AN ACCELERATING RATE
Evidence is mounting that Greenland - the second-largest ice sheet in the world after Antarctica - is losing mass at an accelerating rate. Much of this loss is occurring along Greenland's edges, where rapidly-moving glaciers and ice streams are discharging more ice into the ocean than is being accumulated on the ice cap. To date, much of this ice loss has occurred in the southern part of the landmass, but it now appears that these losses are spreading to the northwest. Additionally, in July 2012, Greenland saw melting occur across approximately 97 percent of its surface ice.
ANALYSIS: Goldilocks-Like Clouds Melted Greenland Glaciers
How much ice is Greenland losing? At present, almost 300 gigatonnes per year - which, on the face of it, means we'd have to wait a long time (about 10,500 years) until the ice sheet completely dissipated. But of course, the ice sheet will contribute significantly to sea level rise long before it disappears entirely. The rate of ice loss is increasing so rapidly that just ten years ago it was extrapolated that total ice sheet dissipation would happen in 22,000 years. In other words, the amount of time until the Greenland ice sheet vanishes has been halved - reduced by 10,000 years - in just a decade. And the rate of ice loss is still increasing. Even when the news is good, it's bad: a recent study that found the Greenland ice sheet may be more stable than we thought concluded that this may mean the Antarctic ice sheet is less stable than previously believed.
Spring on Ice: Photos
6. ANTARCTIC PENINSULA IS ALSO LOSING ICE AT AN ACCELERATING RATE
In 1995, the Larsen-A ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula collapsed. Seven years later, the adjoining Larsen B ice shelf followed suit. The same year that Larsen A disappeared, the Prince Gustav ice shelf, 60 kilometers to the north, did the same. The Wordie Ice Shelf broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula and vanished in 2009. The Wilkins Ice Shelf has been splintering for several years and is now 'hanging by a thread' to the coast.
Much of Antarctica is warming, but the Antarctic Peninsula - the region that reaches northward toward the tip of South America - is actually the most rapidly-warming part of the Southern Hemisphere, having seen temperatures increase by about 2.8 degrees Celsius over the last 50 years. Even when ice shelves don't collapse, their surfaces partially melt during summer - and according to new research, they are doing so now at a rate more than ten times greater than 600 years ago. According to one of the study's authors, "the melting we observe at this site in the past few decades has no similar analogue in the past 1000 years - here we can say the level of melting observed today is unique in the context of the past 1000 years."
ANALYSIS: Where's the Melt Factor in Antarctica?
7. THE OCEAN IS WARMING
Inevitably, much of the climate attention focuses on the planet's surface - because that's the part where we live. But 90 percent of global warming goes into heating, not the land or atmosphere, but the ocean. Because it takes far more energy to heat up the entire ocean than the lower atmosphere or a surface layer of ice, the amount that the ocean has warmed is much less than on land: on average, about 0.025 degrees Celsius a decade - or slightly more than one-tenth of a degree Celsius over the last 50 years. Interestingly, this warming is not just affecting the surface of the sea; 30 percent of ocean warming has been taking place in waters deeper than 700 meters, and some has even occurred in the deepest, abyssal waters of the ocean. This deep-water warming is most pronounced in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica, which is warming at roughly 0.03 degrees Celsius a decade, although most abyssal oceans are warming at around one-tenth that rate.
8. SEA LEVEL IS RISING
Despite skeptic assertions to the contrary, multiple measurements - using both satellites and tide gauges - show a rise in global sea levels. On average, since 1993, the sea has been rising by 3.18 mm per year, primarily as a consequence of thermal expansion due to warming, and to the melting of ice sheets.
However, this rise contains marked spatial and temporal variations. Regionally and locally, changes may be greater or lower, affected not only by thermal expansion but factors ranging from local wind patterns to the mining of groundwater aquifers. In late 2010 and early 2011, sea levels underwent a sharp fall, a fact that was gleefully leaped upon by skeptics; but NASA researchers pointed out that 2010 saw a transition from a strong El Niño to “one of the strongest La Niñas in recent memory.”
This sudden shift in the Pacific “changed rainfall patterns all across the globe, bringing massive floods to places like Australia and the Amazon basin.” The water to power that rainfall came from the ocean, the level of which consequently dipped. Since then, sea level has resumed rising at an accelerated clip of approximately 10 mm a year. Researchers believe that, even as the overall trend will remain clearly upward, it may increasingly manifest in rapid short-term divergences - deeper potholes, such as that of 2010-11, and steeper speed bumps, such as the one we are witnessing now.
NEWS: Want to Slow Sea Level Rise? Curb 4 Pollutants
9. THE PLANET IS ACCUMULATING MORE HEAT
The fact that the ocean is warming - and particularly the discovery of warming in the deep ocean - underlines an important point: the planet is accumulating more heat. Recently, skeptics have argued that an apparent reduction in increases in surface temperature somehow suggests that climate change is "slowing down" or even non-existent. But the heat trapped by greenhouse gases isn't just absorbed and radiated by land, and doesn't just heat the atmosphere. Satellite measurements of incoming and outgoing radiation, as well as studies that have combined measurements for land, ice, atmosphere and the ocean (such as this one, this one, and this one) have all shown one unmistakable fact: the planet is accumulating heat, and doing so at a growing rate. When you consider all the heat building up in the entirety of our climate, global warming has actually accelerated over the past 16 years that deniers claim nothing is happening. So the heat build-up continues unabated. Not only is global warming not slowing down, it is increasing. If and when that "hidden heat" returns to the atmosphere, the impact will likely be felt strongly.
ANALSYIS: Think the Planet Isn't Warming? Check the Ocean
10. EXTREME WEATHER IS MORE…EXTREME
Making a direct connection between climate change and extreme weather events is not straightforward. Weather, after all, is short-term and highly variable. There have always been and always will be storms and heatwaves. Climate scientists are careful not to scribe any specific weather event to global warming. However, climate creates the conditions in which weather takes place - as one expert has explained it, "climate trains the boxer, but weather throws the punches" - and scientists have long suspected that a changing climate will make certain weather events more likely and others more extreme. Many researchers say we are increasingly seeing those predicted linkages show themselves.
ANALYSIS: How Much Climate Change Was In Hurricane Sandy?
For example, a warming ocean, while actually making it more difficult for hurricanes to form, is leading to the hurricanes that do form to become stronger. When major storms do strike, higher sea levels will result in greater storm surges and coastal flooding. As the Arctic warms, circumpolar wind patterns are becoming disrupted, altering the course of the jet stream, which steers weather systems from west to east around the northern hemisphere. As a consequence, says a recent study, the jet stream is becoming “wavier,” with steeper troughs and higher ridges. Weather systems in turn are progressing more slowly, raising the chances for long-duration extreme events, like droughts, floods, extreme snowfall in winter, and heat waves. Recent studies have attributed some recent rainfall extremes to climate change, with a warmer atmosphere able to hold more moisture, while others indicate that many recent heat-waves would not have occurred without global warming.
Weather events will always be subject to natural variability. But weather extremes are one predicted consequence of a changing climate, and the evidence is growing that recent examples of those extremes are not isolated, but rather harbingers of a new normal in a warming world.