Saturday, February 2, 2013

Climate Change Concerns: Warming trend continues. Change.

["January ended with much rain. My backyard became a swamp."]

The job of finding average global temperatures is not rocket science but I still like to turn to NASA for their annual updates and reports concerning global warming. It should come as no surprise to many that NASA's recent report about 2012 temperatures begins with the following:

NASA scientists say 2012 was the ninth warmest of any year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. With the exception of 1998, the nine warmest years in the 132-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the hottest years on record. 

["February began with snowy, windy days. Much preferred, says me."]

In other words, climate instability, including extreme weather events, will continue to be the new normal because of, for the most part, human-based activities. The recent report out of NASA is very clear.

"One more year of numbers isn't in itself significant," GISS climatologist Gavin Schmidt said. "What matters is this decade is warmer than the last decade, and that decade was warmer than the decade before. The planet is warming. The reason it's warming is because we are pumping increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat and largely controls Earth's climate. It occurs naturally and also is emitted by the burning of fossil fuels for energy. Driven by increasing man-made emissions, the level of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere has been rising consistently for decades.

Though trustworthy signs could not be clearer that a global decrease in man-made carbon emissions is absolutely required, some will still say global warming is over because it snowed last night.


Photos by GH


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