Ever wonder how to reconcile the gazillion arguments out there surrounding climate change? Probably not, because we know that, as astute readers, you’re smart and you agree with us that climate change is, indeed, real, otherwise we wouldn’t be writing about it all the time and you wouldn’t be reading our stories! But hey, one more final study on this stuff won’t hurt. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just released one of the biggest reports of its kind, gathering data from over 45 countries on the world’s climate, tracking changes over the past 50 years.
One of the critical revelations that skeptics should know is that looking at year-to-year changes in global warming doesn’t reveal as much as looking at decade-to-decade changes. Peter Stott, a major contributor to the report, says, “Despite the variability caused by short-term changes, the analysis conducted for this report illustrates why we are so confident the world is warming. When we look at air temperature and other indicators of climate, we see highs and lows in the data from year to year because of natural variability. Understanding climate change requires looking at the longer-term record. When we follow decade-to-decade trends using multiple data sets and independent analyses from around the world, we see clear and unmistakable signs of a warming world.”
Deke Arndt, chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center and co-editor of the report, says, “The temperature increase of one degree Fahrenheit over the past 50 years may seem small, but it has already altered our planet.” He continues, “Glaciers and sea ice are melting, heavy rainfall is intensifying and heat waves are more common. And, as the new report tells us, there is now evidence that over 90% of warming over the past 50 years has gone into our ocean.”
Meanwhile, one of the major issues the world has yet to deal with is this: As we attempt to reverse and solve global warming, let us not create new technologies that generate a whole set of problems of their own. Wind farms are a case in point. There's plenty of controversy over their possible health effects and habitation disturbances.
So let’s hear it, guys. Any more final comments on this matter? It seems pretty clear that climate change is, in fact, fact, factually speaking. But the controversy is likely to keep on keepin’ on, just like the good ‘ol evolution debate.
[Homepage image via flickr/Alan Vernon; top image courtesy linfield.edu]