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Global Warming – All About Nothing?

Don’t put away that snow shovel just yet…..

A recent NY Times article referenced a federal government report issued last year, intended to be the authoritative statement of known climate trends in the United States, pointed to the likelihood of more frequent snowstorms in the Northeast and less frequent snow in the South and Southeast as a result of  long-term temperature and precipitation patterns.

Recent snowfall in Washington, DC

Does the recent onslaught of snow storms in the United States mean that global warming is  a farce?  Sceptics of global warming are using record-setting snows to taunt that this looks more like global cooling.  Those on the other side in the climate-change debate will respond that the major storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more intense and frequent weather events.  But some independent climate experts say the blizzards in the Northeast no more prove that the planet is cooling than the lack of snow in Vancouver or the downpours in Southern California prove that it is warming.  Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, who is a climate sceptic in Congress, believes that the extreme weather reinforces doubts about scientists’ conclusion that global warming is most likely caused by human activity and “unequivocal.”  Joseph Romm, a climate-change expert responded, “Idealogues in the Senate keep pushing the anti-scientific disinformation that big snowstorms are evidence against human-caused global warming.”  What do you think about global warming?

As snow produced white-out conditions, Rush Limbaugh tweaked because the announcement of the creation of a new climate service had to be conducted by conference call, instead of news conference , because the federal government was shut down by the storm. Matt Drudge, who delights in tweaking climate change entusiasts, noted that a Senate hearing on global warming was canceled because of the weather.  Another criticism came from the Virginia Replublican party, when they put up an advertisement on the Web – titled “12 inches of Global Warming.”  The advertisement urges voters to call Representatives Rick Boucher and Perriello, two Virginia Democrats, who voted for the federal cap-and-trade legistration last year, to ask if they will help with shoveling.

Speculation continues on the meaning of severe weather events.  Climate scientists say that no individual episode of severe weather can be attributed to global climate trends, however, there is evidence that such events will probably become more frequent as global temperatures rise.  Jeff Masters, a meteorologist, said that the recent snows do not, by themselves demonstrate anything about the trajectory of the planet.  The bottom line is that the definition of climate is a measure of decades and centuries, not months and years.  He further said that government and academic studies had consistently predicted an increasing frequency of record-setting storms, because warmer air carries more moisture.  Therefore, if the government scientists are correct, look for more snow.  Dr. Masters wrote on his blog that both climate-change scientists and climate-change contrarians agree that no single weather event can be blamed on climate change. 

 In conclusion, my personal thoughts about global warming are that human activity doesn’t help the situation, however, the Earth is a fairly robust environment and adjustments of temperature over time is normal based on scientific research  (hence, Ice Ages, etc. that have occurred before we were even here).  It is very easy to use singular events like extreme weather conditions (Hurricane Katrina, etc.) to either dispute or support global warming, but they are very narrow-minded views.  Months or years are only specks in the timeline of this planet.  We all need to keep in mind that climate is, as stated earlier, by definition, a measure of decades and centuries, not months or years.  If more people had this perspective, there would be less worrying about global warming.

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5 Responses

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  1. rbutler says

    what is the password to the astronomy blog? ive been trying to log in but with no luck

  2. mbrienza says

    Galileo2010

  3. rwu95 says

    I believe that we do have a problem with Global Warming. CO2 is proven to trap heat. Increase in carbon dioxide is preventing heat from escaping earths atmosphere into space. In the 1800’s earth had a CO2 level of 280 parts per million, and today we have approximately 390 parts per million. This means since the earth was born, it accumulated 280 parts per million of CO2 gas, which took approximately 4.5billion years to accumulate, and in a little over 200 years, it rose over 100 parts per million. If we do not stop the release of CO2 or limit the release, in another hundred years or so we will have doubled the CO2 levels. So in a little over 300 years we will have managed to accumulate the same amount of CO2 that took the earth 4.5 billion years. Increased CO2 means increased trapped heat circulating our planet.

  4. Robert Wiggin says

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  5. Priest Rasch says

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, but I actually believed you’d have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.



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