Monday, February 6, 2012

Global Warming, Fossil Fools, and Real Science

Is the planet really warming? 
NASA scientists answer that question with an unequivocal YES! 
Below is a NASA video animation that shows 130 years of global warming in 26 seconds. Blue colors indicate Lower temperatures. Red colors indicate Higher temperatures. The year is shown at the bottom of the world map.

This visualization of the data is from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures. Temperatures are compared to the average temperature during the mid-20th century baseline period (1951-1980).

How can some people argue that global warming has stopped?
The video above shows a clear trend of increasing global average temperatures over 130 years. Dr. Peter Gleick, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an internationally recognized climate expert, wrote that "global warming has not stopped and those who repeat this claim over and over are either lying, ignorant, or exhibiting a blatant disregard for the truth."

Dr. Gleick explained: "All of the false claims take advantage of one fundamental truth about the average temperature of our planet: it varies a little, naturally, from year to year. Some years are a bit warmer than average and some are a bit colder than average because of El Niños, La Niñas, cloud variability, volcanic activity, ocean conditions, and just the natural pulsing of our planetary systems. When you filter these out, the human-caused warming signal is clear."

Those who make false claims about global warming to justify the continued burning of fossil fuels, are sometimes called "fossil fools." Gleick points out that false claims about global warming do not look at the 130 year temperature data set and examine the overall trend, which shows a clear temperature increase with time. Instead, they select specific data points within the natural variability, or select one limited time period, and use this "cherry-picked" data to support no temperature change or even cooling.

In conclusion, Dr. Gleick wrote: "The climate drives the weather. People care about the weather – what happens day to day – our weather can bring us joy or misery. It is time to care about the climate as well, because our decisions and actions today will reverberate in our weather for centuries to come."

For additional details, see Dr. Gleick's article.

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