Friday, October 16, 2009

Global Warming Myths and Facts

Due to the persistent publicizing of myths and misleading statements about climate change, whether or not humans are the cause, and whether we can do something about it (including those annoying and reckless ads proclaiming CO2 is Green), and due to the fact that I presented this information at church last Sunday, I'll be posting some common myths about global warming and the facts that refute them. Remember the international Day of Action on climate change Saturday, Oct. 24! Here in Santa Fe, it starts at 1 p.m. at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Santa Fe Trail. See last week's post for more info. Hope to see you there!

1. Myth: The Earth isn't really warming. This myth has been bolstered by a controversy over how much temperatures have been increasing or whether they have possibly been cooling over the last several years to a decade. In any case, it requires at least a 30-year period to determine a climate pattern, as opposed to a weather pattern. Also watch out for myths based on local trends. Conclusions about global warming are based on worldwide and hemisphere-wide data.

Fact: "According to all major temperature reconstructions published in peer-reviewed journals, the increase in temperature in the 20th century and the temperature in the late 20th century is the highest in the record." (Wikipedia; also see the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, RealClimate and many others). The actual temperature record goes back to 1850. Since then, scientists have measured tree rings, ice layers, coral reefs, and other data from all over the world and calibrated it to these temperatures. They can then use older tree ring, ice, and other data to tell what temperatures were in the past. Based on this data, global average temperatures are the highest they've been in at least 1,000 years.

I'll continue this series next week. Until then, post your thoughts in Comments and
Stay cool,

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