Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/27/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Is the USA just lucky? Well, actually...

Riddle me this: America is enjoying a nearly unprecedented respite from weather-related disasters, yet the planet has just experienced one of the hottest years on record. How can it be that the climate in America is calm, the Arctic ice cap isn't melted, yet scientists still shout that disaster looms?

A Global Warming PSA poster.

A Global Warming PSA poster.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/27/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: global warming, climate change, ice caps, temprature, pollution, scientists, consensus, flooding


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -It appears to be a riddle that nobody can solve, and indeed we hardly can. The nemesis of stable climate, CO2, is slowly climbing, reaching the infamous 400PPM mark, with a November 2013 average reading by NASA and Scripps of 395.10.

Atmospheric CO2 concentration has been steadily rising.

Atmospheric CO2 concentration has been steadily rising.


As the record books now reveal, 2013 was also one of the hottest years on record, and all of the ten hottest years in recorded human history occurred within the last decade. Yes, we're warming up.

This map shows the worldwide average warming. The poles as well as the Sahara and the Middle East ar

This map shows the worldwide average warming. The poles as well as the Sahara and the Middle East are facing the brunt of the warming.


Despite this trend, which by all scientific claims should be catastrophic, the United States has experienced the quietest year on record in terms of tornadoes, with the rotating columns of death reduced to nearly half of what should be average.

Major hurricanes have been absent for three years now, with none of category 3 or higher striking the United States. The Atlantic hurricane season was surprisingly quiet, despite predictions that it would be a busy season.

This year

This year's tornadoes in the U.S. are down, well below normal. This is not consistent with the pedestrian understanding of global warming catastrophe.


Can we admit it yet? The scientists don't know what they're talking about.

Well, that's partially true. As long as they miss predictions of hurricane season intensity and the Arctic ice cap doesn't melt as predicted, we can reasonably conclude that someone forgot to carry the 1 somewhere.

However, as much as we'd like to debunk climate change horror scenarios, the scientists are still right. The planet is still warming and although atmospheric warming has hit a plateau, we have recently observed that the oceans continue to warm. This warming is correlated to the increase in CO2 and other greenhouse gasses.

Global climate change, like all else in nature, isn't evenly distributed. In fact, in what could be one of the cruelest twists of fate for the rest of the world, the United States, one of the most industrialized nations on the planet and a key culprit in emissions, suffers the least from global climate change.

The United States has a high standard of living, advanced technology, and all the wonderful goodies modern industrialization cheaply provides. This means Americans feel global climate change the least. We're very well insulated. Added to this is the relatively pacific weather North America enjoys, and it becomes hard to convince many that global climate change is even happening.

This, combined with the politicization of the issue in America means scientists are reluctant to correlate specific weather events to global climate change. Indeed, many scientists say this is currently impossible.

The problem is the models scientists use to predict changes in the Earth's weather patterns as CO2 concentrations rise. The natural environment is filled with variables and there are simply no models that take every variable into account. This means that scientists, at best, can only make general predictions with any degree of accuracy. They can generally conclude that temperatures will rise, that extreme weather will increase, and that extinctions, sea-level rises, and other problems will occur.

However, the public, especially the media is always hungry for the details. How will this affect me? How much will the temperature increase at my house? Will I have to pay more? What will change for me? This tempts scientists into setting dates for specific scenarios, something that is really impossible when all of the variables cannot be taken into account.

In America, the answer to how much it will affect you, remains "very little," perhaps to the chagrin of those preaching the significance of the problem.

This shows the temperature anomalies for Nov. 2013. Notice the US is fortunate with cooler temperatu

This shows the temperature anomalies for Nov. 2013. Notice the US is fortunate with cooler temperatures than much of the rest of the world, rather than warmer.


While Americans remain blissful about the status quo, the rest of the world, in the main, is feeling the effects. Typhoon Hiyan/Yolanda devastated the Philippines. Drought continues in the Sahel.  The arctic ice cap continues to melt, although more of it returned this year than predicted; the cap is still smaller than it ought to be.

None of these events can be tied specifically and entirely to global warming. Even without global warming there would be storms and droughts and extinctions and other terrible things in nature. Yet, there's a sense that these things are being exacerbated.

Climate change is a natural part of living on a dynamic planet. On a dynamic planet, the local effects of climate change will have variety, year over year. This was a quiet year for North America, but it's just one data point.

Rapid climate change is catastrophic, and in many parts of the world, it's unquestionably real. In our present case, it's not the result of a megavolcano or asteroid impact, but rather human CO2 emissions. The speed of that change is leaving ecosystems with very little time to adapt resulting in local catastrophes that we don't notice. Around the globe, climate change is the new normal.

Oddly, in America we just don't feel it yet. But we will, that's a fact.  And when that happens, a quiet weather season will just be an anomalous data point on a dire hockey-stick chart that we ridicule today, and will bemoan tomorrow.



---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Green

Handwriting on the wall: Arctic warming twice as much as anticipated, USA to suffer consequences

Image of Arctic sea ice in 2012 (top) and 1980 (bottom).

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People lie, numbers don't. The numbers are revealing an alarming trend in the Arctic. While global temperature increases have moderated across the globe (they are still rising, just slower) the Arctic continues to trap more heat which is melting ice and impacting ... continue reading


Study: 41 percent of Earth's amphibians destined for extinction Watch

Image of The issue of widespread extinction is exacerbated because of the huge gaps in scientists' knowledge about the planet's biodiversity.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A grim report as published in "Nature" magazine warns that the planet Earth's many animal species are irrevocably headed towards extinction. Forty-one percent of all the world's amphibians are set "to go the way of the dodo" bird unless the governments of the world ... continue reading


Ford takes hybrid plunge with electric-powered mountain bike Watch

Image of The Ford-branded beach cruiser is powered by an electric battery. The battery gives the user up to 20 miles of pedal-free operation or even longer, if the rider pedals part of the time.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

As part of its goal to put more lower-emission vehicles on the road, the Ford Motor Company has struck a deal with the California-based electric bicycle company Pedego: a battery-powered mountain bike. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Ford-branded beach ... continue reading


Move over honey! A new study suggests bees may have the cure for hair loss! Watch

Image of A substance used by bees to seal openings in their hives may be capable of preventing or reversing hair loss.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study out of Japan may bring hope to the millions of people around the world who struggle with hair loss, baldness and thinning hair. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Propolis, a resin-like material taken from honeybee hives, has helped speed up the growth ... continue reading


YUCK! 270,000 tons of garbage is sitting in the ocean Watch

Image of There is 269,000 tons of plastic pollution in the ocean, levels ten times greater than previously thought.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For decades, the international scientific communities have known-and warned-about the growing amount of plastic trash in the world's oceans. Since the 1990s it has been known that masses of plastic can clump up in the ocean and form islands of debris. LOS ... continue reading


California drought the opposite of what we should see if global warming were to blame Watch

Image of The drought in California has lasted for three years, but it's not because of global warming, NOAA says.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Government scientists have weighed in on the California drought, challenging the popular conclusion that the drought has been caused by global warming. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After three years of crippling drought, Californians have asked the question if ... continue reading


Natural climate change or global warming? Perhaps California's drought isn't your fault Watch

Image of A study shows California's drought to be natural rather than man-made.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Swimming in November, sweating in December; according to the National Climatic Data Center, California is experiencing its warmest year in 120 years of weather records. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The historic drought scorching up and down California is not as ... continue reading


African giraffe population drops by 40 percent over last 15 years Watch

Image of A rumor originating from Tanzania claims that the brain and bone marrow of the giraffe can help cure HIV has also led to a fall in its numbers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unless immediate steps are taken to redress the issue, the African giraffe could well be on the way to extinction. The giraffe population has already fallen by 40 percent in the last 15 years, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scientists predict 16 FEET of SEA LEVEL RISE as a literal Mt. Everest melts into Antarctic seas every two years Watch

Image of Antarctic glaciers are melting into the sea at the rate of 161 billion metric tons per year. That ice is not being replaced and is contributing to sea level rise.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another study has been published, concluding that warmer ocean waters are melting Antarctic glaciers and contributing to sea level rise. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has enough land ice to raise sea level by 16 feet alone. Meanwhile, 2014 is making the record books as ... continue reading


An Africa without desert? Study looks into ancient period of green Africa Watch

Image of Africa used to have massive grasslands and savannas, where now there is only desert.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study has revealed that Africa has been subject to mass climate change in the past, and may be incredibly vulnerable to it now. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An increase in the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere was key to an increase in rainfall ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
2 There was a man of Zorah of the tribe of Dan, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:3-4, 5-6, 16-17
3 Be a sheltering rock for me, always accessible; you ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:5-25
5 In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 19th, 2014 Image

St. Nemesius
December 19: Martyr of Egypt. He was burned alive in Alexandria, Egypt, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter