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.
By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
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.
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 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'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 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.
Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal: Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.
NASA's chief scientist Ellen Stofan, stated at a Washington panel discussion, that in a decade or so, there will be strong indications of life outside Earth. Stofan added that "aliens" doesn't necessarily refer to "little green men" but, this could mean "little ... continue reading
Thirty-six years ago, a pocket shark was discovered off the Peru coast, and just recently, another pocket shark, reported to be only the second one seen by humans, was discovered in a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ... continue reading
Scientists have completed mapping out a new reservoir of magma
underneath Yellowstone's massive supervolcano. The magma was found about
12 to 28 miles beneath the surface of the volcano and with computer
mapping technology scientists have determined that it is ... continue reading
The number of species we have successfully discovered throughout history are only about a fifth of the speculated total number of them coexisting with us. In a recent discovery, it was found that the vampire squid has distinct difference from the true squid we know of. ... continue reading
Unexplained phenomena of strong dust storms are sweeping cities all over the globe, blocking the sun and darkening the day. The massive dust storms, known as haboob in Arabic, begun polluting some parts of the world at the beginning of the year. Theories surfaced as ... continue reading
There is liquid water on Mars, Nasa has announced following tests done by the Curiosity rover. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This news contradicts decades of thought that Earth's neighbor was too cold and arid for liquid water to exist, and may mean that ... continue reading
A huge asteroid, with an estimated size of 10 to 40m, is expected to come in contact with Earth, closer than it did the last time. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Asteroid 2012 TC4 was approximated at about the size of the Statue of Liberty from the torch ... continue reading
female western gray whale from Russia now holds the record as the
mammal with the longest known migration, researchers say. Named Vavara,
which is the Russian equivalent fro "Barbara," the plucky whale swam a
total of 13,988 miles in 172 days. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading
its fourth year of drought, large amounts of water is mysteriously
vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Farmers who have used
the delta for generations are the prime suspects. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Complaints from two large ... continue reading
Using backpack flight recorders, scientists have discovered that the blackpoll warbler songbirds are able fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. These tiny songbirds, weighing about 4.2 ounces (119 grams), were able to complete the flight without a stop for over 1,410 ... continue reading