Where's the global warming? Tempratures remain flat
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According to climate change skeptics, the Earth's temperature has "plateaued" and global warming has taken a hiatus. Virtually all records seem to agree with this assessment, so what gives?
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Is the sky falling or not? From the looks of protests and the strident proclamations of world leaders, you would think it was. However, the science suggests that temperatures are not increasing. Climate skeptics are quick to provide evidence which includes charts and data demonstrating their claim.
So who's lying? Can we trust the evidence?
Of course, we can trust the evidence. Numbers do not lie, people do. Since 1995, the Earth's temperature has plateaued and scientists are hard pressed to explain this pause.
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However, the pause or hiatus as it is caused it aptly named. Global warming is expected to resume and may have already done so. 2014 is on track to be one of the hottest years in recorded history. Certainly, a pause is not the same as cooling and climate continues to change and shift with each passing year.
Billions of humans cannot fill the atmosphere with more CO2, methane and other pollutants for centuries and expect there to be no result.
The take away from the plateau data is that Earth's climate systems are far more complex than any models can figure, and while precise predictions are difficult to make, trends remain valid.
Although global surface temperatures have plateaued, those charts which suggest global warming is on pause aren't taking into account the entire globe. It's the same problem that plagues the charts used by the other side to warn you about climate change.
For example, while the atmosphere has slowed its warming, the oceans are heating at an alarming rate. Ice is melting rapidly from both Antarctica and Greenland. These melting ice sheets contribute to sea-level rise. The Northwest Passage above Canada is about to open to shipping as the Arctic ice cap melts away. Scientists already predicted ice-free summers for the Arctic ice cap, however these have not come as predicted. Still, the ice threatens to disappear.
A leveling temperature isn't the same as a reversal. We may find it very difficult to make accurate short term predictions about the climate, but the long-term trends remain. The planet is storing more heat energy than it is radiating back into space and this means that it is warming. Just because we cannot always feel it, or because we set a record low doesn't mean the danger is past.
Our climate continues to show signs of disruption and anomalies that are unprecedented in modern, recorded history. If we are to adapt, we need to accept that environmentally, we're headed in the wrong direction.
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