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Climate Change

January 25th, 2006

Talking about “coincidences,” the right-wingers like to debunk and mock global warming as often as possible. Recent weather patterns, they tell us, are just the high end of a “normal” weather cycle, nothing to be concerned about. Well, if that is so, then explain this:

Last year was the warmest recorded on Earth’s surface, and it was unusually hot in the Arctic, U.S. space agency NASA said on Tuesday.

All five of the hottest years since modern record-keeping began in the 1890s occurred within the last decade, according to analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In descending order, the years with the highest global average annual temperatures were 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004, NASA said in a statement. “It’s fair to say that it probably is the warmest since we have modern meteorological records,” said Drew Shindell of the NASA institute in New York City.

“Using indirect measurements that go back farther, I think it’s even fair to say that it’s the warmest in the last several thousand years.”

So, is that a “coincidence”? If it’s the high end of a weather cycle, then it’s still the highest end in thousands of years. And it’s not just that and the fact that we had a record number of hurricanes last year, there is wild weather all over. How long will we live in the fantasy that we can dump 22 billion tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the earth’s atmosphere each year, year after year, and not see any adverse changes in global temperatures?

And to those who guffaw and talk about how it’s snowing more where they are, the overall warming trend does not mean it’s getting warmer everywhere, it means that the overall increase is affecting and shifting weather patterns and creating global climate change–which includes more cold weather and snowfall in some areas. Like, say, here in Japan. “Global warming” is almost a misnomer; “global climate change” is perhaps more accurate.

Perhaps a little bit more serious consideration is in order.

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  1. Brad
    January 25th, 2006 at 10:05 | #1

    It’s frightening. I was mildly terrified while commuting home a couple of months ago when I heard a boffin on the radio state that we’re practically at the point at which the climate change is irreversible. We’re idiots. Incredible how man’s self-interest can basically ruin the planet.

    Although part of me – the part with the mental crossed fingers – hopes that the ecosystem is more clever than we and has a built-in negative feedback loop. More carbon dioxide, more plants, more photosynthesis, less carbon dioxide. I can hope.

  2. ykw
  3. January 27th, 2006 at 01:37 | #3

    I happened to find your weblog. It is interesting. I wrote about strange weather of Japan in my weblog. If you are interested in Japanese culture,,would you visit my site? apple

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