Putting the Global in Global Warming

It seems to me that a lot of people are concentrating on the local details of climate change rather than on the global issues that are both readily apparent and far more reliably predictable than specific local effects.

Unfortunately, many people read that there are specific local predictions about more of a particular storm or changes in specific rainfall patterns and then, if they don’t become apparent and obvious every single year, another ridiculous concept as these things will always vary from year to year, they assume that climate change is not real. This may become a fatal error.

The more important issue however, is that we have a tremendous amount of evidence that climate change is real and that it is indeed human caused. What will the effects be? Some are blatantly obvious and can already be seen today. Some are not so.

However, if we are causing climate change at a rate that is more rapid than at any other time in the last N million years, we have a moral imperative to do everything in our power to stop it. Even if we are unsure of the exact effects, it is obvious that the affects will be disastrous and far outside the norm on the planet.

We must protect the biosphere upon which we depend for our very survival.

As a friendly reminder of the global nature of global warming, or more accurately anthropogenic climate change, here are a few articles about the global nature of the problem and a reminder that the global affects are not truly a subject of debate, except among ExxonMobil employees.

In general, the more local any prediction, the less well known it is. However, the local affects do NOT call into question the entire wealth of evidence in support of anthropogenic climate change (a.k.a. human caused global warming).

So, what are the known and global affects of climate change that are generally not disputed?

Here’s a new one, and the impetus for this post. All of the forecasts predicted it. And yet, none predicted it would happen so fast. Apparently, the oceans turning acidic decades earlier than previously expected. Note to those who respect only peer reviewed articles, the article in this link references a peer reviewed article to be published in Science.

The cryosphere, i.e. the world’s ice, is melting. Here are some articles that discuss that.
Climate change threat to alpine ski resorts.
Arctic Ice Melting Faster Than Expected.
Glaciers Are Melting Faster Than Expected, UN Reports.

Of course, ice melt and warming ocean both cause the sea level to rise. One raises the ocean level by increasing the total amount of water, the other by expanding the existing water. This is one of the things that is predicted by anthropogenic climate change. Though there are disputes about the quantity of the sea level rise, all predictions based on global warming predict a rise in sea level. Here are some articles discussing that point.
Report says sea level rise worse than feared.
Sea level rise due to global warming.
Sea Level Rise – The State of the Science.

Anyway, my point in all of this is to point out that the debates about the specific local predictions of various models of climate change are important to have but are unrelated to the more important point that global warming or, more accurately, anthropogenic climate change, is real and the situation is dire. We must avoid getting bogged down in the minor issues and pay attention to the major issue. Climate change is likely to be catastrophic to the biosphere. We are causing it. We have a moral imperative to take all possible action to prevent this.

For our species and for many other species with whom we share this planet, we must act now.

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2 Responses to Putting the Global in Global Warming

  1. Paulidan says:

    Not even in the last 10,000 years. The Holocene max was much hotter due to the enormous C02 emissions of the bronze age civilizations.

  2. Paulidan,

    Do you have any peer reviewed papers that show that? I’m having some trouble finding a really clear graph. The ones on page five of this PDF seem to show no warmer period than today since over 100,000 years ago.

    Global temperature change

    Let me know what you find.

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