Struggling with the climate message
Environmental organisations find it difficult to convince ordinary people of the reality of climate change, despite a noticeable increase in extreme weather events.There is no question that one of the challenges of dealing with an issue like climate change is that it is a bit more abstract, a bit more remote in time and space than an urban air pollution problem or a water pollution issue.
Several organisations have been campaigning for concrete action environmental affairs for decades and despite their efforts, there is rising scepticism of climate change, particularly in the US, where several politicians have questioned the science.
According to a recent poll conducted by Ipsos, only 59% agreed that human activity had mainly contributed to climate change, compared to 93% of respondents in Indonesia, 92% in Mexico and 87% in Germany.
Has Hurricane Sandy, along with other rare weather events this year, such as the drought across the mid US, not made many people think that climate change is real. I was under the impression that climate change had become much more of a hot topic due to the storm.
To me one of the most compelling pieces of data is the reduction in Arctic sea ice. http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/fi...09/Figure3.png . The ice extent last year was less than half the size of when satellite records begain in the late 70's. The ice area use to be the size of the USA, save Alaska and now it is like everything east of Colorado has melted off in the last 40 years. That is a LOT of ice that has melted.
Dhrivnak, what do you say to the idea that multidecadel natural cycles could be mostly responsible for the melting of the Arctic sea ice?
the theory is that the Arctic ocean goes through warming and cooling phases which last decades. and in the 90's it changed from a cool pahse to a warm phase, so actually the ocean is warming naturally, which has an impact on sea ice.
There is room to believe that the AMO could be responsible for some of the increase in temperature in the ocean, and therefore the melting of the Arctic sea ice. However man-made global warming also plays a large part.
It should be fairly easy to back that hypothesis up with some published figures if it's true?
Originally Posted by Ulrik
I wish there was some data to back that up. Europeans have been searching for the NW passage since the 1600's with no success. Not even Eskimo legends talk of an ice free passage. But then the passage opend in 2007, and 4 of the last 5 years. Coincidence, maybe or more likely the planet is warming and it it does it will be a challenge for us to adapt.
Originally Posted by Ulrik
And remember it is not just the polar caps.
• Temperature readings from NASA, NOAA, Hadley UK, and Berkley study all show a similar trend with the slope getting worse. I have yet to see any data over more than 10 years that does not point to warming. http://berkeleyearth.org/analysis/
• 85% of the world's glaciers are in retreat http://nsidc.org/glims/glaciermelt/
• Sea levels are rising this century after being stable for more than 5000 years http://sealevel.colorado.edu
• FEMA disasters are more than doubling each decade http://www.fema.gov/disasters/grid/year
• Arctic ice data as discussed above
• Antarctic ice mass loss http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.ne...3703-2012.html
• Greenland ice mass balance http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-ma...-the-greenland
• Significant 25% coral reef die off. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...3_TVcoral.html
• Ocean thermal balance http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/
• Climate zones have shifted http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/...map/52787142/1
• Extreme weather events http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0820114041.htm
Trip to Switzerland and seeing how several glaciers have retreated miles up the valley.
Trip to Glacier NP where all the glaciers are in significant retreat and are likely to be gone by 2025.
My summer A/C is now higher than my winter heating costs
My cousin who does search and rescue on Mt. Ranier says there is a huge change (melting) over the last 30 years
I would love data that shows the contrary.
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