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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
From the Will Rogers quote, \x34All politics is applesauce.\x34
Climate is always changing, but that doesn’t make the current pace of change harmless
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About this blog
Pat Cunningham offers an unabashedly liberal perspective on national politics. A note of caution: The language gets a little salty on some of the sites to which this blog links. So, don't say you weren't warned. By the way, this blog's name is ...
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Liberal Views
Pat Cunningham offers an unabashedly liberal perspective on national politics. A note of caution: The language gets a little salty on some of the sites to which this blog links. So, don't say you weren't warned. By the way, this blog's name is inspired by the Will Rogers quote, \x34All politics is applesauce.\x34 In 41 years as a print and broadcast journalist, most of those years with the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, Pat has covered national politics under eight American presidents. He's attended 10 national political conventions, Republican and Democratic alike, and has interviewed countless prominent political players, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.
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June 9, 2014 12:05 p.m.



global_warming_panic1

Some global-warming skeptic, a Republican politician  whose name I didn’t catch, was on TV this morning arguing that climate change is nothing to worry about.

“Climate is always changing,” he said, which, of course, is true. But his implication that there’s nothing to get worked-up about in the current pace of change is myopic nonsense.

The Royal Society puts the matter in proper perspective HERE:

All major climate changes, including natural ones, are disruptive. Past climate changes led to extinction of many species, population migrations, and pronounced changes in the land surface and ocean circulation. The speed of the current climate change is faster than most of the past events, making it more difficult for human societies and the natural world to adapt.

(Snip)

Recent estimates of the increase in global average temperature since the end of the last ice age are 4 to 5 °C (7 to 9 °F). That change occurred over a period of about 7,000 years, starting 18,000 years ago. CO2 has risen by 40% in just the past 200 years, contributing to human alteration of the planet’s energy budget that has so far warmed Earth by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F). If the rise in CO2 continues unchecked, warming of the same magnitude as the increase out of the ice age can be expected by the end of this century or soon after. This speed of warming is more than ten times that at the end of an ice age, the fastest known natural sustained change on a global scale.

 And there’s THIS:

Yes, climate has varied in the past, for many different reasons, some better understood than others. Present-day climate change is well understood, and different. Noting that something happened before without humans does not demonstrate that humans are not causing it today.

For example, we see in ice core records from Antarctica and Greenland that the world cycled in and out of glacial periods over 120Kyr cycles. That climate cycle’s timing is fairly well understood to be caused by changes in the orbit of the earth, though the mechanism behind the response has not been conclusively established. These orbital cycles are regular and predictable and they are definitely not the cause of today’s warming. The other important difference between the glacial-interglacial cycles and today is the rapidity of the current change. The rate of warming is on the order of 10 times faster today than in the ice cores.

Such rapid warming on a global scale is quite rare in the geological record, and while it may not be entirely unprecedented, there is strong evidence that whenever such a change has happened, whatever the cause, it was a catastrophic event for the biosphere.

And THIS:

Natural or geologic climate change should not be confused with modern climate change. Today, when most people talk about climate change, they are really talking about modern climate change, also known as anthropogenic — human-caused — climate change. The climate change we are experiencing today differs dramatically from geologic climate change because:



  1. Modern climate change is caused by humans.


  2. Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the primary driver for modern climate change. This is in contrast to geologic climate change, which is primarily caused by changes in the Earth’s rotation or axis, or changes in the amount of solar energy.


  3. Modern climate change is occurring at a much more rapid rate than geologic climate change.




 

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