One day past the Winter Solstice, after 34 hours of rain melted last week’s half-foot of snow, the flooding Vermilion River rushes on its winding way to Lake Erie. This seems to be another global warming-type day — heavy rain, instead of snow at solstice time. Now, I understand that you can’t for sure peg any one unusual weather event to global warming. It’s the overall increase in number and severity of such events that you can, with certainty, peg to global warming. 300 years ago, before the Industrial Revolution and the keeping of weather records, who can say a very rainy solstice did not occur? And, by the same token, if the Industrial Revolution had never occurred, or if 20 years ago we had begun to steeply ramp down fossil fuel burning, who can say we would not have a flooding river today? But, leaving aside conjecture, the truth is that every day is a global warming day — because that is the world we live in. And every weather event is a product of our warmer and still-warming planet, as it ruthlessly seeks a new balance.
The Vermilion River rushes and winds on to Lake Erie, 2013-12-22
The Vermilion River over its banks, 2013-12-22
Winter Solstice “Winter Solstice 2013: Shortest day of the year, but sunset already creeping later” – The Washington Post, 2013-12-20
Vermilion River “Vermilion River” – Wikipedia
can’t for sure peg any one unusual weather event “It’s Simple: Global Warming Is Causing the Extreme Weather” by Bill Blakemore, ABC News, 2012-07-15
The few little bubbles before you turned up the heat were like the occasional extreme weather events before the year 1800. That’s when the Industrial Revolution began and then started heating the atmosphere by pouring heat-trapping CO2 into the atmosphere by burning coal and other fossil fuels, and by other industrial-scale activities including clearing of forests, which also release large amounts of CO2.
Before 1800, extreme heat-related weather events — like the bubbles before you turned up the heat — were far less common than now.
And as industrial humanity heated up the air with more greenhouse gases, the extreme heat-related weather events became more frequent.
But it doesn’t make any sense to say any one bubble “was caused by” turning up the gas.
This simple “Parable of the Pot” avoids what is called “the single cause fallacy.”
Of course there have always been extreme heat waves, drought and flood – going back Billions of years, but it’s just that manmade global warming is now shown by virtually all the world’s professional climate scientists to be causing them to be much more frequent, and in some cases (such as intense downpours, intense snowfalls, the extension and height of heat waves) to be more severe more frequently.
Industrial Revolution “Industrial Revolution” – Wikipedia
every day is a global warming day “Hurricane Sandy – Relation to global warming” – Wikipedia
According to NCAR senior climatologist Kevin E. Trenberth, “The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.
ruthlessly “9 Reasons Why 2013 Was Not The Best Year In Human History” By Ryan Koronowski and Katie Valentine, ClimateProgress, December 16, 2013
- 1. Global CO2 levels hit 400 ppm for the first time in recorded history.
- 2. It’s getting hotter, faster.
- 3. A huge number of animals and plants face extinction.
- 4. The world suffered deadly heat, drought, and wildfires.
- 5. Choking pollution shut down population centers.
- 6. Countries suffer disasters, but still commit to doing even less about emissions.
- 7. Sea levels broke records, amplifying the effects of storms and floods.
- 8. Much of the world is doubling down on fossil fuels.
- 9. We are woefully undercounting methane emissions.
seeks “Climate Change 2013 – The Physical Science Basis – Summary for Policymakers” – IPCC
Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about 1950 (see Table SPM.1 for
details). It is very likely that the number of cold days and nights has decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale 6. It is likely that the frequency of heat waves has increased in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia. There are likely more land regions where the number of heavy precipitation events has increased than where it has decreased. The frequency or intensity of heavy precipitation events has likely increased in North America and Europe. In other continents, confidence in changes in heavy precipitation events is at most
new balance “Climate Sensitivity” – ClimatechangeAnswers.org
At the moment, the Earth is warming because the solar energy entering the atmosphere exceeds the infrared energy that is radiated back into space. If the concentration of greenhouse gases can be stabilized, a certain equilibrium temperature will eventually be reached where the radiated infrared energy will balance the incoming solar radiation. Just as your home air conditioner takes time to readjust the temperature of your home after you adjust the thermostat, the Earth takes a considerable period to rise to a new equilibrium temperature after its thermostat has been turned up by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. The change in the equilibrium temperature due to a given change in the concentration of greenhouse gases is known as the “climate sensitivity,”
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