Daily Archives: August 22, 2012

Is Climate Really Changing?

Average global temperature has risen by about 1.5°F (0.8°C) since 1910:

Warming hasn’t been the same everywhere. Land areas have warmed faster than the oceans, the northern hemisphere has warmed faster than the southern, and the Arctic has warmed faster still — just as predicted by climate scientists decades ago.

The Arctic is the “canary in a coal mine” for global warming, showing far greater change than most of the world. Arctic temperature has increased about 5.3°F (3°C) since 1880:

Meanwhile, sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing fast, not only covering less and less area, but thinning dramatically (click the graph!):

Not only are the great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica shrinking, so too are the vast majority of the world’s glaciers. Because of this, and because warming makes the oceans expand, sea level is rising:

Temperature isn’t the only part of climate that has changed. Patterns of rainfall have altered, so some areas are now more drought-prone, others are more susceptible to flooding, and some regions have become more vulnerable to both drought and flood. Worldwide, total drought has increased since about 1970 (lower values indicate more drought):

When it does rain, it pours. There are more deluges than before, in large part because warming temperatures have caused the atmosphere to hold more water vapor:

Storms — especially damaging storms — have become both more frequent and more severe. According to the giant re-insurance company Munich Re (who sell insurance to insurance companies), weather-related disasters have more than doubled since 1980:

Yes, climate is really changing. Rapidly. But unlike the changes which have happened in the past, modern climate change is not natural.