The climate changed debate is one that has dominated the mainstream media, had a significant impact on politics and captivated our population as a whole for years. A new study, however, may provide the proof that so many have been asking for – evidence that global warming is real.
There is no arguing the fact that the topic of climate change and global warming is one that stirs up a heated debate in our society today. What sets this debate apart from so many others is the fact that it is carried out by scientific professionals through published research reports and articles, not just online arguments and disagreements. Experts have presented solid evidence on both sides of the debate, leaving many of us confused as to what to believe.
For many of us, it’s hard to wrap our minds around the data as it isn’t something we can experience and witness first hand. The new study, conducted by atmospheric scientist Ben Santer, out of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reveals that the climate associated with the seasons, as we know them, is shifting Even more alarming, this change is believed to be a direct result of the human impact on our planet.
The research team analyzed satellite data that had been collected over the course of four decades, including average seasonal temperature changes, as well as monthly temperature highs and lows. Not only did they note that the temperature as a whole was increasing, they revealed that the average monthly lows were trending higher than previous years, and the average monthly highs were significantly higher.
How do they know what the cause of this change is? Scientists search for smaller pieces of evidence that they refer to as ‘fingerprints,’ changes that occur here on the planet that can definitively be traced back to the human condition. Using this evidence, they are able to distinguish between natural climate shifts that would have occurred regardless of our presence and those which are triggered by human activities.
Santer revealed that this particular change in seasonal temperatures didn’t match any of the known natural pattern changes. In fact, the study’s authors estimate that the odds of this occurring naturally without human interference is approximately 5 in 1 million!
With this new evidence on the table, Santer hopes that those in positions of power will take the risk of climate change and global warming seriously. “The piling on of evidence is worrying me,” he stated. “This is the kind of stuff you don’t want to be right about.” This study, he explained, was a reminder of the problem that we are facing. If, in fact, we are able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are responsible for these changes, it will put greater pressure on politicians and lawmakers than ever before to commit to taking steps towards positive change in the world around us.
While we can’t personally move mountains, there are small changes that we can make in our lives to minimize our impact on the environment. Experts recommend investing in energy-efficient appliances, ensure that your home is weatherized for both hot and cold temperatures, use renewable energy where available, switch to LED light bulbs, and drive a fuel-efficient vehicle, or, better yet, avoid driving at all when possible by instead walking, biking or taking public transit. While you may not be able to reverse climate change on your own, if enough of us make an effort it will all add up!