Climate change

by Martin

Is climate change a real phenomenon? Thank you for your question Martin.

Answer from Climate-change-wisdom

The simple answer is yes.

The climate of earth has and always will change.

All the scientific evidence both from what we have been able to measure directly, such as ocean temperature, and indirectly from the chemistry of ice cores and the layering of different types of rock, tells us that the climate overall and at any one place is always changing.

Sometimes very slowly, at other times more quickly, but change it does.

Here are just three of the bigger reasons:

  • a wobbly orbit around the sun that puts us at times closer (warmer) and at other times further away (colder)

  • continents that move to higher or lower latitudes over the millennia

  • an atmosphere that changes its chemistry over time

There are also several other reasons that have more local effects. For example, when forests are cut down it can make the local climate, drier, windier and hotter.

Obviously the one we are worried about right now is the increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere because this gas traps radiant long-wave energy; so more of it in the skies makes the earth warmer.

So climate change is certainly real.

The challenge for us is that if the change is too fast we will find it hard to cope.

July 2011

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