Take, for example this quote by the lunatic Ann Coulter:
“The temperature of the planet has increased about one degree Fahrenheit in the last century. So imagine a summer afternoon when it’s 63 degrees and the next thing you know it’s . . . 64 degrees. Ahhhh!!!! Run for your lives, everybody! Women and children first!”To the average uninformed person, a global increase of 1 degree doesn't seem much like a big deal. But when you consider that such global temperature changes are much more exaggerated in the arctic, we see that one global degree increase IS very significant, as we see today in the arctic:
CNN : Ice cover in the Arctic Ocean, long held to be an early warning of a changing climate, has shattered the all-time low record this summer, according to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder. Mark Serreze, senior research scientist at NSIDC, termed the decline "astounding." Most researchers had anticipated that the complete disappearance of the Arctic ice pack during summer months would happen after the year 2070, he said, but now, "losing summer sea ice cover by 2030 is not unreasonable."Regarding the causes, it appears to the scientific community that there is a clear correlation between fossil fuel burning, atmospheric CO2 rise, and the increase in global temperatures as shown in the graphs in this previous post . Clearly, we are presently in the most drastic period of global climate change in human history.
Yes, there have been ice ages and climate changes in human history, but nothing like the warming event that occurred 55 million years ago that resulted in the melting of the arctic and mass impacts on species evolution. This event, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), was the result of a 5 to 8°C sea surface temperature rise over a few thousand years, likely caused by massive volcanic activity. The present trend would clearly indicate an event like the PETM is a likely possibility, and despite what ignorant pundits say, a one degree global temperature rise over 100 years IS a big deal. We are already seeing global climate change impacts far more quickly than the models have predicted.
If saw CBS 60 minutes tonight, you saw one of these impacts - a new age of mega-fires in the western US -- the worst in recorded history. Climate change -- global warming -- has increased temperatures in the West about one degree and that has caused four times more fires. In the Southwest alone, nearly two million acres of forest are gone and won't come back for centuries. In 2006, the feds spent $2 billion on fire fighting, seven times more than just ten years ago.
The changes are coming fast and drastic. It may be too late to do anything about it. Look at the dramatic CO2 increase that exactly parallels the increase in human burning of fossil fuels (click to enlarge):
Want to see a true-to-life global warming denialist? Check out Mark Rose who is also a creationist who thinks much of science is 'a pack of lies.' Forget about commenting on his blog. He's too much of a coward to allow comments that contain evidence that refute his close-minded beliefs. His level of denial is astounding - a typical characteristic of religious authoritarian conservatives.