General Question

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I believe in global warming, do you?

Asked by Tropical_Willie (17100 points ) July 11th, 2012

In my area we just had three days with a record high of 105 *F, in the last sixty years there was only one other day of 105 *F. And that was last year. The temperatures differences maybe natural or man-made. Do you believe there is a change in the world’s temperature?

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40 Answers

Pandora's avatar

Yes and no. I believe that the planet goes through changes and there aren’t records that can really say for sure what temperatures the planet went through for the last hundreds of years. The planet is always changing and evolving. How much of that is our fault, I don’t know but I don’t think its something that can be stopped. Slowed down maybe but not stopped. The earths crust has been shifting for millions of years because of the pressure under the crust and volcano eruptions and earthquakes are going to affect our environment in big ways.

tedd's avatar

I actually did a report/study/project on this in college (a scientific study). We know for fact that the Earth goes through warming periods every so often, we know this from the Vostok ice caps. We measured the amount of CO2 in those caps going back hundreds of thousands of years and found this to be true.

We are in fact in one of those warming periods right now.

The catch : even taking into account that we are in a warming period with naturally higher CO2 levels… The CO2 levels are still significantly higher than anytime we have recorded going back hundreds of thousands of years with the ice caps.

Now this doesn’t necessarily point to humans being involved in this warming. But other evidence and theories do seem to suggest we’re at the very least helping it along.

JLeslie's avatar

It is a fact the globe is on a warming trend. By the way the powers at be are trying to move from the expression global warming to climate change, but your question seems specifically about the temperature rising so a good word choice, just letting you know in case you come across the other expression. The only question is why is it warming. I say it is cyclical weather patterns and most likely man screwing things up too. I think we could possibly trend back down a little, get a little blip in there, but then probably turn towards warming again for a while. We should definitely heed the concerns of scientists who believe it could be partly do to man, because it doesn’t matter if they are wrong or right, not polluting the air and not raping the earth can only be a good thing for many many reasons.

Clariss's avatar

I do too! In my country, Ukraine, it has never been so hot and so windy as last 4–5 years! It’s really awful

downtide's avatar

Climate change, for sure. While the UK continues to have the coldest, wettest, most misterable summers on record, year after year, I can’t believe that actual warming is involved. I think it’s just heat redistribution.

gambitking's avatar

Don’t you mean “Climate Change”, watch out – Algore and Michael whats-his-name are watching.

No, I think it’s a bunch of hogwash. Not that it isn’t slightly true, but not to the degree that’s being sensationalized.

bolwerk's avatar

“Global warming” is a phenomenon where average temperatures increase globally. “Climate change” describes more troubling localized effects where long-standing weather patterns are altered, largely because of global warming.

There isn’t much to believe in, in the sense of believing in fairies or Jesus, unless you don’t believe in empirical evidence. Both are happening, and there is a little serious scholarly dispute that the reason it’s happening so rapidly is human-influenced.

Rarebear's avatar

Of course I do. .

Qingu's avatar

Jesus.

Yes, the Earth goes through cycles of warming and cooling. That is not what the term “global warming” or “climate change” means when used by actual people. It means the rapid heating trend in the past few centuries caused by human-made greenhouse gas emissions.

And yes, I believe this trend exists and that humans are causing it, and I believe anyone who doesn’t at at this point is either willfully ignorant or deliberately dishonest.

Qingu's avatar

I actually wish people would start calling it “Carbon cycle disruption” rather than global warming or climate change. The salient fact is that humans have pumped a tremendous amount of carbon-based greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, well above natural levels, at a rapid rate—and that this can and is in fact having a disastrous effect on climactic stability.

Just FYI: there have been five “mass extinctions” we know of in Earth’s history (the one that wiped out the dinosaurs is the latest one), and all five have involved rapid disruptions to the carbon cycle. Many scientists believe we are now living through a sixth mass extinction.

marinelife's avatar

Global warming is not a matter of belief. It is a scientific fact. That is like saying “I believe in gravity.” Whether you believe or not, you will feel the effects.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Yes, but not because it’s hot outside. I believe in it due to the overwhelming empirical evidence supporting the theory. Record high temperatures no more prove that global warming is real than record low temperatures prove that it is not (and not just because the theory predicts both).

ucme's avatar

Yes I do & my sunburnt eskimo friend agrees with me….you….....lots of other people.

deni's avatar

I believe I have read that we are in an ice age, but on our way out of it. So the ice caps are melting. There isn’t “supposed” to be ice on earth. We’re just going back to normal. Only issue is now we have built our civilizations on the waterfronts, so now we’re all fucked.

ragingloli's avatar

It is an observed fact.
I do not ‘believe’ the sun exists.

philosopher's avatar

@Tropical_Willie
All the Science clearly documents that humans not just nature are responsible for the increase in the temperature or Climate Change. Despite that Earth does go through natural cycles.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/5

Blackberry's avatar

Yes, but is some warm weather for a week or so really indicative of global warming? I keep hearing people say this: It’s so hot! Must be global warming.

In my opinion, it was only warm because we had a jet stream ridge above us all that actually retrograded so it was over us longer. Ridges equal higher pressure, which equal less clouds, which equal more intense surface heating.

philosopher's avatar

@marinelife
There are still many greedy people that deny Scientific facts and say it is a natural cycle. The oil people like Bush and many others. Who make money from Fossil Fuel.
Cycles are natural but we have amplified it .
These people will distort the facts for as long as they possibly can.

RocketGuy's avatar

I am going to side with the “Deniers” because the climate in my area is getting milder and milder – winters not as cold, summers not as hot. I hope everyone keeps burning oil and coal until my climate gets 75°F all year round.

I’ve spent a lot of money reducing my CO2 output, and no one seems to be joining in. Fine, I will enjoy my new, mild climate.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@deni We are leaving an ice age, but temperatures are rising much more rapidly than that natural mechanism alone can explain. That’s a big part of the problem.

@RocketGuy Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.

flutherother's avatar

Global warming is being measured and is a fact What is driving the warming is not so clear but we know we are pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, that CO2 levels are increasing and that increased CO2 levels tend to increase average temperatures through the ‘greenhouse effect’.

Qingu's avatar

To the people who think it’s all just a natural cycle:

Your living room gets colder in the winter and hotter in the summer. Therefore, burning a fire in the middle of your living room will not make it hotter? Is this really your logic?

DominicX's avatar

Yes, I worship it every night.~

It is a fact that it is going on—what’s up for debate is the extent to which humans are causing it or making it worse.

Qingu's avatar

Actually, it’s about as “up for debate” as the idea that humans evolved from apes.

Which is to say, not at all.

Paradox25's avatar

It has been pretty obvious to me that temperatures have been rising. I can tell just by the autumn foilage in my area. All of the leaves used to be off of the trees before November, but over the last 10 to 15 years the foilage has only started to peak near the end of October. I can also tell by the lakes and quarries in my area not freezing up anymore either. All of the bodies of water in my area used to have their surfaces covered in solid ice, and enough to walk over them to fish, now we’re lucky if there are even a few specks of ice on surfaces. I wanted to use my own anecdotal experiences to try to answer this question.

ragingloli's avatar

Heavy snow started to fall here at the end of October/star of November and stayed there until February.
Nowadays we barely have any snow at all.

AdamF's avatar

I accept that the scientific evidence is overwhelming for 1) recent climate change, and 2) that the majority of the changes observed over the last 50 years are due to an increased atmospheric composition of greenhouse gases, as caused by us.

There is no viable alternative explanation that withstands scientific scrutiny. None.

All public opinion tells us about this issue is how effective vested interest and the commercial media has been at misleading the masses.

serenade's avatar

I believe in chemtrails, HAARP, and disaster capitalism, which is to say that I believe in anthropogenic climate change.

I’ll believe in the Hockey Stick of Mass Extinction when we get around to banning NASCAR.

RocketGuy's avatar

The Hockey Stick was bullsh*t. The only processes that generate a Hockey Stick are explosions. It should have been described as a steep S curve, with the asymptote at some high level commensurate with major climate change. That would have been perceived as less hyperbole, and would have helped his credibility.

Well, at this point, everybody has got to chip in (a lot). I took a step. Any other takers?

Qingu's avatar

@RocketGuy, who on earth is talking about the hockey stick? Why do you think the hockey stick graph is somehow representative of the climate science on this issue?

JLeslie's avatar

Everyone thinks they can tell it is getting warmer, but the average increases are extremely small. A couple degrees in either direction causes big changes, but I don’t think the average person can really know if we are in a warming trend. Things like El Niño can make it seem like there has been a big climate change, especially in certain parts of the world, and after a few years it can subside. There was huge amounts of snow and cold in DC area 2–3 years ago, tons of it. People were saying that it was obvious to them there must not be global warming because of it. That is part of the reason they are trying to change the expression to climate change.

Qingu's avatar

No single weather event shows that global warming is happening. However, global warming does “load the dice.” The simple fact is that with more energy in Earth’s atmosphere, freak weather and powerful storms will be statistically more likely.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Yes, I believe that Global Warming is real & I think that humans are a definite contributing factor. Most of the US is under drought conditions & food crops are being stunted/dying & food prices are on their way up. Wild fires are raging in several states, while massive flooding is occurring in other states. As long as humans continue to use fossil fuels for electricity & transportation, our planet will continue to get hotter, & severe weather storms will continue to happen. Our planet does have natural cycles of heat & cold, & our Sun has natural cycles, too…. but the main thing driving Global Warming is human use of fossil fuels.

philosopher's avatar

@Linda_Owl
All the Scientific data documents what you said.

tinyfaery's avatar

The proof is undeniable.

Mariah's avatar

CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

Humans artificially produce a crapload of CO2.

Don’t really know what there is to debate about that.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Denying global warming is like saying the earth is flat.

philosopher's avatar

@trailsillustrated
You are correct. It is truly unbelievable that in the 21 Century some people still deny Science. They cling to rhetoric, delusions and mythical bullshit. They actually believe the crap that comes out of Politicians mouths. I am not a Scientist but I think that anyone who has a fundamental understanding of Science should be able to comprehend the studies. Most Congressmen/women (Politicians) do not read the studies or the bills they pass. They are too busy bullshitting and pushing party rhetoric. After all they answer to the Lobbyist and the one percent wealthiest American’s. The majority of legal American’s do not matter to them because we do not finance their Campaigns.

Sunny2's avatar

@trailsillustrated It isn’t?
People say it’s just a “natural trend that’s happened before.” That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. There’s too much evidence to deny it.

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