There is considerable evidence that the Earth is undergoing Climate Change. Abnormal heat and cold, increased hurricane (typhoon) and tornado activity, serious droughts lasting for years, etc. The real question is: Was the recent increase in abnormal climate change caused by Man and, if so, can we reverse the process–and how?
Throughout the millennia, the Earth’s climate has exhibited cyclicality. Over the past 4.5 billion years, there have been at least five major Ice Ages and the Magnetic Poles have even reversed polarity from time-to-time. It’s also important to note that, at various points in geological history, all of the continents, which are floating on tectonic plates, were joined. (Just compare the similarity of the east coast of South America with the west coast of Africa.)
The World Bank suggests that, if the world is going to reverse the effects of climate change, it must start with the biggest perpetrators–which, obviously, are the U.S. and China. Most Republicans in Congress claim that they are not scientists and, then, they merely try to hide or ignore the advice or proof provided by the Earth Scientists. And. the Chinese seem to be trying to clean-up their act, while also looking the other way when they must, in order to continue the economic boom that provides jobs and tax revenue.
Many Climate-Change Deniers point to the recent winters that have been harsher, lasted longer and dumped quite a bit of snow deep into the Southern U.S. Unseasonal weather and even recent spring snow storms have effected Europe, as well. So, if there is Global Warming, why do we have harsher winters? Many Earth Scientists believe that they have found the answer. However, some feel that the proof is still inconclusive.
The Earth’s water temperatures have warmed, and the polar ice caps have been melting at ever-increasing rates. Ice reflects the Sun’s radiant heat, while the darker water absorbs it. So, with less ice reflecting the rays, more and more heat reaches the warming oceans below. And this has caused the air temperatures to warm faster in the polar regions than for the rest of the planet. In turn, this has even accelerated the rate at which the polar ice is melting. It appears to be a never-ending cycle, at least so far.
Recently, we have been hearing about the polar vortex, the high-altitude air pattern that swirls around the poles at a high rate of speed. As that polar air mixes with the warmer air from lower latitudes, ribbons of air may be diverted away from the poles–shifting weather patterns and diverting airline routes. We call this effect the jet stream.
As the polar air warms relative to that of the lower air currents, and the air temperature differential lessens, the effect of that interruption has less impact. This causes the colder arctic air to travel even farther south (north in the southern hemisphere). The effect of harsher winters is but one of the many incidents of climate change; however, it seems to be the one most often used by the Climate-Change Deniers.
Some still question the cyclicality of climate change; however, Humankind hasn’t been standing still in this potential cause-and-effect phenomena. Since the Industrial Revolution, the development of the internal-combustion engine and the first modern oil well, in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859, more and more evidence points toward Man’s roll in climate change. It probably took until the mid-20th Century, however, before the possible danger of Man’s contribution to harming the environment really started to take hold.
As the Republican party continues to take substantial campaign contributions from the Fossil Fuel Industry, it fights long and hard to restrict any controls or regulation possible in the name of protecting one of their key benefactors. During the 2014 “mid-term” elections, the Republican Party took control of both Houses of Congress.
Accordingly, the GOP placed two of its staunchest climate-change deniers in key scientific chairmanship roles. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), now heads the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee; and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), heads the Senate Commerce sub-committee on Space, Science and Competitiveness.
Some Americans believe that those appointments clearly signal the Republican Party’s “War on Science”. Smith’s committee recently slashed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Earth Science budget by $300 million That very section is how NASA funds its latest generations of geosynchronous earth satellites, which performs the groundwork for all types of global weather mapping and forecasting. This means that the climate change deniers might just believe that, if they kill all the messengers, we just won’t know what can truly hurt us!
NOTE: Oftentimes, the various elements of the Conservative “Right” and the Fossil Fuel Industry parade out scientists who they can defend their positions. If you listen (or read) closely; however, you may find that their scientific credentials are in some other area of science. The Earth Sciences are composed of the following sub-disciplines: Geology; Environmental Science; Meteorology; Geophysics and Oceanography.