Is global warming for real?
More and more people are wondering if recent disasters around the world are linked to global warming.
Of late, there have been news reports of extreme heat and uncontrollable forest fires and extraordinary downpours resulting in unexpected flooding likes what was experienced in some parts of Alberta.
Or is it Mother Nature being more mischievous?
I have no answers for numerous questions being asked about human driven climate changes.
Even some of the world’s top scientists don’t seem to agree what is causing these catastrophic disasters around the globe.
Global warming has already been the subject of a great deal of controversy.
And I must admit I am more confused now than I was a few years ago after watching the movie Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, the former vice president of the United States.
According to reports, the earth’s average temperature has risen more than one degree Fahrenheit or 0.8 degrees in Celsius over the last century.
According to reports, the temperature has risen even more in parts of the Arctic.
Recent pictures of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania clearly show snow is rapidly disappearing from the mountain.
This clearly suggests that temperatures have fluctuated among regions of the globe.
Scientists do not have temperature records going back thousands of years.
But, they do have some records that help them to figure out what temperatures and concentrations were like in the distant past.
Trees store information about the climate.
Each year, trees grow thicker and form new rings.
In warmer and wetter years, the rings are thicker.
Keys to the past are also buried under lakes and oceans.
Computer models also help scientists to understand the earth’s climate.
Most scientists generally agree the world is a lot warmer than it was 100 years ago.
The issue of global warming was first raised in the early 1960.
In recent years, global warming has become a politically charged issue particularly because of the massive amounts of power and money tired to industries that emit carbon dioxide.
For many people like me, climate change is a difficult concept to grasp.
One thing we all agree is many world leaders are now forcing polluters to take legally binding action to slow the pace of global warming.
After intense talks, about 190 countries have now agreed to cut emissions no later than 2020.
This was a direct result of the Kyoto Protocol that came into force in 2005.
But, since then Kyoto has become increasingly irrelevant, particularly when the world is trying to deal with the global economy.