Naturally Speaking

The Heated Debate of Global Warming Pt. 2

Community Contributed by G.T. Larson

Life on earth is a complex mosaic of interrelated parts making up a very simple whole. We are the only part of this vast picture of earth that can drastically alter our environment. History has tried, on occasion, to warn us of our capacities to negatively alter the climate’s balance with events, such as The Great Smog of London from Dec. 5-9, 1952, when over 4,000 citizens of London, England died solely from meteorologically concentrated, human induced pollution.

An unusually cold weather system had settled over the greater London area, which, when combined with light winds and a thickening fog, had caused an inversion over the city. Nature always deals with what we throw at her, just not always in a way that we can deal with. So the climate change debate seems to be centered on how much we humans are, if any, altering the climate on a world wide scale.

Some scientists are unfortunately taking sides in the climate change debate. Scientific data is being interpreted by each side to come to diametrically opposed positions. Is the Earth’s atmosphere heating up and melting the polar ice caps because of human induced pollution? Or are we just experiencing the normal, historical ebb and flow of our planet’s climate? If nothing else, this intense debate has encouraged us to examine our environment and our personal and corporate effect on it.

The American Geophysical Union Journal, Geophysical Research Letter, presented an abstract on Antarctic melt records. The authors, Marco Tedesco and Andrew J. Monaghan, state that “a 30 year minimum Antarctic snowmelt record occurred during austral summer 2008- 2009 according to space borne microwave observations for 1980 – 2009.” Their abstract concluded by suggesting positive snowmelt would again occur, if certain events such as positive summer Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM) trends subside. This is an educated prediction, but a prediction none the less.

This same data was quoted by World Climate Report (WRC) with an accompanying graph by the abstracts authors. WCR concluded that any scientific news that supports global warming is greatly reported in what many on the right consider a left biased media, which interestingly enough, is the exact opposite of what the left thinks. The left, in contrast, see the media as right biased. The WRC saw this report of 30 year record low snow melt as under reported even to the point of saying, “The silence surrounding this publication was deafening.”

We will continue to look at this debate next time. Until then, Aloha Ke Akua.


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