Thursday, October 27, 2011

Discovering Climate Change near Rochester, NY --our grandparents were on to something


There were indications from various sources in bygone days that our atmosphere has been warming up for some time. Many tend to think the idea of Climate Change has sprung from nowhere sometime in the 1980’s—just to annoy the Republicans. But some scientists thought there would be repercussions from putting a whole lot of manmade carbon dioxide into our atmosphere long ago. To get and idea of this trend read a series of scientific thought since 1900 on Climate Change from Bill McKibben:

The Global Warming Reader, by Bill McKibben “This is a book for all of us: students, activists, Earthlings. Edited by perhaps the most widely-respected writer on the environment today, GWR is a comprehensive resource that collects seminal texts and voices on climate change from the phenomenon's discovery in the late 19th century to the present.” Official site for Bill McKibben: Author - Educator - Environmentalist

If your mind is not already clouded with corporate glee over the use of fossil fuels, Climate Change in the face of burning massive amounts of wood, oil, coal, and natural gas for more than a century makes a lot of sense. The carbon dioxide, which is released from fossil fuels, is the same stuff that warmed our planet enough to grow something. Don’t try putting your tongue on an icicle on Mars.

There is other data from farmers, naturalists, weather gathers for whom Climate Change was not even a glitter in their eyes at all. They were just trying to figure out when to plant, when they could expect to boat across a lake without hitting ice, and go ice fishing. A lot of information about Climate Change has been gathered from these sources. And our area, the North American Northeast, is one of them.

“In the Northeast there are 56 stations that have been continuously operating since 1899, providing the best record of temperature variations for the region.” Indicators of Climate Change in the Northeast 2005, by Clean Air - Cool Planet and Cameron P. Wake,The Climate Change Research Center,, University of New Hampshire, Copyright 2005 © Clean Air - Cool Planet (Pg. 2)

Even in the Northeast, where weather tends to vary quite a bit, a trend towards warming can be seen in this ad hoc, though rigorous, data from our area’s forefathers. The Climate in our region warms steadily then spikes upwards even more in the later part of the twentieth century. Read this report, it gives some great insight into warming trends in our region of the world: Indicators of Climate Change in the Northeast 2005 Our grandparents were on to something.

BTW: We here in the Northeast, who are one of the main contributors to Climate Change via our ubiquitous factories over the years, which by the way we are still trying to clean up after with Brownfields, are going to experience a lot of Likely Changes. But those changes are probably little (at least for a little while) compared to those areas of the world that did not contribute greatly to Climate Change, but will suffer a lot:

Map shows stark divide between who caused climate change and who's being hit “The global north is at lower risk of global warming impacts and is better placed to cope than the global south, but globalisation means we are all affected. When the world's nations convene in Durban in November in the latest attempt to inch towards a global deal to tackle climate change, one fundamental principle will, as ever, underlie the negotiations. Is is the contention that while rich, industrialised nations caused climate change through past carbon emissions, it is the developing world that is bearing the brunt. It follows from that, developing nations say, that the rich nations must therefore pay to enable the developing nations to both develop cleanly and adapt to the impacts of global warming.” The Guardian

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