The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Global warming not up for debate

This may surprise some, but a few people don’t think global warming is man-made.

These people have been out in force the past few weeks after record-breaking snowfalls along the East Coast and in the DFW Metroplex. From the time the first flake fell, various media have covered themselves in comments denying a rise in temperature.

Sarcastic blog pages read “Global warming hits DFW hard.” South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint’s Twitter page reads, “It’s going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries ‘uncle.’” In a Fox News interview, filmmaker Phelim McAleer went so far as to say, “People know that global warming is dead.”

While it is tempting to extrapolate from what is seen, it’s not quite accurate. Humans have been tracking global temperatures since the mid-1800s. A few freak snowstorms can’t eclipse more than a century of data.

In 2002, the Bush administration officially changed the name of global warming to global climate change. While it did this because “climate change” is less frightening than “global warming,” I think this was a clarifying move. Our planet’s getting warmer is only a portion of how the world’s weather is changing, and scientists believe greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is a main cause.

These winter storms are actually in line with the climate change models. While the temperature is usual for DFW, as we normally get below freezing about 30 nights a year, the precipitation is not. An increased temperature is theorized to lead to increased precipitation, and the changes don’t end there.

Scientists theorize that an increase in the frequency of extreme weather could follow in turn, and we may be seeing evidence of this. The snowstorms hitting DC and DFW would have been intense rains under different temperature conditions.

While the causes and effects of global warming are debatable, the increased average temperatures and changing weather patterns that led to the theory of global warming are not.

That the earth’s climate is changing is a fact that more than a century of observation has proven, and a few bad snowstorms do not change that by any stretch of the imagination.

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