I'm a Christian who loves weather. I have been into weather since I was 3 years old and I continue to study weather, I'm also a weather spotter
By: tornadocam , 3:14 AM GMT on January 17, 2013
The Global Warming debate is still a touchy topic and it has become some touchy over the years that it has become political. I will be exploring both sides of the argument and covering my own personal opinion.
Global Warming Argument
People that are argue that Global Warming point out that Earth's Global temperature has increased in the past 50 years. Normally Earth's average temperature stays around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or about 16 degrees Celsius. In the past 50 years Earth's temperature has risen 1.5 degrees for a global temp of 61.5 or about 16.75 degrees Celsius. While the source is often argued sources for the cause of a rise in temps is green house gases and smog
Another point is the Arctic is melting Greenland had record Ice melt and the Alaska Tundra has been melting causing rising ocean waters. We can see that Glaciers are smaller than what they were in 1990, Alaska's temps are still very cold but long term they have gotten warmer
Global warming is causing more weather disasters. This is one of the bigger concerns as climate changes some would argue that disasters increase. One of the ones are with warming ocean temperatures we are seeing more intense Hurricanes in the Atlantic these Hurricanes are called Major Hurricanes when they reach Categories 3,4 and 5. Flooding is also a concern research tends to say that the wet will get wetter. Droughts are also common. The dry get drier. A good example is the High plains which average 15-25 inches of yearly rainfall which would be considered moderate. The High plains of the United States, which often include these states, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Western South and North Dakota. In the past 3 years these states have been in one of the worst droughts this has not been seen since the 1932 Dust Bowl Days. Denver Colorado a city that has extreme weather from winter storms in Winter to Tornadoes in the Spring and Summer has fallen on hard times in rainfall wise. Denver averages 18.5 inches of rainfall but in 2011-2012 they only received 50% of their yearly rainfall. Also Denver averages in winter about 55 inches of snowfall, In 2012 they only received 22 inches of snowfall.
In my area of South East Tennessee we even had a drought which is very rare as we are usually very wet. We average 52 inches of yearly rainfall but in much of 2007 we were in one of our worst droughts ever seen as most of the area finished 20 inches or greater below rainfall. In other years we have fished above in 2003, 2004, 2009, 2011, we received over 60 inches of rainfall. Our wettest year on record was back in 1994 when we saw over 70 inches of rainfall.
2012 has been blamed on global warming, 2012 was the hottest year in America History as much of the Country had to deal with 100 or greater temperatures. Even in my area of south East Tennessee we had record heat. In South East Tennessee we average about 5 days of 100 degrees or 38 degrees Celsius. But in 2012 we hit an all time high of 107 degrees or 42 degrees Celsius. We also had in 2012 over 15 days of hitting at least 100 degrees. So the heat was on
Arguments against Global Warming
They are some that would argue against Global warming and would say this is a natural cycle here are their arguments which are also valid
The Earth has a history of Warming and glaciers have melted before, Yes this is true. During the middle ages for decades climate seemed to change. Decades of record warmth pushed as far North as London and went up to the Arctic Circle melting iceburgs and glaciers. In fact is was one of the reasons that the Vikings, made it to what is modern day Canada. Also crops such as Grapes were grown in Britain. However this did not last long as the warmth retreated and temperatures actually went below normal for a while.
In Modern times the Earth has shown periods of cycles, in the 1930's most of the world saw record heat especially here in America. Some of these records still stand till this very day. However after the 1930's being so warm the 1940's based on research was a very cold decade. In 1940 America, Europe and Asia had one of the worst winters in their recorded history. Other years of the 1940's were known as being very cold. However the 1950's the record heat returned.
These cycles are caused by El-Nino, Neutral, and La Nina conditions. Yes all three patterns have different effects on weathers. EL-Nino typically brings warmer Pacific Ocean temps while the Atlantic sees a cooling of its water temps. The Atlantic tends to have less hurricanes. La Nina it is reverse the Pacific Ocean cools while the Atlantic ocean tends to be normal, also shearing winds are lessen which La Nina brings an increase in Hurricanes. Neutral is when neither are present and things are in a balance but warmer ocean temperatures can be present in Neutral areas.
The Atlantic Ocean has a history of bad hurricanes. In 2012 Hurricane Sandy became a disaster to strike the United States North East Region bringing billions in dollars of damage and claiming several lives. In 2011 a similar storm named Irene killed 50 people and cost $14 Billion in damage, these storms have been connected to Global warming. Skeptics though say storms like these have occurred in the past. Their argument is valid.
in 1938 A Category 3 hurricane known as the New England Express made Landfall in New York and Connecticut as a category 3 hurricane being one of the worst disasters to impact the area. In 1954 Hurricane Carol made landfall In New England as a strong Category 2 hurricane with wins up to 105 mph. Hurricane Carol killed 68 people and caused $460 million in damage which back in 1954 was very very expensive. 1960 Donna which devastated Florida as a Category 4 hurricane and North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane also made landfall in New England as a category 1. 1985 Hurricane Gloria made landfall in New England as a category 2 hurricane Costing over $1 Billion in damages. So Storms similar to sandy in intensity have struck the region
Hurricane Activity goes in cycles. In the past research would tend to say that may be the case. The 1950's and 1960's are infamous for bad hurricanes and above average activity. In a typical year the Atlantic basin will see 10 named storms with 6 becoming hurricanes and 2 will be come major category 3 or higher. The 1970's and 1980's still had very destructive storms but activity in general was below average. Starting in 1995 Hurricane activity has become higher then average. So it has raised the question is this just another cycle or is their something else causing this
Tornadoes have been around and thus can't be blamed on Global Warming, Prior to 1960 we do not know how many tornadoes they actually were. Before 1950 the word tornado was banned by forecasters because it was believed it would cause panic, after so many deaths the ban was lifted Since the 1970's we also have gotten better technology to detect developing tornadoes such as doppler radars that can see rotation in thunderstorms. Also more people as we have grown as a nation or seeing more tornadoes and reporting them.
What we do know is tornadoes form when their is cold air colliding with warm air in the Atmosphere, along with some moisture and shearing winds to get the storms to rotate lead to tornado development. Outbreaks are when 8 or more tornadoes occur in a region at the same time. April 3rd 1974, and April 27th 2011 are known as super tornado outbreaks. It hard to say if global warming is causing more outbreaks when outbreaks have been occurring and are a natural occurrence. Keep in mind the USA averages 1,000 tornadoes per year. Canada is second with about 80-100 tornadoes per year.
My thoughts on Global Warming
Now I'm not anti Global warming as I do know Earth is getting warmer. I want to believe that it is a natural cycle and that we will have periods of warmth and cold, above average hurricanes below average. However at the same time I do know that we as humans can influence our environment. For example we sadly have causes extinctions so it is possible over time if the Earth does not return to its average then we could be warming up the Earth. But as of right now I think it could be a cycle. Only time will tell if it is a cycle or if their is Global warming
My thoughts is I feel like we have to reduce pollution, and I believe if global warming is being caused by humans reducing pollution will reduce it. Instead of blaming industry we should be working with industries on cleaner energy so no jobs are lost but the air is cleaner
I'm also a Christian and I believe that we should take care of the Environment not harm it. To me God gave us the Earth to take care of it, he gave us tools to take care of it and we need to respect that. I believe that we should take care of the Earth and respect Nature.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.