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Heat Wave — a Sign of Global Warming or Just a Hot Spell?

Global warming has become a hot button political topic in recent years with believers and non-believers equally as convinced of their viewpoints. Will this heat wave change any perceptions?

The subject of global warming often gives rise to heated debate, especially in political circles. Scientists have come out in support of both sides of the issue and each side latches on to whatever theory supports their particular stance.

In the extreme cold temperatures of the winter of 2010, there were many jokes about the absence of global warming and supporters were forced to find theories to defend its existence. Die-hard global warming theorists said that dramatic temperature swings were actually the result of global warming. However, those who dispute global warming have been pretty quiet these last few weeks. In light of all the record high temperatures set, it's a difficult one to argue right now.

What do you think? Does this heat wave prove the global warming theory once and for all, or is it just part of natural climate changes that vary from season to season and decade to decade?

Vanzetta Evans (Editor) July 09, 2012 at 04:17 PM
I'm starting to think Al Gore was right...
Sharon Swanepoel July 09, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Where are you Steve? I felt sure our resident weatherman would be able to give us a scientific starting point on this.
Susan July 09, 2012 at 08:46 PM
If your in the Smoky or Blue Ridge Mountains much you will notice how thin the trees have gotten. I can see rock outcroppings that were covered ten years ago. The limbs are dropping! So we have had climate change. Massive flooding in Russia, England, Etc.. Now the corn belts of the USA, Austalia, and Russia all hit. Water will be like gold soon!
Perry Parks (Editor) July 09, 2012 at 08:50 PM
It's important to note that while climate change is a political debate, it's not a scientific one. Nearly every scientist who closely studies climate issues agrees that the earth is heating rapidly and that humans are a significant contributor to this phenomenon: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.full.pdf+html At the same time, it's worth noting that, because scientists as a group are more cautious than they get credit for, usually they don't blame climate change for specific short-term weather events such as this heat wave or the big burst of major tornadoes we experienced several months ago. Most climate scientists interviewed in this AP story say this heat wave LOOKS LIKE what they have predicted, but isn't conclusively the result of global warming: http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/national/heat-wave-2012-caused-by-global-warming-this-us-summer-is-what-global-warming-looks-like
Brian Crawford July 09, 2012 at 09:07 PM
There is certainly a difference between weather and climate but the science behind global warming is pretty overwhelming. The planet is warming. Man made carbon emissions have contributed to that warming.Those are facts. Are we near a tipping point? I'd rather be safe than sorry. Fossil fuels are a finite resource, an inevitable dead end, but we're like a smoker who can't kick the habit. To paraphrase Paul Simon, we are living in an age of "miracles and wonder", clean renewable energy is within our grasp. We have the capacity to develop the science but no one has the political will to stand up to Big Oil. That could be the death of us all.
Neil Levine July 09, 2012 at 10:04 PM
The storms seem to be coming Fast and Furious. Emilia is forming in the Pacific and Ernesto is nect up in the Ewet.
Sharon Swanepoel July 09, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Well they're fast and furious at my house right now. Power is out and cats are in hiding. Thank goodness for mobile Internet!
Ryan Smith (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Perry, You make a good point. Policy may be influenced by popular vote, and often should be. Science is not and should not be. A thing either is or isn't, regardless of how people feel about it.
Robert Edney January 10, 2013 at 06:31 PM
I believe that it's easy to pick on the auto industry for our ecological woes but think of this. Think of how much pure CO2 that the collective amount of just canned soda, beer, or any carbonated beverage emits over a year. Everything that utilizes CO2 as a propellant or the like. Last year, I researched that just the US consumed aprox 8 trillion cans of soda. That is pure CO2 being emited. Are we going to controll that. I believe the majority of Global Warming is caused by reflective heat from objects such as asphault road, concrete buildings, any surface that absorbes or reflects heat. Just think of how much heat that is generated by an automobile or any vehicle that has an internal combustion engine. The engine, exhaust piping, catalytic converter, just the surface area of the vehicle, the brakes, and friction of the tires. Collectivly, if you consider the heat generated by all the vehicles in just the US, no wonder why NY City has its own weather patern. Maybe this just global warming thing is just a product of mans progress or so we call it. No matter how much CO2 we remove, or regulate, we are enslave by other factors we have no control over. JUST MY OPINION !

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