Video: What’s Warming the Earth—Explained

Candice Gaukel Andrews September 29, 2016 1
Polar bears already face shorter ice seasons, limiting prime hunting and breeding opportunities. The total number of ice-covered days declined at the rate of seven to 19 days per decade between 1979 and 2014. ©NASA/Mario Hoppmann, flickr

Polar bears already face shorter ice seasons, limiting prime hunting and breeding opportunities. The total number of ice-covered days declined from seven to 19 per decade between 1979 and 2014. ©NASA/Mario Hoppmann, flickr

“July 2016 was the 379th consecutive month with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th-century average,” says the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. July 2016 was also the 40th July in a row of above average temperatures.

Those statements should shock you because they’re undeniable facts.

By the mid-19th century, we had collected enough data in enough places to figure out an average temperature for the whole world. In the ensuing decades, climate scientists have looked at those statistics through many different lenses. And, every time they do, they get the same answer: Earth is warming up, and it’s doing so extremely fast. In fact, if you were born after December 1984, you haven’t seen below-average 20th-century temperatures in your lifetime.

An iceberg floats in Disko Bay, near Ilulissat, Greenland, on July 24, 2015. The massive Greenland ice sheet is shedding about 300 gigatons of ice a year into the ocean, making it the single largest source of sea-level rise from melting ice. ©NASA/Saskia Madlener, flickr

The massive Greenland ice sheet is shedding about 300 gigatons of ice a year into the ocean, making it the single largest source of sea-level rise from melting ice. ©NASA/Saskia Madlener, flickr

What’s the cause? Skeptics of human-generated climate change offer various natural reasons why the Earth has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, such as orbital changes, or solar or volcanic activity. But scientists understand that the Earth’s climate is a complex puzzle whose pieces affect one another in many ways; and they’ve researched every one of those possibilities. The resultant picture is clear. And that’s what the following video, titled What’s Really Warming the Earth: Explaining Climate Change, is all about.

Watch the six-minute clip below, which was based on findings from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and produced by PBS Digital Studios.

The effects of rapid, human-caused climate change are here, and there can be no more silencing of that fact.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,

Candy

Note: The Bloomberg graphs referenced at the end of the video can be found here.

 

One Comment »

  1. Trisha October 5, 2016 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    “What’s Warming the Earth – Explained” – gr8 work. So good 2 c people willing 2 b openminded & all-encompassing with facts & figures. It’s too late 2 do anything once or’s all gone…😯

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