It’s Gettin Hot in Here! (part 2)

Last week we learned that opponents of climate change tend to point towards the fluctuations in weather and colder than usual winters are proof that global warming is not happening. But that is simply a weak argument, as the two are not inherently related.

Today we’ll visit a couple more common arguments that are given.

Opponents of global warming believe that human generated greenhouse gases are too insignificant to affect the planet’s temperature and that it, in fact, absorbs the increase without effect. Or that the increase in temperature is a natural process caused by fluctuations in the sun’s heat and ocean currents.

The sun’s solar output varies with time. Global warming is simply an increase in the sun’s solar activity causing the Earth to heat up.

Nope, sorry, we can easily measure the sun’s radiation output and while this statement is cloaked in partial truth, it is misleading in its conclusion. While the sun’s solar output does vary, since the 1970’s, the solar energy and temperature from the sun have decreased, but as we know, temperatures on Earth have quickly increased, but only in the lower layers of the atmosphere. If the sun were the culprit we would also see increases in the upper layers of the atmosphere, which we do not.

Joe Hanson gives a great explanation of this in his video below. If you’re not following his channel- you should.

How can scientist accurately measure the entire Earth’s temperature?

This is answered by quantum mechanics. The earth emits thermal radiation which can be measured as waves of light. Infrared light to be specific. The hotter an object gets, the higher the frequency of light it emits. By viewing the changes in the frequency of light emitted by the Earth, we can determine that the surface temperature is, in fact, getting hotter.

Check out the TED video below for an explanation.

Perhaps because climate change is so gradual and it’s something we perceive to be fixed in the future is why we procrastinate on taking action or believing in it at all. There is another video by Joe Hanson explaining the sociology behind why we doubt and clash on this topic (link below) that may be of some interest.

One would hope that the differences we may believe we have with one another could be set aside to accept the overwhelming data supporting our involvement in the change in our planet’s climate. Here’s to hoping our children are not as stubborn.

 

References

 

It’s Okay to Be Smart

https://www.youtube.com/user/itsokaytobesmart

Disbelief in Climate Science- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2euBvdP28c

TED-ed

https://www.youtube.com/user/TEDEducation

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