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2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record, Ever.

Part 14:

2017-JAN:
Recent climate change measurements:
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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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About this essay:

We show some raw data below that is hard evidence of global temperatures rising, ice melting, and ocean levels rising. It is our hope that it will convince some visitors to this web site that these changes in the world's environment is a serious problem.

Results of a Gallup poll, released during 2017-MAR, showed that 66% of Democrats are concerned "a great deal" about climate change, while only 18% of Republicans are. 11

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), a graduate of an evangelical college and an evangelical university expressed a common belief among religious conservatives during 2017-JUN:

"As a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us, And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it." 12

However, a succession of Gallup polls shows that the percentage of U.S. adults who believe that the effects of global warming are evident has increased in recent years. It was 49% in 2011, and has risen to 62% in 2017, an average rate of 2.2 percentage points per year.

Some reasons for this low level of concern about climate change among religious and social conservatives is that many of them distrust scientists. There has been a steady conflict for over the past century between science and religion. Much of it has been caused by many Christians having interpretated of the Bible as saying that the Earth and its living "kinds" were created by God less than 10,000 years ago, Meanwhile, most scientists believe that the Earth coalesced 4.5 billion years ago, that life started as a single-celled animal, and evolved over time to the current proliferation of living species. Further, life on Earth is continuing to evolve.

Perhaps presenting actual measurements, like the data below, may convince visitors to change their beliefs. That is a two step process:

  • Step 1: Conclude that global warming/climate change is a real phenomenon, and

  • Step 2: Conclude that climate change is mainly being caused by human activities.

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Data: The Earth's lower troposphere temperature in recent decades:

Dr. Joe Romm, founding Editor of Climate Progress, writing for Think Progress, posted a note titled: "We did it again! [2016-] November is hottest on record."

He included a graph of the "Lower troposphere temperature" of the Earth, as measured between the 1980's and 2016. The troposphere extends from the earth's surface to a height of 6 to 10 km (3.7 to 6.2 miles). Each point shown on the graph is the average temperature from December of the previous year to November of the current year. The data comes from RSS satellites. He stated in late 2016:

"... These data show that not only is November 2016 the hottest on record, but [that] there is an ongoing, annual trend."

Lower Trophosphere Temperature 1

Credit: Hotwhopper. 2

The average rate of warming is 0.18ºC/ per decade or 1.8ºC per century. That is 0.32ºF/ per decade or 3.2ºF per century. The consistent rise over recent years to 2013 to 2016 is probably partly driven by El Nino which reached a peak in 1016 and started to decrease during 2017. It is a cyclical phenomenom and will increase again in a few years.

The sloping line shown on the graph is generated by the equation: [y = 0.018 * x - 36.025], where Y = temperature in ºC, and X = year.

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Data: 2017: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data showing the temperature at the Earth's surface during the 20th and 21st centuries:

Temperature at the earth surface 3

The ten warmest years are shown highlighted in red, with 2016 -- the warmest -- shown in bold. They all occurred in the 21st century.

The ten coldest years are shown in green with the coldest shown in bold. They all occurred in the 20th century.

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Cause: Analyses of recent papers by climate scientists show that a concensus has been reached that global warming/climate change is real. Also among those papers that mentioned the cause of climate change, 97% attribute the cause to to human effort. The main one is the burning of fossil fuels which increases the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

NOAA data showing the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere in parts per million, 1958 to 2016:

NOAA carbon dioxide level in atmosphere

4

In effect, these gasses act as a blanket around the earth. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a the most important of the greenhouse gas. They keep in heat by reducing the radiation of the Earth's heat into space.

During the 400,000 years up to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (circa 1750 CE), the concentration of CO2 was steady, varying betweeen about 200 and 275 ppm (parts per million), depending upon the ice age cycles. This level has rapidly increased to 407 ppm as of mid-2017 and the increase is accelerating:

Carbon dioxide lavels, past 400,000 years 8

There is an optimum level of CO2 in the atmosphere; it is about 240 ppm. If all the greenhouse gasses "went away" then the Earth's temperature would drop, to an average of about -0.4º F (-18º C), compared with its current value of 59º F (15º C). 8 However, climate researchers have concluded that the present level, in excess of 400 ppm, is causing significant global warming.

"The present CO2 concentration is the highest in at least the past 800,000 years and likely the highest in the past 20 million years." 9 Virtually all climate scientists agree that this recent increase was due mostly to human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, which directly add to the CO2 level. Another cause is also by humans. It is deforestation, which slows down the absorption of CO2 by trees and plants, and their emission of Oxygen into the atmosphere.

NOT the Cause: The Sun's energy output in watts per square meter:

Some have suggested that the Sun's energy output is increasing. An implication of this belief is that there is nothing that we can do about it. The Sun's energy output has an 11 year cycle, but little or no long-term increase. It is measured in Watts per square meter:

Sun's energy output 4

One effect: NOAA data showing global average temperature rise in Degrees Celsius compared to the 20th century average temperature:

(Multiply temperature rise by 1.8 to convert to Degrees Fahrenheit)

Global average temperature

year 4

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A second effect: Average shrinking in the thickness of the world's glaciers (in meters of water equivalent):

(Multiply thickness by 3.28 to convert to feet)

Shrinkage of glacier thickness 4

year

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A third effect: Reduced ice coverage in the Arctic and Antarctic:

Ice loss in Arctic, 2002 to 2016:

The extent of sea ice in the Arctic varies during the year. It typically reaches a maximum during May and a minimum during September. 5 The BBC published a graph prepared by the National Snow and Ice Data Center showing the yearly minimum extent of sea ice between 1980 (when it was 7.8 million square km or 3.01 million square miles) to 2015 (when it was 4.6 million square km or 1.77 million square miles).

Arctic sea ice yearly minimums 4

One result of this loss of coverage is that polar adventure expeditions through the Arctic's NorthWest Passage are now available.

Ice loss in Antarctic, 2002 to 2016:

 6

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A fourth effect: Global average sea level in millimeters relative to the year 2000:

(Multiply level rise by 0.394 to convert to inches)

4

year

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This topic continues in the next essay

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Some more environment/climate change articles that you might find of interest:

  • Part 1: 2013: Quotes. Background. Bay of Bengal incident. Decline in Canada's arctic ice cover.

  • Part 2: 2013/2014: Canada loses its seasons. 316 North American cities to be under water.

  • Part 3: 2013/2014: Christians, Republicans' & Democrats' beliefs differ. Volcanoes cause pauses in global warming. Americans' views on climate change.

  • Part 4: 2014/2015: How Americans viewed climate change. HFC limits. Groups abandoning ALEC. Paris Conference reaches agreement.

  • Part 5: 2016-FEB to AUG: Climate change concerns: Ocean levels rising. Displacement of animal species. Greenland glacier melting. "Third Pole" glaciers melting.

  • Part 6: 2016-SEP: Flooding on the U.S. East coast. U.S. and China ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Pres. Obama: trends are "terrifying."

  • Part 7: 2016-SEP: Obama comments on warming (Continued). 31 countries ratify Paris agreement. Trump zigzags on Climate Change.

  • Part 8: 2016-Summer/Fall: Events showing that climate change is adversely affecting life on Earth

  • Part 9: 2016-OCT: Did God send Hurricane Matthew as an anti-LGBT message to humanity? Alternate opinions. Hurricane Matthew re-enters Atlantic Ocean.

  • Part 10: 2016-NOV: U.S. Costal real estate threatened. Rapid temperature rise in the Arctic. Very large poll about climate change.

  • Part 11: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's climate change beliefs. New heads of federal government departments. Extinction of 11 species.

  • Part 12: 2016-DEC: President-elect Trump's 16 promised plans on energy and the environment.

  • Part 13: star 2017-JAN: 2016 Was The Hottest Year On Record, Ever.

 

  • Part 15: star 2017-JAN to APR: Climate Change beliefs are changing; more people accept it as real, and are now debating its cause.

  • Part 16: 2017-JAN to APR: Donald Trump Becomes President. EPA Foe Installed as Head of EPA! Hundreds Die During Flood in Colombia. Carbon Dioxide
    in Atmosphere Reaches New High.


  • Part 17: 2017-JAN to APR: Studies of the effects of sea-level rise in California between now and the year 2100.
  • Part 18: President Trump Severs the U.S. from the Paris Accord.U.S. and World Leaders React.
  • Part 19: star More Reactions to the U.S. Withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Record high temperatures in San Francisco and elsewhere.

  • Part 20: star2017: Group of 20 summit meeting. Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas.Is climate change increasing the severity or frequency of hurricanes?

  • Part 21: Can government regulations help? Is Harvey a message from God? U.S. record high temperatures. Hurricane Harvey attacks Texas.
    Hurricane Irma attacks Caribbean, FL, SC, & GA.

References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Joe Romm, "We did it again! November is hottest on record," Think Progress, 2016-DEC-06, at: https://thinkprogress.org/
  2. "Hottest November on record for the troposphere - with a comment on Trumped Up Courage," HotWhopper, 2016-DEC-03, at: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/
  3. "Six graphics that explain climate change, BBC News, 2017, at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/
  4. "Global Climate Dashboard," NOAA, undated, at: https://www.climate.gov/
  5. Jim Hunt, "Facts About the Arctic in August 2017," The Great White Con, 2017-AUG-18, at: http://greatwhitecon.info/
  6. "GRACE observations of Antarctic ice mass changes," NASA Climate Change, YouTube 2017-MAY-19, at: https://www.youtube.com/
  7. "U.S. Concern About Global Warming at Eight-Year High," Gallup, 2016-MAR-16, at: http://news.gallup.com/
  8. "Greenhouse gas," Wikipedia, as on 2017-NOV-06, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
  9. "Catholics Divided Over Global Warming," Pew Research Center, 2015-JUN-16, at: http://www.pewforum.org/
  10. "Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere," Wikipedia, as on 2017-OCT-16, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
  11. Jim Norman, "Democrats Drive Rise in Concern About Global Warming," Gallup News, 2017-MAR-17, at: http://news.gallup.com/
  12. Sarah Pulliam Bailey, "Why so many white evangelicals in Trump’s base are deeply skeptical of climate change," Washington Post, 2017-JUN-02, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/

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Home page > Morality and ethicsEnvironment >  here

 Home > Christianity > Bible > Inerrancy > Harmony > Science/religion > Environment >here

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Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2017-JUN-02
Latest update: 2017-SEP-01
Author: B.A. Robinson


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