Anticipating President Obama: A U.S. Climate Action Plan?

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 3:34 PM GMT on June 25, 2013

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Anticipating President Obama: A U.S. Climate Action Plan?

Today President Obama is planning a major speech that will reintroduce climate change as a spoken-of issue into U.S. politics. There has been a lot of pre-speech publicity, for example Youtube and the speech will be broadcast live, currently scheduled at 1:55 PM Eastern. There has already been some information released including The President’s Climate Action Plan and a shorter Fact Sheet.

I will take The President’s Climate Action Plan as a logical outline for the speech. There are three major bullets in the outline:

Cut Carbon Pollution in America

Prepare the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change

Lead International Efforts to Combat Global Climate Change and Prepare for its Impacts

The outline covers mitigation, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation, anticipating and responding to the impacts of climate change. Looking more deeply into the plan, President Obama is resetting some of the political battles that have proved and will be most contentious, for example, reduction of subsidies for fossil fuels (conservative support), and public sector financing of clean energy. This will queue up the issues of the Keystone Pipeline, which will remain a complex and difficult decision for the near future. The Keystone Pipeline will be viewed as a measure of the seriousness of Administration’s commitment.

Prior to the speech, I think the most important aspect of the speech is re-introducing the language of climate change into the political process (earlier blog on language barriers). To continue to avoid the words climate, climate change and adaptation is damaging to our country’s credibility, economic well being, technological development, our environment and our future. If we do not take a leadership position, I suspect that by 2020 we will be put into a distinct policy disadvantage as emerging use of renewables in other large economies become both economical and influential in the development of trade policy. We are living in a world where the words “climate” and “climate change” are scrubbed from documents and legislative targets in disruptive and destructive ongoing political tribalism. Though a single speech will not end this tribalism, it will start to break down the language barriers, especially as the impacts of weather, climate, climate variability and climate change become more apparent to more and more people.

The last long piece I wrote on policy was just prior to the 2012 election. I reproduce some of this below in anticipation of examining the speech after it is delivered.

Excerpts from Election eve: Climate Science and the 2012 Election – Redux (2)

Originally posted November 4, 2012

Climate change was thrown prominently into the headlines, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City endorsed President Obama, citing at the top of the list Hurricane Sandy and the need to address climate change. Though to my knowledge New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not made any recent statements about climate change, his tour of the hurricane damage with President Obama has ignited a number of anti-climate change pieces and suggestions that the governor has strayed from the conservative mantra. Hurricane Sandy has put climate change into the headlines, and perhaps made it a small issue for the election, but it is not back as a substantive political issue.

If we look back over the past 4 years, then there are a couple of moments when climate change did appear overtly on the political agenda. Most prominently was in 2009 when the House or Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey, American Clean Energy and Security Act. (my blog at the time) The bill did not go very far in the political process. It was part of the run up to the 2009 United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen. The other significant policy posturing prior to COP15 was U.S. EPA’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide. The threat of regulation is often a policy motivator in the U.S. Ultimately; however, any EPA action was burdened by strong bipartisan opposition to any action that would imperil the role of fossil fuels in the economic recovery.

After COP15 I felt that the U.S. had lost any leadership potential that it might have had on the global stage of climate policy. I also felt that we were squandering technological and economic advantage. I made a prediction prior to COP15: “I imagine that the machinations of legislation and lobbying will push climate change legislation close enough to the mid-term election that it will languish next to health care and Afghanistan and the economy. I think that there will be climate legislation, but I bet that it will be early in year 4 of the Obama administration, with its passage dependent on what Obama’s re-election looks like.”

So that prediction was wrong. What I did not anticipate was the sweeping change in the mid-term election that amplified the political attack on climate change, as well as an attack in general on the use of scientific information in policy and regulation. This attack on the use of knowledge in policy, which is complemented by assaults on very small parts of the U.S. federal budget in the name of budget cutting, only amplifies my concern that the U.S. is placing itself at technological, economic, and, now, research disadvantage. I would insert into the argument about, for instance, the bankruptcy of Solyndra, that our unstable policy on technological investment delayed U.S. development while foreign competitors built effective and market-friendly alternatives. We simply came to the game too late. The fragmented, up and down nature of both energy and climate policy hurt us everyday. For example, we are currently enamored of cheap natural gas and its potential to revitalize industry. This is a great local and short-term benefit. As far as climate policy, it does not serve as convincing reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, there are other environmental challenges with the acquisition of natural gas that will emerge rapidly in the next few years. Therefore, as far as energy policy, it is only short-term opportunism.

Despite the flurry of chatter of climate change as an issue that has followed Superstorm (nee Hurricane) Sandy, it is difficult to look across such a close election and see climate change emerging as a substantive issue on a national scale. To make progress on this issue requires support in the Legislative Branch. I expect that tribal partisanship will continue, and I hope that we spend our first quota of bipartisan behavior on stabilizing the federal budget, dealing with political-economic sequestration, and reconciling continuing resolutions. Thinking about voting, more than climate change in particular, the continued assault on science and the use of science-derived knowledge is, fundamentally, part of the threat to our thriving. This notion of American Exceptionalism takes on the hollow boosterism of Dust Bowl towns, which looked knowledge in the eyes and denied its existence. The world is changing in ways that we do not control, and it will not be good if we are the ones reliant on burning stuff for our way of life.


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60. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:38 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
RickyRood has created a new entry.
59. cyclonebuster
9:37 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Not drastic enough folks we need blitzkrieg....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20508
58. barbamz
9:27 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Preparing for climate catastrophe
Deutsche Welle, June 25, 2013

While the latest UN climate talks in Bonn were slowed by political bickering, the floods that devasted wide areas of Germany put the spotlight on the need to adapt now. Climate change is already happening. ...

Germanwatch, which has provided this map, somewhere ;)
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 66 Comments: 7492
57. RevElvis
9:20 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Climate change: The next challenge for national security - Gen. Wesley Clark

The question isn't whether we can afford to combat climate change, but rather how can we not?

Sitting in a New York restaurant with several top climate scientists on a beautiful summer evening, it's difficult to remember that, nine months ago, this part of Manhattan was without power for six days as a result of a Hurricane Sandy storm surge. But the climate scientists around the table had not forgotten. They warned it could get much worse as average global temperatures rise - problems so severe as to be flagged profound national security challenges.

Scientists have been wrestling with this problem for a long time. The atmosphere is trapping more heat, largely as a result of human activity, causing a build-up of CO2. Modelling the effects is difficult, they explained, because the additional heat is fed into a dynamic, finely balanced system that resists change - up to a point. Oceans act as heat sinks, forests expand to soak up carbon, glaciers melt, and so forth.

And there are still elements of the system we can't fully model, such as the melting rate of Greenland's disappearing icecap or the heat exchange processes that occur within the deep ocean. There are also adverse feedback mechanisms - such as the increased absorption of solar heat when ice cover shrinks, and the release of methane from long-frozen, decayed vegetation in the permafrost, which can be seen bubbling up in puddles in the Arctic. These have made previous modelling efforts understate the pace and severity of prospective climate change.

But as former Senior Official of the National Science Foundation Bob Correll explained, the conclusion is inescapable: Earth is going to warm substantially, and soon. Perhaps, 3.88 to 5 degrees Celsius (7 to 9 Fahrenheit) over the next 80 years.

Article at
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
56. cyclonebuster
9:05 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
It is going to get hotter and hotter folks even if we curbed it now.... The president told us what we already know.... How are we to prevent it from getting hotter folks?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20508
54. Patrap
8:39 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
This Day in Weather History
Did you know that...
On this day in 1749, residents of Massachusetts were asked to fast due to a severe drought. Anchorage, Alaska recorded its hottest ever temperature of 86 degrees in 1953. In 1998, Melbourne, Fla. was in the middle of a heat wave that would see 22 days in June set record highs.

Fairbanks Weather at a Glance

Weather Station - Report
540 ft

Scattered Clouds
86.0 °F

Feels Like 84 °F
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 431 Comments: 131283
53. barbamz
8:29 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting Patrap:
Let's not forget that when President Obama gave a major address on climate change, the only network that showed it was the Weather Channel

I've watched it and I've enjoyed his address! Of course it's always a diplomatic challenge to win as many people as possible.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 66 Comments: 7492
52. Patrap
8:29 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Dr. Jeff Masters on TWC with his initial thoughts on President Obama's Climate Change Speech at Georgetown today.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 431 Comments: 131283
51. Patrap
8:27 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Let's not forget that when President Obama gave a major address on climate change, the only network that showed it was The Weather Channel.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 431 Comments: 131283
50. barbamz
8:27 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Here is the web address of the English version of the website from our German "Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety".
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 66 Comments: 7492
49. barbamz
8:21 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting Naga5000:

From my understanding from a friend when I was in Dresden, the solar panel program was subsidized allowing for many to get relatively inexpensive panels for home use.

I found the wind farms to be beautiful on the trip from Dresden to Berlin, but to be fair, I don't live near any so I don't know if my opinion would be any different.

Thanks. Yes the solar panel programm was heavily subsidized by gov (moreover you can/could earn money, when you send superfluous energy from your roof into the public grid), but now it's running out. And our solar industry has severe problems because of the competition from China to boot. Nevertheless I think this won't drive people away from using (more) solar panels.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 66 Comments: 7492
48. JohnLonergan
8:20 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting barbamz:

Uhh, John, it's always quite a challenge for me to write longer texts in English.
Danke schön!,

I'm not going to try any more German, it's been too long That was what interested me, your views of what the people see and your thoughts. Now I have much to read and study.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4083
46. barbamz
8:05 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting JohnLonergan:


I wonder, could you give some insight into the German situation regarding solar and wind and what the German people think?

Uhh, John, it's always quite a challenge for me to write longer texts in English. To make it short: Germany is used to the subject of environmental protection already for decades, and the goals, once politically only proclaimed by our green party, became quite common, the more the green party became part of the political establishment and was/is a coalition partner in many governments (local and central).

The current goal of "Energiewende" (energy transition) was first proclaimed in 1980 and was officially acknowledged by policy in autumun 2010.
You may look to the overview wikipedia article , to the more specific one about Germany or to an article of Deutsche Welle English.

Usually most people agree with these goals, the more as Germany is mostly dependend on other countries to get oil and gas (we only have coal in our soil, and the possibilities of fracking have mostly been rejected so far).

When you are travelling Germany you'll find a lot of private roofs with solar panels on top, and a lot of wind farms as well; moreover to safe energy is in the head of the majority I think.

Of course, all these efforts hit a some snags. There are certain problems with the project of huge offshore windfarms and with the electric grid (since we turned off some nuclear plants immediately after "Fukushima" and want to turn off the rest as soon as possible). There are local problems with onshore windfarms as well (people don't like to look at them in their immediate neighbourhood). People as well refused to use gasoline from renewables (because those fuels could damage their precious cars, but as well because those fuels could drive agriculture in wrong directions. We've already got huge rapeseed fields). People are angry because of high energy prices; DESERTEC (project to gain energy for Europe in the desert of Sahara) seems to fail (I think I've posted news about it recently). And after all, some of the resentments concerning climate change, which are constantly present on this blog, you'll find in some parts of the german population as well (especially on blogs in the Internet).

But over all, I'm quite optimistic. Germany depends on it's technological knowledge and inventive talent, since we don't own many natural resources to speak of. And as much as governments come and go, I think, no one would dare to totally dismiss goals of environment protection or energy transition.

Hope this helps. The official website of "Deutsche Welle English - Environment" is always a good source of broader information; I often use it here. (Here a link to newer articles about our "turn of energy". I hope it works).

If you're interested to more detailed informations I'd have to dig a lot deeper ;)
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 66 Comments: 7492
44. cyclonebuster
7:06 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting RevElvis:
President Obama delivers speech on climate change 6/25/2013

Not fast enough Mr. President...We are doomed...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20508
43. RevElvis
7:05 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Climate Desk’s top three surprises from President Obama’s speech today:

1. At a particularly striking moment near the end of his speech, Obama called on consumers to divest from dirty energy: “Invest, divest, make yourself heard,” he said to raucous applause. Divestment has recently gained in popularly as a rallying cry for young climate activists, pushed by Bill McKibben and his group, Read more about that campaign here.

2. Something to look forward to: a potential conflict between the EPA and State Department over measuring the climate impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline, now that the president has made that the deciding factor. (We’d love to be a fly on the wall of the next cross-agency meeting.)

3. Finally, Obama promised to withdraw financial support for any overseas coal-fired power station, unless it uses carbon capture technology, a decision meant to encourage developing countries to leapfrog dirtier phases of power production.

more at
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
42. cyclonebuster
7:04 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
We are not fast enough for the fast ice... We are doomed...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20508
41. cyclonebuster
7:00 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting allahgore:
The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season was significantly less active than the record previous season. It marked the first since 2001 in which no hurricanes made landfall in the United States, and was the first since 1994 that no tropical cyclones formed during October.[1] Following the intense activity of 2005, forecasters predicted that the 2006 season would be only slightly less active. Instead a rapidly forming moderate El Niño event in 2006, activity was slowed by the presence of the Saharan Air Layer over the tropical Atlantic and the steady presence of a robust secondary high pressure area to the Azores high centered around Bermuda. There were no tropical cyclones after October 2.[2]

Never mind 2010,2011,2012 all tied for 3rd most active hurricane seasons in the Atlantic Basin......
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20508
40. cyclonebuster
6:51 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting allahgore:

And after 2005 majors hitting the USA was going to be the new norm!

Actually after 1992..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20508
39. cyclonebuster
6:49 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
So what does the 1886 Indianola hurricane and the 1900 Galveston hurricane say about AGW?

Storm surge has always been a threat to coastal cities...

Would the storm surge been worse if global sea levels were a foot higher at the time?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20508
38. RevElvis
6:46 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
President Obama delivers speech on climate change 6/25/2013

Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
34. yonzabam
6:33 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting allahgore:

NOAA%u2019s 2006 Atlantic hurricane season outlook indicates an 80% chance of an above-normal hurricane season, a 15% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 5% chance of a below-normal season. This outlook is produced by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC), National Hurricane Center (NHC), and Hurricane Research Division (HRD). See NOAA%u2019s definitions of above-, near-, and below-normal seasons.

The outlook calls for a very active 2006 season, with 13-16 named storms, 8-10 hurricanes, and 4-6 major hurricanes. The likely range of the ACE index is 135%-205% of the median.

And that's the same as . . .

"And after 2005 majors hitting the USA was going to be the new norm!" ???

Still waiting.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3163
32. Patrap
6:31 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
.."we dont have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society"..

President Obama, just now in his Speech on Climate Change
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 431 Comments: 131283
29. yonzabam
6:30 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3163
24. yonzabam
6:21 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting allahgore:

And after 2005 majors hitting the USA was going to be the new norm!

Really? Which meteorological organization predicted this?

I'm waiting, but I think this is going to be a long wait.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3163
22. Patrap
6:14 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting Birthmark:

That, oddly, most of the warming occurs on Tuesdays for some reason.

Next question?

Or is it Thursday now?

Galveston enacts stage two of drought plan

Water restrictions are now in effect in the City of Galveston.

This morning the city implemented stage two restrictions. Customers who live east of 103rd Street can water Mondays and Thursdays. Customers west of 103 Street and 3rd can water Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Watering can only take place before 10am or after 8pm. Washing a car, boat or any other vehicle can only be done on your designated watering day.

All restaurants are prohibited from serving water to patrons except upon patron request.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 431 Comments: 131283
19. WPBHurricane05
6:09 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
So what does the 1886 Indianola hurricane and the 1900 Galveston hurricane say about AGW?

Storm surge has always been a threat to coastal cities...
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
18. Patrap
6:08 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Fairbanks, Alaska
Weather Station - Report

540 ft

Partly Cloudy

80.4 °F

Feels Like 80 °F
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 431 Comments: 131283
16. Dr. Ricky Rood , Professor
5:44 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Why would an event like a land falling hurricane be a reason to support climate change?

Yes, hurricanes have been coming ashore, including, the NE US for as long as we've been around. What motivates one to think about climate change are things like the storm surge. Already with the amount of sea level rise we have realized, the coastal flooding is far more extensive. Now some will dismiss this as, perhaps, land-use policy. However, I don't think that it is reasonable to disconnect land-use policy, climate, climate change, and weather. We like to build on these edges, and they will be more vulnerable. Hence there is a spectrum of public policy issues.

So if you look at the whole impact with flooding, environmental damage from breached refineries, ecosystem disruption, etc - link this to sea level rise, look at future sea level rise, I find it hard to dismiss the role of climate change even in a single event land falling hurricane. As in my previous blog, we see much that is consistent with the model projections, and these storms are hinting at the future.

There are also some physical attributes of these storms and their propagation that perhaps distinguish them from hurricanes of the past. For example the enormous spatial extent, the slow motion of the path, etc. Is this observed more often in recent storms? Are we seeing an ensemble of storms that have these attributes?

So I don't think it is too far of a reach for single storm to be providing lessons about climate and climate change.

Quoting MisterPerfect:
Dr. Rood,

Why is an event like a landfalling hurricane a reason to support climate change? Haven't hurricanes come ashore since the birth of the world's oceans? A landfall hurricane that strikes the north eastern U.S. is not as common as one striking the southern regions, but it has happened before. Suggesting a weather event, such as a hurricane striking the north east, to support man-made climate change can involve many different fallacies; hasty generalization fallacy, ignoring common cause fallacy, appeal to fear fallacy, begging the question fallacy, to name a few.

Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 332 Comments: 289
14. RevElvis
5:33 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Obama: Keystone XL Should Not Be Approved If It Will Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions Posted: 06/25/2013 1:19 pm EDT

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will ask the State Department not to approve the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline unless it can first determine that it will not lead to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions, a senior administration official told The Huffington Post.

The policy pronouncement will come during the president's highly publicized speech on climate change at Georgetown University on Tuesday. It will add another chapter to what has been the most politically difficult energy-related issue confronting this White House.

The president has avoided weighing in on the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for several years now, citing an executive order asking the State Department to make a determination on the project's viability first. Environmentalists have called on him to spike the project entirely because of risks that it will contribute irrevocably to global warming and potentially contaminate drinking water if it leaks. Conservatives and even some labor groups have encouraged Obama to approve of the project because of its potential to create jobs.

The new Obama policy somewhat splits the difference -- not killing the project outright, but ensuring that it meets a basic environmental standard.

article at
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
13. zampaz
5:32 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
Quoting yonzabam:

Water is heavy. Pumping it costs money. It would be cheaper to import grain from Russia, so that's what would happen.

Cheaper still to eat tar sand and drink sludge.
Actually I didn't do an engineering analysis but I suspect the actual keystone pipe to too small to move a sufficient volume of water per unit time...but maybe.
If I determine what the volume of water is and estimated energy I;ll let you know.

Member Since: February 2, 2011 Posts: 3 Comments: 904
12. zampaz
5:26 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
The President’s Climate Action Plan:
A Plan to Keep on Burning.

I felt the loss even before I read the words "clean coal."

There will be no meaningful political solutions.
The president will make popular proposals but it's up to congress to fund projects. Too few people stand too much to lose in changing to an sustainable energy paradigm.
Promises will be made and then forgotten.
Keystone will go through.

Thought for today: We forget about tar sands and pump fresh water from Canada and a desalinization plant on the GOM through the Keystone pipeline to deliver fresh water to the high plains.

"Spurring Investment in Advanced Fossil Energy Projects: (We'll hide it!)"
"Instituting a Federal Quadrennial Energy Review:
(When you REALLY don't like the people you're working with.)"
Drought planning?
As in; "The aquifer is dry and the crops won't grow guess I'll work at 7-11 in the city...or I'm thirsty I hope the water truck comes soon."

Member Since: February 2, 2011 Posts: 3 Comments: 904
11. RevElvis
5:19 PM GMT on June 25, 2013
No-drama Obama unveils series of modest, sensible steps on climate change

Obama’s supporters, his critics, and the media all want the same thing from his climate speech today: drama. They want grand gestures, some sort of conversion narrative centered on Obama’s will to fight the climate fight. They want a "trade" for Keystone or a climate tax declaration or something about fracking, anything to fire up audiences and get clicks. Everyone has the same incentive nowadays, the green groups, the right-wing groups, the political media, they all want and need attention. In a fractured information environment, attention is money, and it’s measured in clicks. Drama gets clicks.

The Obama administration wants the opposite. It needs to reassure its environmental base and its international partners that it is working on climate change and intent on meeting its obligations. But high-profile climate drama could muck up the nomination of Gina McCarthy for EPA administrator, arouse the ire of the DC Circuit Court, piss off environmentalists yet again, torpedo the immigration reform effort, or, hell, just give the old white guys in the tricorner hats another excuse to march on the Mall, and aren’t we all a little tired of that?

Obama wants a no-drama climate plan that will quickly be swept from the news cycle by Supreme Court decisions and preparations for Obamacare implementation. He’s aware that the public is still spooked from the economic crash and ongoing weak recovery, in no mood to hear about sweeping, historic anything from the feds right now. That’s why the plan refers to "steady, responsible" action on climate twice in the first two pages. Steady as she goes. No reason to get worked up.

This is vintage Obama. He refuses to wage lofty ideological battles, which frustrates the hell out of people who view those battles as necessary and inevitable. He doesn’t direct a lot of energy at bashing his head into walls. He just puts the available resources to work doing what can be done. It’s not enough — it’s not even as much as he could do — but it would be a big mistake to think it doesn’t matter.

more at
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
10. Patrap
5:08 PM GMT on June 25, 2013

Many lines of scientific evidence show the Earth's climate is changing. This page presents the latest information from several independent measures of observed climate change that illustrate an overwhelmingly compelling story of a planet that is undergoing global warming.

It is worth noting that increasing global temperature is only one element of observed global climate change.

Precipitation patterns are also changing; storms and other extremes are changing as well.

A number of agencies around the world have produced datasets of global-scale changes in surface temperature using different techniques to process the data and remove measurement errors that could lead to false interpretations of temperature trends.

The warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations, such as the melting of mountain glaciers on every continent, reductions in the extent of snow cover, earlier blooming of plants in spring, a shorter ice season on lakes and rivers, ocean heat content, reduced arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels.

Global Climate Change Indicators
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Climatic Data Center
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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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