The Latest on Climate Change

By KBJR News 1

November 1, 2012 Updated Nov 2, 2012 at 6:23 AM CDT

If you look at a chart of the Earth's temperature, from millions of years ago until now, you can see that the temperature has gone up and down. But does the recent warming trend point to an unnatural cause such as carbon dioxide?

According to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the answer is not a clear cut yes or no, as Warning Coordination Meteorologist Carol Christenson, for the Duluth NWS says, "As far as how or why we have global warming we don't know. How much is a natural phenomenon, but that it is occurring in cycles, and how much is occurring because off human involvement, that is the one piece of information we don't know."

Climate change has been thrown into the political arena with scientists and climatologists debating the cause for the past decade. Debating over CO2 emissions from cars and fossil fuel burning power plants is causing the world to warm up.

But Atmospheric Scientist at the Lawrence Livermore Lab in California, Dr. Ben Santer says we have a huge problem on our hands. "We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our activities will change the chemical composition of the Earth's Atmosphere. That's not a belief system, that's not speculation. We know that."

Santer says we know it by looking at carbon measurements that provide a unique fingerprint of fossil fuel burning. He also says the complex pattern we're in doesn't match a natural cycle.
"The best most plausible explanation for these changes has to involve a strong human finger print."

Around the world a growing number of climate scientists are switching to the human cause belief. But Dr. Santer says that doesn't necessarily mean the world is doomed to an on–going series of extreme weather events. "I believe in the ingenuity and creative power of the human brain and I believe that we can find solutions to the human caused climate changes."

Dr. Santer says if nations and companies share technology in an effort to create power cheaply and efficiently we can lessen the harm we've already caused the earth.

Dr. Santer says there has been a 30% increase in carbon dioxide observed in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.

Adam Clark
Chief Meteorologist
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