Weather patterns in every region of the world are changing. Areas once known to be dry are experiencing heavier rain fall while previously rainy areas are experiencing droughts. What do we call this active and fluid phenomenon? Is it global warming or climate change?
Global Warming is defined as a “gradual increase in average global temperatures.” The increase or warming effect is result of a gradual increase in concentrations of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Here you have the language that makes mankind responsible for the damage to our atmosphere. Opinions and information on climate change from the science community and other parties with an interest in global climate differ. To whom should people listen? Whose opinion is correct? Which one is it?
Climate change is simply defined as the average weather in a specific place. As definite as that sounds, does that limit the size of the location or can the place be the planet? If that suggests that the planet experiences continually shifting weather patterns, does this further imply that our planet has experienced such change in the past? Possibly the only difference is that humans now occupy the planet and our way of life is affected by the climate in which we live.
Ecosystems are shaped by patterns in climate. Does this infer that the ecosystem of the planet is affected by changes in global climate? Answers are difficult to ascertain or define yet, what is known is that we need answers.
Humans are required to eat to survive therefore anything that would threaten our food supply demands more investigation. The recommendations for reductions in emissions may be worth trying in an effort to maintain and salvage what we can of our way of life. Naturally the proverbial sitting on of hands approach can be employed but what is the cost for underestimating how dramatic changes in climate may be? The US federal government feels the subject of climate so important that they announced the launch of climate.data.gov earlier today. The goal is to create a deposit of information on global warming and climate change. The information will be available to communities, researchers and other industries trying to devise adaptive methodologies for surviving a changing climate.
When congress failed to act, President Obama made a pledge in June of 2013 to use executive authority to investigate the causes and effects of climate change. The specific mention of the effects of climate change on the food supply, energy sources and public health was noted. With regard to the private sector, resources such as apps, Web tools and cloud computing will be available options for data.
The roll out will start with a beta phase where coastal flooding and data set for sea-level rise will be provided. The goal is to collect data and with scientific knowledge, resources and imagination develop a universal tool that will aide in preparation for possible future scenarios. With this announcement the possibility increases that definitive data is on the horizon. We all may soon know what to call this thing we’re experiencing. Which expression will win the battle; global warming or climate change?
By T. Lawson