Before wrapping this up a response to a comment is necessary. Last week greenhouse gases were described as letting visible solar radiation reach the earth’s surface but trapping heat (longwave radiation). But what about clouds since heavy cloud cover decreases visible solar radiation? Clouds are not water vapor. Clouds form when the air is saturated with water vapor (100% relative humidity) and are composed of water droplets (liquid water), ice crystals, and other components. The debate on this subject is several fold, including question such as:
• Is Global Warming real?
• Is Global Warming man-induced or part of a natural cycle?
• Is there a consensus on man-induced Global Warming?
Hopefully, you will make up your own mind based on science and real data. Instead of telling you what to think, you don’t “believe” science; let’s focus on how to determine the facts.
• The first item when evaluating what is happening – quit thinking local. This is Global Warming under examination. Think in terms of the global climate and global weather patterns. The surface area of the Earth is 196,000,000 square miles while Barton County is 900 and Kansas 82,300.
• Think long-term climate not today or the last week, month or even year. To examine what is or is not happening science requires the examination of centuries to thousands of years. Data from a point in time is useless unless combined with lots of other data.
• We are speaking to the whole earth as one large place and not broken down into states, countries, or regions. What happens here can have consequences in Europe or Asia and vice-versa. What occurs in the Artic or Antarctic can directly or indirectly affect Kansas.
• Don’t expect rapid changes. When dealing with a large object, inertia is important. It takes time for change to ramp up, except in the case of a catastrophic atmospheric event like a massive volcanic explosion, and conversely it takes time to reverse any global atmospheric trend. Use a grain truck weighing in at 80,000 pounds. It takes a while to get it moving down the road and once up to speed a while to stop it.
• Don’t expect a straight line up, or down, in temperatures or other phenomena. Long-term trends should be examined not the blips and bumps typical of daily, weekly, or even seasonal weather.
• When examining the natural weather cycles, don’t just examine the pattern but its intensity. Compare the duration, severity, and other factors to the past data to try and sort out natural cycles from man-induced.
• Ignore averages and instead look at the extremes and the distribution of the climate data. The average of 25 + 25 is the same as the average of 0 + 50 but if that is yearly rainfall that average is worthless for examining crop production as affected by yearly rainfall.
• Examine the credentials of who is speaking, their background and who is paying them.
• Finally, don’t obtain your information on this issue from MSNBC, CNN, or FoxNews on opinion shows. Seek out experts from both sides of the issue. And don’t trust “experts” who tell you what they believe or feel. You accept or reject science based on data; you don’t feel it or believe it.
Hopefully this will help as you accept to separate myth from reality regarding Global Warming.