According to NASA, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000 and carbon dioxide levels in the air are at their highest in 650.000 years. Earth-orbiting satellites and continuously developing technologies have enabled scientists to look down the rabbit hole and see its bottom.
Climate data was collected over many years and everything points to a changing climate, which after all isn’t such an inconceivable process as many people still regard it. It is known that in the geological past large changes in climate have happened in tens of years so why is there so much suspicion and denial about this despite the massive evidence?
When you encounter climate change deniers some of the following facts measured by NASA and NOAA can be summoned as arguments:
- The sea level rose about 17 cm (6.7 in) globally in the twentieth century, yet in the last decade the rate is double that of the last a hundred years.
- The oceans are warming at an accelerated rate and the increasing amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide that end up in the water lower its pH, which leads to ocean acidification. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent.
- The ice sheets are shrinking in both poles and many animals that depend on them are under pressure.
- Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.
- Extreme droughts, such as the one in California. According to the US Dept. of Agriculture and NOAA, dry conditions have become extreme across more than 62% of California’s land area—and there is little relief in sight.
Furthermore, John Cook, a climate communication fellow at the University of Queensland in Australia and the creator of the excellent website Skeptical Science, is coordinating a massive open online course (MOOC) that teaches how to respond to climate change denial (here). The course begins on April 28 and the psychology of climate denial will be explained, together with the evidence and the causes of climate change, the potential impacts and tips on how to debunk climate myths.