I've never been big on putting bumper stickers on my car. Obama didn't even rate one in 2008, though I made an exception for John Kitzhaber's gubernatorial campaign in 2010. Since he is now Oregon's governor, obviously the sticker made a difference.
I'm hoping the same will be true of my new bumper sticker message: "Friends don't let friends deny Global Warming." I bought two of architect David Stockbridge Smith's creations after learning about them via a Climate Progress post.
It's more than a little strange that this bumper sticker is necessary. After all, there's no need for "Friends don't let friends deny Quantum Mechanics" or "Friends don't let friends deny DNA."
But even though the evidence for global warming is nearly as strong as that for other generally accepted scientific facts, anti-science types (often funded by the oil industry) continue to do their best to obfuscate the truth.
2010 tied with 2005 as the hottest year on record, was the wettest year on record, and was part of the hottest decade on record.
To measure climate change, scientists look at long-term trends. The temperature trend, including data from 2010, shows the climate has warmed by approximately 0.36°F per decade since the late 1970s. “If the warming trend continues, as is expected, if greenhouse gases continue to increase, the 2010 record will not stand for long,” said James Hansen, the director of GISS [Goddard Institute for Space Studies].
Paleoclimate data suggests carbon dioxide "may have at least twice the effect on global temperatures than currently projected by computer models"
The atmospheric CO2 concentration currently is 390 parts per million by volume (ppmv), and continuing on a business-as-usual path of energy use based on fossil fuels will raise it to ∼900 to 1100 ppmv by the end of this century (see the first figure) (1). When was the last time the atmosphere contained ∼1000 ppmv of CO2?
Recent reconstructions (2–4) of atmospheric CO2 concentrations through history indicate that it has been ∼30 to 100 million years since this concentration existed in the atmosphere (the range in time is due to uncertainty in proxy values of CO2).
The data also reveal that the reduction of CO2 from this high level to the lower levels of the recent past took tens of millions of years. Through the burning of fossil fuels, the atmosphere will return to this concentration in a matter of a century. Thus, the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 is unprecedented in Earth’s history.
Massive floods reflect that global warming is real, is happening, and is scientific fact.
The pictures today from around the world of dramatic rooftop rescues from raging waters, makes it seem as though natural disasters are becoming an everyday occurrence. But they're not all that natural; climate scientists say man-made global warming is the sudden force behind the forces of nature.
..."If left unchecked, climate warming will continue so the things that we're having hints of now, foretastes of now, will come stronger," Richard Sommerville, a climate scientist at the University of California at San Diego and author of "The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change," said.
The extreme weather the world has seen is part of a larger trend, he said. "The world is warming up ... It's warming for sure and science is very confident that most of the warming is due to human causes."
These pictures tell the tale.