The Norman Transcript

Columns

February 4, 2014

Global warming’s evidence in ice record

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The new study covered data gaps over remote Arctic regions, which are warming faster than most of the planet, by using differences between satellite and ground temperature measurements, along with a well accepted — but previously unused — means of data interpolation to infill the gaps in data.

In doing so, Cowtan and Way found that global temperatures are continuing to rise at 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade, even while El Niño and La Niña natural variations offset some of the warming. They found that the Arctic is warming at 0.94 degrees Celsius per decade, almost eight times faster than the global average.

As more Arctic ice melts, more open water absorbs heat from the sun, rather than reflecting it into space, and warming speeds up in a positive feedback loop.

Warming the oceans leads to more powerful storms because typhoons, hurricanes and all tropical storms draw their vast energy from the warmth of the sea. The increased severity of these and other extreme events (such as droughts and wildfires) are consistent with global warming exacerbated by fossil fuel use.

So help us advocate for additional action by government to significantly reduce burning of fossil fuels. A fee on carbon dioxide emissions, with the revenue returned to the public, would enable a shift to renewable energy.

Many economists agree that this revenue-neutral, market-based fee and dividend on carbon dioxide emissions would be the fastest way to reduce our carbon footprints.

In the meantime, be careful. We’re on thinning ice.

Kathy D. Rand has a Ph.D. in biological sciences. Jim F. Chamberlain, Ph.D., P.E., is an environmental engineer. Michael J. Soreghan, Ph.D., is a geologist. Catherine Hobbs, Ph.D., is a professor of rhetoric and composition. All four live in Norman and are members of Citizens Climate Lobby in Norman.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014