'There's nothing new about the climate changing..' What makes the recent warm-up different?

Climate change has become a real problem. Here's what some say on the topic.

Posted: Feb 18, 2020 6:30 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - By most estimates, the earth has warmed about a degree, to a degree and a half since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

And while almost everyone agrees the earth is warming, at least a little bit, the people of the Wabash Valley consistently rate below the national average of 67 percent who believe global warming is happening.

After all, a change in the earth's temperature and its climate isn't something new.

"Climate change has been happening throughout Earth's history. There's nothing new about the climate changing."

Amos Winter is an Earth and Environmental Systems professor at Indiana State University, and he tells us it isn't the fact that Earth's climate changes.

"The recent climate change is different than all the others because of the rate of change, is much greater than in the past. So, the warming that's taking place now, is much faster than any time in history....that we know of."

Much of this warming has been blamed on human activity, and in particular, the use of fossil fuels like coal and oil.

"It's unlikely that it's a national event. We have nearly doubled our greenhouse gases and other co2, methane, you know, all the other greenhouse gases, probably is induced by humans."

LINK | THE SCIENCE OF GREENHOUSE GASES

The impact is a changing climate, which is made up of short term events we call weather.

"The weather patterns, the teleconnections are changing with time. And for instance, as it gets warmer, we are going to get the weather that places south of us would be getting."

If the earth continues to warm due to the burning of fossil fuels, as some believe it will, not all locations on earth will be equally affected.

And the Wabash Valley may be among those areas where the impact of a rapidly warming earth is not as extreme.

"I think of all the places in the United States, I think we're actually in the best position. Part of the reason is because of soy and corn. Agricultural products. So if we didn't have the intense farming here, we would probably be worse off."

One of the main reasons our agriculture is beneficial is because fields of corn and soybeans help reduce the extreme heat others feel in more urban areas, where concrete and asphalt absorb and radiate heat.

Green space is a cooler space.

The percentage of people who believe in global warming might be lower in the Wabash Valley because we aren't "feeling" it as much.

But, unless we take steps here at home to reduce greenhouse gases, we'll soon be feeling the effects of climate change as much as the rest of the earth.

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