Human Influence

Human Activity Really Is Melting Glaciers, Study Says

Publication: NBC News   Date: August 14, 2014   View Article

Time lapse photography of shrinking glaciers makes a powerful visual case for the impact of human-caused global warming. That’s why, for example, it’s used in former Vice President Al Gore’s slideshow, An Inconvenient Truth, and by GlacierWorks, a nonprofit started by famed mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears to document climate change in the Himalaya.

But is human activity really causing the world’s glaciers to melt? After all, these rivers of ice have been melting ever since the Little Ice Age came to an end nearly two centuries ago, long before humans pumped out enough greenhouse gases to change the global climate. Perhaps the glaciers would be retreating even if humans never once burned a fossil fuel or cleared a forest.

“It seems to be so obvious that when it is getting warmer — and it is getting warmer because of human activity — the glaciers are melting because of human activity, but that actually hasn’t been shown before,” Ben Marzeion, a climate scientist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, told NBC News.

Now it has.

Politicians, activists plead for emissions cuts in wake of climate report

Publication: NBC News   Date: September 27, 2013   View Article

Politicians and activists seized on a major scientific report saying that human activity is “extremely likely” to be the dominant cause of global warming— and used it to prod world leaders toward a global deal to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

“The future we are heading to is not the future we want to leave to our children and grandchildren and future generations,” Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, told NBC News.

Final verdict coming on Friday: Humans caused global warming

Publication: NBC News   Date: September 26, 2013   View Article

An international panel of scientists is expected to issue a report Friday that dismisses nearly every doubt that human activity has caused temperatures to warm, glaciers to melt, and seas to bulge since the middle of last century. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise precipitously, the report will warn, there will be catastrophic consequences. Whether these strong words will be met with meaningful response is another matter.

The scientists with the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been working behind closed doors in Stockholm, Sweden, this week to hammer out the exact wording of the report, though experts anticipate little departure from the main messages contained in a draft that was leaked to the media in August.

Scientists declare: ‘Human activities are changing Earth’s climate’

Publication: NBC News   Date: August 5, 2013   View Article

With more confidence than ever before, a prominent scientific body put the blame for global climate change squarely at the feet of humanity’s insatiable appetite for fossil fuels, which release heat-trapping gases when burned.

“There is only one thing that is going straight up … that is the greenhouse gases that we are just pumping at an exponential rate,” Gerald North, an atmospheric scientist at Texas A&M University who chaired the committee responsible for the statement, told NBC News.

Spring Coming Earlier, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 21, 2009   View Article

Tired of winter? Good news: Spring arrives an average of 1.7 days earlier now than it did in the first half of the 20th century, according to a new study.

Summer, fall, and winter are also starting 1.7 days earlier. And there is less of a temperature difference between winter and summer.

The shifts, which are occurring over land (seasonal shifts are different over oceans), appear to stem from as-yet-to-be determined changes in the physics of the Earth’s climate system.

One Degree of Warming Having Major Impact, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 14, 2008   View Article

Human-induced climate warming is already having a dramatic effect on Earth’s plumbing, plants, and animals, according to an exhaustive analysis of data from around the world.

The report’s individual findings are familiar and widely cited, such as cannibalistic polar bears, melting glaciers, and earlier-blooming plants.

But this is the first time the data have been compiled in a single study and directly linked to human activity, the report authors say.

Humans Changing Rainfall Patterns, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 23, 2007   View Article

Humans have caused global precipitation patterns to change substantially over the past century, new research says.

About 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) more rain fell annually in Canada, Russia, and Europe in recent years than it did in 1925.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach