Gazette guest columnist Jerry Schnorr says we need to modify our behavior to address the effects of global warning.
“Is there a congruent connection between the ravages of Hurricane Sandy and the U.S. drought of 2012?” says Schnorr, a professor at the University of Iowa and Co-Director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research. “How can we reconcile the “weird weather” that we are seeing across the planet?
“Although a warming climate manifests itself in many different ways, the changes we are experiencing now are totally consistent with a forced warming of the planet by greenhouse gases. Globally, arctic ice is melting, Antarctic ice shelves are undercut by warmer ocean currents, sea level is rising, the sea surface temperature has warmed 1 degree Fahrenheit, and the planet averages 1.4 degree Fahrenheit warmer than 100 years ago.
“But the good news is that we can reverse climate change by acting now. We must level off global emissions now and achieve steep cuts by 2050.
“The tendency to dismiss the current drought and climate change as just another manifestation of variable weather is dangerous. It fails to acknowledge the clear and present danger of accumulating greenhouse gases and the changing climate it will cause.
“We can adapt our infrastructure to more extreme weather, but we must also help to mitigate climate change by reducing our emissions. A transition from the fossil-fuel age to the renewable-energy era can provide an engine for economic development for Iowa and the country while addressing a very serious problem for future generations,” Schnorr concludes.
What do you think? Do we need to adapt our behavior to address the effects of global warming?