My last post, “Why We Badly Need a Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax” makes the case for combatting global warming with a sensible free market mechanism such as a carbon tax rather than a hodge-podge of arbitrary national and state regulatory actions. Since many of the Facebook responders to this post deny the reality of global warming in the first place, I have decided to present the overwhelming evidence for its existence.
When ninety-seven percent of climate scientists worldwide agree that climate change is real and they have assembled a massive amount of measurement data to back up this claim, I think we have to take them seriously. For example:
- The Global Surface Temperature is Rising. Global average temperature has risen 1.4 F since the early 20th century as shown in the chart just below which also shows the close correlation with carbon-dioxide concentration.
- The Sea Level is Rising. It has risen at an average rate of 1.7 mm/year over the last 100 years and at the rate of 3.5 mm/year since 1993 which is equivalent to one inch every seven years.
- Global Upper Ocean Heat Content is Rising. The top 700 meters have warmed by .3F since 1969. Thermal expansion of the ocean water as it warms contributes to the sea level rise.
- Glacier Volume is Shrinking Worldwide. Just Greenland and Antartica alone have lost at 150 cubic kilometers of ice annually in recent years.
- Declining Artic Sea Ice. Both the extent and thickness of artic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades (see chart below).
I accept the reality of the scientific evidence for global warming but I am certainly no “alarmist” in terms of what our response should be towards addressing it. It will be many, many years before renewable energy sources like wind and solar are able to make a substantial dent in worldwide energy needs.
The best thing to do in the meantime is to attempt to decrease carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels through carbon capture and storage. A carbon tax would create a huge economic incentive for the coal and oil industry to solve this problem. If and when they figure it out, it is likely that the technology involved would rapidly spread around the world.
This would represent a real solution to a very serious problem.