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Op-Ed: Global Warming heat melts away 'denialism'

By Ajit Jha     Jul 10, 2012 in Environment
No one contests opposition to an issue. That’s how debates are framed in democratic societies. However, nothing can be more cynical than living in a fool’s paradise with an ostrich like approach to issues that threaten the survival of mankind.
The critical question to ponder today is not whether humans are responsible or not for the global warming but how best can we respond to the looming threat posed by the global warming.
For the naysayers, it should be enough to learn that there are tell-tale irrefutable scientific evidences that show the planet we inhabit is warming. There are thermometer records over past century and half that shows global temperature rise over this period. Keys to the past can be found and interpreted by scientists in a number of ways through diverse sources. Scientists can study hundreds or thousands of years old trees to study climatic conditions of the places they grew in. Sediments buried deep in lakes and ocean beds contain vital climatic conditions that experts can decipher. Similarly tiny bubbles trapped in polar ice sheets contain vital climatic information of our planet that scientists can study. That’s how scientists have claimed the reality of global warming in recent years. Besides, computer models can reveal the past, present and the future of climatic conditions over the planet.
While the average temperature of planet earth has risen more than 1 degree F since 1900, the rate of warming has gone on to increase three folds since 1970 due to global warming which according to specialists has been caused primarily by the emission of green house gases through human activities.
Can we still afford to miss the telltale signs of global warming when different agencies that have undertaken independent investigations have arrived at the unanimous conclusion that global warming is real unless you choose to close your eyes to the reality? NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Academy, for instance, has estimated that the average temperature has climbed 1.4 degrees Farenheit (0.8 degree C) since 1880. What is even more dangerous is not just the increase in temperature but the increase in the rate of warming in recent years. The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims that the last two decades of the 20th century have been hottest in the last 400 years and possibly warmest for several millennia. According to the same study, 11 of the 12 among the dozen warmest years since 1850 have been in the last two decades of 20th century.
The greatest impact of the climate change is perhaps over the Arctic region. There are reports of rapidly disappearing snow capped Arctic region. According to National Geographic, we may likely witness the first ice free summer by 2040 or even earlier. All over the world, the adverse impact of global warming and climate change can be seen in melting glaciers, and disappearing flora and fauna. Montana’s Glacier National Park lies severely damaged today. In 1910, there were 150 glaciers in this park of which only 27 are left today.
Previous reports warn of large-scale food and water shortage and how it could be threatening to life on earth. We should have acted then when we heard about global warming's danger. More than global warming itself, we need to counter "Denialism" of the reality of global warming as our first action step.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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