Welcome to the anthropocene age. The period of geological time signaling impact of collective human activity on biological, physical, and chemical processes. The term ‘anthropocene’ was first used by Paul Crutzen who shared a nobel prize for his work done on chemical mechanisms that affect the ozone layer. Even the most naïve individual would agree that humans have evolved to impact our environment in many ways. While climate change deniers often claim that climate change is ‘just a theory,’ they immediately showcase their lack of scientific understanding. A theory is a hypothesis that has passed numerous tests. This is not a conspiracy, science is not based around opinions and feelings, unlike religion. With this being said, there is two common maxim’s about global warming that need to be analyzed:
- Weather is not climate.
- The United States is not the world
Climate change deniers love talking about how cold it was in their part of the world during a cold front, but fail to take into account the maxim that weather is not climate. Climate is long-term averages which can fluctuate warming or cooling in the short-term but is ultimately defined by long-term consistencies. For instance, the weather could be experiencing a record-breaking cold front, however, this has little to do with the actual climate of Earth in the long-term. Climate is dependent on the trends and averages, not on the weather you experienced today on your way to work.
Ever since we were able to consider the deeper philosophical questions on life, we had illusions that the universe revolved around us. This train of thought is relevant when deniers speak of weather in their environment as if their weather represented the entirety of Earth. One example of this is how people mockingly react to an extreme negative variation in temperature in their part of the world, claiming, “Where’s my Global Warming?” Ultimately, the Earth is composed of a much larger area then just what goes on in one region and unfortunately, the global temperature is rising.
It is rather naïve to speak of such small regions of the Earth and minuscule measures of time with such confidence regarding a complex issue such as global warming. Atmospheric temperatures may be rising less dramatically, but it is important to take consideration for all heat content on the planet. This chart showcases the large total heat content changes occurring in the various depths of the oceans.
To further understand anthropogenic climate change it is greatly important to understand the aforementioned statements. It is incredibly ignorant to deny human involvement in climate change because your backyard is freezing cold today.