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Changes in Climate Change

Conveniently coinciding with our unseasonable Ontario heat wave — and Al Gore’s documentary launch — there has been a barrage of recent news about climate change.

The IHT reports that ice core samples have revealed the Earth was much warmer 55 million years ago than scientists had previously thought. Temperatures were so high that the arctic was tropical. Since current modeling of even worst-case warming scenarios don’t end up nearly that badly, scientists are now puzzling over what unknown factor could possibly have caused such a scenario.

Granted, 55 million years ago is pretty unfathomably long ago — who knows how much the climate then resembled the Earth today. Still, an unspecified expert warns that “scientists have greatly underestimated the power of greenhouse gases to warm the planet.”

Oh, that’s good.

The Toronto Star writes about a Canadian researcher who has developed a detailed explanation for why global warming causes more hurricanes. The connection between the two seems to be pretty much a given, although of course there are some who feel that the recent hurricanes are simply a result of those ever handy “natural cycles” that seem to be blamed for a lot of bad things these days.

On MSNBC, there is another article pointing out that smog counteracts global warming, which I already wrote about a few weeks ago. On the surface this actually makes sense to me, since the particles in the air cut down on the amount sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface. Exactly what good this knowledge will do us remains to be seen — I’ve yet to see anyone openly suggest that we create more smog to prevent climate change, but I’m sure I just haven’t come across the right article yet.

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