Saturday, April 24, 2021

WDIV examines climate change in Michigan for Earth Week

For the end of Earth Week, I'm sharing a series of clips from Click On Detroit/WDIV about climate change in Michigan. The local NBC affiliate and I begin with a general overview, Climate Challenge -- Science: Reconstructing the past.

This segment reinforces a point I've been making for years, most recently in Carbon dioxide at levels not seen for 3.6 million years despite economic slowdown from pandemic — greenhouse gases are rising dramatically because of human activity and climate consequences are not only coming, they're here. Follow over the jump to see the clips about those.

WDIV continued by examining rising temperatures and sea levels in Climate Challenge Week: Global effects of change in air composition.

This Earth Week, we're addressing common global warming questions each day.
In addition to rising air and sea temperatures, WDIV Meteorologist Paul Gross pointed out the seemingly paradoxical cooling of the ocean near Greenland. That's a consequence Al Gore described in An Inconvenient Truth 15 years ago, which I ask my students to summarize. I explained the answer in Hot (not): a cold blast from the past and repeated in Massive crater discovered under Greenland for Apophis Day 2019.
In the movie, the idea is that the release of meltwater from a large glacial lake diluted the Gulf Stream, causing the water to become less dense and unable to sink to the bottom of the ocean off Greenland, jamming up the global thermohaline circulation and sending the planet back into an ice age for another thousand years. An analogous melt of water from the Greenland icecap, which is beginning to happen, would do much the same thing, slowing ocean circulation and cooling Europe. Both of those are indeed taking place.
Seven years later, the melting of Greenland's icecap and the cooling of the nearby ocean stand out on a map of ocean temperatures.

The next day, WDIV asked Climate Challenge Week: Is global warming impacting extreme weather events?

The answer is yes. Because both "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Chasing Ice" concentrate on hurricanes, I ask my students about them, but the data on tornadoes looks just as striking.

Thursday's Climate Challenge Week: Temperature extremes show warming of Detroit's climate served as the first of two updates to the WDIV video I embedded in last year's Climate change has made Michigan warmer and wetter.

Climate Challenge Week: Temperature extremes show warming of Detroit's climate

EDIT: Please note that the graphic in the video above reads "1900" when it is meant to read "1990".
While the imbalance of heat records and cold records appears intuitive, greater snowfalls do not. However, Gross does a good job of explaining this seemingly paradoxical result of climate change, which is one of the first climate trends I noticed here in Michigan.

I finish with Friday's video, Climate change: Detroit region's growing season is getting longer.

A longer growing season in Michigan means a longer seasonal allergy season.
As I concluded Warmest February on record in seven Michigan cities as well as major cities across U.S., "AH-CHOO! Welcome to the 400 ppm world."

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