AP Was There: The age of climate change begins

phys.org | 6/18/2018 | Staff
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On June 23, 1988, a top NASA scientist told Congress and the world that global warming had arrived. NASA scientist James Hansen predicted that 1988 would be the world's hottest year on record, thanks to the burning of fossil fuels that released heat-trapping gases.

The Associated Press is republishing a version of its report on the testimony to mark the 30th anniversary.

WASHINGTON - AP - Greenhouse - Effect - Warming

WASHINGTON (AP)—The "greenhouse effect" global warming of the earth is here, but the current drought and heat wave over much of the United States can't be blamed on it, a scientist told a Senate panel Thursday.

However, similar heat waves and droughts can be expected much more often as a result of future warming, said James E. Hansen, a climatologist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

Hansen - Senate - Energy - Natural - Resources

Hansen told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee there is only a 1 percent chance that he is wrong in blaming rising temperatures around the world on the buildup of manmade gases in the atmosphere.

For unknown reasons, the earth has been getting warmer for more than a century, though with cooler intervals. The four warmest years on record have been recorded in the 1980s—and without what Hansen called an improbable cooling for the rest of the year, 1988 will break all records.

Speculation - Scientists - World - Greenhouse - Effect

Though there has been much speculation by scientists around the world that the warming resulted from the greenhouse effect, Hansen's statement is the most definite yet.

Syukuro Manabe, soil specialist at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said it was more likely that the current drought was the result of natural fluctuations than the greenhouse warming.

Example - Kind - Drought - Warming - Become

"It is an example of the kind of drought that will occur more frequently as the global warming become larger," he said.

Many studies have...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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