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What evidence of climate change have you noticed over past 10-20 years?

Dawid Hanak's picture
Associate Professor in Energy and Process Engineering, Cranfield University

I'm a climate warrior who believes that achieving our climate commitments requires immediate action. We can do this by deploying green energy technologies and building world-leading engineering...

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  • Dec 9, 2020

I remember getting knee-deep in snow during winters, around 15-20 years ago.

I remember that there always was snow during Christmas. I guess that's why I'm always a bit sad when there's no snow around this time of the year.

But what this tells me is that our climate is changing.

The global mean temperature has increased by ~1.1ºC from the average in the 20th century. This definitely will influence our wellbeing and quality of life.

Have you noted how our climate has changed over the past 10-20 years? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 9, 2020

I think it's important to caution people not to look at anecdotal evidence (it's warmer than usual this December, it's snowing less than usual), because the human nature to do so will be easily manipulated by climate deniers in the other way (we set a record cold for this day-- where's global warming!). Instead, it's the longer-term trends that must be studied. These may not be noticed on a day by day or week by week basis-- who's really 'feeling' a 1 degree change in average temperatures, really-- but those data points are what are giving scientific and statistic evidence for what's been happening in recent decades. 

Wesley Whited's picture
Wesley Whited on Dec 9, 2020

That is a great point Matt! It is probably better to measure the short term impacts by looking at how relatively small changes in the climate impact other species, like the Brook Trout.

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Dec 9, 2020

The rise in CO2 is a very solid way to see the problem. It can not be denied. It is causing the record unstable weather patterns and wild fires . It is caused by humans burning fossil fuels. 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Dec 9, 2020

I remember spending one Christmas in Illinois in 1985, after growing up there in the 1960s, and before global warming was even a topic of discussion. The temperature one day in late December was a record-high 73°, and I remember a specific conversation with friends wondering whether temperatures were becoming progressively warmer.

The next year James Hansen presented his landmark testimony before the U.S. Senate, confirming that global warming was real and was caused by humans.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Dec 9, 2020

Walking to Jewel after 1967 Chicago blizzard to try and find some milk...

Dawid Hanak's picture
Thank Dawid for the Post!
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