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2012-08-06. Study Finds More of Earth Is Hotter and Says Global Warming Is at Work |

posted Aug 7, 2012, 8:03 AM by Alan Gould
 by By JUSTIN GILLIS, New York Times. An article relevant to GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: …researchers have struggled with the question of whether any particular heat wave or storm can be definitively linked to human-induced climate change. In the new paper [published online on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences], titled “Perception of Climate Change,” Dr. Hansen and his co-authors [M. Sato and R. Ruedy] compared the global climate of 1951 to 1980, before the bulk of global warming had occurred, with the climate of the years 1981 to 2011. They computed how much of the earth’s land surface in each period was subjected in June, July and August to heat that would have been considered particularly extreme in the period from 1951 to 1980. In that era, they found, only 0.2 percent of the land surface was subjected to extreme summer heat. But from 2006 to 2011, extreme heat covered from 4 to 13 percent of the world, they found. “It confirms people’s suspicions that things are happening” to the climate, Dr. Hansen said in the interview. “It’s just going to get worse.”… The change is so drastic, the paper says, that scientists can claim with near certainty that events like the Texas heat wave last year, the Russian heat wave of 2010 and the European heat wave of 2003 would not have happened without the planetary warming caused by the human release of greenhouse gases…. The findings provoked an immediate split among his scientific colleagues, however…. Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/science/earth/extreme-heat-is-covering-more-of-the-earth-a-study-says.html?ref=science