WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Humans causing climate change? A new NASA study says "yes"

Posted May 15, 2008
Updated May 16, 2008

Areas of significant changes to Earth systems observed in North America over the last 20 years, represented by various symbols, are linked with areas of rising temperatures, noted in red. (Courtesy: NASA)

A new NASA study is likely to get some folks hot under the collar.

In a study published in the May 15 issue of the journal Nature, NASA scientists show that human-caused climate change has impacted many of Earth's natural systems.  Among things, the researchers say that permafrost is thawing, plants in Europe are blooming earlier, and African lakes are becoming less productive -- all due to anthroprogenic climate change.

The study is the first of its kind to link a number of kinds of data, including temperature records, climate models, and observations of actual changes in a number of ecosystems.

You can see some of the most significant impacts across North America: the red areas indicate places where the temperatures have risen and caused changes.

Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Science says, "Humans are influencing climate through increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the warming is causing impacts on physical and biological systems that are now attributable at the global scale and in North America, Europe, and Asia."

So, with that study on our back pocket, does it change anything?  For folks who have already made changes, does this make you want to kick it up a notch?  For those still waiting for more evidence, does this report change your mind?  Either way -- shameless plug alert! -- Have you checked out our fantastic new Green Guide?

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  • farleyfarleyfarleyhaffar May 19, 2008

    Actually, I think NASA might be onto something here - and all those emissions from launching rockets can't be helping matters. Perhaps we should suspend all space flight until we can determine the adverse impact it is having on the global environment. We could save a lot of money that way, too without all thos highpriced scientists on the NASA payroll.

    Good job, gang!

  • farleyfarleyfarleyhaffar May 19, 2008

    NASA should stick to what it knows best - SPACE!

  • JustAName May 16, 2008

    If humans are causing global warming, shouldn't these alarmist be promoting less humans? Sort of a culling of the herd to keep populations in check to prevent further damage to the environment.

  • farleyfarleyfarleyhaffar May 16, 2008

    Did the NASA study also explain why there is global warming on Mars and why that planet's ice is also reducing? Are humans to blame for that, also? Thirty-five years ago this same crowd was saying we were headed for another ice age. I think the real problem is that we're not that smart yet (don't know enough) to definitively say what the cause is. Pesonally, my money is on that big bright thing in the sky that has its own warming phenomenon going on...

  • chargernut69 May 16, 2008

    Yes, I agree that there is global warming, but there is still not enough evidence that it is being caused by Carbon Dioxide emissions. The earth has gone through many temperature cycles, who is to say this cycle is caused by man?

    I contend that Al Gore had to make a name for himself, and what a good way to do so. After all, it was Al Gore who "invented the internet".

    Perhaps the man-made global warming theory is a good method to reduce oil consumption in the world - a theory known as "Peak Oil" submits that the world is at peak oil output & can produce it no faster!