WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

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

Posted May 15, 2008 6:01 p.m. EDT
Updated May 16, 2008 4:20 p.m. EDT

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?