Nadelhoffer gives Tip of the Mitt keynote address on climate change
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
"Science is not a matter of a belief system — it's evidence-based," said Nadelhoffer, the U-M Biological Station director, as reported in the Petoskey News. The meeting was held Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in Pellston, Mich.
"The idea that climate change is a conspiracy is patently false. The best way to end your career in science is to falsify your data. Scientists only accept ideas when there is significant evidence for them."
Nadelhoffer outlined a few trends:
Lakes across North America — the Great Lakes included — are freezing over later and thawing earlier. Locally, said Nadelhoffer, the surface water of Lake Superior has gone up in temperature two and half degrees Celsius since 1979.
In the past decade, nine of those years have been the hottest years on record. May of 2011 was the second warmest since 1880, behind only May of 2010, and May of 2012 was the all-time warmest on record.
In the 1950s, record high temperatures and record low temperatures were about one for one: each record high in a given year was matched by a record low. This year, through April 2012, the ratio is closer to ten to one.
"No one individual event can be attributed to climate change, but weather patterns can be," he said. But, Nadelhoffer, a self-described optimist, sees opportunity in crisis.
Individuals as well as industry need to reduce emissions, minimize other pressures such as urban sprawl and plan and prepare to manage climate impacts.
"The time to talk about whether climate change is happening is over," he said.
Photo credit: Morgan Sherburne/News-Review
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