Important excerpts from an interview on Daily Kos I posted a link for a few days ago:
Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf; Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany:
We’ve entered another strong warming period, this time due to human influence: by our emissions we’ve increased the levels of carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas throughout Earth’s history, to levels unprecedented for at least 650,000 years. So far we’ve only seen the feeble beginning of this warming: the planet has warmed 0.7 C since the beginning of the 20th Century. That’s not much compared to the end of the last ice age, when the planet warmed by about 5 C. But those 5 C took about 5,000 years – that’s only 0.1 C per century. If the steep rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues we have to expect 3, 4 or even 5 C warming during this century – as much again as at the end of the last ice age, but up to fifty times faster.
Dr. Michael Mann; Associate Professor, Depts. of Meteorology and Geosciences, Director, Earth System Science Center, Penn. State. Ph.D. Yale:
Indeed, there are many independent lines of reasoning supporting a role for human influences on the dramatic recent warming including; the close relationship between observed and model-predicted patterns of climate change during the 20th century, the dramatic retreat in recent decades of mountain glaciers that have existed for many thousands of years, and simple theoretical considerations regarding the basic physical properties of greenhouse gases, all of which is accompanied by greenhouse gas concentrations that are now known to be higher than any period in at least the past 650,000 years.
It is probably fair to say that global warming will likely make – and quite possibly already is making – those hurricanes that form more destructive than they otherwise would have been.