Let’s get right to it, shall we? The following pie charts should be self-explanatory:

All things being equal regarding temperatures, one would expect 50% high records each year and 50% record lows. As you can see from the charts above the decade of the fifties came close to matching this expectation. Unfortunately, in the last four years that expectation (which assumes no change or minimal change to existing climate conditions) has not been met. Instead, we’ve seen a continuation of the trend of the last decade (2000-2009) where record highs exceeded record lows by a ratio of 2:1.

Over the last 30 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate are going in opposite directions. This has led a number of scientists independently concluding that the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.

One of the most common and persistent climate myths is that the sun is the cause. This argument is made by cherry picking the data – showing past periods when sun and climate move together but ignoring the last few decades when the two diverge.

By the way if you think the sun has everything to do with the current uptick in record high temperatures – uh, not exactly:

Obviously if the sun was to emit a lot more solar radiation that it currently generates, that would have an effect on our climate, but to claim that solar radiation is the sole reason climate is changing so rapidly, as opposed to human activity, is ridiculous on its face. If it were true that human actions, such as the vast increase in greenhouse gases emitted into our atmosphere over the last 150 years, had no impact on climate (specifically the increased warming of air sea and ground temperatures), we would have observed decreased temperatures over the last 30 years, not increased ones.

Indeed, the period of stable global temperatures during the fifties and sixties (i.e., the flattening of the trend of global warming) and in the Northeast of the US during the early nineties occurred at a time when air pollution and specifically high amounts of sulfur particulates were present in the atmosphere creating a cooling hole which delayed the warming effect of greenhouse gases — for a time:

Cambridge, Mass. – April 26, 2012 – Climate scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have discovered that particulate pollution in the late 20th century created a “warming hole” over the eastern United States—that is, a cold patch where the effects of global warming were temporarily obscured.

While greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane warm the Earth’s surface, tiny particles in the air can have the reverse effect on regional scales.

Unfortunately, the reduction in particulates has now demonstrated that the longer term trend of global warming was delayed over the Eastern US, not eliminated. Just ask anyone over the last several years who lives in regions where particulate pollution has diminished. Particulates in the atmosphere do not last as long as CO2 emissions, the primary greenhouse gas. and thus create only a short term effect on temperatures. Massive volcanic eruptions such as the the 1883 Krakatoa eruption can have a significant short influence on temperature trends because of the massive clouds of ash and other particulates they produce and send high into our atmosphere, but the effect is short lived. Indeed the cooling effect has become even shorter, as the equally massive 1991 Pinatubo eruption demonstrates:

An oceanic response to the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, which was comparable to Krakatoa in terms of its radiative forcing, has been identified in satellite altimetry data. The simulated heat-content recovery after Pinatubo seems to occur much more rapidly than for Krakatoa. This disparity arises because the Pinatubo response is superimposed on a non-stationary background of large and increasing greenhouse-gas forcing. The heat-content effects of Pinatubo and other eruptions in the late twentieth century are offset by the observed warming of the upper ocean, which is primarily due to anthropogenic influences.

Indeed, even NOAA is acknowledging that our recent 4 year period of increasing record setting high temperatures and extreme weather events (both record maximums during the day and record minimums during the night) is directly tied to anthropogenic influences on the earth’s climate:

Climate change researchers have been able to attribute recent examples of extreme weather to the effects of human activity on the planet’s climate systems for the first time, marking a major step forward in climate research.

The findings make it much more likely that we will soon – within the next few years – be able to discern whether the extremely wet and cold summer and spring so far experienced in the UK this year are attributable to human causes rather than luck, according to the researchers.

This is no joke, my friends, no grand hoax or conspiracy by climate scientists and Al Gore. We are witnessing irreversible changes to the earth’s climate as a result of our continued reliance on fossil fuels. We are past the point where we can stop the damage we are already experiencing. What we need to do is start planning ways to limit that damage as much as possible and adapt to the inevitable consequences of a warming climate: climate change refugees; war and National Security; food shortages and hunger, increased disease and pandemics; the extinction of species and loss of biodiversity; economic collapse; etc.

The longer we wait the less likely billions of human beings will survive the catastrophes to come, ones far worse than what we are experiencing now. Every night our US media ignores this issue, or when it does cover it, provides equal time to corporate funded climate deniers who spread lies and disinformation rather than address the mountains of data and evidence supporting the scientific consensus that climate change is real and the result primarily of human activity.

Perhaps this year’s record heat wave, wildfires in Colorado (and again in Russia), etc., will finally be the tipping point when Americans take this issue seriously and reject the lies of extremist Republicans, K Street lobbyists for Big oil, and the corporate sponsored propaganda campaign to deny what all but those who choose to be deliberately ignorant can see with their own eyes.

I sure hope so for my children’s sake, and yours.