Skip to main content  
  Helping the environment one joke at a time, Grinning Planet. Click to go to home page. flying letter; click to go to signup page for free email version
Get GP free
via email !
Eco-Logical cartoon graphic of cube-shaped globe

The Data on Global Warming is Conclusive

As we sit in our livingrooms, buttressed against the cold by blankets, hot toddies, and cranked-up thermostats, it may seem easy to believe the assertions of those who say that global warming isn't real or those who say that it may be real but it's nothing to worry about. Hey, who doesn't love hot fun in the summertime? Maybe global warming will be our most successful export!

Well, not so fast there, Sly. Let's take a look at some data. In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization whose membership includes the US, released a report that included data and analysis about temperature trends, what's causing them, and what impacts we might expect to see. The graph below shows IPCC's scientific estimates of temperature changes over the last 140 years. The graph is a little techno-nerdy, but the most important part is the solid black line, which shows a clear increasing trend over the last century.

graph of global warming data, shows that temperature over last 140 has risen

SOURCE: "Summary for Policymakers"—A Report of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001

Some would still argue that scientists also know temperatures vary from year to year, and even long-term trends (over decades and centuries) in temperature can vary. Yes, this is true, but a quick look at the next graph should dispel any doubt that something very different has gone on in the last century, something indicative of a radical departure from past temperature variations and trends.

The plot below shows how temperatures over the last 1,000 years varied from the 1961-1990 average. Beginning in the early 1900s there is a steady rise up to the baseline period (1961-1990), and in the decade 1990-2000 the rise is even more dramatic. While the sharp rise in the last century is quite noticeable, the most important thing to see is that this rise contrasts sharply with the overall consistency of the previous 900 years.

graph of global warming data, shows that temperature over last 1000 was consistent until the 19 hundreds and then rose dramatically

SOURCE: "Summary for Policymakers"—A Report of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001

OK, some would continue arguing: "So what? The increase is only a degree or two, and on a cold winter morning, that sounds OK to me."

But evaluating the impact of global warming is not as simple as the personal impact we might suffer from a degree or two increase. First, we must realize that the sharp upward trend in the last century—and especially in the last decade—predicts additional increases in the 21st century and beyond. Based on current data, the models predict and an increase of between 2.5 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the 21st century alone.

Some still may doubt that there will be a significant impact, saying that winters will just be a little warmer and summertime fun will spread to those unfortunates living nearer the earth's poles. Well, as a solution for some people's dislike of cold winters and their unrequited love of the beach, global warming will exact a very steep price. Here are some of the likely consequences of increased global temperatures:

  • There will be major impacts to agricultural productivity. A recent government study estimates a 10 percent decline in yields of rice, wheat and corn for every 1.8 degree F increase in average temperature.
  • Rising sea levels will submerge many near-sea-level island and coastal properties.
  • Increasingly wild weather patterns will cause damage to property and agriculture.
  • There will be better living conditions and expanded territories for disease carrying pests, resulting in increases in and spread of diseases like malaria, dengue fever, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus. The effect will occur globally, including Western nations.

Egad! Maybe all these bad results of climate change aren't worth the possibility of glimpsing an Eskimo babe in an itsy-bitsy teeny-weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.

Given that the IPCC has determined that the changes are mostly human-caused, we need solutions! And we will have them, in the next Eco-Logical.


Ready for the twist in the global warming story? Because global warming is increasing evaporation of surface water at the equator and is melting ice in some polar regions, the distribution of salinity in the world's oceans is changing. Longer term, this could impact the system of large-scale ocean currents that helps stabilize the climate in areas such as Western Europe. This could bring about a sudden long-term cooling effect in some regions. Scientists are quick to point out, however, that this is not a counterbalancing effect to global warming, but rather a further destabilization of the overall climate. If this effect does appear, it is not expected until after then end of the 21st century.

Publish date: 27-JAN-2004

Go to Part 2

Get Grinning Planet free via email

Songs for a Better Planet

Now the trees are almost green,
But will they still be seen
When time and tide have been?
Fall into your passing hands;
Please don't destroy these lands;
Don't make them desert sands.

Artist: The Yardbirds

Album: Ultimate!

Song: "Shapes of Things"

Category: Classic Rock


album cover for The Yardbirds, Ultimate! Fans of the bluesier side of the Yardbirds may disagree, but the Yardbirds' artsy power-pop hit "Shapes of Things" is probably the brightest gem in their rock 'n' roll crown. It's just one of 52 tracks on the impressive 2-CD set "Ultimate!" The album strikes the right balance: enough songs to fully explore the Yardbirds' brilliant if brief history, but not so many as to overwhelm and dilute the pleasure.

Get more reviews, hear clips, or get purchase info for this album at

See more Songs for a Better Planet

Search for more...

Back to joke page  |  More articles, by category



free audio news clips link; image of zombie kid - DON'T BE A MAINSTREAM MEDIA DRONE! - Free MP3 news download at Grinning Planet

Hey, we don't pick
the Google ads!   – GP




"Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate.... It is virtually certain that increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will cause global surface climate to be warmer. The unprecedented increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, together with other human influences on climate over the past century and those anticipated for the future, constitute a real basis for concern."

American Geophysical Union [Dec 2003]


   > document gif Sign up to get Grinning Planet free by email, or get more info about it Email a link to this page to someone  
   > Issue Number 37
Copyright 2004 © Mark Jeantheau — All rights reserved.   More info

MP3 News Download
Video/Audio News Sites
Environmental News Sites
Investigative Journalism Sites

    - Articles/Resources By Topic
    - Articles By Date

Environmental Quotes
    - Funny Environmental Quotes
    - Peak Oil Quotes

Environmental Cartoons/Jokes
    - Environmental Videos/Animations

Environmental Products
Eco/Nature Greeting Cards

Grinning Planet Farm


Funny Jokes/Cartoons
    - Environmental Cartoons

Funny Animations/Videos
    - Environmental Animations/Videos

Funny Quotes
    - Environmental Funny Quotes


Environmental Books
Global Warming Books
Energy Books
Solar Energy Books
Peak Oil Books
Food-Gardening Books
Media Books


Environmental Movies
Environmental Songs
Environmental Music Videos

Album Reviews
Fun With Lyrics


Home Page
Site Map
About Us
Free Subscriptions
Privacy Policy