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World: Public Begins To Notice Climate Change

Earth News: Climate Change Observations
Photo: Primrose was blooming in Russia's Krasnodar Krai in January 2005 because of unseasonably warm weather

Dec 13, 2006
Scientists say 2006 may have been the year when the public at large finally embraced the idea that the Earth's climate is, indeed, warming. In the end, it may not have been the pronouncements of scientists and policymakers that ultimately proved convincing, but something more tangible and immediate: the weird weather. "Climate change is this slow, gradual change in the climate, and people [behave] much like a frog who is put in warm water that is slowly turned up and doesn't jump out in time before it gets too hot...we believe that we have probably already put enough increased greenhouse-gas concentrations into the atmosphere to sort of lock in several more decades of climate change, several more decades of global warming, several more decades - in fact, at least a century or more - of increases in sea level." Driving the sense of urgency among some scientists is the fact that climate changes can be observed taking place much more quickly today than had been predicted. "Some of us believe that we are seeing now a change that the [scientific] models told us should not happen for another 50 years." Scientists predict that if the Greenland ice sheet were to melt, sea levels would rise by about 5-6 meters globally, inundating several of the world's largest cities. Climate change will not create winners and losers - just "big losers and smaller losers."

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