Facts matter, so we want to debunk some of the most common climate change myths, expanding on each claim in future posts.
Myth : "The climate has always changed, what we're seeing today is totally natural."
The first half of this claim is true. The climate has and always will change. Earth naturally cycles in and out of warm periods with no help from man, but this claim dismisses the fact that human activities can influence the climate system. While Earth naturally adds and removes CO2 in a stable balance, we continue to add CO2 without removing any. This is expanding the greenhouse effect. Natural factors alone cannot account for the substantial warming of the past century and the significant changes we are now seeing.
“Imagine a baseball player on steroids who steps up to the plate and hits a home run. Can you attribute that home run to his taking steroids? Well, steroids occur naturally in very small amounts in your system, but by adding just a little bit to those steroids, you can change your background physical state and increase your chances for enhanced performance — and that's exactly what happens in the climate system. Greenhouse gases occur in very small amounts, but by increasing that just a little bit, you change the background state of the system and make it much more susceptible to increased extremes.” - Dr. Gerald Meehl (Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research)