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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

What's with the weird weather?

January 24th, 2011
07:01 PM ET

The last few months around the world have proven that it really is impossible to predict the weather.

Blizzards in the United States' deep south, warm weather in Canada's arctic, frigid temperatures across Europe, disastrous floods in Australia and torrential downpours in Brazil are just some of the erratic weather patterns that have gripped most of the globe in the last few months.

The unpredictable weather has already claimed hundreds of lives since the beginning of 2011. The bill for the damage is running in the billions.

The extreme weather is only highlighted by newly compiled data from NASA that shows 2010 was tied for the hottest year on record.

Many of us are used to terms like El Nino and La Nina, but scientists are increasingly finding it difficult to explain what the reasoning is behind weather patterns that the planet has rarely experienced before.

Some scientists are blaming a weak northern jet stream for the planet's weather woes that is bringing cold Arctic air south. Less ice cover over parts of the globe's oceans are also being blamed.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. We want to know what you think!

Is the weird weather being caused by global warming? Is this just a natural cycle that the earth is going through? Is this climate change or something else?

Let us know what you think below by leaving us your comments for both sides of the debate and be sure to tell us where you're writing from.


Filed under:  General
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. David

    It is just the earth going through a cycle.....All the enviromentalist want to blame global warming on everything.....You can't have it both ways.
    The only global warming I can tell is happening is when Al Gore opens his mouth and alot of hot air escapes....

    January 24, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  2. Carol

    Really, CNN? You want to know what I think? I think it would be great if you would report more on science news. Scientists think it's global warming. Only politicians think it's not.

    January 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  3. MemphisMick

    Yes, I do believe the weird weather is due to global warming.
    A lot of people point to the high snowfall levels on the US eastern seaboard as arguing against global warming. However, they have forgotten how hot last summer was. In my opinion, the effect of global warming is that there will be wider swings in temperature with a slow trend to higher.
    Here in north central Florida, Daytona Beach, we have seen below freezing lows a number of times already and we have not yet reached what is typically the coldest part of the winter.

    January 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Reply
  4. D.McGinnis

    First let me start by stating that I am not an expert in the field of weather science. It is my opinion that we are experiencing a natural event of climate change. My knowledge of what is going on has been given to me by whom else but the media. I have heard all sides and have formed my own opinions. We could even be experiencing the beginning of a mini ice age. It's just my opinion.

    January 24, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  5. Travis Z

    2012!!
    The Yellowstone volcano will be the end of the US!

    January 24, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  6. JACK C STEVENOSN

    Why in the world would you even bother to ask a question like this? Surely you are directing this to the few climatologists who might read this article.

    Neither mine nor the comment of the average reader would add a single factual iota to the discussion.

    January 24, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  7. Jet Graphics

    Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.
    Climate changes are the norm, not the exception.
    So it's pretty much a crap shoot to predict weather – ask any weatherman to make a long term, accurate prediction – and watch him squirm.

    However, it is highly unlikely that humanity will significantly affect the macroclimate – unless, of course, there's grant money to prove it so.

    January 25, 2011 at 7:09 am | Reply
  8. Razzak

    Some thing to do with too many cars and too many people on the earth.
    Spewing out Carbon dioxide

    January 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  9. Michelle

    Ever heard of God?

    January 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  10. Rodrigo

    "Weird weather: Blame climate change?" Still using question marks? please!

    January 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  11. Oltan

    There is no two sides to the story. The scientific consensus is solid: man made global is happening, one manifestation is "weird" weather. It is standard strategy to confront science when it is inconvenient for some is to manufacture an apparent controversy. Exactly the same as with evolution, where again there is "two sides" in the scientific community. Now, while the question of global has been answered as a scientific question, it is totally separate from another question of what to do about it, which is a political question. Do NOT!!!! confuse the two. Legitimate debate on what to do is necessary indeed.

    My opinion on what to do is that it is way too late to think of reducing CO2 emissions. And... will never happen because it would cripple every economy. Solar and wind for 7 billion people on the planet are pipe-dreams; cant supply energy on the scale needed. So... if climate gets really disruptive, find technological solution. Serious research money should be poured into methods of induced cooling. On the long run, if humanity wants to stay on the planer for more than the next hundred years or so, then it must reduce its numbers. About 1 billion people on the planet could be supplied with renewable energy at an appropriate level.

    January 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  12. Charles Johnson

    It is interesting that the commentors here, almost without exception, question their ability to answer your question. Showing a better understanding of the complexity of the problem than your disingenuous question. Being a scientist, I rely upon data and scientific interpretation. Anyone's opinion has no value unless it is rooted in scientific approach.
    Al Gore is a perfect example of a person who "cherry picked" data to fit his political agenda.
    If we are to get to the a deeper understanding of the facts we need the scientific approach.

    January 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  13. Fred

    @Jet Graphics:

    Lots of systems can be destroyed by changes in concentrations less than the change in CO2 concentration made my man.

    For example Hydrogen Cyanide. Yes I know that operates on a different mechanism but the point is that there is no law about sizes that says something is 'too big' to be changed by man.

    January 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  14. CLIVE R DOWDALL

    INFORM THE PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING

    ITS CALLED ARTIC OSILATION
    CREATED BY THE RENEWED ACTIVITY OF THE SUN

    January 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  15. CLIVE R DOWDALL

    WEATHER FORCASTING IS WHAT IT IS
    IT IS NOT A PREDICTION---FORECASTING ?????

    January 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  16. John R.

    Everyone is commenting on the weather, so let me weigh in. Has anyone read Revelations? No? Then read it!

    January 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  17. Marc D

    The scientific consensus is that human-caused climate change has happened, and will continue to happen, and it affects the intensity and frequency of these harsh weather events. I'll go with the experts. Why wouldn't I ?

    January 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  18. John Doh

    It's both climate fluctuations caused by carbons, nitrogen oxides and the natural cycle of earths rotating climate and most likely the sun's cycle as well. All those factors are contributors, not just one.

    We are just speeding up the process, making it irregular and out of it's natural equilibrium. The only decent possibility to somehow regulate the changes would be to control ocean's temperature. Obviously that's not really possible on such a scale.

    Obviously the scientists consider reliable facts in first place and the bureaucratic politicians just worry about stock-exchange, after that they look at the facts and accept them only if they sounds beneficial to them...

    January 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  19. Lyle

    Pretty much everybody agrees that it's very difficult to *know/prove* that a few events (like the recent weather extremes) are associated with man-made climate change. This is because achieving the scientific standard of 'proof' is very difficult- it's at least as difficult to prove that the weird weather is *not* human-caused.

    At this point, you need to really dislike the whole tradition of modern science to be confident that climate change is not happening and that it's not man-made.

    It's *very* possible that manmade climate change has contributed to at least some of the recent weather; these are the kind of extreme events you expect. It may be that in a hundred years, the start of effects from this self-made catastrophe will date to 2000 or earlier.

    January 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  20. Gaston

    I think HAARP population reduction agenda... there is not Global Warning... but that´s just me! :)

    January 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  21. Jeshurun

    Matthew 16:2-3 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
    Stand ready you band of vipers, the kingdom of God is near. The set up to the abomination of desolation will take place on May 24 2011. If you do not have Christ in your lifes ask him in. He told us he was coming back and he meant it. My name has been given to me by the Lord.
    Jeshurun

    January 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  22. Vassilis Ballas

    People can be argueing for years regading what is the cause of climate change. It doesn't really matter what's the cause however, but what can we do about it.
    And one obious answer is that although we can't do anything to change natural cycles (if that's the case) we can do so many things to change our habbits and desires towards a sustainable future. At least then we will know that we have tried.
    Chios Island, Greece

    January 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  23. alvaro

    If all the people on earth don´t wan´t to see that our economical development on carbon fuels trought the years fromo XVIII century to actual times it´s the main cause of these mess we are blind people. The Carol opinion it´s totally true, you CNN have a serious challenge to inform about the global warming reality.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  24. Sara

    I can't believe people are still talking about Al Gore, you conservatives give yourself away SO easily! You all say the exact same things almost word for word as if you are repeating something Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh said.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  25. Rose-Marie Singleton

    Global warming is not really an appropriate word for the phenomenon. Because of the changes to the environment we're getting more extreme weather not just more warm weather. I agree that climate is cyclical, but I do think that our "contribution" to the environment is having an effect on that cycle. Without that contribution, I don't think the effects would be so profound.
    I'm not a climatologist, I'm an engineer that thinks it's a very interesting subject. One that is difficult to fathom as half of the worlds scientists seem to contradict the other at times.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  26. Roy

    Start thinking in long terms, if patterns like this continue or increase is it viable to say that 2012 is the year the world will go through such a drastic change that it will bring about an end to all civilization as we know it. Remeber many movies when the government says something or hides something the PEOPLE are the last to know. Only a select few know the reality but any average joe, does not. We are seeing mass panic and riots around the world, is this a prequel to whats to be expected in the future? I don't know what the future has stored for us but I rather be prepared for the worst, expecting the best.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  27. Kendra Gonzales

    I can't believe this question is still even been asked!. Of COURSE its Climate Change, and its based on science involving chemistry and physics. One cannot expect to pump 30% more carbon dioxide into the air then we've seen for millions of years and expect there to be no changes!. Its utterly stupid and selfish human denial to think otherwise. Many scientists now understand that 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is the upper safe limit to keep things sustainable. We are at 389 and climbing. Guartanteed...things are goingto get even worse, so please anyone reading this get educated on this and start preparing. We can slow things down by changing our ways to a large degree, but this ship has sailed and the earth is a completely different planet then it was even 100 years ago. OPEN YOUR EYES folks. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/ AND http://www.350.org. (magic #)

    January 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  28. James

    What I think? I think I'd like to hear what the experts are saying. Where's the reportage? There's a lot of uninformed blather circulating about these issues. A responsible news network could work to reduce it, rather than encourage it.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  29. snowbound

    Aside from a few holdouts, most mainstream scientists believe in the evidence for global warming, which brings erratic weather. Its mostly politicians and their followers who who don't agree with this analysis because it conflicts with their agendas.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  30. Nick Brown

    "However, it is highly unlikely that humanity will significantly affect the macroclimate – unless, of course, there's grant money to prove it so."

    That is so much bs - the last IPCC report, which was extremely conservative, put the likelihood that changes we are already seeing in our climate are due to human carbon emissions at greater than 90 per cent. So it is highly likely, and more than that, pretty close to a certainty. 2010 was the warmest year on record when a global average is taken -

    It is highly likely - and close to a certainty – that we will increasingly see substantial shifts in weather patterns and extreme weather events

    January 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  31. PJB

    You only have to go back to the 60's and 70's to find the same kinds of "strange" weather occurring in these same places.

    All of the natural weather cycles operate as usual. The earth is warming GRADUALLY as it comes out of the Little Ice Age in the recent past. We are still cooler than the Medieval and Roman warm periods. Yes, sea levels were higher then and are headed up a bit. Nothing alarming, nothing catastrophic and especially nothing (or next to nothing) to do with CO2, man-made or otherwise.

    Just a cash and power grab by people that want to save us...from our money and independence.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  32. Paul

    Just more hype . The weather is the weather, and is chaotic as ever. The difference between today and former times is that we now instantly know about something happening on the other side of the earth. The media needs a story to feed the monster, and climate change leaches need hype to get funding. Nothing changes.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  33. Dr. Liberty

    Try to comprehend the Earth as a living organism. Like any other living organism it will self regulate in homeostasis to maintain its viability. Take care of the Earth and it will take care of you. Trash the Earth and it will flood CBD’s of major metros so cars can’t be driven on the streets in that locale, thereby temporarily mitigating air pollution. The erratic weather patterns are only a biological response to maintain a healthy and optimal equilibrium on Earth. There is really nothing political about this. “Global warming” as it is currently defined is a misnomer that keeps us bickering amongst each other and blind from this simple truth.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  34. Artiglio

    Carbon Dioxide is what plants breathe. The Earth's climate has been changing for BILLIONS of years. Is the Earth really getting warmer on average? Possibly. But is the change anthropogenic (man-induced)? Although mainstream media (namely Ted Turner-owned CNN) would have one believe otherwise, the lion's share of scientists (climatologists, vulcanologists, etc.) are actually pointing out how the climactic changes we see are due to a number of variables, but that the number one factor is – GUESS WHAT? – the SUN! Solar flares, sun cycles, and the earth's distance from the sun are, hands down, the number ONE variable to consider in assessing drops and spikes in the Earth's temperature. So, Is 100+ years of industrial revolution responsible for this crazy weather? NO! Not by a long shot! Are issues of pollution and environmental contamination anthropogenic? ABSOLUTELY! Does the decimation of the rainforest, coupled with toxic chemicals and genetic engineering gone awry have SOME impact on climate? Yes! Is it enough to worry about in terms of a rise in the Earth's temperature? NO! Will these things have an impact on us? THEY ALREADY DO! Is the solution here to pay CARBON taxes? NO! Further, will paying a tax on carbon save the whales and the polar bears! HELL NO! Should we be concerned about environmental hazards and endangered species? YES! Again, are they under threat do to a rise in the Earth's temperature, caused by us? Again, NO, NO, NO! Are threatened by the way in which we waste our resources (which are also theirs), hunt them and/or their sources of food? YES! Will paying a tax on carbon to the central banks fix this issue NO! NO! NO!

    January 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  35. TadPole

    How disappointing that CNN chooses (again?) to report in such a silly manner. Weather is not in any way connected to global warming. You may, or may not, "believe in" global warming. You may discuss the role that man has had on influencing global warming. However, if you ask ANY reputable scientist that works in this field, they will tell you that the weather (a condition that is immediate and not predictable over a timespan greater than a few weeks) has no conneciton to global warming (or cooling) trends which take hundreds, if not thousands of years. They are two distinct, and separate entities.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  36. Al Bundy

    You know what? Maybe everyone needs to stop farting. I blame fast food for this.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  37. Nick Brown

    Aartiglio – you are absolutely right - global warming is due to the Sun - without the Sun the Earth would be a frozen planet -

    But the reason why temperatures are rising now is primarily due to the amount of the Sun's heat that we trap in our atmosphere - and, having increased very significantly the CO2 in our atmosphere – we are now trapping more sunshine because CO2 absorbs heat.

    Yes –Global Warming is caused by the Sun, and the current increase in temperatures is due to the amount of CO2 industrial man has pumped into the atmosphere and is continuing to pump into the atmosphere.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  38. Peter

    David, first, it's "Earth", with a capital "E". That could help you keep things in perspective. Secondly, your argument against Climate Change ignores physics. Should you? When Man increases the carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere through burning fossil fuels it creates a Greenhouse Effect, as when infrared light from the sun penetrates the closed windows of a car, but because the light's properties change, it can no longer escape through the windows, and the car gets hot. Venus, with its atmosphere of carbon dioxide http://starryskies.com/solar_system/venus/why_venus_hot.htm, is a great example. Quit buying what corporations want to "sell" you so that they can maintain maximum profits from outdated ways and not have to spend the money to change. They have no conscience. Only do you and I.

    January 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  39. Robert

    There's nothing quite so silly as asking the general public to comment on a scientific subject that virtually none of them no anything about. Why don't you actually interview some respected *climatologists*? I'm sure they could provide some intelligent insight!

    January 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  40. Christina

    Scientists have known for more than 30 years that this is called global warning. Global warming does not necessarily mean that the winter is going to be warmer every day. Global warming brings about crazy weather. We are creating this mess with all the pollution being sent up into the atmosphere. Read up. Scientists know the truth.

    January 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  41. World Citizen in Caribbean

    Ever since the topic of "global warming" has come up, misnomers abound as to what accounts for cause and effect. Our undeniable manipulation of the earth's resources and climate means greater volitility – not always warmer temperatures. Particularly as this changes sea temperatures, currents will change, affecting air flows, etc. Therefore, in a place like where I live, Hispaniola, we can expect more irradic and stronger hurricanes. In this period, food scarcity will increase, because growing periods will experience stronger winds, prolonged rain, expansion of deserts, et cetera. Volitility combined with greater scale will be the harbringer of the future. The earth has a great self-correcting mechanism... it will put itself at equillibrium, but it does not care where we live and what the consequences are for us in the interim. We just need to learn that we have set this into motion and it will get worse before it gets better. IFFF we chose to learn from it, it will not be only about disaster response, but changing lifestyles such that in the next few hundred years, they can set a hopefully sustainable course for the sustainability of humanity under global climate conditions that are less volitile.

    January 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  42. Leon

    This crazy weather has been around before. Please note how they always say worst weather in 10 years or 30 years. Yes the earth goes through cycles congratulations, logic prevails.

    January 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  43. Lawrence

    People for the most part are ignorant of the  facts and susceptible to spin.  People fear the unknown and have a hard time perceiving the fragility of our existence. We want to believe that our institutions are solid, our world permanent, and God ever watching over us. Fact is climate change is real, and it is both part of natural cycles but very much influenced by man too. Hopefully humankind will emerge from this a globally conscientious being.  "just when the caterpillar thought things couldn't get worse it turned into a butterfly"

    January 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  44. Alexa

    Did science tell us that a tsunami will kill hundreds of thousands of people on the 26th of December 2004... YES OR NO?

    Science can explain so much... We are causing global warming, stop being ignorant!

    January 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  45. C.Hattori

    Cyclical?HAARP?Half Truths?
    C.Hattori

    January 25, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  46. Purusha

    I'm not a scientist but I am a small islander and I can tell you one thing. When you live on a small island in the middle of the ocean and are at the mercy of Mother Nature, you do notice the changes. Its a direct matter of survival and very naive to look only at the now and not consider the future. In the last ten years there have been noticeable changes that are affecting small island states. Sooner or later you all will be where we are now, watching anxiously while our future is debated by countries with the land area and monetary resources that enables them to ignore what is right here right now and the naysayers claim there is no such thing as climate change.

    Come out here on the edge with us and experience it for yourself. Then maybe you'll understand.

    January 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  47. Tom

    I believe,
    We humans have caused the planet to warm. We are like coach roaches in the kitchen, maggots on a corpse. Over 90% of our "human created world infrastructure" runs on fossil fuel.
    Things will only change when we run out of oil. Hopefully that will happen before the last couple die. What an irony, if we're not careful we'll be the next fossil fuel, 100 million years from now.
    And to think we had such potential.

    January 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  48. Jack Cell

    Forget about global warming and other money-attracting appeals that the ex-so called experts use. Like myself and others that read a lot about it know that this is part of a new cycle.

    January 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  49. kiwimuzz

    Its the start to 2012 the end of the world, yahoo can't wait 695 days to go it better turn out better than Y2k which was a flop

    January 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  50. Ken

    Can we just call this media sensation, aka Global Warming and Climate Change, over with and move on to the next "catastrophic" topic that threatens our continued survival?

    January 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  51. Wilkozoid

    With every breath you take you inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. When I was little there were 2 billion people in the world and there was already talk of overpopulation. Now there are more than 6 billion human carbon emitters. Trees replace oxygen but more and more of them are being cut down as we destroy forests to make way for more people. Our homes, cars and factories are continuously releasing both heat and carbon dioxide into the air, you can even see reddish domes of heat light over cities at night. HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE TO THINK THAT THIS HAS NO EFFECT ON CLIMATE?

    January 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  52. David

    We as humans have been on this planet for a brief period in the history of this planet, how do scientists know that this kind of weather did not happen in numerous occasions in the past. My opinion is that the earth is going through a cycle and global warming is an excuse for scientist to explain weather phenomena that they do not understand.Global warming is rubbish.

    January 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  53. Amy Smith

    Normal sways in weather! Move past the scrutiny and hype. People like me lived through "Global Cooling" in the midwest US in the1970s. We need to think more broadly and critically.

    January 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  54. larry

    thank this is bad now wait til 2012 you all will be screeming like young girls being raped!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  55. filthy oily greaseball

    "Drill Baby Drill"!!! and sometimes "Spill Baby Spill"!!!! The oily greasy guy gets the CA$H!!! That's all that matters!!! :/

    January 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  56. Fb

    Just like the medieval warming period – which is historical fact – the Earth and Sun are going through cycles which are natural. It is tiny arrogance of humans that we have any say in the cosmic process. The medieval warming period was long before cars and airplanes. It's natural, and will pass.

    January 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  57. Eleanore

    Personally, I think the WORLD needs to get "right with God".

    January 25, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  58. angelawood

    I truly believe that we are coming to a time which has been predicted in Revelations in the Bible – we have entered the 7th Seal in History which means the time of natural disasters and God made disasters. The only thing that is going to change humanity and the horrendous state we have gotten ourselves into is a Spiritual Intervention.
    There will be a sign given that the whole world will see and feel to turn us back to God again . This information has been given to chosen visionaries around the world. Most of us have Spiritual Amnesia and we are going to be woken up big time – I do not know when only the chosen ones know – but I am certain that we are well on our way to this happening. The only thing we can do and the most important thing of all is to pray as much as possible. The average person just does not want to know – does not want to be taken out of their comfort zone – it all seems rather fantastic but it is true. I have had amazing things happen to me after prayer. There is this amazing force ever present around us and within us and it is Love In the meatime what can we do? we just have to give out as much love as we can to each other and not to forget to pray – prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. just a little time each day is not a lot to ask. We are certainly living at a very interesting time in history to say the least.

    t

    January 25, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  59. PDR

    I remember lessons from back in High School science classes, and we are talking over 38 years ago, that carbon dioxide from increased human industrial activity would most likely create a greenhouse gas effect because of its heat trapping properties. I am sure that I am not the only one (exempt those who were sleeping during those courses) who remember those lessons.

    Since then we have been pumping out incredible amounts of that stuff in an ever increasing consumption pattern. We've also added or increased some other nice gases, aerosols, methane (from cattle) etc... with similar effects.

    Now, the planet is heating up as attested by NASA, the glaciers are melting (I can attest to this first hand because I've been mountain climbing since my teens and where I used to crampon I now scrabble over glacial debris), weather patterns are becoming more extreme (grab any newspaper) and our politicians are scratching their heads wondering who they can blame.

    I can only conclude that many of our esteemed politicians and their supporting constituents were either asleep during those classes or that, Heaven forbid, it's not their party line or in their immediate economic interests.

    In any case, whatever anyone says, the science is not new!

    January 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  60. Joseph

    This seems to be a day for stupidity in the media. Why don't we conduct a poll as to whether people believe in the laws of gravity, or take a vote to find out the average person's opinion on Quantum Mechanics.

    Global warming is a scientific issue, and the average person is not competent to judge the issue on its scientific merits, nor is their opinion about global warming pertinent as to whether it is true or not.

    Just as a physics skeptic or believer alike will accelerate at 32.2 feet/second per second if they walk off a cliff, so too will the atmosphere as a whole gradually warm because of the huge amount of Carbon Dioxide human activity is adding to the atmosphere, regardless of what people think..

    January 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  61. K H

    Cycle of life. You can fix it. What were the answers for the ice ages, way before humans were affecting things. What about other plants with crazy temps..... It's earths cycle...you can't stop it and we ALL might be gone tomorrow.

    January 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  62. Jack Hollis, Del City, Ok.

    About a thousand climate scientists think global warming is a fraud but many liberals hope it is real because their masters tell them it is.

    January 25, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  63. Daniel

    It's all connected: Decrease of volume of the Gulf Stream, weaker jet stream, higher global temperatures. Expect to see a mini-ice age to return in the northern latitudes.

    January 25, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  64. David S. Bar-on

    Having studied & taught world history/archeology for many years, I would say that the "aberrant" wx of recent times does not seem weird at all when compared to the wx patterns and climate changes of lets's say the last 100,000 years. If however, one is eeking a deeper meaning to all this, in Kabbalah we take the word "hateva" = nature and rendered into numerical value of 86 which is the same as the name of G-d which is used in the bible (original hebrew) representing the power of judgement.
    There is always a clear choice: to see the events around us as cause and effect or Chaos.
    PS I read and liked every comment on this subject. Quite entertaining!!!

    January 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  65. ANTHONY RIXON

    HELLO, ALL THE SIGNS THAT ARE ON EARTH , ARE ALL A PART OF ONE BIG SIGN, THAT WE HAVE ENTED THE END DAYS, WHICH WILL LAST ANOTHER 488 DAYS, ALTHOUGH THIS IS JUST THE START OF DEVASTATING THINGs SOON NOW TO BEGIN, THIS YEAR WILL BY FAR BE THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE IN HUMAN LIFE LOSS, AND DAMAGE WE WILL ENCOUNTER EVER..TIME WILL SHOW THAT THIS YEAR MUCH FEAR WILL BE APON US ALL.

    January 25, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  66. John Robles

    Of course it is global warming. And I can't believe the number of idiots who say "How can tehre be global warming if it is getting cooler, not hotter??". Global warming melts glaciers, causes sea level to warm and rise, which changes weather patterns. Get it? It doesn't mean things are getting hotter. Now go to recess.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  67. MrBoiseguy44

    The 2009 copy of the "Old Farmer's Almanac" had a nice short article explaining the 22 year solar cycle. They had lots of old headlines saying "New Ice Age" and "Warming of the planet," things like that, all the way to the turn of the Century. A cycle makes as much sense as anything and is better than everybody getting all spun up. The Kyoto protocols haven't been put in place, Congress is slow to act, business doesn't want to reduce profits and the media has to sell doom and gloom to fill the spaces between commercials. Why not just admit we don't know, have the courage to accept the things we can't change and tackle something we can fix: roads, bridges, hunger in America, obesity in America (make the fat people share their Big Macs with the starving folks) and get some positive traction for a change.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  68. Frank Kovich

    The Earth is simply healing itself due to a parasitic infestation.

    The weather will get worse as long as the infestation persists. The infestation behaves like some kind of flesh eating disease and the weird weather is a natural reaction.

    I believe that earhquakes will get worse as well because the parasites bore deep and deeper into the Earth's skin. How many needles can a human being be poked with before he or she starts shaking them off?

    Anyways, that is the way I see it...

    January 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  69. NeighbourEh

    While the opinions of the public are interesting, they are irrelevant to global warming. The answer lies in the weather records. One interesting stat for Hamilton ON (which I'm sure will prove true for any randomly selected city in North America) is the incidence of record high and low temps. We are breaking more and more record highs each decade and breaking less and less record lows. The number of record hot days in the last 10 years for Hamilton? 84. Number of record cold days? 16. This diverging trend started back in the mid 1980's from a near 50-50 split, and has rapidly gotten worse. For those that think this is simply natural weather patterns, you need to look a little closer.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  70. Brian Wood

    It doesn’t matter. We are doomed. When all the wind farm propellers are blown by a capricious wind in the same direction we will either be propelled into the sun and burn up or propelled into outer space and freeze!

    January 25, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  71. JJ

    The homosapien is to blame. We started out as part of this planet, but went malignant and are now a cancer killing the planet. You bet it's global warming. Just keep a close eye on Canda's north, the polar bear and Inuit will be the first to suffer, then all life on earth will follow suit. No one wants to give up all the luxuries in life and we deserve what we get for the damage we have caused. The earth is going to cleanse herself of the disease that is us, mark my words.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  72. Robert ALLAM

    Definitely, we do much more and at a much larger scale than ever before. So human activity have an impact but we can't tell how good or how bad an impact it is.
    Climate scientists are nowhere near knowing what is going on and I don't believe they know what this planet climate is doing and less so what it will be doing in the future.
    Meanwhile, let's cross our fingers and try to apply common sense in our approach to this planet. For example, if we cut 1 tree let's replace it right there and then, otherwise we should not be allowed legally or morally to cut another one etc.
    We need to preserve as much as possible what we have..

    January 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  73. iain newby

    having just completed a 3 year study taking data on both meteorlogical conditions and of aircraft frequency, type of aircraft and also taking note of the amount of lingering large trails left on each day.
    there is too much data to precess quick but already it is clear to mke that the aircraft and trails correlate closely to disturbed weather patterns.

    this weather is not natural but made intentionally by man and aircraft,

    January 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  74. Randi ervik

    We will not know for certain..for a vert long time. Hoverer, the risk that it indeed is climate is high. The consequeces if that is the case are very devastating. Thats why we all should join in fighting climate chage.
    Randi

    January 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  75. zoosphere

    From Japan. I felt it's about time to be asked a question like this on CNN as a CNN reader. According to CNN news there are so much weired weather going on this globe. In my opinion,it doesn't matter really whether this strange weather is caused by global warming or not. It is "strange". In opposite aspect, it is meant that the emergent responses to the devastated areas are required. Probably, the global warming is the most likely-cause of this strange or maybe natural cycle. According to the news and my personal opinion, the human being is not well-adjusted to this strange weather after many tragedy occurred this winter, and probably the human being was defeated by the weather this winter. I propose we, the human being need to adjust with the change in strong weather much more better, we need to be more flexible and lightly-equipped and more movable, Global warming might be only the stone thrown into a lake called human being. The important thing is how we react and what we will do. This is the challenge for us.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:25 am | Reply
  76. Ces A

    While contrarian scientists like Habibullo Abdussamatov (head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia) say that earth's warming is not an isolated case in the solar system

    –http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming_2.html–

    and therefore not entirely caused by carbon emissions, there is also the possibility that the earth wobble (like that of Mars') is causing the unpredictable weather. Maybe something is causing the planets to wobble.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:52 am | Reply
  77. Praise The Lord

    The answer is GOD.

    March 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  78. j

    poles shifting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 26, 2011 at 1:42 am | Reply
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