Category Archives: Media

When did “Global Warming” become “Climate Change”?

July was a difficult month personally, with a family crisis (still ongoing) and an extremely busy work schedule  But no complaints here.  If I’m going to continue to blog, I better get used to doing it in the face of some stiff time constraints, as work and family life are not likely to become any less demanding in the near future, as far as I can see.

To start things rolling again, I thought I’d do something short and fun.

Anyone who has been following the “Global Warming”, er, “Climate Change” debate for any length of time now has probably noticed that the former moniker seems to be losing ground in favour of the latter. But when exactly did it happen?

To answer this question, I decided to compare the number of times the terms “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” appear in news articles indexed by Google News since 2000. Here are the results:

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Global temperatures: magnitudes and trends

One thing I often see in media reporting on climate change is confusion regarding the difference between the magnitude of temperatures for individual years over the past decade (expressed as anomalies) and the trend in temperatures over the past decade.

It is not uncommon, for example, for proponents of global warming to berate climate skeptics for stating that the world has experienced a modest cooling over the last 10 years.  After all, how can that be true when so many years of the last decade have been among the warmest this century? Doesn’t that imply that significant global warming is still occurring? Well, some people certainly think so. Continue reading

City of Lakes: Victim of Global Warming?

Last week the Vancouver Observer published an article  describing the impacts of climate change on various parts of Asia. The full article is available here.

Prominently featured in the article is a description of Udaipur, the so-called “City of Lakes”, located in the Rajasthan state of India. The author of the piece has the following to say about the current state of Udaipur and its lakes:

One telling example of the drought is occurring in Udaipur, a beautiful, historical city that lies amongst centuries-old man-made lakes created by various maharajas. Udaipur has been called the City of Lakes. It’s a misnomer now.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Octopussy, you’ll remember James Bond speeding across a gorgeous blue lake with a wedding cake palace in the background. That was Lake Pichola in Udaipur. Shockingly, the lake is now almost dry and has been for a few years. The rains don’t come anymore, and under the searing sun and growing population, the demand for water is too great.

About the Rajasthan state in general it is said:

Throughout Rajasthan, the state southwest of Delhi, water issues are at critical levels. It’s not just a recent phenomenon either – drought has ravaged the state for the past 10 years, withering crops, drying up wells and virtually roasting cattle before they are even butchered.

While mention is given to the role of population pressures on water supply in the region, it is clear from the article that the author is primarily attributing the decline of Udaipur’s lakes to anthropogenic global warming (the end of the article makes the link to CO2 explicit). Continue reading