Probability: “A mathematical statement about how likely it is that harm will be suffered from a hazard.”*
In this case, the hazard is global warming.
On a scale of 0-100, we assess that it is 100% that climate change has already happened, is happening now, and that it will continue long into our own and our children’s future.
Have you ever seen a glacier melt? Felt the ocean warm up on acquired solar rays because there is no ice left to reflect it? Ever stepped in a thermokarst? Watched a cow burp methane? How about this: have you ever seen a carbon dioxide molecule absorb the suns energy and hold on to it? What’s that stuff we breathe in every second? You can’t see it, but it’s there. Good thing, too.
We can form a hypothesis or induction about what the answer might be. For instance:
“After the onset of the industrial revolution (In 1750, or so) and particularly in the last fifty years, the amount of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere shot up from 280ppm to 384ppm, where it has probably never been for twenty million years…”
“And we know that this increase in CO2 is going to give us a different climate than the one we have now, because in 670,000 straight years, whenever CO2 has gone up, temperatures have gone up, and whenever CO2 in the atmosphere has gone down, temperatures have gone down. So to say that the additional CO2 added by humans is not a problem is to bet against 670,000 straight years of data, and to hope that we are going to get lucky this time.”**
April 19, 2013 NY Outdoor News, page 23: “off the charts” record heat last year, statistics show
“Washington (AP) America set an off-the-charts heat record in 2012. “A brutal combination of a widespread drought and mostly absent winter pushed the average annual U.S. temperature last year up to 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit, the government announced last month. That’s a full degree warmer than the old record set in 1998. Breaking temperature records by an entire degree is unprecedented, scientists say. Normally, records are broken by a tenth of a degree or so.”
“These records do not occur like this in an unchanging climate,” said Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. “And they are costing many billions of dollars.”
*Miller, Ch 11; Environmental hazards and human health
**Nate Lewis, Caltech energy chemist as quoted in T.L. Friedman’s “Hot, Flat, and Crowded”
“If you really think that the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money.”
Dr. Guy McPherson