Climate Changes

Several stories on the science and politics of global warming caught our attention this week:

Many climate skeptics have been pointing to polling data that suggests public support for global warming solutions is fading. But one poll asserts the opposite may be true. A recently released Pew Research study claims Americans’ support for clean energy is gaining ground. The poll data reveals 78 percent of Americans favor increased government spending on wind, solar and hydrogen energy sources. 52 percent of people surveyed supported a cap-and-trade approach to limiting carbon emissions.

A new study claims global warming could make the world a more violent place. Called the “heat hypothesis,” the study links average temperature rise with increased aggression and violence in human beings. It also claims that global warming’s detrimental effects on the world’s food availability could potentially have a direct link to increased poverty, crime, ecomigration, civil unrest, war and genocide. In reaching their conclusions, the researchers analyzed existing research – including an update on a study done in 1997 – on the effects of rising temperature on aggression and risk factors for delinquency and criminal behavior.

Global leaders are underestimating the potential dangerous impacts of man-made climate change, suggests a recent study published in the scientific journal Oceanography. The research claims that even if all man-made greenhouse gas emissions were stopped tomorrow, by the end of this century the global average temperature would increase by about 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit, which is “significantly above the level which scientists and policymakers agree is a threshold for dangerous climate change,” according to the authors. The study also suggests that society as a whole should expand research into geoengineering solutions that remove and sequester greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.

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