On the Radio: Understanding Climate Change

This map, from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet, shows the departure from the previous record temperature.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment aims to dispel some common misconceptions regarding climate change.

Iowa is experiencing an unusually warm winter, but what does this indicate about climate change?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Iowa is on-pace to have one of its warmest winters in 134 years. This warm weather has increased chatter about global warming, but viewing one season as indicating climate change actually reveals a misunderstanding of how climate change is measured. Let’s not forget that Iowa’s four previous winters were all colder than normal.

There are many indicators outside of temperature that are used to understand climate change, including the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and the size of glaciers around the world.

As for temperature, climate scientists look at temperature change in certain areas over the course of many years – not one season.

However, Iowa has been warmer in the winter over the last three decades, and evidence indicates that the likelihood of having extreme weather is increasing due to climate change.

For more information, including the Climate Change Impacts in Iowa report, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

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