Of Course Human Beings Affect the Weather

In the posting immediately below, I discuss President Obama's remarks pertaining to climate in his Inaugural Address Monday.

While I believe the science does not support the President's comment, there is no doubt man affects the weather. Here is an example via the National Weather Services in Pittsburgh that occurred yesterday.
The smokestack is indicated by the red circle. The plume of snow showers
is indicated by the yellow arrows.
This is a radar image of a plume of snow created by the steam stack at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant near Shippingport, PA. The warm steam rises into the very cold air and almost immediately turns to snow which is blown downwind. As much as an inch of snow fell under the plume.

Humans affect the weather through the emission of greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide, methane), through land use changes (center pivot irrigation in the Plains), heat islands created by large cities, and in many other ways. There are natural changes that affect the atmosphere via solar radiation, cosmic rays, and volcanoes to cite just three.  

Because there are so many non-linear forcing mechanisms, the problem of climate change (both natural and human-driven) is far more complex than simply "adding carbon dioxide causes warming." 


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