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Climate Change and The Trump Administration

Updated on April 5, 2017
SherrieWeynand profile image

Ms. Weynand is a freelance writer covering a wide variety of topics, with a focus on politics and social issues.

Briksdal Climate Change, Norway
Briksdal Climate Change, Norway | Source

Climate Change

"Climate Change - a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular, a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels."

Our Earth's climate is ever changing. With seven scientifically documented cycles of glacial advance and retreat, the last of those occurring 7000 years ago, causing what is now our modern climate era. Most climate changes are due to variances in the planet's orbit that cause solar energy reaching Earth to fluctuate.

The warming trend we are currently seeing is significant because it is most likely human-caused and is growing at an alarming rate for the past 1300 years.Satellites and advances in technology have allowed scientists to see the larger scope of the changes while collecting different data about our planet and climate on a global level. The set of data collected over many years shows signs of a change in climate.

During the mid-19th century, scientists were able to demonstrate the heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and various other gases. The gases ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the basis of many instruments used by NASA. This leaves no question that increased greenhouse gases cause Earth to warm in response.

Ice cores which were extracted and sampled in Greenland, Antarctica, and various tropical mountain glaciers, all show the planet's climate responds to changes according to levels of greenhouse gases. Paleoclimate evidence is also found in ocean sediment, tree rings, coral reefs, and different layers of sedimentary rock. It also reveals that current warming is happening at a rate nearly ten times faster than during the ice-age recovery.

Sea Level Rise

Sea levels rose on a global scale, nearly 17 centimeters in the last century. However, during the last decade, the rate of sea level rise is almost double that of the entire last century.

Sea Level Rise by Century
Sea Level Rise by Century | Source

NASA Sea Level Change Quiz - Test Your Knowledge


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2015 Annual temperature local records.
2015 Annual temperature local records. | Source

Global Temperature Rise

Scientific models show Earth has been warming since 1880, with the past 35 years being the biggest growth period. Since 2001, we have had 15 of the 16 record warm years. 2015 saw global temperatures 1 degree Celsius or more above the 1880-1899 average, for the first time. Even with a decline in solar output in the 2000s, surface temperatures did not stop their increase.

Global sea surface temperatures.
Global sea surface temperatures.

Warming Oceans

With global temperatures increasing, the oceans have absorbed much of the heat. The top 2,300 feet showed warming of 0.30 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.



Polar bears on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, near the North Pole.
Polar bears on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, near the North Pole.

Shrinking Ice Sheets

Between 2002 and 2005, NASA conducted experiments in Greenland and Antarctica to show how much mass had been lost to climate change. Both locations averaged a 151 cubic kilometer loss.



Declining Sea Ice

The last several decades has shown a rapid decline in both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice.

Snow cap retreat since 1985
Snow cap retreat since 1985

Glacial Retreat

In the Alps, the Himalayas, Rockies, Andes, Africa, and Alaska, glaciers are retreating.

U.S. tornado extreme weather events.
U.S. tornado extreme weather events.

Extreme Weather Events

We have seen record-high temperatures in the U.S. increase, while the record-lows have decreased since 1950. Other extreme weather events have included record numbers of tornadoes, more powerful, larger hurricanes, intense rainfall, and drought.

Progressive death of the ocean's coral.
Progressive death of the ocean's coral.

Ocean Acidification

Ocean waters surface acidity has increased by about 30 percent since the Industrial Revolution began. The increase being the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. With the gas in the atmosphere, it is then absorbed by our oceans. Each year, the amount of carbon dioxide in the upper layer of Earth's oceans increases by close to 2 billion tons.



Climate Change and You

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Donald Trump
Donald Trump

An Administration Standing in Opposition to Climate Change Control

Over many years of in-depth research and studies, the collected data clearly shows compelling evidence that climate change is a rapidly growing, serious problem facing not only the United States but the entire planet. Scientists have concluded that climate change will indeed affect us all.

In a now infamous 2012 tweet, our President, Donald Trump announced to the world that global warming was a concoction brought forth by the Chinese. Supposedly to make U.S. manufacturing nonviable and noncompetitive. That single tweet was mentioned during the confirmation hearings of Trump's nominees for Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of the Environment Protection Agency.

Before being elected, Donald Trump said, more than once, that he wanted to reduce the reach of the EPA until only small parts of it remained. However, let's stop for a second and consider what he actually can do. First, we need to take a look at what President Obama did during his terms. The Obama administration benefited from the growing use of shale-produced natural gas. That natural gas superseded and replaced much of the coal we use. It is also a major factor for lower readings of carbon dioxide, which is the main greenhouse gas, during his terms. It was not magical, there was no wand or spell, it happened over time, and the changes he implemented in accordance with the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and the Paris Agreement.

On the same token, President Trump has no magic wand or spells, either. He cannot order miners to go back into the mines, many of those jobs are rapidly becoming automated. It does not matter what any one person says; we are moving away from coal as a fuel source. There are things he can do which will set us back, and in the long run, create larger problems.

As President Trump readies to visit the Environmental Protection Agency to sign into effect an executive order, one that will set into motion a review of the Clean Power Plan, it will effectively undo other energy orders and memorandums put into place by President Obama.

The Clean Power Plan places a cap on the total greenhouse gases power plants can emit. The White House's argues the regulation, among others, place an undue burden on the American economy.

In an interview with ABC News, a senior Trump administration official said, "The president's been very clear, he's not going to pursue climate or environmental policies that put the American economy at risk." When asked if climate change poses any long-term threat of its own to the economy, the official replied that he did not know of research drawing that conclusion.

When President Obama signed the Clean Power Plan in 2015, he said it was the most important step toward combatting climate change. That law, however, isn't being enforced. In February 2016, the United States Supreme Court ordered a stay pending judicial review.

Leading attorney generals from 28 states, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt claimed the plan was too wide of an interpretation of the Clean Air Act of 1963, which was designed to regulate air pollution across the nation.

With relaxed power plant emission limits, one group will benefit more than any other - coal miners. This executive order will rollback an Obama-era moratorium on coal and demand a review of the regulations which affect methane

Where does all of this leave the American people? The answer is - right now, no one knows. We are all stuck in a sort of political and environmental limbo. The data is there, the studies have been done and continue, yet here we find ourselves turning back the pages instead of moving forward. All we can do is our part. Lessen our footprint and try to make it through as unscathed as possible.

© 2017 Sherrie Weynand

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    • SherrieWeynand profile image
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      Sherrie Weynand 8 months ago from San Francisco, CA

      Dicesi, thanks for reading!

    • SherrieWeynand profile image
      Author

      Sherrie Weynand 8 months ago from San Francisco, CA

      Ken, actually they do tell us when it has happened, in approximation of course, but there have been 7 cycles of this throughout history. I can explain more when I have a few minutes. I'll also check out the links you posted.

    • DICESI profile image

      Dicesi 8 months ago from New York

      Great Hub! I really learned a lot.

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 8 months ago from Florida

      Sherrie,

      I appreciate that. And I understand what is being proposed by some scientists. It could be summed up in this animated 8 minute tutorial here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o4ODWMZq5U

      So I agree with that, totally logical... however... it is left there. OK, the Earth is warming up. Has this happened before? How many times? What occurs next and why?

      See they don't give you any of that information... they just tell you SOME of the data and SOME of the story. Why? Because they can't tax you for creating Carbon if they don't convince you it is some terrible issue.

      So what are they leaving out?:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP3bRZl8Xmk

      The above is as packed with information and facts on the topic as you can pack into 11 minutes. I strongly suggest watching it.

      It doesn't cover nearly all the data and research that is available however. But what is available from Ice Core drillings they did at the North and South poles, which goes back hundreds of thousands of years, proves this occurs consistently, like a heart beat, on our planet.

      Global Warming is occurring... but it is not caused by us. But that does not fit the agenda of those looking to be able to 'tax' and control things.

      However the massive amount of pollution we are causing, how it is effecting our food chain, and how it is possibly causing everything from Cancer to Autism, is a real issue, that we could do something about... and yet despite the overwhelming evidence of how it is effecting us, no one is doing anything. Sad really:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwOBRH56Ic0

      Ok I admit, I could have chosen a lot worse, or should I say better vids to express how dire the situation really is in regards to pollution, but really, if you want to know the truth of it, its fairly easy to find.

    • SherrieWeynand profile image
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      Sherrie Weynand 8 months ago from San Francisco, CA

      Ken, while I agree with you that pollution and radiation are also both pressing issues, it's hard to argue with the majority of the scientific community.

      The numbers reported are not from the U.N. or our own government. These are scientists who have studied this for decades.

      Thanks for your response, debate is always a good thing.

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 8 months ago from Florida

      Climate change as advertised by our government, the U.N., etc. is false, and those at the very heart of pushing this know this to be true.

      However... there IS a far more dangerous and deadly manmade disaster affecting our world today... pollution and radiation poisoning.

      An ocean full of plastic, which is being absorbed into all our food sources from the sea, which in turn we digest. Uncontrolled dumping of toxic waste by China's factories, which are fed right into their rice fields, apple orchards, and other farms... poisons absorbed by the plants, and then ingested in our diets.

      40% of the air pollution of the West Coast of America is now produced in China, it travels all the way over to us.

      Nuclear Plants, in Japan and Russia, that have had catastrophe strike, still emit radiation into the atmosphere or the Pacific ocean. Considering the many of the nuclear plants in America and throughout Europe are more than half a century old, chances of a major disaster occurring becomes likely.

      The World Bank, World Trade Organization, U.N., etc. keep pushing to create a world where everyone is lifted 'out of poverty'... 800 million Chinese who used to live simple lives on farms, without electricity or 'modern' technology have been co-opted into city life, in just 30 short years China went from the 'poorest' but cleanest nation in the world, to the wealthiest but most polluted... with the most toxic water sources and most noxious air in the world.

      We'll all be dead from the poisoning of our water resources and food sources long before the Carbon makes the world a green house we can no longer survive in.

    • SherrieWeynand profile image
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      Sherrie Weynand 8 months ago from San Francisco, CA

      Thanks, Mel! I agree, there is so much we can do to change things. Eveb little things can make a big difference.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 8 months ago from San Diego California

      My opinion is, whether it is man made or not, why take a chance? We have the potential to keep our air clean and still fuel our economies, so we need to start changing the way we use energy. Great hub.

    • SherrieWeynand profile image
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      Sherrie Weynand 8 months ago from San Francisco, CA

      Thank you for reading, Kathleen!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 8 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Well-written hub. Thorough. Thanks for the sources. (I flunked your test!)