Study: Earth warming faster than expected

At a time when the US, including the Great Lakes region, is enduring one of the worst-ever droughts in history, a new scientific paper - chiefly authored by James Hansen from NASA - has asserted that the warming of the Earth is taking place at a much faster pace than what has been perceived thus far.

The assertion by Hansen - who is called the "godfather of global warming" - is a noteworthy one, especially since he was the first expert witness, during a testimony to the US Senate in 1998, to claim that the climate of the Earth was changing beyond natural cycles because of man-made pollution.

With this year's drought having affected approximately two-thirds of the continental US, and several scientists believing it to be an expression of climate change, Hansen has pointed out in the new study that, for ensuring the effectiveness of the strategy for addressing climate change, it is essential that Washington and the private sector show a strong commitment towards controlling greenhouse gases.

According to Hansen and his colleagues, greenhouse gases induced by human beings have led to a number of natural calamities in recent years, including the Texas-Oklahoma drought in 2011; the heat waves in Russia and Middle East in 2010; and the heat wave in Europe in 2003.

Noting that the Earth is warming faster than expected, Hansen and his co-researchers said in the study that a notably greater portion of the land surface of the Earth is now covered by extreme summer heat as compared to 1980.

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