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Good Question: Is ‘Global Warming’ The Wrong Term To Use?

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
Jason DeRusha filed his first report for WCCO-TV on April Fool's D...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When the Twins repeatedly have April snow-outs, and Duluth gets a record 50 inches of snow during spring, it makes it challenging to convince people to change energy policy because of the threat of global warming.

So is “global warming” the wrong term to use?

“What we have is more extremes,” said Michael Noble, executive director of Fresh Energy, a Minnesota nonprofit fighting for less fossil fuel use. He’s studied climate change for decades.

“It’s true that the globe is warming,” said Noble. “It’s just that warm is not the only impact.”

Noble said that many people think global warming means that our weather will always be warmer, but there are far more impacts to climate change.

“Severe drought would be an impact, severe flooding would be an impact, straight-line winds would be an impact, more forest fires would be an impact, rising sea levels would be an impact,” he said. “So warming doesn’t describe all the impacts.”

So what would be a better term?

“How about ‘climate chaos,’ or ‘climate disruption,’” Noble said.

Chris Grossmeir tweeted: “I still favor the labeling it ‘More Extremes.’”

Years ago, author and activist Hunter Lovins came up with the term “Global Weirding.”

“When you have a day you’re cursing the snow tenth day out of the past twenty… [global warming] isn’t the best term, probably,” Noble said.

But some climatologists do think the warming is leading to more severe winters. The theory is that the melting of the Arctic ice caps is causing bursts of arctic air to head here, leading to bursts of extreme cold and snow.

“I would say every day’s weather is different because we’re changing our climate,” said Noble.

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