Poor old lemons – getting really desperate now. Just nod and smile as you back away, pretending you believe those nasty greenhouse gas molecules stamped “Released by humanity” selectively warmed the Antarctic Peninsula while the rest of Antarctica cooled (nasty little blighters probably did it with malice aforethought too, Mike!).
The debate over whether global warming is natural or manmade is an artificial one: scientists know that both factors can affect the planet’s temperature. The real question is which factor is doing the heavy lifting — and a new report in Nature released Wednesday says that on the Antarctic Peninsula, at least, human-generated greenhouse gases have almost certainly been by far the most important driver of warming over the past half-century.
Scientists are intrigued with this corner of the world because it’s warming faster than anyplace else on Earth. The planet as a whole has heated up by about 1.3°F since 1900, but on the peninsula, it has shot up by a whopping 5° in just 50 years, forcing massive ice shelves to disintegrate and penguin colonies to collapse.