An Inconvenient Truth
Through lectures, writings, and a documentary film, he sought to raise awareness of global warming. The film An Inconvenient Truth (2006) gave him a platform for illuminating the dangers of climate change before a wide audience. It received an Academy Award for best documentary. The Nobel committee cited Al Gore as “the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted” to halt global warming. Given this historic blizzard, should this most recent evidence of a global warming trend be taken seriously? Is there conclusive evidence of global warming? Does global climate change have serious consequences when many of us live or travel in climate-controlled structures that are cooled in summer and heated in winter? The general consensus of the scientific community is that the earth's surface is warming. Research centers in Great Britain and the United States maintain two long-term data sets on global surface temperatures; the most recent data from these centers indicated that 2005 was the warmest year on record. As Al Gore discussed on the film, he mentioned that warming temperatures are already causing significant changes to mountain glaciers around the world, ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic, and polar sea ice in the Arctic. From Europe to Africa to Asia to North America, mountain glaciers have receded over the 20th century, and melting is becoming more rapid. The large-scale melting of ice may accelerate the pace of global warming in what is known as a feedback process. Because ice reflects sunlight back out to space, it has a cooling effect. Water and land, which are darker than ice, absorb and retain more heat. And he also discussed that the global average temperatures strongly suggest that global warming has actually begun to take place. This is not, however, a simple trend to document. Temporary confounding factors can mask an overall...
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