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PhD student debunks 'age-old' misconception about extreme weather events: 'We can literally measure it'

"That actually addressed a good portion of my doubts."

"That actually addressed a good portion of my doubts."

Photo Credit: TikTok

One aspect of climate change that often confuses people is that Earth has gone through periods of extreme heat and extreme cold before. It's easy to assume that if temperatures are rising now, it's just part of the upswing that occurs naturally. 

However, that is not the case, and one PhD student with degrees in Earth and climate science explains how our climate is changing and what is causing it. 

Rosh (all_about_climate) posts climate information on TikTok, often debunking wild claims and misinformation spread by people who don't put forth a good-faith effort to understand climate or science. 

One recent video shows Rosh clearing up some claims by a "podcast bro" ranting about the ice age melting. 

"Why the f*** did the ice f****** melt if the climate should be f****** stable on Earth?" the guy yelled into his podcast microphone. 

"What caused the ice age and why did the ice melt? Answering an age-old question about climate science," Rosh captioned his video. 

Rosh explains in the video that, yes, there was an "ice age" — technically known as a glacial period — when much of the Northern Hemisphere was covered in ice. We are currently in an interglacial period when ice covers only the poles. 

@all_about_climate What caused the ice age and why did the ice melt? Answering an age old question about climate science. #iceage #climate #science #climatescience #CO2 #sciencetok #climateemergency #climatecrisis #climatechange #climatedenier #environment #sustainability #climateaction #factcheck #debunked #globalwarming ♬ original sound - Rosh

Subtle shifts in the Earth's orbit cause these long cycles of glacial and interglacial periods, which occur over thousands of years. 

"At the fastest, you would expect maybe a degree of global warming per thousand years," Rosh explains in the video. "We are currently seeing more than a degree of warming per century." 

The climate is changing in a way that is unnatural and unprecedented. So what's causing it? Carbon dioxide and other planet-warming gases. How do we know this? 

"We can literally measure it," Rosh enthusiastically says before explaining how scientists use infrared spectroscopy to scan the sky and detect heat. Further, Rosh says, scientists can directly link the heat trapping to the specific signature of carbon dioxide, like a "fingerprint," to prove it's a significant factor.  

The takeaway from this video is that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence showing that the Earth is heating up like never before, and it coincides precisely with a significant increase in gases like methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — gases that are produced by burning dirty energy sources like coal, oil, and gas. 

It may feel like nothing you do in your daily life will make a difference, but every little step helps. You can switch to an electric vehicle, invest in solar panels, or swap out your gas range for an induction cooktop. Even just supporting eco-friendly brands or using a reusable water bottle can help. 

Other TikTokers were grateful for Rosh's explanation. 

"So nice to see intelligent, rational, fact-based content," one commenter wrote. 

One climate change skeptic also appreciated the explanation. 

"That actually addressed a good portion of my doubts. Or at least presented a real argument to my belief," they wrote. 

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