If you're still holding out that climate change is a hoax, there are a bevy of scientists who are making careers studying issues related to climate change. The assumption in many scientific communities is that it is real. What scientists who believe it is happening want to do is find out how the changes might affect growing conditions in various parts of the globe.
There's even a journal called Global Change Biology. Jeff Dukes, a Purdue University professor in forestry and natural resources, recently led a team that authored a paper for that journal.
The bigger question is whether man-made activities are causing climate change, or whether they are occurring as part of a natural cycle that spans decades, if not centuries. There is evidence that there tends to be warmer periods and colder periods in climate. Any one year is less than a blip on a radar screen when it comes to global change over time.
Elwynn Taylor, an ag climatologist at Iowa State University, told farmers at the 2012 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, that at least one claim people who believe in global climate change make is true. That is that carbon dioxide levels are rising.
Levels have risen from around 300 parts per million just a few decades ago to about 390 ppm today –changes that have been documented for a long time. Early climate studies in the 1950s at islands in the Pacific Ocean helped set the base level for carbon dioxide in areas which had not experienced much change. The levels are monitored as time progresses.
No one is saying that this warm summer was tied to global climate change. It did bring back memories of 1934 and 1936, which were hot years. In fact, as hot as 2012 was in Indiana, it fell just short of rivaling 1936 for number of 90 degree plus days and number of days over 100 degrees by Aug. 4, just before this year's drought and heat wave subsided. This year did surpass 1934, however, up through Aug. 4.