CBS: Global Warming Increasing; ‘Vicious Cyle’ That ‘Must Be Broken’

Daniel Sieberg, CBS At the top of the 8AM hour of Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith hyped a new report on Global Warming: "A dire new warning about global warming. Why is the world's climate heating up faster than scientists have predicted?" Co-host Maggie Rodriguez later introduced the segment with similar alarmism: "An alarming warning from scientists this morning. Global warming is happening much faster than expected."

Correspondent Daniel Sieberg reported: "Yes, a dire new warning from scientists says the amount of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is higher than predicted...Scientists say those higher temperatures are fueling the intensity of wildfires, now raging in places like Australia." Sieberg concluded his report by exclaiming: "Now scientists say this global warming is part of a vicious cycle. Each changing ecosystem affecting the other and made worse by human activities. For environmentalists and many others, it's a cycle that needs to be broken. And soon. Maggie." Rodriguez remarked: "Tall order."

At one point in his report, Sieberg explained: "Animation from NASA shows the recession of sea ice in the Arctic since 1979. This decrease, scientists say, will, in turn, lead to higher temperatures." He then cited NASA scientist Claire Parkinson, who added: "Sea ice is really reflective. When it retreats, then instead of that highly reflective surface there bouncing back solar radiation back to outer space, solar radiation comes in and gets absorbed in the oceans." Meanwhile, a Sunday report by the Associated Press quoted former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the Moon in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission, who is skeptical of man-made climate change: "I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect."

The AP article went on to quote Schmitt’s criticism of scientific consensus on the issue: "They’ve [climate scientists] seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven’t gone along with the so-called political consensus that we’re in a human-caused global warming...It’s one of the few times you’ve seen a sizable portion of scientists who ought to be objective take a political position and it’s coloring their objectivity." The CBS report made no mention of skeptics like Schmitt.

Here is the full transcript of the Early Show segment:

8:00AM TEASE:

HARRY SMITH: A dire new warning about global warming. Why is the world's climate heating up faster than scientists have predicted?

8:13AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: An alarming warning from scientists this morning. Global warming is happening much faster than expected. CBS News science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg has the story. Good morning, Daniel

DANIEL SIEBERG: Good morning, Maggie. Yes, a dire new warning from scientists says the amount of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is higher than predicted, mostly from places like India and China. That's leading to warmer temperatures and more extreme conditions all over the planet. For years, scientists have known Greenland's glaciers were melting and the seasonal sheet of ice covering the Arctic had been shrinking. But the thaw is literally just the tip of the iceberg.

MARK SERREZE [SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST, NATL. SNOW AND ICE DATA CTR.]: The Arctic is that early warning system, it's that canary in the coal mine. The Arctic is leading the way in terms of climate change, but the rest of the planet is following.

SIEBERG: Animation from NASA shows the recession of sea ice in the Arctic since 1979. This decrease, scientists say, will, in turn, lead to higher temperatures.

CLAIRE PARKINSON [SENIOR SCIENTIST, NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER]: Sea ice is really reflective. When it retreats, then instead of that highly reflective surface there bouncing back solar radiation back to outer space, solar radiation comes in and gets absorbed in the oceans.

SIEBERG: Think of ice melting in the Arctic like the ice in this glass. If it's already in the water, like sea ice, when it melts, it doesn't overflow. But when you add more ice to it, like from a glacier, well, you can see the problem.

[POURS ICE FROM ONE GLASS INTO ANOTHER GLASS FILLED WITH WATER]

SIEBERG: From ice to fire. Scientists say those higher temperatures are fueling the intensity of wildfires, now raging in places like Australia. And the burned vegetation then releases large amounts of carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.

SERREZE: We're not talking about extinction of the human species here, but we are talking about a rough road ahead of us, in terms of the economic disruption through sea level rise, surprise changes, say, in weather patterns associated with climate warning.

[FOOTAGE OF HURRICANES, FLOODS, AND BLIZZARDS]

SIEBERG: Now scientists say this global warming is part of a vicious cycle. Each changing ecosystem affecting the other and made worse by human activities. For environmentalists and many others, it's a cycle that needs to be broken. And soon. Maggie.

RODRIGUEZ: Tall order. Daniel Sieberg. Thanks, Daniel.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC