An unwelcomed "second spring"

On the same day, two news stories from two different parts of the world reported different pieces of evidence that point to the same conclusion - that the Earth is really getting warmer.

The first story, from the BBC, reported that a US scientific group has found the same warming trend seen by the world's three most important and established groups. Using data from 40,000 weather stations around the world and developing a new way of analyzing the data to plot the global temperature trend over land since 1800, the Berkeley Earth Project produced a graph which was remarkably similar to those produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the US and the Met Office of the UK. 

"Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK," said project leader Professor Richard Muller of the University of California.

The second story, from a local paper, reported the various observations of C.Y. Lam, former director of the Hong Kong Observatory, that are clear indications of global warming. He talked about how the high temperature of 28 degrees celsius in October has induced trees to have a "second spring", bearing flowers and lush green leaves instead of ones with darker colours at this time of the year. "The trees have got it wrong," said Lam. "They cannot distinguish spring and autumn." The growth of trees in forests have also "moved upwards" from the slopes of hills to the peaks. Lam expects the such modification to deteriorate and affect other species. As eco balance cannot be maintained, humans will suffer.

While the issue of global warming has been raised for decades, many people, especially those who seek to maintain their extravagant way of living, challenge its magnitude or even deny its existence. As more compelling evidence are becoming available, not least the various calamitous natural disasters that arise from the extreme global climatic conditions, the global citizens have to face up to the facts and seek immediate remedies. The situation may still be reverted before the tipping point is hit, but we would have to act fast.

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