Oklahoma is well known for its climate change deniers, but did you know that Oklahoma is also considered a rock star, so to speak, by those who study climate change?
A research paper published in February in Nature showed that carbon dioxide is indeed trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere. The study backs up what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been saying all along. The research was conducted by scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They concluded that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by 22 parts per million from 2000-2010.
The data came from two climate research facilities in the United States. One is in Barrow, Alaska and the other is right here in Oklahoma…Lamont, OK to be precise. The small town is located in Grant County, west of I-35 along Highway 60. The town’s mayor writes on Lamont’s website, “Lamont is a classic small town, where everyone knows your name, a neighbor is not just someone who lives next door, and the community is your family.”
The climate research site in Lamont is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy. The main facility covers 160 acres of land around Lamont. You can read all about the facility here and see a map of where weather research stations are located in Oklahoma.
One of the researchers for this new study is Dr. Daniel Feldman. Here’s what he told me about the role Oklahoma is playing in the study of climate change, “The site in Oklahoma that was used for this research is actually pretty famous in the atmospheric science community, because it is heavily instrumented and has been for over two decades now. The idea for this site is to make a whole lot of high quality measurements to improve scientific understanding of atmospheric science, including weather, how thunderstorms and tornadoes form, cloud formation, interactions between the land and the atmosphere, and many other research topics. The site’s data has been used by researchers to advance science many, many times, and often is referred to as a “ground truth” because of the quality of the data there, its accessibility, and its comprehensive nature.”
So there you have it, regardless what the Senator with the Snowball says, climate change is real and Oklahoma is playing a major role in documenting it.