[LINK] the weather makers
kim.holburn at gmail.com
Sun Apr 8 19:52:22 EST 2007
On 2007/Apr/08, at 10:31 AM, Stewart Fist wrote:
> I also agree that many professional climate deniers owe their
> public stance
> to the generous funding of the energy industry. But that doesn't
> make every
> 'denier' automatically corrupt.
> Despite the fact that scientists and lay people holding unpopular
> views on this, constantly get told they are idiots - there are
> plenty of
> top-class independent scientists who hold a position very similar
> to mine.
> 1. I agree that if the consensus of metereological opinion is that
> the earth
> is warming, then we have to accept their evidence and act on it.
> But we
> have the right to ask: Ddo they really know? Have they measured in a
> consistent and accurate way?
> 2. I don't agree that this means they know what has caused the
> increases -- this is opinion or speculation, based on some good
> probably (but not overwhelming). I want to know how they define
> what are
> the proportional contributions of man-made and natural causes. I
> think this is anything more than educated opinion -- and some good
> disagree with the majority.
> Fake fights are not helping climate science
> * 20 March 2007
> * Alan Thorpe
> Few areas of science have implications as momentous as those of
> climate change. Much is riding not only on ensuring that the
> science is as accurate as possible but also on getting the
> political and social response right. Given the high stakes, it is
> hardly surprising that scientists' methods and conclusions are
> coming under considerable scrutiny. This is as it should be. After
> all, scepticism is fundamental to the scientific method.
> Scepticism is one thing; cynicism and conspiracy-theorising are
> quite another. These are the hallmarks of a recent attempt to
> discredit the widely accepted theory that human-made carbon dioxide
> emissions are causing global warming. A loose affiliation of
> scientists and writers is pushing the alternative idea that
> fluctuations in solar activity provide a better explanation for the
> rise and fall in the temperature of Earth's atmosphere over the
> past few centuries.
> Their basic argument goes something like this. When the cosmic rays
> that constantly bombard Earth from outer space hit water vapour
> rising from the oceans, they cause clouds to form in the atmosphere
> which shield the planet from solar radiation and cause it to cool.
> The sun's magnetic field dampens the effect of cosmic rays, so
> reducing cloud cover and causing Earth to heat up. Thus an active
> sun makes for a warmer planet - a correlation these scientists
> claim is borne out by the records.
> Readers in the UK may have seen the most recent incarnation of this
> theory in the Channel 4 television programme The Great Global
> Warming Swindle, broadcast last week. The programme questioned not
> only the mainstream of global warming science but also the
> integrity of the researchers involved in it. As I am the head of
> the major funder of climate science in the UK, the Natural
> Environment Research Council (NERC), such accusations of bias,
> lying and prejudice were bound to catch my attention.
> First, let's deal with the main thesis: that the presence or
> absence of cosmic rays in Earth's atmosphere is a better
> explanation for temperature variation than the concentration of CO2
> and other gases. This is not a new assertion and it is patently
> wrong: there is no credible evidence that cosmic rays play a
> significant role. The climate system is complex and it is likely
> that many factors affect it, cosmic rays among them. But to claim
> they are a major influence is disingenuous. There is far greater
> evidence suggesting CO2 is the major cause of warming.
> "To claim that cosmic rays are a major influence is disingenuous"
> Another claim made by the sceptics relates to the observation that
> in the long-term history of Earth's climate, variations in
> atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have lagged behind variations in
> the temperature of the atmosphere. Therefore, they say, the theory
> that human-produced greenhouse gases are the cause of current
> warming must be wrong.
> Not so. True, the historical rhythm of major ice ages and
> interglacial periods is set by Earth's orbital variations, known as
> Milankovitch cycles, not by levels of greenhouse gases. However,
> these cycles in turn trigger feedback effects - such as increases
> or decreases in levels of CO2 in the atmosphere - which amplify the
> change in temperature.
> There is no question that the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere,
> the warmer the planet becomes. It is not the only mechanism for
> warming, but it is a prominent one. We are adding CO2 and other
> greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in a way that has never happened
> before. The physics of how these gases cause warming by trapping
> the sun's radiation within the lower atmosphere - the greenhouse
> effect - is well established and it is no surprise that
> temperatures have been rising over the past 40 years. What's more,
> from the comprehensive models that climate scientists have built
> up, it is clear that only human-made greenhouse gases can explain
> this warming. Other factors, such as solar variations, have been
> found to be insignificant in comparison.
> This debate is not just about science. Implicit in the sceptics'
> message is the suggestion that scientists are lying about the role
> of CO2 in climate change. The impression given is that this is a
> conspiracy; that climate scientists are deliberately trying to
> mislead the public, either to affect policy because of their
> private political motivations or to be more successful in
> attracting research funding.
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