Saturday, April 05, 2008

An Inconvenient Truth?

Globbal temperatures haven't risen in a decade:
Global temperatures will drop slightly this year as a result of the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said.

The World Meteorological Organization's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina would continue into the summer.

This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.
This underscores the point that the science of global warming is not as well understood (or agreed upon) as many would have us believe. The issue has been so politicized, it makes it more difficult for good scientific and economic research to be done in the area. Climatologists are needed to research what is going on and why. Economists are needed to explain the potential effects on the economy, natural resources, and the effectiveness of policies on behavior.

Unfortunately, most of the people who serve as mouthpieces for global warming are not trained in either discipline. That's why I have strong concerns about politicians and church pastors who take strong stands on global warming. They seem to be motivated far more by trying to show good intentions and responding to emotion rather than weighing scientific evidence. Cooler heads are needed to win the day.

(HT Russ Roberts)


thinking said...

I totally disagree. The overwhelming opinion of the scientific community comes down on the side of climate change.

The most respected scientific bodies have stated unequivocally that global warming is occurring, and people are causing it by burning fossil fuels (like coal, oil and natural gas) and cutting down forests. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, which in 2005 the White House called "the gold standard of objective scientific assessment," issued a joint statement with 10 other National Academies of Science saying "the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action. It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions."

Sure, one can find a small group with a contrarian opinion on any issue. I can find people who will claim the earth is only 5000 years old, or that the moon landing was a hoax, and some will even sound credible.

But it's simply a total myth to ignore the fact that the scientific community overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis of global warming.

Thank goodness that our next president, whomever that will be, will be light years ahead on this topic. We need strong leadership on this issue.

The train has left the station on this issue, and thankfully, it is headed in the area of greater environmental preservation.

thinking said...

As an addendum, this issue of global temperatures over the last decade does not in any way disprove the hypothesis of global warming. One has to look at even longer term trends when it comes to the climate.

As the article points out:
2008 temperatures would still be well above average for the century.

"When you look at climate change you should not look at any particular year," he [The World Meteorological Organization's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud] said. "You should look at trends over a pretty long period and the trend of temperature globally is still very much indicative of warming.

"La Nina is part of what we call 'variability'. There has always been and there will always be cooler and warmer years, but what is important for climate change is that the trend is up; the climate on average is warming even if there is a temporary cooling because of La Nina."

Another scientist cited in the article:
Mr Scaife told the BBC: "What's happened now is that La Nina has come along and depressed temperatures slightly but these changes are very small compared to the long-term climate change signal, and in a few years time we are confident that the current record temperature of 1998 will be beaten when the La Nina has ended."