In recent years, global warming has been the subject of a great deal of political controversy. As scientific knowledge has grown, this debate is moving away from whether humans are causing warming and toward questions of how best to respond.
Signs that the Earth is warming are recorded all over the globe. The easiest way to see increasing temperatures is through the thermometer records kept over the past century and a half. Around the world, the Earth's average temperature has risen more than 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the last century, and about twice that in parts of the Arctic.
This doesn’t mean that temperatures haven't fluctuated among regions of the globe or between seasons and times of day. But if you average out the temperature all over the world over the course of a year, you see that temperatures have been creeping upward.
How is Climate Change Measured?
Although we can't look at thermometers going back thousands of years, we do have some records that help us figure out what temperatures and concentrations were like in the distant past. For example, trees store information about the climate in the place where they live. Each year, trees grow thicker and form new rings. In warmer and wetter years, the rings are thicker. Old trees and wood can tell us about conditions hundreds or even several thousands of years ago.
Keys to the past are also buried under lakes and oceans. Pollen, creatures, and particles fall to the bottom of oceans and lakes each year, forming sediments. Sediments preserve all these bits and pieces, which contain a wealth of information about what was in the air and water when they fell. Scientists reveal this record by inserting hollow tubes into the mud to collect sediment layers going back millions of years.
For a direct look at the atmosphere of the past, scientists drill cores through the Earth's polar ice sheets. Tiny bubbles trapped in the gas are actually pieces of the Earth's past atmosphere, frozen in time. That's how we know that the concentrations of greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution are higher than they've been for hundreds of thousands of years.
Computer models help scientists to understand the Earth's climate, or long-term weather patterns. Models also allow scientists to make predictions about the future climate. Basically, models simulate how the atmosphere and oceans absorb energy from the sun and transport it around the globe. Factors that affect the amount of the sun's energy reaching Earth's surface are what drive the climate in these models, as in real life. These include things like greenhouse gases, particles in the atmosphere (such as from volcanoes), and changes in energy coming from the sun itself.
Myths vs. Facts in Global Warming: This news and analysis section addresses substance of arguments such as "global warming is a hoax", "global warming is a fiction", "global warming is created to make money for Al Gore". The main fallacy noted is that most arguments are facts out of context while others are simply false representations. When the facts pertaining to the arguments are viewed in context relevance becomes obvious. The data clearly indicates global warming is happening and is human caused. At this time in the natural cycle Earth should be slightly cooling on trend, leading into what would have been the next ice age. Instead Earth is warming. There is no valid evidence that can prove otherwise. False representations or facts out of context are not a proof of any kind, they are merely incorrect.
A Real Climate Assessment
Scientists dedicated to science. No exaggerations. No hype. Theses scientists work in the top science organizations around the world. They look at the arguments, the data, and the models and give an honest reasoned assessment of what we know, and what we need to learn.
31,000 scientists say "no convincing evidence".
31,000 scientists reject global warming and say "no convincing evidence" that humans can or will cause global warming? But polls show that of scientists working in the field of climate science, and publishing papers on the topic: 97% of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century; and 97% think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures. What is the significance of these statistics?
Lord Christopher Monckton
Rebuttal to Lord Monckton: Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. His bio includes receiving a diploma in journalism from the University College, Cardiff. He performed as a policy adviser for Margaret Thatcher. He has spent a great deal of energy lately attempting to establish himself as offering 'scientific' perspectives on human caused global warming. Rebuttal to Lord Monckton's arguments: his perspectives largely contain facts out of context, non sequitur and red herring arguments, as well as straw man constructions that are anything but scientifically sound when examined in context of the relevant science.
Does CO2 Lag behind warming and climate change in the natural cycle? Yes. Is it lagging today? No. CO2 normally lags in the natural cycle unless some abnormal perturbation occurs. If we were in the natural cycle, CO2 levels would be around 280ppm. We are now over 387ppm and therefore CO2 is now leading in our current warming scenario, above natural cycle.
CO2 is Plant Food
Another interesting myth because it sounds logical that if CO2 is good for plants, more CO2 must be better. Some scientists have already begun to look at this assumption. Initial examinations indicate that more might not be better when it comes to food and nutritive quality. The US department of agriculture and interested scientists will likely be looking more deeply at this question.
CO2 is Not a Pollutant
That depends on whether it is generated from the natural system or from industrial waste. The dictionary is a good source for understanding words... Let's take a look at what Webster has to say.