Friday, September 08, 2006

Anthropogenic Global-Warming ... Not

We've been Al Gored, environmental-wackoed and MSMed to death over global warming. Man bad, very bad.

They talk about the melting of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica, the Matterhorn is falling apart, the Greenland ice sheet disappearing, man-caused greenhouse effect, frequency and intensity of hurricanes, the potential for coastal flooding as ice cap melts, the possibility that an influx of cold, fresh water might shut down the ocean currents of the Gulf Stream, the desertification of the Amazon, and that global warming causes wars over scarce water and agricultural.

According to the MSM, a consensus exists among some scientists that global warming is real, that it is of human origin, and that it poses an unprecedented threat. However, many climate scientists disagree with the anthropogenic global-warming hypothesis.

Is it warmer now, as is alleged, than ever before in human history? According to an article in the New American:
The "hockey stick" graph from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) June 06 report says it is. In fact, it is not at all clear that it is warmer now than ever before. The Earth has been warming, more or less, since the beginning of the current Holocene Epoch, when the planet shook off the cold of the last ice age. The overall increase in temperatures has been punctuated by periodic short-term changes. The Medieval Warm Period, a time of temperatures warmer than average beginning in about 800 A.D. and lasting until about 1300 A.D., was followed by the Little Ice Age, a period of several centuries of colder-than-normal temperatures.

The diversity of opinions on issues related to global warming points to one unassailable fact: we simply do not know enough about the geophysical processes of the planet to make useful predictions about climate change. In fact, new climate surprises spring up all the time. The most recent concerns the temperature of the oceans.

According to the standard global-warming model, trapping extra heat via greenhouse gases should cause the oceans to warm. In 2000, the agency reported: "Scientists at NOAA have discovered that the world ocean has warmed significantly during the past 40 years. The largest warming has occurred in the upper 300 meters of the world ocean on average by 0.56 degrees Fahrenheit. The water in the upper 3000 meters of the world ocean warmed on average by 0.11 degrees Fahrenheit."

In a study to be published by Geophysical Research Letters, researchers John M. Lyman, Josh K. Willis, and Gregory C. Johnson report: "The cooling ... is distributed over the water column with most depths experiencing some cooling. A small amount of cooling is observed at the surface, although much less than the cooling at depth." The lost heat, they write, does not appear to have been retained anywhere on the planet. "These findings suggest that the observed decrease in upper ocean heat content from 2003 to 2005 could be the result of a net loss of heat from the Earth to space." This seems an unlikely result if greenhouse gases were causing the planet to retain increasing amounts of energy in the form of heat.

William Gray of the University of Colorado, a scientist widely acknowledged to be the world's leading expert on hurricanes, explained that if global warming is causing climate change, "it is causing such a small part that it is negligible. I'm not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and '40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle '40s to the early '70s. And there has been warming since the middle '70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced."

Meteorologist Richard Lindzen of MIT observed "that there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them. Climate change is a complex issue where simplification tends to lead to confusion, and where understanding requires thought and effort." The broad range of conflicting information on the subject of global warming demonstrates that, collectively, the issue of climate change still requires a lot more thought and effort.

Which begs the question: should we, as Al Gore and others suggest, undertake draconian measures like the Kyoto Accords or other, similar efforts to curb a phantom menace that may not exist, especially when such efforts would prove to have disastrous economic consequences? With the science of climate change still uncertain, the answer is "no."

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