Sunday, June 17, 2007
- The Earth is getting warmer and warmer
- This warming is primarily caused by human activity
- The results of global warming are potentially disastrous if we don't change the way we do things now.
Notice how this is slightly different than the politically motivated 4 points that Gore makes (See A Convenient Lie Part 1). Politics aside, these are the arguments that the scientists who believe in global warming are making.
Of course, arguments 2 and 3 are meaningless unless you can demonstrate merit in argument number 1.
Above is the now famous "hockey stick" graph that indicates the correlation between carbon dioxide levels and temperature levels. The basic idea is: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas (a gas that traps heat). Human-caused pollutants since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution have been adding to the CO2 levels of the atmosphere. As a result of more of this heat-trapping gas, the Earth's climate has been getting warmer.
Most major cities have been keeping daily temperature since the 1880's, some have records as far back as the 1860's. It is generally agreed that the United States and Europe have seen an increase in average temperature over this time by about 1 degree Fahrenheit. This can be significant enough to melt ice in northern regions or at high elevations up to a month early. Indeed, it is now believed that the glaciers in the lower 48 states (Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, and California all have glaciers) will be completely gone before the end of the 21'st century, possibly by 2050.
In addition, the increase in large hurricanes has been attributed to the global warming effect. As ice melts into the oceans, the salinity goes down and cools the water. This cooler, less salty, ocean water will evaporate quicker and cause larger storms.
The aforementioned increase in large storms is one of many potential disasters increased global warming will cause. Additionally, we will have to concern ourselves with:
- More disease as bacteria and insects that bear dangerous contagions tend to thrive in warmer weather.
- Increased ocean levels that can potentially flood coastal cities.
- Droughts will occur in certain areas, flooding in others as storms will tend to be fewer, but larger.
- More wildfires due to dry lightning and drought.
- Children and the elderly will have problems dealing with the hotter weather.
I want to note that I have read many articles on this subject. Some from other bloggers, others from scientific organizations. Here are some.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
The above statement is convenient, isn't it. Gore has plenty of people believing that most, if not all of the scientists in the world are all in agreement on global warming. I say convenient because that way, anybody who argues his points can easily get labelled as misinformed or being anti-science. That the debate is over is one of the most ridiculous things Gore says.
1n 1997, Frederick Seitz, a former president of the National Academy of Sciences convinced thousands of fellow scientists to sign the Oregon Petition, an act to urge the United States to not join the Kyoto accord. It's been alleged that some of the 19,700 signatures were fudged and duplicated. Point is that not all of them were.
More recently, many verified climatologists, who had at one time believed in global warming, have reconsidered their positions. They really took issue with a recent UN report that wasn't very scientifically-based. Look at the article Once Believers, Now Skeptics.
A November 2006 survey of environmental scientists indicated more evidence that the debate is not over. The poll resulted in the following:
- 34 percent of environmental scientists and practitioners disagree that global warming is a serious problem facing the planet.
- 41 percent disagree that the planet's recent warmth "can be, in large part, attributed to human activity."
- 71 percent disagree that recent hurricane activity is significantly attributable to human activity.
- 33 percent disagree that the U.S. government is not doing enough to address global warming.
- 47 percent disagree that international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol provide a solid framework for combating global climate change.
One thing is sure though, this issue is far from the scientific consensus that Gore mentions - making his statement a convenient lie.