Monday, April 09, 2007

Global Warming Heats Up

I hate it when the press starts talking about science. The press doesn't get science. Most science does not create sound bites that are useful. Of course the sound bites that are created are usually only useful to convince people of something that there is no scientific basis for. I thought I would throw some more information into the fray. I am not a climatologist, nor a scientist of any kind. Science is essentially a hobby for me. I am fascinated by how things work, and understanding natural systems. Add to this a general conservationist mindset and I am interested in Global warming, of course. But let's look at what we know about Global Warming.

Global Warming Facts
Is There Global Warming?
This is not really a question. I live in Wisconsin. One of the things everyone in Wisconsin has heard of is the Ice Age trail. The Wisconsin landscape was carved by Glaciers. There are currently no Glaciers in Wisconsin. Obviously the planet is warmer than it used to be, therefore global warming. This is the problem with answering this question. It's really the wrong question.

98% of Scientist Support Global Warming
Yea ,team, but who cares? I don't care what sociologists, political scientists, or archaeologists think about global warming. Don't get me wrong these are likely to be really smart people. It's just that they are not likely to know any more about the Earth's climate than I am. What I what to know is how many climatologists and meteorologist think that the Earth is warming in a way not explained by climate cycles. I also want to know where they think the temperature will end up?

Human activity has an effect on Global Warming
OK, this one is a great example of a bad scientific statement. Human activity produces CO2 (among other things). CO2 is a greenhouse gas and therefore hold heat within the atmosphere. Obviously, human activity has a contributing effect on global warming. The issue is how much? It is true that when you find your self in a hole you should stop digging, but are we digging with a teaspoon, a shovel, or a backhoe?

I'd love to give you answers to these and I will do some research, but I am here to tell you that the answers are not easy to find. In part because the press is talking so much about the wrong questions.

I'll post more as I can figure some of it out.

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