Saturday, October 22, 2005

Global Warming? Not So Fast.

According to CNN.com:

OSLO, Norway (Reuters) -- Greenland's ice cap has thickened slightly in recent years despite wide predictions of a thaw triggered by global warming, a team of scientists said on Thursday.

However, later in the article there's this:

However, they said that the thickening seemed consistent with theories of global warming, blamed by most experts on a build-up of heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and cars.


I'm thinking we don't know enough to make these calls. And we all know that the earth used to be a lot warmer than it is now, that climatic change is cyclical, and that the Mt. Pinatubo volcano pumped more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in one eruption last decade than man has in his entire history. Hmmmm.

What do we teach the kids? Theories, pop science, or scaremongering?

4 comments:

Walter E. Wallis said...

Any discussion that fails to acknowledge the concurrent melting of Martian ice caps is just another anti-capitalism diatribe.

Darren said...

Maybe the Martians are socialists, too, and we can't talk bad about them.

Bruce said...

Bruce's comment: We have been measuring solar output from space for a number of years. What does the data say? I am a scientist and only believe hard data.

If Martian ice caps are melting, perhaps it is a result of all the SUVs they have there.

I have yet another observation: This comes from NOAA. It seems that the flow of the Gulf Stream that bathes Northern Europe in warm water has slowed by some thirty percent since the last measurement, twelve years ago. This suggests to me that Northern Europe may well be getting much colder quite soon.

In the late Medieval times, England had a flourishing wine grape industry. It was so successful that the French imposed sanctions. Things cooled off and very little wine is made in England these days.

The climate in Greenland was far warmer in 1000 AD than it is today and the Norse colony died out as a result of colder climate change. One question is what made things so warm before we had cars?

Darren said...

Bruce, let's also not forget the "mini-ice age" that occurred in Europe starting in about the 12th Century. Things warmed up after that--and we're still not at the level of the tropical paradise of the cretaceous period.

These things are cyclical. That doesn't mean we need to spew anything we want into the atmosphere, but there are better reasons not to than so-called global warming.