Causes of Climate Change

Confused about the causes of Climate Change I have been doing some more research.

If you want to know more about the causes of climate change then I'd recommend reading this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_of_recent_climate_change entry on wikipedia, but to summaries

The exact proportion of this warming that is due to human influence is still open to question, but the current scientific "consensus", as expressed in 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations where "very likely" means greater than 90% probability.

Another candidate mechanism for climate change is solar forcing. Most global climate model (GCM) studies indicate that the direct effects of solar variation would be too small to significantly affect climate. Much of the solar research centers around possible mechanisms to amplify the effect, possibly through increasing solar activity reducing cosmic ray flux and, speculatively, modifying cloud cover [8]; however there is no agreement on whether this is correct within the scientific community. Since GCM can reproduce observed temperature trends (including early 20th century changes, where solar forcing is non-negligible) there is no obvious need for a high sensitivity to solar forcing. Indeed, a significantly higher sensitivity to solar forcing would make early 20th century temperature change inexplicableThe plateau in warming from the 1940s to 1960s can be attributed largely to sulphate aerosol cooling

It may be asserted that in the ice core record, temperature starts rising about 800 years before CO2 increases; therefore CO2 cannot have caused temperature changes in the past; therefore it cannot be causing temperature changes today. Temperature does indeed lead CO2 during deglaciations (but not at all times); but this does not prove that CO2 has no effect on climate. From studying all the available data (not just ice cores), the probable sequence of events at a termination goes something like this. Some (currently unknown) process causes Antarctica and the surrounding ocean to warm. This process also causes CO2 to start rising, about 800 years later. Then CO2 further warms the whole planet, because of its heat-trapping properties. This leads to even further CO2 release. So CO2 during ice ages should be thought of as a "feedback" [23].

For the full details see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_of_recent_climate_change


US reacts to UK climate change report

The US insisted it was committed to protecting the environment, finally giving an official response to questions raised by a British report that warned global warming could devastate the world economy.

By ignoring the problem, the Stern Report released on Monday said, rising sea levels, heavier floods and more intense droughts could displace 200 million people by the middle of the century.

The US is by far the biggest emitter of gases blamed for global warming, yet President George Bush has kept his country out of the Kyoto international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases, saying the pact would harm the US economy.

Responding to questions about the report, White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters that Mr Bush “has, in fact, contrary to stereotype, been actively engaged in trying to fight climate change and will continue to do so”.

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Study warns of stark costs of failing to counter climate change

The report, regarded by experts as the most authoritative assessment yet of the costs of climate change, will argue that the developed economies, led by the US, face far higher costs if they do not act.

Sir Nicholas gave a private briefing on his review to a meeting of leaders of the world's 20 most polluting nations in Mexico yesterday. The report is said to be framed so that the Bush administration recognises it will not cost the earth to solve climate change, but will cost the earth literally and financially if it does not.

Speaking on the opening day of the conference Margaret Beckett, the foreign secretary, said: "It is sound economic sense to respond to climate change and economic nonsense not to."

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Read the Stern Report


Making Money By Feeding Confusion Over Global Warming

Electric Utility Pays $100,000 To Global Warming Naysayer

July 27, 2006 — - Ever wonder why so many people still seem to be confused about global warming? The answer it seems, confusion means profit -- especially if you're in some parts of the energy business.

One Colorado electric cooperative openly admits it paid $100,000 to a university academic who prides himself on being a global warming skeptic. Scientists and consumer advocates say the co-op is trying to confuse its clients about the virtually total scientific consensus on the causes of global warming.

The energy co-op, Intermountain Rural Electric Association, is heavily invested in power plants that burn coal, one of the chief sources of greenhouse gasses that scientists agree is quickly pushing earth's average temperature to dangerous levels.

ABC News has obtained a copy of a nine-page document that IREA general manager Stanley Lewandowski Jr. addressed to the more than 900 fellow members of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The document is a wide ranging condemnation of carbon taxes and mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions that Lewandowski writes would threaten to "erode most, if not all, the benefits of coal-fired generation."

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Scientist Denounces TV Ads for Deliberately Misleading Public on Global Warming

Oil Industry-Financed Ads Misrepresent Global Warming Research Results

A senior scientist whose research is being cited in television ads that challenge the reality of global warming has denounced the ads as a “deliberate effort to confuse and mislead the public” and says the group that produced the ads is misrepresenting his work to support its false claims.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit public policy that is partially funded by large oil companies, is running a series of national television advertisements claiming that warnings about global warming are “alarmist.” The ads were timed to coincide with theatrical release of An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film starring former U.S. Vice President Al Gore that provides scientific evidence of global warming and urges people to take action to help reduce it.

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The new study, “Balance as Bias: Global Warming and the U.S. Prestige Press,” examined coverage of human contributions to global warming in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal from 1988 to 2002 to assess how scientific findings were conveyed to readers.

“By giving equal time to opposing views, these newspapers significantly downplayed scientific understanding of the role humans play in global warming,” said researcher Maxwell T. Boykoff

They also note the role of concerted “disinformation” campaigns funded by carbon-based industries that catered to journalists’ need to represent opposing viewpoints.

The Boykoffs found that in 1989 and 1990, government officials, armed with the assertions of skeptics, surpassed scientists as the most cited source in prestige-press articles. Calling for more research as a precursor to taking mandatory action, these politicians contributed to coverage that indicated an even split within the scientific community, at a time of general agreement among scientists about the existence of anthropogenic influences on global warming.

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Was Confusion Over Global Warming a Con Job?

That lack of concern may have been just what big oil wanted.

It's not as if the information hasn't been out there: A new ad by the Environmental Defense Fund warns time is running out to combat climate change, adding, "Our future is up to you."

The vast majority of scientists has determined global warming to be a real threat. So why has it taken so long to convince Americans?

Misinformation Campaign

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ross Gelbspan blames a 15-year misinformation campaign by the oil and coal industries.

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