Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sums It Up

By Joel Pett, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Cartoonists and Writers Syndicate, for USA TODA
Amazing how political cartoons can sometimes say so much!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Local Cooling, Global Warming

This explanation from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, about how a colder North Atlantic can be consistent with a warming planet is revealing. There are many such examples of why one region can experience long term or temporary cooling while the earth is warming. Oscillation's like the ENSO, or El Nino cycles,(currently in a mild postive phase) and volcanic eruptions, etc., are a few. This, in addition to the obvious differences between climate and weather, is why the arguments of cold snaps or heat waves as evidence in the climate change debate are really just silly. I still hear these arguments, even in settings where people should know better. Perhaps it is a human trait to put more weight on what is happening now, near our homes, that clouds judgment on this issue.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Climate e-mails really just petty?

This rather lengthy MSNBC piece details the recent issue of leading climate scientists possibly covering up or intentionally misrepresenting some data. Some of the referenced discussions in the e-mail do seem like normal petty bickering by scientists, though it is difficult for me to completey dismiss certain aspects of these e-mails. My biggest issue is with the sort of glossing over of the paleo-climatological data. I already had an issue with using this data and extrapolating it to a global level with the level of confidence that was being done and this certainly reinforces the doubts I had about this data. Anyway I will be mulling this over a bit, as there may be previous examples of such things in different scientific arenas that this can be compared to. My meanderings on this are to be continued...

Friday, December 11, 2009

What if Climate Change Is Not Caused By Man?

With the Copenhagen summit taking place as I type, the climate change debate is full steam ahead here in the U.S. So what if humans are not warming the Earth? After all,"there are no proofs in science". With something as complex as the atmosphere, which can not be replicated, even on a small scale, the question is certainly reasonable no matter what side of the debate you may fall on.

My answer is simple. Who cares? The only question of any significance to humans is whether the Earth is warming or not. There certainly is debate about this and while I am of the belief that it is indeed warming, I do not deny there is no possibility of data manipulation or errors in comparing present and past data by those such as NASA and the various organizations around the world that track temperatures. Even if you believe that the data is flawed, it is difficult to account for the melting glaciers, both at the poles and in mountain ranges all over the world. Stories from locals in regions such as the Andes and the Himalayas are certainly consistent with a warming world, and these stories are seemingly endless.

So, with the understanding that the world is indeed warming, we as humans really do not need this to occur. I say anything that can be done to stop oceans from flooding coastal cities, droughts from causing massive water shortages, etc. should be done. Reducing "greenhouse" gasses, even through "natural" methods such as preventing methane hydrate releases is just logical for a species accustomed to certain temperature ranges. Humans have drastically altered the environment for less noble reasons than our own survival. Let us do it in a manner that is as close to just as our leaders will allow!