Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?

With the new Australian prime minister ratifying the Kyoto protocol the knives are drawn over global warming debate. This assumes increased significance before the US presidential elections as it remains the last country yet to sign the dotted line. Consequently the debate has exploded with both side trying to present evidence to support their case

Yale Global
As evidence of climate change is increasingly accepted, the need to counter the phenomenon becomes more pressing. The Kyoto Protocol has been in effect since early 2005, and yet less than 800 million out of the world’s 6.6 billion people live in countries that have agreed to reduce emissions. Since then, carbon emissions continue to climb and deforestation has intensified. Without the support of the most populous nations, China and India, as well as the largest economy of the US, no international effort can sufficiently fight climate change. As the world discusses post-Kyoto plans in Bali, the focus will be on prescribing methods to prevent further climate change, by lowering emissions, as well as helping the places already battling climate change to adapt.


CapMag
Little noted during all the headlines concerning Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize was the fact that it was shared with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Among skeptical scientists I know, the emails were flying. Several had served as part of the vast array of scientists whose opinions on the various IPCC draft reports were requested and then ignored.

A lot of these expert reviewers are among the 2,000 scientists that the IPCC and Al Gore are always citing as being part of the “consensus” on global warming. The problem for both is that many really, really, really disagree that any planet-threatening global warming is occurring.

One of them is Dr. Vincent Gray, a New Zealand-based climate scientist who has been a part of the reviewing process since the IPCC came into being. He is one of those scientists who will not and cannot be shut up despite the din of the IPCC propaganda.


American Chronicle
As global warming causes temperatures to rise in the oceans, glaciers and icecaps are melting more rapidly. One particular ice shelf in Antarctica, the northern section of the Larson B shelf, collapsed in recent years. Scientists got a rude awakening when they realized how fast the ice shelf could disintegrate.

The polar ice cap is disappearing at an astonishing rate as well. It is dissolving at 9% per decade. This aspect of global warming is a definite cause for alarm. In the last 40-50 years, the thickness of ice in the Arctic has decreased by 40%. The ice that is present on earth is beneficial to maintain the delicate balance of the environment.


Wm. Robert Johnston

A common public perception is that global warming will accelerate the melting of polar ice sheets, causing sea level to rise. A common scientific position is that the volume of grounded Antarctic ice is slowly growing, and will damp future sea-level rise. At present, studies supporting recent shrinkage or growth depend on limited measurements that are subject to high temporal and regional variability, and it is too early to say how the Antarctic ice sheet will behave in a warmer world


Whom do I believe?

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