Monday, 2 August 2010

The Politics of Science: Global Warming report

Science is so dependent on the government for data and funds. It is
not surprising that it must view the opinions of its political master.

This global warming data may appear to be reasonable, but it comes
after Obama became President. Earlier, under Bush, the study by
similar US departments conclude that Global Warming is not conclusive.

Now similar departments conclude otherwise.

I can bet that when a Republican becomes President, the report will be

For me, global warming is a certainty despite insufficient data to
prove conclusively. My policy is simple. It is better to err on the
safer side than to err on the dangerous side.

It is just a waste of money trying to prove the inevitable. The money
and intellectual resources should better be spent on preventing Global
warming by going hydro, solar, wind and nuclear.

Christine Dell'Amore

National Geographic News

Published July 28, 2010

"Global warming is undeniable," and it's happening fast, a new U.S.
government report says.

An in-depth analysis of ten climate indicators all point to a marked
warming over the past three decades, with the most recent decade being
the hottest on record, according to the latest of the U.S. National
Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration's annual "State of the Climate"
reports, which was released Wednesday. Reliable global climate record-
keeping began in the 1880s.

The report focused on climate changes measured in 2009 in the context
of newly available data on long-term developments.

(See "Heat Wave: 2010 to Be One of Hottest Years on Record.") For
instance, surface air temperatures recorded from more than 7,000
weather stations around the world over the past few decades confirm an
"unmistakable upward trend," the study says.

And for the first time, scientists put data from climate indicators—
such as ocean temperature and sea-ice cover—together in one place.
Their consistency "jumps off the page at you," report co-author Derek
Arndt said.

"This is like going to the doctor and getting your respiratory test
and circulatory test and your neurosystem test," said Arndt, head of
the Climate Monitoring Branch of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

"It's testing all the parts, and they're all in agreement that the
same thing's going on."

Global Warming Sparked Extreme Weather in 2009?

Three hundred scientists analyzed data on 37 climate indicators, but
homed in on 10 that the study says are especially revealing.

Those indicators include:

* humidity,
* sea-surface temperature,
* sea ice cover,
* snow cover,
* ocean heat content,
* glacier cover,
* air temperature in the lower atmosphere,
* sea level,
* temperature over land,
* and temperature over oceans.

As scientists would predict in a hotter world, some of the indicators—
such as ocean heat content and temperature over land—are increasing.
Others, such as sea ice cover and snow cover, are decreasing.

The influx of greenhouses gases into the atmosphere has also hit
oceans particularly hard, the NOAA report says. (See an interactive on
the greenhouse effect and global warming.)

New evidence suggests that more than 90 percent of that heat trapped
by greenhouses gases over the past 50 years has been absorbed into the

Because water expands as it warms, the added ocean heat is
contributing to sea level rise as well as to the rapid melting of
Arctic summer sea ice. That melting in 2010 is on track to be worse
than 2007, when Arctic ice cover reached its lowest point on record.

Such climatic shifts are already ushering in extreme weather, which
plagued much of the globe in 2009, according to the report. (See a
world map of potential global warming impacts.) For instance,
Australia experienced its third hottest year on record.

On one February 2009 day—labeled "Black Saturday"—in Australia, 400
wildfires swept across the state of Victoria, killing 173 people and
destroying 3,500 buildings. (See pictures of the Australian fires.)

NOAA Climate Report Offers Real-World Data

The NOAA report—published in the Bulletin of the American
Meteorological Society—is different from other climate publications,
because it's based on observed data, not computer models, making it
the "climate system's annual scorecard," the authors wrote. (Test your
global warming knowledge.)

"It's telling us what's going on in the real world, rather than the
imaginary world," said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the
Boulder, Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Even so, the report "does not carry the authority of the IPCC
[Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] by any means," Trenberth

That's partially because IPCC reports—the latest of which came out in
2007 with a similar claim that warming is "unequivocal"—are produced
on longer time scales, with more time for review.

And even with real-world data, "the theory with regard to global
warming is still incomplete"—especially since the atmosphere is so
complex, Trenberth cautioned.

This "can be seen at a glance," for example, "by looking out of the
window at the wondrous, great variety in clouds."

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