Saturday, March 22, 2008

Climate facts to warm to

Climate facts to warm to:
"'Is the Earth stillwarming?'

'No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you'd expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years.'"
Is this significant or a matter of picking the starting and end points to make the data fit? You tell me. How about negative feedback?
The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you've got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you're going to get a positive feedback. That's what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite ... (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they're actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you're getting a negative rather than a positive feedback."
And the punch line. What if science is wrong about global warming?
A great many founts of authority, from the Royal Society to the UN, most heads of government along with countless captains of industry, learned professors, commentators and journalists will be profoundly embarrassed. Let us hope it is a prolonged and chastening experience.
It is worse than that. I can hear it now whenever science speaks up: "Remember when you were wrong about global warming? How can I believe you about [insert scientific phenomena here]?" This could be damaging beyond damaging in the history of science. But we will see.

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