The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: The GW debate, no not G Dubya  (Read 3493 times)

Offline harrypalmer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
The GW debate, no not G Dubya
« on: 16/10/2005 07:20:50 »
I was wondering what the views were on this forum about global warming and the extent to which it is/or isnt happening.

Does anyone else feel that sometimes the 'evidence' is over hyped on mainstream TV and indeed radio?

Dont get me wrong I believe that it is happening (more a gut reaction and digestion of the sometimes contradictory evidence), but there are many who deny this, including some prominant figures. Where is the conclusive evidence that CO2 emissions are the primary catalyst for what is happening to GMST?

I understand the mechanics of CO2 being a greenhouse gas etc, but is that really all there is to it? Arnt climatic models far too complicated for us to ever find the human race guilty of boiling the planet?

Interested in everyones views, and how many are for and against the GW theory.

I would love a Naked Scientists show with one for and one against GW to thrash out these issues.

Cheers

Mark


 

Offline Simmer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 229
    • View Profile
Re: The GW debate, no not G Dubya
« Reply #1 on: 16/10/2005 10:33:11 »
We've had quite a lot of debate on this issue across various threads.  Both sides of the argument have advocates on the forum so there is clearly still some doubt about the scientific case.

I think there is some consensus on the following points:

It is overhyped by the media as a good stick to beat politicians and the oil companies.

We don't fully understand how the climate works and we can't be sure that CO2 emissions are responsible for the warming effect, or at least not all of it.  

There are other known mechanisms that could explain some or all of the temperature rise (increase in solar output, for example).

More contraversially, some maintain that there has been no increase in CO2 concentration and others that there has been no change in climate/global temperature!


My own view is that both the increase in CO2 concentration and global warming exist and that there is plausible mechanism linking them.  In the absence, so far, of another convincing explanation I am working on the assumption that this is the primary cause and effect.  From that point of view, not acting to control CO2 emissions seems crazy.

 

Offline harrypalmer

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: The GW debate, no not G Dubya
« Reply #2 on: 16/10/2005 16:15:30 »
**More contraversially, some maintain that there has been no increase in CO2 concentration and others that there has been no change in climate/global temperature!**

Yes indeed. I do wonder sometimes if its just trendy for some of these people to take the contrary view.

Some even claim that GMST is unimportant, and its the troposphere temperature trend thats important. Seems a strange view to take given that we all live on the surface, and thats where our crops etc are grown.

The other argument often thrown up is that the Earth has been warmer in the past. Well yes, but why is that comforting? Hasnt it also been uninhabitable for much of its history too?

Is it too simplistic to say that CO2 is a greenhouse gas (fact), its levels are increasing (accepted by most), so it must be affecting global warming? I appreciate that there are many other factors of course, but sometimes simplifying an argument gives a good start point.

The problem really is how far should we shun our amazing technological advances and change our standard of living?

Id like to see an informed public rather than one fed biased propoganda by the media.
« Last Edit: 16/10/2005 19:47:06 by harrypalmer »
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: The GW debate, no not G Dubya
« Reply #3 on: 16/10/2005 18:22:04 »
I personally believe that global warming is a fact, and has been a fact since the middle of the 17th century - greenhouse gases or no greenhouse gases.  There was also global cooling between the 11th century and the 17th century.  Generally, human kind has tolerated global warming far better than they have tolerated global cooling.  Ofcourse, one might say that the most comfortable solution is if the weather would just stop changing, but that is unlikely to happen any time soon, and when it does happen, the wider consequences for the health of the planet might be far more dire than the consequences of weather changes.

There have been times in the distant past when both CO2 levels, and temperatures, were much higher than anything we have today.  This may well indicate a correlation, but it does not prove which causes the other.

The other question which must be asked is even if it was within out power to somehow stop the climate from changing, would it be the best use of our resources to do so?  Some problems are best dealt with at source, but other problems are best left to run their course, and one should merely manage the consequences.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: The GW debate, no not G Dubya
« Reply #3 on: 16/10/2005 18:22:04 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums