By Steven Stoft, January 23, 2009
A newly published report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that there is no discrepancy in global average temperature increase. “This is an important revision to and update of the conclusions of earlier reports from the U.S. National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
“[R]esearch … shows clear evidence of human influences on the climate systemdue to changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols, and stratospheric ozone. Also, the observed patterns of change over the past 50 years cannot be explained by natural processes alone, nor by the effects of short-lived atmospheric constituents such as aerosols and tropospheric ozone alone.”
The debate has shifted. Global-Warming deniers used to say the earth is not warming; now they look to natural causes for why it’s warming. First among these is the sun. (Definition of global warming)
The sun does get warmer and cooler every eleven years with the sun-spot cycle. It’s actually hotter when it has more spots even thought the spots are cool. They are accompanied by hot spots which are not as easy to see. But the earth has not been found to warm and cool in step with the sun spot cycle, so deniers are forced to look for cycles of cycles and trends in the cycles. In fact, there is something to this. During the little ice age, back in the 1500’s there were very few sun spots. But the bottom line is, the global warming of the last thirty years is not explained by solar warming.
Many have denied big hurricanes are part of global warming, but their arguments carefully miss the point. They say we are in a natural upswing. Yes, but it’s much bigger than the last one. They say it’s caused by Atlantic currents. Yes, but hurricanes are also stronger in the other five hurricane basins around the world. (Read a translation of a NOAA denial.)
There is a scientific consensus. It is that the last 30 years of global warming is, to a considerable extent, the result of human generated carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Even the Pentagon commissioned a report on “Abrupt Climate Change.”