Monday, March 27, 2006

Climate change, hot air or hot air?

I am concerned about what I've read and heard about global warming, the greenhouse effect, climate change, and whatever else it's called. I'm beginning to question why I believe that it's happening and if human activity is involved. In order to have a meaningful understanding of it, apparantly I have to be able to understand hundreds of pages of writing such as this:

Any human-induced changes in climate will be embedded in a
background of natural climatic variations that occur on a whole
range of time- and space-scales. Climate variability can occur as a
result of natural changes in the forcing of the climate system, for
example variations in the strength of the incoming solar radiation
and changes in the concentrations of aerosols arising from volcanic
eruptions. Natural climate variations can also occur in the absence
of a change in external forcing, as a result of complex interactions
between components of the climate system, such as the coupling
between the atmosphere and ocean. The El Niño-Southern
Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is an example of such natural
“internal” variability on interannual time-scales. To distinguish
anthropogenic climate changes from natural variations, it is necessary
to identify the anthropogenic “signal” against the background
“noise” of natural climate variability.

source: http://www.ipcc.ch/pub/un/syreng/wg1ts.pdf

From the minimal research I've done, it appears that those who say climate change is happening and human activity is involved appear more credible than those who do not believe it.

5 Comments:

Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Jeff,
You are absolutely correct. Evidence exists that climate change has been occuring for many milennia and during the recent century homo sapiens have impacted it. The extent of that impact is however unknown through the means available to us as the present changes fall within a range consistant with previous changes. For that reason I am suspicious of advocates of radical political actions.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"The extent of that impact is however unknown through the means available to us as the present changes fall within a range consistant with previous changes."

I neither accept nor reject either of those assertions. I need to read more before I can form a meaningful opinion.

11:40 AM  
Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:55 PM  
Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

The bellwether Effect: A Coda

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”—Gautama Bodhisattva (the Buddha)

http://www.eternityroad.info/index.php/weblog/single/the_bellwether_effect_a_coda/

6:03 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Ah yes, an excellent quote. I alos love: "if you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha."

But for me, I have to follow that bumper sticker, "don't believe everything you think." My mind can't always be trusted. It's why I love math and science so much. They give me a sense of stability.

10:02 PM  

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