Really Sciency

Visit my other blog 'Really Sciency' looking at Climate Science and its portrayal, misrepresentation and denial in the media.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Positions on Climate Change

I really can’t get my head around the thinking of those who deny that Anthropogenic warming is a real possibility to explain the warming that has occurred during the last century or so when at that time the increased burning of fossil fuels caused an increase of green house gasses in the atmosphere.

The theory that this should occur was established generations ago when in the 19th century Svante Arrhenius predicted a warming with increased Co2.

In the 1940s through developments in infrared spectroscopy for measuring long-wave radiation it was discovered that increasing the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulted in more absorption of infrared radiation. It was also discovered that water vapour absorbed totally different types of radiation than carbon dioxide.

Gilbert Plass summarized these results in 1955. He concluded that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere would intercept infrared radiation that is otherwise lost to space, warming the earth. Peer reviewed paper after paper, research after research has confirmed and supported this.

Good science has predicted decades ago, that the industrial release of Co2 into our atmosphere will lead to planet warming. Co2 has increased and the planet has warmed as predicted. The actual science experiments to show that CO2 blocks IR (heat) is often done in school science lessons. 

Is there any alternative and falsifiable science to un-predict this correlation?
As far as I can see only have three positions to choose from;

Position 1: They accept the opinion of all the worlds main scientific academies and supporting science and conclude that the warming of our planet is the warming that has been predicted to have come from the increasing Co2 and other GHGs in the atmosphere. The only real science that is left to do is to determine how hot it will get, how quickly and how it will affect the environment.

Position 2: They reject that the planet has warmed, which must be the case since for those who make unsubstantiated claims about the lack of good temperature data. But if this is their position then they need a falsifiable scientific theory to explain why the world has not warmed as predicted by a well established theory that states it should.

Position 3: They accept that the world has warmed but believe that it is not related to CO2 emissions and is just a coincidence. This is increasing in popularity as it is becoming harder and harder for them to deny this reality. If this is their position then they still have exactly the same problem as Position 2, ie no alternative theory to explain why the Co2 hasn't caused warming, but they also need an additional scientific theory to explain the warming trend during the last century. Usually they fill this in by claiming it is some Sun or solar related cycle with almost no supporting science for this and much against it. 

Anything else is just unsubstantiated smoke and mirrors.

Needless to say I and I believe any truly rational and critical person accepts Position 1.

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