Re: [asa] Question on global warming

From: Keith Miller <kbmill@ksu.edu>
Date: Wed Apr 09 2008 - 09:27:37 EDT

>
> So the issue seems to come down to the usefulness of computer models.

It is much more than just computer models. The physics of the
relationship between green house gases and atmospheric temperatures
is well understood. The long-term trends in temperature are observed
measured values, as are the correlations with greenhouse gas
concentration. Many other contributing variables are fairly well
known, and the various positive and negative feedback systems are
becoming better understood.

I will urge anyone with an interest in the causes and consequences of
human-caused global warming to actually read the literature. The
place to start is the reports of the International Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) which are all available online. There are also
excellent resources available online by John Houghton and James
Hansen. With regard to the science of climate change, the current
scientific consensus is very strong and from a very diverse range of
independent lines of evidence. Global warming is not just a model
prediction but an ongoing measured trend.

Many hundreds of scientists from around the world contributed to the
writing of the IPCC documents (including faculty at K-State). The
published work of thousands of researchers was consulted, and the
results of multiple climate models were used. The final documents
were agreed to sentence-by-sentence by government delegations from
about 100 countries. That is unprecedented in science. No other
scientific assessment has been as thoroughly researched and
reviewed. It is significant that this is a consensus document, and
therefore conservative. That is, observations of changes due to
global warming have typically exceeded those predicted by the earlier
IPCC reports. Those who reject the consensus of human-caused global
warming are free to dissent. However, they cannot claim that the
current evidence is on their side.

Keith

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Received on Wed Apr 9 09:32:48 2008

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