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Myths / Facts COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING

Friends of Science

There is no date on this site so I can’t reference when this was written.  This is great little article in Question / Answer format (or in this case Myth / Fact).  I have heard many of these statements before but it is good to read them on one site for evaluation.  The Friends of Science site is fairly critical of the concept of global warming and in some cases I think their answers and articles could be slightly more balanced.  Definitely an article worth spending some time on.

I have included all of the Myth statements below but have intentionally edited for brevity the Fact statement.  Click through to get the whole article.

MYTH 1:  Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate.

FACT:  Accurate satellite, balloon and mountain top observations made over the last three decades have not shown any significant change in the long term rate of increase in global temperatures.  There has been no catastrophic warming recorded.

MYTH 2:  The “hockey stick” graph proves that the earth has experienced a steady, very gradual temperature increase for 1000 years, then recently began a sudden increase.

FACT:  The “hockey stick”, a poster boy of both the UN’s IPCC and Canada’s Environment Department, ignores historical recorded climatic swings, and has now also been proven to be flawed and statistically unreliable as well. It is a computer construct and a faulty one at that. 

MYTH 3:  Human produced carbon dioxide has increased over the last 100 years, adding to the Greenhouse effect, thus warming the earth.

FACT:  However, there is no proof that CO2 is the main driver of global warming. As measured in ice cores dated over many thousands of years, CO2 levels move up and down AFTER the temperature has done so, and thus are the RESULT OF, NOT THE CAUSE of warming. Geological field work in recent sediments confirms this causal relationship. There is solid evidence that, as temperatures move up and down naturally and cyclically through solar radiation, orbital and galactic influences, the warming surface layers of the earth’s oceans expel more CO2 as a result.

MYTH 4:  CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas.

FACT:  Greenhouse gases form about 3 % of the atmosphere by volume. They consist of varying amounts, (about 97%) of water vapour and clouds, with the remainder being gases like CO2, CH4, Ozone and N2O, of which carbon dioxide is the largest amount. Hence, CO2 constitutes about 0.037% of the atmosphere. While the minor gases are more effective as “greenhouse agents” than water vapour and clouds, the latter are overwhelming the effect by their sheer volume and in the end are thought to be responsible for 60% of the “Greenhouse effect”

MYTH 5:  Computer models verify that CO2 increases will cause significant global warming.

FACT:  Computer models can be made to “verify” anything by changing some of the 5 million input parameters or any of a multitude of negative and positive feedbacks in the program used.. They do not “prove” anything. Also, computer models predicting global warming are incapable of properly including the effects of the sun, cosmic rays and the clouds. The sun is a major cause of temperature variation on the earth surface as its received radiation changes all the time, This happens largely in cyclical fashion.

MYTH 6:  The UN proved that manmade CO2 causes global warming.

FACT:  In a 1996 report by the UN on global warming, two statements were deleted from the final draft. Here they are:
1)     None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute  the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases.
2)     No study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate change to manmade causes

To the present day there is still no scientific proof that man-made CO2 causes significant global warming.

MYTH 7:  CO2 is a pollutant.

FACT:  This is absolutely not true. Nitrogen forms 80% of our atmosphere. We could not live in 100% nitrogen either. Carbon dioxide is no more a pollutant than nitrogen is.  CO2 is essential to life on earth. It is necessary for plant growth since increased CO2 intake as a result of increased atmospheric concentration causes many trees and other plants to grow more vigorously.

MYTH 8: Global warming will cause more storms and other weather extremes.

FACT:   There is no scientific or statistical evidence whatsoever that supports such claims on a global scale.  Regional variations may occur. Growing insurance and infrastructure repair costs, particularly in coastal areas, are sometimes claimed to be the result of increasing frequency and severity of storms, whereas in reality they are a function of increasing population density, escalating development value, and ever more media reporting.

MYTH 9:  Receding glaciers and the calving of ice shelves are proof of global warming.

FACT:  Glaciers have been  receding and growing cyclically for hundreds of years. Recent glacier melting is a consequence of coming out of the very cool period of the Little Ice Age. Ice shelves have been breaking off for centuries. Scientists know of at least 33 periods of glaciers growing and then retreating. Its normal. Besides, glacier’s health is dependent as much on precipitation as on temperature.

MYTH 10:  The earths poles are warming; polar ice caps are breaking up and melting and the sea level rising.

FACT:  The earth is variable. The western Arctic may be getting somewhat warmer, due to unrelated cyclic events in the Pacific Ocean, but the Eastern Arctic and Greenland are getting colder. The small Palmer Peninsula of Antarctica is getting warmer, while the main Antarctic continent is actually cooling. Ice thicknesses are increasing both on Greenland and in Antarctica.  Sea level monitoring in the Pacific (Tuvalu) and Indian Oceans (Maldives) has shown no sign of any sea level rise.

Read the original article here.

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