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In Science, Ignorance is not Bliss

Launch Magazine – July/August issue

Walter Cunningham is one of the astronauts of Apollo 7.  He writes about global warming in the latest issue of Launch Magazine and his comments bear considering.

Mr. Cunningham is important in this discussion because of his obvious intelligence and past leadership but also in his strong ability in analyzing scientific and political events and drawing conclusions.

What I find to be most compelling are:

  • his ridicule of climate models.
  • his discussions of correlation and causation.
  • the replacement of scientific discussion with emotional arguments.
  • the condemnation of Mr. Hansen – one of the early warning voices of global warming and an employee of NASA.

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Warming Trend: PDO And Solar Correlate Better Than CO2

Watts Up With That – January 25, 2008

Watts Up With That recently did an analysis and sparked a great deal of discussion on the possible causes of global warming. The analysis was done based on the paper “US Temperatures and Climate Factors since 1895” written by Mr. D’Aleo, a meteorologist, AMS Fellow, and Executive Director of ICECAP.

The paper and commentary is about the correlation between CO2 and the average temperature as well as the average temperature with solar activity. The true discussion should be about causality since that is the important issue.  However it is a logical discussion that without correlation there may not be any causality.

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The persistent role of the Sun in climate forcing

Danish National Space Center – March 2007

Once again, we find that the scientific understanding of our complicated climate is evolving. I repeat my call for more effort and concentration in this area of science since it appears that causality of climate change is not fully understood (comments by a famous politician not withstanding).

This study points out that there appears to be something missing between the causes of solar activity and other influences. When you see a claim such as "one can only wonder about the quality of the surface temperature record" then you start to question what is missing.

Yet over the past 20 years the solar cycle remains fully apparent in variations both of tropospheric air temperature and of ocean sub-surface water temperature.

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Read the sunspots

Financial Post – June 20, 2007

As those who read this site regularly know, I am firm believer in more research in the sciences of the global climate. It is important to understand, though, that scientists are people and generally have a position to defend or promote.

This particular study is interesting in that it re-confirms other studies that show an approximate 11 year cycle of climate change. This cycle is similar to the solar sunspot cycle however this does not mean that there is a causality here or is this simply a correlation. The author then adds to the argument by referencing another popular theory of cosmic radiation.

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Lightning spurs hurricanes

Nature.com – May 11, 2007

Lately, it appears that almost every week we get new information regarding the formation of weather on our planet. This article pertains to scientists at Tel Aviv University and Open University in Israel have created a correlation and a theory between thunderstorms in Africa and the birth of hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean. As you may remember, many people theorize that global warming is the root cause of a major hurricanes like Katrina that struck the Gulf Coast several months ago.

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How Global Warming Works

howstuffworks

HowStuffWorks.com is a wonderful site that has very well written articles.  This article is a basic description of global warming.  I know that many of my regular readers may find this article very basic however, my goal is to make sure that the average person can understand much of the science of climate change.  To that end, I offer this article.

Global warming was once an uncommon term used by a few scientists who were growing concerned over the effects of decades of pollution on long-term weather patterns. Today, the idea of global warming is well known, if not well understood. It is not unusual to hear someone complaining about a hot day or a freak storm and remark, “It’s global warming.”

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Global Warming: Fact, Fiction and Political Endgame

Townhall.com – February 26, 2007

This is a commentary article about Al Gore, his recent accolades for “An Inconvenient Truth”, and some of the background science of global climate change.  It is a very good read and I encourage my readers to click through to the source article (especially since the title is quite close to the URL of my blog). 

It is interesting that the author tries to draw a correlation between the Academy Awards that Mr. Gore received and the timing of the IPCC report.  I don’t think that this is anything but coincidence and all of my research indicates that the two are not tied together.  We know that the Academy Awards are always held the same time of the year and it appears that the IPCC was always trying to put their release out at that time of the year.  It does not appear that Mr. Gore’s very well made documentary had anything to do with it.

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Global warming splits conservatives

Gristmill – March 5, 2007

This is a political commentary on conservatives and conservation.  The author makes the correlation that conservatism is the same as preventing global warming.  The author also claims that conservatives that do not support the current theories of climate change are in violation of many of their basic principles.  This is probably not true.  Most conservatives are, by nature, cautious about change that is not proven and therefore their behavior could be perfectly logical. 

…but the best-known conservatives continue to doubt the science of global warming, attack those who would act to reduce emissions, and deride those concerned by the threat to the planet.

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