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Global Warming, is it Real?


The Discovery of Global Warming by Dr. Spenser R. WeartCountries meeting at U.N. environmental conference in Montreal Canada on November 20, 2005 adopted the rules for limiting emissions of greenhouse gases under the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol. Of course this is connected to the concerns over Global Warming, with Carbon Dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion long considered a major source contributing to the problem.

There has been some speculation in the media along with some outright condemnation of the concept of Global Warming. Yet, scientists and other media, mostly quoting science reports, indicate that Global Warming is indeed upon us. The book The Discovery of Global Warming tells much of the history behind the concern. It would seem that it is about time we got up off our collective rear end and made some changes.

What is the truth? Is there a clear answer to the question about Global Warmings' reality? Is the science reliable? Are the temperature measurements and trends of ancient temperature measurements to be believed?

What about the questions raised by many polititians and in books by more noted writers, like Michael Crichton in his best seller State of Fear? Today the answer seems much clearer. It is a real concern. We need to get our leaders to acknowledge the problem and take some positive steps to work with the rest of the industrial nations to abate it! There is obviously much more.

First realize that the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published a detailed rebuttal to Crichton's comments in his book. Their very interesting website also has a complete story on Global Warming, as one might expect from concerned scientists. They are detail-oriented, not like most of the critics of global warming, many of whom appear to seek simple answers! "No" is the answer of those who refuse to face facts.

We found the UCS website so compelling that we have added their current newsfeed at the top right of this page.

The American Institute of Physics has a summary page, part of a series of pages on the subject. They are authored by the same scientist and science historian, Dr. Spenser R. Weart who wrote the book on Global Warming described and pictured at the top of this page. The pages brings you up to date from the 2003 book, with keylinks to other websites where the details can be found.

The amount of evidence is staggering!

For those so inclined to do their own analyses, there are tons of data available from monitoring websites around the world. One of the favorite data sources is the Hadley Meteorology Centre, a British Government facility, in the UK. Their graph of the global annual average near surface temperature since 1891 is based on the monthly average and annual average data. They also publish the actual data in tabular format that can be easily imported into almost any spreadsheet like MS Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Open Office or Star Office Calc, then plotted and analyzed seperately from ones generated by the Hadley folks.

Is the data from which the averages are calculated valid? There's little doubt mostly because there has been such widespread interest in the subject and it has been the attention of so many capable people.

Are the answer and the calculations simple? In a word, NO! They are complex and require attention to all sorts of details including all the other influencing factors involved in cyclic and irregular changes in the Earth's temperature and its distribution.

The recent, popular book, A Matter of Degrees by Prof. Gino Segre at the University of Pennsylvania talks about aspects of Earth's temperature history and the many astronomical and other physical factors that influence it.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the World Resources Institute jointly operate a website called GLOBAL WARMING: Early Warning Signs at www.climatehotmap.org. They present a world map marked with tags to indicate "Fingerprints" and "Harbingers" of Global Warming as further education to the fact that Global Warming is not just happening in the future, it has already begun and the evidence is there, if we care to take notice.

Wikipedia, The Open and Free Encyclopedia on the Web has an extensive array of articles and links about Global Warming. As of December 2, 2005, the following statement, with embedded links to sources, appeared in the article:

"The scientific consensus on global warming is that the Earth is warming, and that humanity's greenhouse gas emissions are making a significant contribution. This consensus is summarized by the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In the Third Assessment Report, the IPCC concluded that "most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities". This position was recently supported by an international group of science academies from the G8 countries and Brazil, China and India".

This space is reserved for illustrations that we expect to post during December 2005.
There are many more websites with wide ranging information about this and related ecological conditions. One of the best that we have found is ClimateArk the Climate Change Portal. It has an RSS news feed that is updated daily and a search engine that searches the entire contents of 2000 reviewed climate websites.

Below is a live listing from their current newsfeed.





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