Myths & Facts

MYTH: The earth's 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 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 Antarctica is actually cooling. Ice thicknesses are increasing both on Greenland and in Antarctica.

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There are essentially two broad camps in the global warming discussion. One believes that the science is settled, that global warming is serious and man-made, and that urgent and expensive action must be taken to prevent future calamity. The other believes that the science is far from settled, that critical data and other major factors such as the sun, changes to cloud cover and other factors are largely ignored, and while man-made contributions exist, they are insignificant. Unfortunately this disagreement has led to much unprofessional name-calling such as Deniers, etc. 

Although scientists and other technical persons in past history knew that the earth was slowly warming, it was only recently made an issue. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization. Their mandate is to study and report on anthropogenic or man-made global warming only. They apparently take no other factors into account. They issue reports to the world’s political leaders every few years, which then become quite politicized. Unfortunately these final reports are not prepared by their scientists, but rather by their government masters. As Sir John Houghton, first co-chair of the IPCC and lead editor of the first three reports said, "Unless we announce disasters no one will listen."  

 Climate has continually changed throughout history and the distant past, including the age of the dinosaurs living in humid, lush green surroundings, followed by much colder periods. The earth later had alternating periods of glaciation. During much of this time, CO2 levels were about 10 times higher than today. The last cold period ended about 15,000 years ago, when ice sheets extended as far south as Missouri. More recent history, about 1000 to 1350 AD, experienced temperatures of about 2 to 4 degrees Celsius (C)  warmer than today. During this time food crops were abundant and civilization prospered. This period was followed by the Little Ice Age, when crop failures, famine and disease prevailed until about 1850 . Since then, fortunately, temperatures on average have been rising about 0.6 degrees C per century. Fluctuations include global cooling from about 1940 to 1975, followed by warming until 1998. Since then, the earth has actually been cooling again.

Humans and animals currently live in an average temperature of 5 °C in Helsinki and 27 °C in Singapore. If the climate continues to warm less than a degree per century, which it well may not, should we really be concerned about the ability to adapt?

  Climate is driven by energy from the sun. The greenhouse effect stops enough of this energy from escaping back into space, resulting in the earth having a temperature capable of supporting life as we know it. Without greenhouse gases the average earth temperature would be minus 18 °C, rather than our current livable plus 15 °C. Natural water vapour and clouds make up about 95% of the greenhouse effect, with CO2 responsible for 3.6%. Of this, about 0.12%, or 0.039 °C can be attributed to human activities. Further incremental increases in CO2 become less and less effective.  

CO2 is essential for all plant and animal life and thus some say it is the greenest gas on earth.

Since the media thrives on bad news, most of them primarily report the disaster opinions and thus continually tend to frighten the public. Current media and political scare-mongering is based on their claim that warming is bad and humans are to blame. Short term temperature or precipitation extremities are often claimed as proof, but to quote Mark Twain, "Climate is what we expect; weather is what we get". Some say they are barking up the wrong tree. In fact we wish they would leave our trees alone!

The Global Warming Panic is best explained here.

It behooves the public, especially children, to study and evaluate for themselves. To get a degree in "Climate Change For Dummies", be sure to read all of the articles in this website!



Scaring children with climate hysterics is child abuse - check this blog:



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