Monday, 15 September 2014

Climate Change - Part 1

Update: Click here for parts 2, 3, 4

The following few days I will be on vacation so I thought what a better time to post about climate change, or what is also colloquially called global warming. In this way, I only have to face the rage (or non rage) when I come back from vacation and am feeling refreshed. So enjoy the climate change special. I will be labeling them simply from 1.

Despite what some people will believe the reason I believe global warming is true is not because I am an angry atheist. After all, this Chick tract clearly shows that global warming is not real and as such surely I have to be counter the church ;P

The reason I believe global warming or climate change is real is based in scientific data. I would in fact say that climate forcing by excess emission of greenhouse gases (CH4, CO2, NOx, SOx) is certainly playing a role.This belief of mine in fact is probably the biggest contention between climate scientists and what many people term climate change deniers. This name is a horrible name, as it is not really a true representation of these peoples position. In this first post I want to address the issue of whether global warming actually is occurring

It may, or not, surprise you that what climate scientists term climate change deniers in fact also agree that climate change is happening. The difference between the two groups is that the deniers believe that human driven climate change is either (1) not real, or (2) that it has such a minimal effect that it is really irrelevant to the total climate change. This is a very important distinction to make, as no one is denying that climate change is happening. Well,except for the real lunatics which I will address at some point in this series. Basically, it is a debate about what or whom is causing climate change.

For me I would say the human role is significant enough to be of concern. The obvious flaw with this argument is that it is near impossible to quantify what percentage of warming is actually attributable to human involvement. However, I have been on the cautionary side, for a long time now, by saying that the biggest issue is we do not know what the outcomes will be. To put it another way, I am not saying the world is going to become a barren desert. I am merely saying that with actions their are consequences. Its like any pollution really it has a negative effect on the environment and at this point we don't know what these effects will be.

The fact is the anthropogenic gases such as methane have very dramatic effects not just on warming but also on other systems. Its true that CO2 may not be the biggest problem to global warming, however it can create problems by being at a significant level where it has never been before. The sun certainly does go through cycles of increased intensity, but the intensity of the suns radiation is not just determined by a heat rise it has to do with all the radiation that is coming out of it and this radiation may find more anthropogenic gas effective for other reasons which could force climate change.

In this series I will point out to some scientific papers that I believe show that  this is in fact a serious problem that we should be addressing. Its not my position to tell you what I think the future holds, however I can tell you that I think we should be more responsible and try reverse the damage caused.

See you in part 2.