Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Climate Criticism

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Global warming is a complex issue, because there is no one single cause to blame. Many different events combine to influence the global temperature and so early attempts to explain the causes and what we should do to combat it have often been over simplistic. However, recent articles like “NASA gets caught faking climate change data again”1 are not helpful. They simply make out that the government is trying to deceive everyone and hide mistakes. Predicting future climate change and modeling it is a very complex job and unfortunately it is not always accurate, that is why it is a prediction not fact. Scientists at NASA use advanced algorithms in order to model climate changes based on past climate data. However, many other factors need to be taken in to account; solar activity, release of other green house causing gases and ozone damaging substances (venting refrigerants, aerosol use), levels of smog and volcanic eruptions. With so many variables, many of which are just unpredictable or erratic, how can it be constructive to criticize attempts at such difficult predictions with comments like “The climate change hoaxers use computer models to predict that sea levels would rise… But Mother Nature was never good at computer science”. Of course there will always be people who are skeptical about climate change, and a minority of people promoting conspiracy theories about it, but their uninformed opinions should not be given a voice in the media where is can masquerade as fact. There are regulating bodies and peer review systems in place to check the validity of scientific claims, if someone feels strongly that a mistake in the data has been made then they could contact the journal and original author in order for the relevant changes to be made and published, not write alarmist attacking articles in order for their voice to be heard. One thing is clear, action needs to be taken.
E Markham (2011). Climate Criticism Blogspot

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