The Week That Was: April 23, 2016 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
Three Groups: MIT Professor Emeritus of Meteorology Richard Lindzen is featured in a very clear four-minute video explaining the ongoing conflicts regarding the human influence on global warming, (now called climate change), primarily from emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). He divides the participants into three groups: 1) knowable scientists who largely agree with the findings of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its 5 assessment reports (ARs); 2) knowable scientists who largely disagree with the findings of the IPCC that burning of fossil fuels may cause dangerous global warming, and 3) politicians, environmentalists, and the media. [It should be noted that a number of scientists in group 2 participated in earlier IPCC reports, including Mr. Lindzen, and departed from it. Some stated that the IPCC has become too politicized.]
Lindzen notes that the two groups of scientists who disagree on the effects of burning of fossil fuels largely agree on a surprising number of points.
· The climate is always changing.
· CO2 is a greenhouse gas without which life on earth is not possible, but adding it to the atmosphere should lead to some warming.
· Atmospheric levels of CO2 have been increasing since the end of the Little Ice Age in the 19th century.
· Over the past two centuries, the global mean temperature has increased slightly and erratically by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit or one degree Celsius.
· Given the complexity of climate, no confident prediction about future global mean temperature or its impact can be made.