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New Study Calling Global Warming Irreversible Further Complicates Debate

January 28, 2009 02:09 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
A new study on the irreversibility of climate change adds another layer to the abundance of opinions and data from scientists and politicians.

The Voices of Dissent and Agreement

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The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a study that states “climate change is ‘largely irreversible’ for the next 1,000 years even if carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could be abruptly halted,” reports Yahoo News. While the study has jarred some scientists, others feel that global warming is hugely overblown, receiving far too much attention and funding, and some call manmade global warming a hoax.

To gain a better understanding of the often contradictory and confusing information and opinions on climate change, look to sources such as NPR, LiveScience and the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which have published numerous interviews with scientists and experts with different viewpoints on the subject.

In May 2004, when only “a few” scientists considered global warming to be “no big deal,” NPR interviewed three scientists who’d conducted individual research on climate change, and had varied life experiences and backgrounds. Penn State University Glaciologist Richard Alley discusses his climate change “personal crusade,” while climatologist John Christy “argues that global warming isn't a problem worth worrying about.”

In July 2006, when opposition to manmade global warming gained a stronger voice, the journal LiveScience discussed with experts, and published relevant commentary from other publications. Perhaps most telling is this comment by Naomi Oreskes of the University of California, San Diego, from a 2004 Washington Post editorial:

“Many people have the impression that there is significant scientific disagreement about global climate change. It’s time to lay that misapprehension to rest. There is a scientific consensus on the fact that Earth’s climate is heating up and human activities are part of the reason.”

The most crucial issue now is determining how much of an impact man has on climate change. In the meantime, some scientists, including many affiliated with the European Union, say we must reduce our carbon emissions to stop global warming, while others say man’s impact is negligible, and no change is required.

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Opinion & Analysis: Harsh opposition to manmade global warming claims

In December 2008, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works reported on the most significant opposition to manmade global warming to date, “a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe” who oppose climate change claims made by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

A letter published in the Prince George Citizen includes quotes taken from a 2007 Washington Times interview with Reid Bryson, “the 87-year-old considered to be the father of scientific climatology,” who fiercely opposes manmade global warming theories.

Christopher Booker of U.K. newspaper the Daily Telegraph discusses what he feels are the three tide-turning occurrences of 2008, which combat claims of global warming, including unpredicted falling temperatures, and the collapse of a “scientific consensus” regarding manmade global warming.

Reference: Climate change

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