An engineer’s viewpoint on global warming

The world has gotten slightly warmer since 1850 and people have had something to do with that increase. Big deal.

Measurements taken since thermometers were invented show that global temperatures have increased 0.8C in the last 150 years. About one third of that increase is due to increased Carbon Dioxide which can be attributed to mankind.

Before anyone whips themselves into a frenzy screaming, "I told you so!" they should be aware that a significant part of this temperature increase is a result of solar activity which they can’t blame on any political entity I know of. 🙂

To further confuse things, A Little Ice Age existed in the 900 years before 1850 when mountain glaciers advanced in most parts of the world.

During the big Ice Age of 650,000 years ago, the ice advanced deep into the Midwest and deep into Germany. So much ice collected in these two major regions and several lesser ones that the sea level dropped by some 400 feet and the overall global temperature was lowered by around 5°C (about 9°F)

You should read the excellent Calspace Distance Learning Courses and get a full understanding of the discoveries and the limitations of past and current research. 

I found this excerpt interesting:

…only climate history, that is, long-term experience, can tell us whether we are witnessing highly unusual conditions or not.

As an example:

Habitation of Greenland was possible in the early Middle Ages because the climate was unusually warm. By 1000 A.D., Greenland was inhabited by an estimated 1,000 Scandinavians. The settlement only lasted until about 1480 A.D., when the onset of nasty winters brought the inhabitants to death by starvation. This sudden climatic cold spell, known as the “Little Ice Age,” is an example of the power that climate change can have on human society.

We should not look at 0.8 degree Centigrade change in 150 years and panic while ignoring huge changes in temperature that took place before recording thermometers existed.

The forces that created the earlier ice ages still exist. For a reality check read, Lessons from the Ice Ages?

If we don’t understand the underlying mechanisms, we don’t have a chance of preventing or ameliorating the next big temperature swing.

The experts at Calspace wisely mention in their conclusions that they need to improve their computer models. I agree. I think we need a lot more research before we try to assign blame or try  "fixing" the perceived problem.

Read Climate Change 2: Past and Future. This will give you a background from which to develop your own conclusions.

Thanks to Fred First for introducing me to this excellent resource.

UPDATE: Andy at the Charlotte Capitalist has posted more to suggest that our climate changes are driven by the sun rather than by industrialization of this planet.


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