With a simple Internet search, you can find dozens of websites alleging global warming is a hoax. But there have been errors made by some of the skeptics. Below are five skeptics that were proven wrong.
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The Planet Didn’t Warm for 17 Years
. British climate skeptic Christopher Monckton and others have cited data that the planet didn’t warm for 17 years. However, Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research finds categorically that 1998 was the warmest year in the last century. University of St. Thomas professor John Abraham
, who has published more than 130 papers in peer-reviewed journals, said errors were made in calculations and equations and that climate change skeptics are confusing the public by comparing weather trends (high and low recorded atmospheric temperatures) and using them to support long-term climate change.
Temperature Readings Aren’t Reliable
. Meteorologist Anthony Watts has asserted that 90 percent of the stations used to monitor the earth’s surface temperature were positioned in places where they were prone to artificially inflated readings, making temperature readings unreliable. However, Texas A&M University professor of atmospheric sciences Andrew Dessler
says the surface temperature record is one of eight or 10 different data sets that are considered and “all the others agree very well with the surface temperature record.” Dessler said scientists have compiled supporting temperature data using weather balloons, satellite measurements and sea ocean readings and they all show the same thing: a warming planet.
There is No Scientific Consensus on Climate Change
. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)
and other climate change skeptics have touted websites and petitions of thousands of scientists who debunk global warming claims. Marc Morano, one of the founders of ClimateDepot.com compiled a list that he said is proof that the scientific consensus for climate change is falling apart. However, Barry Bickmore
, “a geochemistry professor at Brigham Young University, an active Mormon, and an active Republican,” looked at a sample of the names on Morano’s list and posted a blog that showed there were no working climate scientists who had been published in peer-reviewed journals on the list. The larger “Oregon Petition,” touted as having more than 34,000 scientists, also was discredited when it was later revealed that less than 1 percent of the signers had a Ph.D. in anything related to climatology.
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Antarctic Ice Isn’t Shrinking. It’s Growing
. Greg Roberts, writing in The Australian
, reported that “ice is expanding in much of Antarctica, contrary to the widespread public belief that global warming is melting the continental ice cap."
However, Skeptical Science
reports that skeptics are ignoring the difference between land ice and sea ice, and that satellite measure that Antarctica is gaining sea ice but losing land ice at an accelerating rate, which has implications for a rise in sea level.
of the National Center for Atmospheric Research explains the importance of distinguishing between sea ice and land ice. Ninety-eight percent of Antarctica’s land mass is covered by ice that accumulated over thousands of years. This ice is melting at an alarming rate. Sea ice, on the other hand, builds up in the winter and melts almost entirely in the summer. The difference between the two is crucial — melting land ice increases ocean levels significantly, while sea ice melt has a lesser effect.
The Climate Is Actually Cooling
. Geologist and climatologist Dr. Gerrit J. van der Lingen
cites scientific indications supporting a period of global cooling and a sun that “has become very quiet” over the past 17 years. However, climate scientist John Abraham says there is “no credible data nor any credible scientist who would make this claim.” Data from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies reports warming of the planet continues and that the 2000s were hotter than the 1990s, which were hotter than the 1980s, which were hotter than the 1970s, with 2010 tying for the hottest year on record. The 12-month running average global temperature broke the record three times in 2010, according to data
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