My Hypothesis on Global Warming

Refer to this recent article from The American Thinker:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/global_warming_and_the_science.html
This article describes the official “Scientific Method,” which has its basis in experimentation. We face a great challenge with the science surrounding “Climate Change:” it’s difficult to develop and execute “experiments” – where external “variables” are well controlled – when we’re dealing with a planet-sized laboratory. This huge gap in the normal scientific method opens the door for pseudo-scientists to wreak havoc – and they have.
Four underlying hypotheses are stated to capture properly the position of the human-caused global warming scientists:
1. The Earth is getting warmer.
2. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are significantly increasing.
3. An increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide causes the Earth’s temperature to rise.
4. Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are man-made.
Despite the manipulation of data that we have discussed recently, I believe that the Earth is in a warming period. We have much evidence – mostly geologic and fossil records – to suggest that the Earth has experienced many periods of warming and cooling (“ice ages”) in its 4 billion year life. The spans of the warming and cooling cycles are tens of thousands of years long – or longer – and our last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago (making possible the modern proliferation of Homo sapiens). With known glaciers still receding around the world, it appears that global warming has been with us since the dawn of civilization. Did humans cause global warming, or did global warming “cause” humans?
With regard to hypothesis #2, see my “Science and Soda Pop” blog from last December. As the Earth warms, carbon dioxide levels will increase. As this article points out, the magnitude of this increase may prove trivial.
With regard to hypothesis #3, carbon dioxide is a known greenhouse gas, and does help Earth to retain solar heat. However, it is not the dominant greenhouse gas – water vapor is, and there’s WAY more water vapor than carbon dioxide on this, the Water Planet. Water vapor (and EVERY gas) will increase in concentration as the Earth warms. I think this hypothesis is actually backwards: that warming will cause an increase in gas concentrations is KNOWN; that minor increases in gas concentrations are a significant cause of warming is, at present, speculation. (The science is hardly “settled,” as Al Gore ignorantly claims.) The main cause of warming is not heat retention — it’s the heat source: the Sun. And we know the Sun’s output is not constant, so it’s logical to conclude our planet’s temperature would not be constant.
Finally, for hypothesis #4, go back to hypothesis #2. Human activity is a trivial factor in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. As evidence, I offer the history of planet Earth, prior to humans. Geologic and fossil records indicate varying carbon dioxide levels BILLIONS of years before mere humans came along.
The tried-and-true Scientific Method remains the best way for us to arrive at the truth about the world – and, indeed, the universe – that surrounds us. Despite the challenges that a planet-laboratory poses, we must engage in true experimentation – not data manipulation – to fully explain the relationships between greenhouse gases and global temperatures. However, to understand global warming best, I offer this old advice: “Follow the money!”

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