To ehat extent is climate change a lot of hot air?

Authors Avatar

To what extent is climate change a lot of hot air?

The term climate change describes a significant variation, occurring over centuries and millennia, to the global climate.  Global warming refers to the global temperature rise due to the greenhouse effect.  This is where CO2 and other greenhouse gases form a blanket in the atmosphere trapping heat from the sun as it is reflected off the earth’s surface.  It is common for the two terms to be confused as the same thing, this however is not true and it is important to consider this when looking at data.  It is a difficult task to say whether or not climate change is a lot of hot air, as it depends on which data you use and how far back the data has been recorded.  

There is no doubt that the media is to blame for the hype surrounding the issue of global warming, with new horror stories emerging on a nearly daily basis.  This can be seen by the fact that many people believe that over the past century global temperatures have risen by 2-3C when in fact it they have only risen by 0.6C.  Stories warn us that we will be living in a tropical Britain where Malaria is prevalent and Norfolk will be submerged under the sea.  In 2005 research showed that by doubling CO2 levels it would lead to a temperature rise of about 3C.  Some other models showed temperatures rises to as much as 11C, when these stories were published the press was releasing only one figure - 11C, an over dramatisation of the possible outcome of increasing CO2 levels.  

In the Seventies a number of scientists noticed that the world’s temperatures had been falling for 30 years, which lead them to warn that we might be heading for a new ice age.  During the mid-Seventies, temperatures had started to rise again, and by the mid-Eighties, a still fairly small number of scientists – including some of those who had been predicting a new ice age – began to warn that we were now facing the opposite problem: a world dangerously heating up, thanks to our pumping out CO2 And all those greenhouse gases inseparable from modern civilisation.  Does this not prove that in fact we are not facing the problem of global warming but just experiencing part of the natural cycle, of many periods of warming and cooling, that the world’s climate has undergone for the past 150 years.  Data shows that before 1850 there was a period of several hundred years where global temps were cooler, and before that there another warm period.  However, it cannot be ignored that this period of warming is considerably hotter than previous warm periods.  

Join now!

The hockey stick graph is used by many people to prove that average global temperatures are rising at an exponential rate.  The statistical methods used to create the hockey-stick graph were so devastatingly exposed, that the graph has become one of the most comprehensively discredited artifacts in the history of science.

Then, in 2007, there was an unpredicted change in global climate. It changed in a way that had been wholly unpredicted by the IPCC computer models. Global temperatures started to drop. Although CO2 levels are continuing to rise, after 25 years of temperatures rising, the world’s climate was ...

This is a preview of the whole essay