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Discussion Forum #7 - Essay Example

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However, there still exists a body of scientists with contrary evidence. Patrick Michaels, a retired University of Virginia Environmental Sciences research professor, is among the most renowned skeptics of…
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The Climate Change Skeptic – Patrick Michaels It is generally accepted that climate has been changing historically.However, there still exists a body of scientists with contrary evidence. Patrick Michaels, a retired University of Virginia Environmental Sciences research professor, is among the most renowned skeptics of climate change. He argues that climatic changes would only be minor and could even be beneficial (Michaels, 2011). However, Michaels does not argue against the science behind greenhouse warming and even acknowledges that the mean global temperature has risen in the recent past.
The professor notes that with the increased emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, there tends to be lesser and lesser warming. The first changes yield the most warming but subsequently produce lesser warming. Coupling the increased carbon dioxide emissions and the lesser and lesser warming resulting from more and more carbon dioxide emissions, it would be reasonable to consider the future warming projections as a straight line (Michaels, 2009). Therefore, once climate warming by humans starts, it occurs at a constant rate. Indeed, BBC (2013) reports on data from balloon radiosondes and satellite that support this finding. According to these records, since 1998, there has been no discernible warming.
Michaels further argues that the observed rates of warming are below the average of climate models and that the assumptions by pro-global warming activists could not be true. Climate models postulate a greater increase in the degree of warming with a rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases than experienced at the surface (Michaels, 2010). Supportive evidence from BBC (2013) indicates that these models have not been able to model all the involved processes even after many years of development. Water vapor distribution, influence of clouds and plants’ response to changes in water supply are among some of these models not captured. Thus, the models are unreliable.
Michaels (2009) also observes that contrary to expectations, the carbon dioxide greenhouse warming effect at Antarctic has exhibited just a slight temperature increase since the measurements in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, the International Geophysical Year observed that the Antarctic temperatures exhibited a warming trend from 1957 to mid-1960s, with subsequent studies thereafter indicating cooling or no change. This erroneous data has been supported by BBC (2013) and Pittock (2009) who observe that the atmosphere does not behave as predicted by the models. The predictions of computer models indicate that the troposphere should experience faster warming than the surface of the Earth. However, measurements give contrary results.
According to Michaels (2009), global warming is a prejudiced aspect. When there is warming, the alarmists would shout about it, but would remain silent when there’s cooling. Citing RealClimate.org, a blog run by a computer jockey for James Hansen of NASA, the environmentalist observes the silence on the blog with regards to the much talked about cooling of parts of Antarctica, evidenced by the increase in size of the ice pack south of the ocean. Global warming and cooling yield net constant effect on global temperatures. Pittock (2009) supports this argument noting that global warming activists seek to gain from donor funding and other related benefits due to their activities. They are not genuine in their arguments on global warming.
Whereas the authority of Michaels with regards to climatology is indisputable, I do not support his arguments. Climate change has evidenced in the recent past with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA (2013) documenting the last ice age almost 7,000 years ago, just before civilization. The shrinking Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, declining ice at the Arctic sea and the rise of the global sea level by about 17 centimeters in the last century could only be attributed to temperature increase. Hence, contrary to Michael, I believe the global temperatures have been on the increase. I therefore support the argument on climate change.
References
BBC. (2013, December 13). The arguments made by climate change sceptics. BBC News. Retrieved 19 February 2014 from www.bbc.co.uk
Michaels, P. (2009, February 12). Climate scientists blow hot and cold. The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2014 from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/feb/06/antarctic-warming-climate-change
Michaels, P. J. (2010, November 17). Testimony of Patrick J. Michaels on climate change. CATO Institute. Retrieved 1 February 2014 from http://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/testimony-patrick-j-michaels-climate-change
Michaels, P. J. (Ed.). (2011). Climate coup: Global warming’s invasion of our government and our lives. Washington, DC: CATO Institute.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2013). Climate change: How do we know? Retrieved 1 February 2014 from http://climate.nasa.gov/
Pittock, A. B. (2009). Climate change: The science, impact and solutions. New York, NY: Earthscan. Read More
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