Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Climate change: Global Warming Posts

Global Warming is a critical subject of our times. The debate has been raging for a few decades now, and there is still considerable disagreement and scepticism. There is a particular relevance  for those interested in the natural world as environmental changes clearly have the capacity to cause havoc, and bird watchers of a particular vintage have seen significant changes of the bird population in our life time. So with some time on my hands I decided to investigate.

I am sceptical by nature. US politicians pronouncing there is no global warming and there is a giant conspiracy are scary sure enough, but I’m not sure I like the incessant hectoring about imminent catastrophe by various groups all of whom seem to have some vested interest in creating scare stories about the climate. In addition there is significant disagreement about basic scientific questions.  So, who to believe? Who to trust?

I have a background in science, but not any particular knowledge of climate science, so much of this is new to me. There are thousands of scientists working on a variety of different aspects of measurement and explanation of climate science, so trying to give an overview that does justice to the sheer quantity and depth of work done is in many ways an impossible task. I have been down a particular avenue of inquiry and ended up with a particular set of conclusions, but that is just my view; someone else could engage in the same exercise, take a different route, and end up with different conclusions.

I’ve split the investigation into four parts:

i)               Is the world warming? (answer – it is)
ii)             Is the warming caused by man’s activities?
iii)            Is something very bad about to happen?
iv)            What are the effects (current and future) on wildlife?

I’m still researching and writing the posts so they will appear sporadically amongst the general rubbish. I’ll tag the posts so you can pull them all out in one go.


laurence.d said...

You could argue that as man is part of the natural world anything we bugger up is actually part of evolution ,we,ve largely resisted blowing up the world with nuclear weapons because the result would be immediate and predictable but humans in general don,t seem to be able to make them selves worry enough about something that,s maybe(according to some) going to happen at some point in the future,proving that we are indeed just another species scrabbling about in our day to day lives,most of the world wouldn't notice if 50% of the species on earth became extinct.

DorsetDipper said...

Thanks for the comment Laurence. I think the difference to evolution is that in evolution the environment creates changes in creatures, whereas in this instance it is us who is changing the environment.

As to whether we are all doomed, I will come onto that in a few posts time!