Thursday, February 02, 2006

Global Warming Myth #3

Myth #3 Human-Caused Global Warming Will Cause Cataclysmic Environmental Problems.
"Proponents of the theory of human-caused global warming argue that it is causing and will continue to cause all manner of environmental catastrophes, including higher ocean levels and increased hurricane activity. Reputable scientists, including those working on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations organization created to study the causes and effects of global climate warming, reject these beliefs.
Sea levels are rising around the globe, though not uniformly. In fact, sea levels have risen more than 300 feet over the last 18,000 years - far predating any possible human impact. Rising sea levels are natural in between ice ages. Contrary to the predictions of global warming theorists, the current rate of increase is slower than the average rate over the 18,000-year period.
Periodic media reports link human-caused climate changes to more frequent tropical cyclones or more intense hurricanes. Tropical storms depend on warm ocean surface temperatures (at least 26 degrees Celsius) and an unlimited supply of moisture. Therefore, the reasoning goes, global warming leads to increased ocean surface temperatures, a greater uptake of moisture and destructive hurricanes. But recent data show no increase in the number or severity of tropical storms, and the latest climate models suggest that earlier models making such connections were simplistic and thus inaccurate.
Since the 1940s the National Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory has documented a decrease in both the intensity and number of hurricanes.
Since factors other than ocean temperature such as wind speeds at various altitudes seem to play a larger role than scientists previously understood, most agree that any regional changes in hurricane activity will continue to occur against a backdrop of large yearly natural variations.
What about other effects of warming? If a slight atmospheric warming occurred, it would primarily affect nighttime temperatures, lessening the number of frosty nights and extending the growing season. Thus some scientists think a global warming trend would be an agricultural boon. Moreover, historically warm periods have been the most conducive to life. Most of the earth's plant life evolved in a much warmer, carbon dioxide-filled atmosphere.
As scientists expose the myths concerning global warming, the fears of an apocalypse should subside. So rather than legislating in haste and ignorance and repenting at leisure, our government should maintain rational policies, based on science and adaptable to future discoveries."