The American Geophysical Union adopted a position statement concerning climate change in December 2007 which can be found here.
The position begins,
The Earth’s climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming.
Many components of the climate system—including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of precipitation, and the length of seasons—are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century.
Prof. Don Easterbrook has a piece Global Cooling is Here:Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades that has been getting some attention in the blogosphere in which he claims that global warming has ended and that global cooling will occur over the next several decades. Easterbrook’s analysis is hopelessly flawed, and one is left to wonder just why he would intentionally shoot down his own credibility with such sloppiness. Any support of this work on internet sources is not a support of any actual science or data, but an appeal to authority.
Lets’ go point-by point
The idea that methane is a more ‘potent’ greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is a popular notion. There’s an interesting discussion going on in Bad Astronomy by Phil Plait. Plait says,
Methane is in fact a more efficient greenhouse gas than CO2, but there’s so much less of it that the overall effect is much lower. Methane’s contribution to the greenhouse effect is only about half or less that of carbon dioxide.
Farewell to author Michael Crichton, who recently died at 66. Apparently he did a good job in his authorship and is involved with such pieces as “Jurassic Park” and the show “ER,” but let’s just hope “State of Fear” will go with him. Don’t want to speak ill of the dead…
It seems a safe time as I write this to say Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States. James Hansen will be heartbroken to see George Bush leave, but let’s hope the next 4 years goes well. Here is a bit on Obama and climate change. I did like McCain’s stance on nuclear power, which will inevitably be involved in the future if a predominant fossil-fuel based economy fades away, but Obama did say that energy issues were a large priority.
Andy Revkin has a good writeup at DotEarth.
How to rank skeptical arguments.
As somewhat a copycat, I’m taking after the Crackpot Index and making it unique to climate change skepticism. Looks like someone made one for evolution as well. It is a similar point system and designed to see who ranks where, and how various claims on the web should be taken. Much like crackpots and golfers, the higher the score, the more shame to your correspondent. Many of the claims themselves are not bad, but when put in the popular context of why AGW is a farce then if you see people using these arguments, please let them know how many points they scored and link them here.