Science and Politics
- Politics and passion are a big part of the story. It's hard to find anybody who will talk about the science of global warming without taking sides or going on the attack. Ask an honest question and you're labeled a "denier" by people who really ought to know better!
- There seems to be clear evidence of pressuring editors and manipulating the peer review process.
- A recurring complaint is that climatology research depends very heavily on statistics, but the authors of papers lack real expertise in that field.
- What I thought I knew for sure has been shaken. I believed that everybody agreed that CO2 contributes to some degree of global warming--but that people disagreed on how MUCH it contributed. Now I realize that my basic assumptions about the "greenhouse effect" mechanism were flawed, at best. I can't explain exactly why more CO2 means more heat.
- Some people claim that ALL the temperature readings can be explained by a combination of natural solar cycles. Others argue that the solar cycles do a better job of predicting temperatures than the "radiative forcing model" of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
- I also thought I knew that global temperatures had gone up quite significantly in the decades leading up to 2000. Now I'm questioning some of that rise--I'm not confident that the surface measurements haven't been "cherry-picked." I'm not saying there hasn't been some rise--but I'd like to double-check how they selected the data they use to compute it.
- I'm increasingly aware of "divergences" between the land-based surface measurements and other sources of data. Tree rings haven't been matching up to northern hemisphere temperature readings since the 1960s, for some reason. Satellite readings show a divergence from surface measurements--with a larger difference from land-based readings.