Like a medieval religious zealot, Al Gore claims that those who still doubt that global warming is caused by man are the equivalent of those who think the moon landing was faked. This says more about Gore than anyone else. Scientific debate is in fact the exact opposite of lunatic conspiracy theories.
However while there is a fairly wide consensus that greenhouse gas emissions contribute to warming, there is still a lot of uncertainity about the speed and extent of this, and especially how nature itself responds to external factors like increased greenhouse gases. We are generally dealing with theories and projections, not measurable fact.
The Australian has an article on the extent of climate change:
Duffy: “Can you tell us about NASA’s Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we’re now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?”
Marohasy: “That’s right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you’ve got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you’re going to get a positive feedback. That’s what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite … (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they’re actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you’re getting a negative rather than a positive feedback.”
Duffy: “The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?”
Marohasy: “That’s right … These findings actually aren’t being disputed by the meteorological community. They’re having trouble digesting the findings, they’re acknowledging the findings, they’re acknowledging that the data from NASA’s Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they’re about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide.”
The view being put forward by Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs, seems to be that greenhouse gas emissions do certainly cause warming, but that other weather processes may be compensating and limiting the effect of those emissions.
Hat Tip: Not PCTags: Al Gore, Climate Change