Report Backs Global Warming; NASA Scientists' Ocean Study Yields 'Smoking Gun'

Article excerpt

Byline: Joyce Howard Price, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

NASA scientists working with diving robots to measure ocean temperatures disclosed yesterday that they have found evidence they call a "smoking gun" in validating dire global warming predictions.

The study, published in yesterday's issue of the journal Science, was led by James Hansen, a NASA climate scientist, who for decades has warned about the effects of global warming - a temperature rise resulting from trapped industry-based greenhouse gases.

The 15-member research team, comprising specialists from NASA, Columbia University and the Department of Energy, determined that for every square meter of surface area, the earth and its oceans are absorbing nearly a watt more of the sun's energy than is being radiated back to space as heat.

The scientists said this 0.85-watt disparity is a historically large imbalance and that such absorbed energy will steadily warm the atmosphere.

"This energy imbalance is the smoking gun that we have been looking for. ... There can no longer be genuine doubt that human-made gases are the dominant cause of observed warming," said Mr. Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a unit of Columbia University's Earth Institute.

The researchers said their study confirms computer models forecasting that there will be a 1-degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperatures this century, even if emissions of carbon dioxide and other fossil fuels are immediately capped. …