Magazine article USA TODAY

Global Warming May Be Beneficial

Magazine article USA TODAY

Global Warming May Be Beneficial

Article excerpt

CLIMATOLOGY

Government officials have declared repeatedly that global climate change science is "settled" and "compelling." Yet, a report released by the Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) finds that increased global warming is likely to be minor and even beneficial.

In the report, "What Do We Know About Human Influence on Climate Change?," atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer reviews the state of the research and makes the following findings:

* Any warming from the growth of greenhouse gases is likely to be minor and, thus, difficult to detect above the natural fluctuations of the climate.

* The impacts of global warming and higher [CO.sub.2] levels are likely to be beneficial for human activities-especially agriculture.

* The 1997 Kyoto Protocol on global climate change's ultimate goal remains undefined. Ultimately, it could be a higher or lower level of greenhouse gas emissions.

* The Kyoto Protocol, while economically harmful, would be ineffective in reducing the calculated temperature increase.

Singer notes that there must be a human influence on some features of the climate, locally, if not globally. The important question is whether the available evidence supports the results of general circulation models. Unless validated, he maintains, the predictions of future global warming based on them cannot be relied on.

Earth's climate has never been steady, either warming or cooling without any human intervention. …

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