Climate Change - Is It Really That Dire? CLA View
Byline: PADDY ROONEY
CLIMATE change is typically discussed in terms of foreboding and predictions of catastrophe: droughts, famines, hurricanes and floods - even plagues of jellyfish!
The threat of climate change" has become a political cliche, justifying innumerable and often onerous regulations.
The claimed threat rests on two key propositions deriving from United Nations reports: that global temperatures are determined mainly by carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, and that human activity, especially the use of fossil fuels, is increasing these to historically high and dangerous levels. But as research continues and understanding grows, things look less straightforward - and less dire.
Existing doubts about a simple link between temperature and carbon dioxide were reinforced by a paper given at Bayreuth University last month. This reported that during at least three substantial periods in the last 200 years carbon dioxide levels have equalled or exceeded those prevailing today, although temperatures were lower.
On the second point, subsequent studies indicate that the United Nations report substantially underestimated natural contributions to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, consequently exaggerating those attributable to human activity. …