A Heated Debate over the Facts of Global Warming; Monmouth MP David Davies Provoked a Storm Last Week by Questioning the Mainstream View of Climate Change. Here He Outlines His Concerns in Greater Detail - While Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Sir John Houghton Argues That Cutting Carbon Emissions Is Vitally Important Naturally-Changing Temperatures Do Not Negate the Validity of Manmade Changes

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), September 26, 2011 | Go to article overview

A Heated Debate over the Facts of Global Warming; Monmouth MP David Davies Provoked a Storm Last Week by Questioning the Mainstream View of Climate Change. Here He Outlines His Concerns in Greater Detail - While Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Sir John Houghton Argues That Cutting Carbon Emissions Is Vitally Important Naturally-Changing Temperatures Do Not Negate the Validity of Manmade Changes


DAVID Davies, the MP for Monmouth, recently questioned the Government's drive to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from our energy industries in order to stem the onset of damaging climate change.

He rightly points out the substantial year-to-year variability in the climate record but is wrong to suggest that it casts doubt on the validity of scientific evidence that human-induced climate change is occurring on a scale increasingly damaging to the world and its peoples over the decades of this century and beyond.

In recent years much attention has been given by the world community of climate scientists to the details of the record of global average temperature near the Earth's surface over the past few hundred years. In addition to increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, this has been influenced by small changes in the amount of radiation from the sun and by dust and sulphate particles from volcanic eruptions or from industrial activity.

Much of the shape of the observed record is well explained by allowing for all these influences. A clear conclusion, however, for the last part of the record - since 1970 - is that no agreement with the observations is possible without allowing for the increasing influence of greenhouse gas emissions.

Further, regarding the first decade of this century, its global average temperature showed an increase compared to the 1990s very similar to the increases over each of the two previous decades. This is despite the year 1998, owing to the exceptional El Nino event in the Pacific, being the warmest in the record to date.

Talking in terms of changes of global average temperature, however, tells us little about the impacts of global warming on human communities.

One important and obvious impact is due to the rise in sea level that occurs mainly because ocean water expands as it is heated - widespread ocean temperature measurements confirm this is happening.

Melting of glaciers and polar ice caps adds to the rise, estimated to be approaching one metre on average this century.

The rise will continue for many centuries - to warm the deep oceans as well as the surface waters takes a long time. Human communities living in low-lying regions will experience very large problems. For instance, in many parts of the UK large sums will be needed for improved sea defences.

However, for instance, Bangladesh - where about 10 million live within the one metre contour - and similar regions elsewhere in the world will be impossible to protect and many tens of millions will be displaced.

There will also be large changes in the availability of water in the world. In a warmer world there is more evaporation of water from the surface, more water vapour in the atmosphere and more rainfall on average - an increase that is already being observed. …

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A Heated Debate over the Facts of Global Warming; Monmouth MP David Davies Provoked a Storm Last Week by Questioning the Mainstream View of Climate Change. Here He Outlines His Concerns in Greater Detail - While Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Sir John Houghton Argues That Cutting Carbon Emissions Is Vitally Important Naturally-Changing Temperatures Do Not Negate the Validity of Manmade Changes
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