Scientists Question Global Warming Theory Climatologists Say Broad Theory Is Too Simplistic to Explain Temperature Drops in Industrialized Areas and Other Complex Climate Changes

By Robert C. Cowen, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 14, 1994 | Go to article overview

Scientists Question Global Warming Theory Climatologists Say Broad Theory Is Too Simplistic to Explain Temperature Drops in Industrialized Areas and Other Complex Climate Changes


Robert C. Cowen, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


YOU don't have to be a weather scientist to see what's wrong with the global-warming theory. You only have to look around on a hazy day.

Man-made aerosol particles - so tiny a million of them could crowd on to a pin head - are forcing scientists to adopt a new view of what changes Earth's climate.

Carbon dioxide (CO2), released by burning fossil fuels, and other so-called "greenhouse" gases create the effect of trapping heat in the atmosphere. But cooling by the aerosols offsets this warming influence in industrialized regions.

Ironically, these particles also are produced by burning fossil fuels.

"The term `global warming'... couldn't be farther from the truth," says atmospheric chemist Robert Charlson at the University of Washington in Seattle. He explains that the term is misleading because it is based on averages such as the average annual temperature of Earth.

Yet, Professor Charlson observes: "We're not concerned with the average temperature of the planet. We're concerned with rainfall in Kansas." Climate change, he adds, is non-uniform with significant regional differences.

Climate analyst Jeffrey Kiehl with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., has charted those differences.

His map (reproduced here) shows regional cooling - not warming - for large parts of the industrialized Northern Hemisphere. Scientists, Dr. Kiehl says, now recognize that man-made climate change is not "just a greenhouse effect." They see that "it's a regional effect... strongly tied to local {aerosol} sources."

Charlson sees "a revolution in the way certain segments of the {research} community think about climate change," calling it a "paradigm shift." Global warming is too simplistic a concept to do the job.

Charlson explains that the "paradigm shift" lies in realizing that the influences forcing climate change are physically and geographically complex. Moreover, he adds, "The whole story isn't in yet."

Here's what's going on. Basically, greenhouse warming is a good thing. Without naturally occurring greenhouse gases - mainly water vapor and CO2 - Earth would be too cold to support life. However, human activity - mainly burning coal, oil, and natural gas - has loaded the air with additional greenhouse gases. Atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen from a preindustrial 280 parts per million (ppm) to the 1990 value of 353 ppm.

If that CO2 increase is projected into the future, using today's relatively crude computer-based climate models, the average planetary temperature rises several degrees. That's global warming.

Enter the aerosols. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Scientists Question Global Warming Theory Climatologists Say Broad Theory Is Too Simplistic to Explain Temperature Drops in Industrialized Areas and Other Complex Climate Changes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.