Home Headline News Science Can Anything Good Come from CO2? by Neil L. Frank

Can Anything Good Come from CO2? by Neil L. Frank

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As much of America remains frigid, media headlines shout far and wide that catastrophic man-made climate change is to blame.  But is it true?

What are the basic facts about climate that people need to know?  Four questions can aid in the understanding of this complicated topic.

First, is the Earth warming?

Second, if it is, what is causing the warming?

Third, assuming that CO2 is causing the Earth to warm, what is the cost of mitigating its impact?

And fourth, if CO2 has little or no impact on the Earth’s temperature, can anything good come from future increases of CO2?

So is the Earth warming?  Yes!  The Earth is warming, and it has been for over 150 years as the world emerges from the Little Ice Age.  Atmospheric CO2 has also been increasing since WWI.

What causes the warming?  That is a matter of intense debate.

In the 1980s, meteorologists observed that the Earth’s temperature was increasing at the same time as atmospheric CO2 concentration was rising.

A group at NASA concluded that CO2 is driving the warming.  They developed a numerical model of the atmosphere that projected an alarming rise in the Earth’s temperature and made public announcements of an impending disaster.  All the alarmist statements from the 1980s until today are based on numerical models.

But beginning in 1998, the Earth’s temperature plateaued (currently referred to as the “pause”) while CO2 levels continued to spiral upward.  This caused a number of scientists outside the “alarmist” community to undertake an in-depth review of what has become a serious controversy.

These “skeptics” are convinced that meteorological data overwhelmingly show that CO2 is not a major factor in the global temperature.  Their belief is based on three primary reasons.

First, the pause has lasted for nearly twenty years, while atmospheric concentration of CO2 continues to rise.  Second, there is a poor correlation between CO2 and the Earth’s temperature, as evidenced by the current pause and the fact that what correlations exist often show that temperature changes before CO2 rather than vice versa.  And third, failure of the numerical models, which predict double and triple the warming seen in real-world observations, suggests that the CO2 terms in the models are wrong.

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