Sunday, January 31, 2010

More "neutral" science . . .

It makes sense that industrial, agricultural and other human activities create pollution which impacts the environment. Anyone who has ever hiked down stream or down wind of an inhabited area has seen the evidence.

But, it's also becoming clear that "The Day After Tomorrow"-type scenarios of imminent catastrophic climate change (killer tornadoes followed by massive glaciers covering most of North America) is at best an exaggeration and at worst a fraud.

In the latest global warming news

Why the Earth's surface temperature hasn't warmed as expected over the past decade continues to be a puzzle for scientists. One study out earlier this month theorized that the Earth's climate may be less sensitive to greenhouse gases than currently assumed.

Another surprising factor could be the amount of water vapor way up in the stratosphere, according to a new study out Thursday in the journal Science.

Water vapor, a potent, natural greenhouse gas that absorbs sunlight and re-emits heat, is "a wild card" of global warming, says the paper's lead author, senior scientist Susan Solomon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo. Solomon was also a co-chair of one of the groups within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that put out the definitive forecast of global warming in 2007.

In the Science paper, Solomon and her colleagues found that a drop in the concentration of water vapor in the stratosphere "very likely made substantial contributions to the flattening of the global warming trend since about 2000."

While climate warming is continuing — the decade of 2000 to 2009 was the hottest on record worldwide — the increase in temperatures was not as rapid as in the 1990s.

Climate scientists shouldn't be spinning evidence with near religious devotion to their pre existing theories of global warming any more than industry sponsored scientists should deny all evidence of man's impact on the environment. It's becoming more obvious that the truth lies in the middle.

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