Originally posted by crustas
No one really knows if it's warming up or cooling down,
This is incorrect. It is warming up. THere is no longer any serious debate on that aspect of the issue amoung the scientific community.
because we, the humans have little weather data(a few hundred years only )
We have weather records extending back millions of years, and direct measurements that date back centuries.
it's only a matter of opinion, people tend to choose sides, this subject it's not different
Its not just about opinion. Science permits us to objectively examine the world around us and try to explain it. Based on science, a doctor can be
"of the opinion" that because an x-ray shows a broken bone, that the person has a broken bone.
Scientists, overwhelmingly, are of the opinion that, yes, the data does indeed support that the earth, as a whole and overall, is warming.
The debate now, amoung scientists, is what is causing the warming. So far, no one has been able to show that its part of some natural cycle, by this
I mean, the controls on weather over certain scales of time are know fairly well, the things that affect it one way or the other are familiar, and
none of them can account for the warming.
At the same time, we have an increase in atmospheric CO2, as a result of modern technology, and CO2 is a gas that traps heat.
, I would be cautious about making subjective and emotive appeals such as those pictures make. While its agreed that the earth is warming,
those picutres don't tell us anything other than in one year there was lots of snow and ice, and in another year, there wasn't.
While this isn't much
of an issue in a simple discussion like this, if the people become conviced by rhetoric like that, rather than rational
thought and evidence, then....what happens when or if we find that those particular instances were unrealted to human activity?
For example, I have seen, in these forums nonetheless, people use projected pictures of what Mt. Kilimajaro, a famous mountain with an icy peak in
africa, will look like in the not so distant future, if it continues to melt as it is now.
The idea is that we have destroyed something good and beautiful in the natural world.
THe problem is.....Mt Kilimanjaro has been melting since the first europeans spotted it, long before any greenhouse effect, its simply a melting mass
of ice, naturally.