by Robert Bradley Jr. at wattsupwiththat.com
Ed. Note: This article on the front page of the New York Times by noted environmental reporter Philip Shabecoff, (June 24, 1988) marked the beginning of the media-driven climate scare. Particularly important is the estimated anthropogenic warming and sea level rise: 3-9 degrees F and 1-4 feet between 2025 and 2050. Today, 35 years later, the recorded increase is 1F and 4 inches.
The earth has been warmer in the first five months of this year than in any comparable period since measurements began 130 years ago, and the higher temperatures can now be attributed to a long-expected global warming trend linked to pollution, a space agency scientist reported today.
Until now, scientists have been cautious about attributing rising global temperatures of recent years to the predicted global warming caused by pollutants in the atmosphere, known as the ”greenhouse effect.” But today Dr. James E. Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration told a Congressional committee that it was 99 percent certain that the warming trend was not a natural variation but was caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial gases in the atmosphere.
Dr. Hansen, a leading expert on climate change, said in an interview that there was no ”magic number” that showed when the greenhouse effect was actually starting to cause changes in climate and weather. But he added, ”It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.”
An Impact Lasting Centuries
If Dr. Hansen and other scientists are correct, then humans, by burning of fossil fuels and other activities, have altered the global climate in a manner that will affect life on earth for centuries to come.
Dr. Hansen, director of NASA’s Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, testifed before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
He and other scientists testifying before the Senate panel today said that projections of the climate change that is now apparently occurring mean that the Southeastern and Midwestern sections of the United States will be subject to frequent episodes of very high temperatures and drought in the next decade and beyond. But they cautioned that it was not possible to attribute a specific heat wave to the greenhouse effect, given the still limited state of knowledge on the subject.
Some Dispute Link
Some scientists still argue that warmer temperatures in recent years may be a result of natural fluctuations rather than human-induced changes.
Several Senators on the Committee joined witnesses in calling for action now on a broad national and international program to slow the pace of global warming.
Senator Timothy E. Wirth, the Colorado Democrat who presided at hearing today, said: ”As I read it, the scientific evidence is compelling: the global climate is changing as the earth’s atmosphere gets warmer. Now, the Congress must begin to consider how we are going to slow or halt that warming trend and how we are going to cope with the changes that may already be inevitable.”read more