For those environmentally-minded individuals who are bothered by the comments and claims of global warming refusniks, SkepticalScience.com has a well-researched list of 119 rebuttals to global warming skeptics. As in most things in life, the best defence is a good offense, and each rebuttal is linked to numerous supportive reports and studies. Here are twenty picks from the list at Skeptical Science:
1. Is global warming still happening? It’s cooling… Throughout periods of long-term warming there exist short periods of cooling; weather fluctuation is to be expected in any climate. Still, there have been twice the amount of record highs as record lows, and that amount is predicted to increase in coming years.
2. Evidence for global warming- It’s not happening, evidence is unreliable. Scientists all over the world have observed unusual climate-related activities which may be attributed to global warming. From the Arctic to Antarctica, ice is melting at a rapid pace; animal and plant species are experiencing early spring, upsetting the natural balance of the ecosystem.
3. Are humans too insignificant to affect global climate? Statistical evidence indicates that humans emit 26 gigatons of CO2 each year, a figure which is steadily climbing.
4. According to Klaus-Martin Schulte, less than half of published scientists endorse global warming. The fact that 48% of scientists held a neutral view as to the exact cause of global warming does not indicate that they disagreed; their neutral approach more likely reflects the current trend to focus on a cure for the greenhouse effect.
5. Can animals and plants adapt to global warming? Many animal species have become endangered or extinct due to extreme changes in temperature. The rapid change in climate does not provide them ample time to adapt.
6. There is no correlation between CO2 and temperature. The laws of physics state that carbon dioxide causes warming; satellite imagery also backs up this statement.
7. CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a pollutant in that it is responsible for “ocean acidification.” Also, though the greenhouse effect it has on the environment is a natural occurrence, the high levels which we experience today are deemed unhealthy for our ecosystem.
8. Extreme weather isn’t caused by global warming. Actually, there is ample evidence which proves that rising temperatures cause storms, hurricanes, flooding and heat waves.
9. Mt. Kilimanjaro’s ice loss is due to land use (deforestation). Ice lost on Mount Kilimanjaro is due to many factors; one of these is global warming. The fact that the ice melt is not caused exclusively by global warming does not discount its liability.
10. There is no empirical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions are causing global warming. Scientific evidence indicates that CO2 levels are escalating at an alarming rate, and that humans are responsible. Satellite data confirms that more CO2 is remaining in our atmosphere, and less is finding its way to outer space.
11. It’s just a natural 1500-year cycle. The 1500 year cycles (Dangaard-Oeschger) refers to a warming in the northern hemisphere, followed by a cooling in the southern hemisphere. Instead, what we are observing now is a highly irregular warming in both hemispheres at the same time, primarily in the oceans.
12. Is Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth accurate? While some statements which Al Gore made in An Inconvenient Truth were later proved incorrect, they are miniscule compared to the overwhelmingly true and scientifically backed-up data which he has provided to the public regarding global warming.
13. Solar activity & climate: is the sun causing global warming? Actually, since 1960, the sun has been getting cooler, while the climate has been getting warmer.
14. What does past climate change tell us about global warming? The fact that we have experienced climate change in the past only serves to prove the point that climate can be influenced by outside factors; the warming trend we are experiencing now is due to rising CO2 levels, which is causing the greenhouse effect.
15. It’s the hole in the ozone layer- UV radiation is getting through to Earth. Satellite imagery and surface surveillance confirm that the thinning trend of the ozone layer has ceased since 1995; still, global temperatures continue to rise.
16. Scientist Mike Hulme says that the UN’s report on climate change was phoney, and thousands of scientists have not reached a consensus. Mike Hulme publicly stated that he was misrepresented by commentators of his article which appeared in Progress in Physical Geography.
17. Scientists have retracted the claim that sea levels are rising. The paper which was retracted predicted a decreased percentage of rising sea levels; its retraction confirms scientists’ predictions of an increased rate in sea levels.
18. Is Greenland gaining or losing ice? The ice in Greenland has been melting at an accelerated rate; since 2002, Greenland’s ice loss has doubled. While the inland areas remain unaffected, it is the mass melting in the coastal areas which has drawn the world’s attention.
19. How reliable are climate models? Climate models are tested through “hindcasting,” in which climate forcings (influences) are accounted for in the model and used to demonstrate past climate behavior; if proved accurate, then the model may be used to predict future weather patterns.
20. The human fingerprint in global warming: It’s not us. The evidence is pointing at us from all over the world. Thousands of scientists have concluded that, based on empirical research, such as satellite images, surface measurements and careful observation, we, the human race, are producing Carbon dioxide at an alarming rate which, eventually, prove catastrophic for the environment and mankind.