Saturday, 3 September 2011

Global Warming: It's Real, It's Us, It's Bad

Anthropogenic Global Warming: It's Real, It's Us, It's Bad

Post-Publishing Update (#1): I have discovered a problem with my code for footnotes and am trying to correct it. Urgh.

I have not made the time or effort to post anything on this blog for altogether too long. To address this deficiency, I should like to take the opportunity to post on a subject of some importance to the human species and the civilization we have built up over the last few thousand years.

That subject, is, as is made clear in the post title, anthropogenic climate change (ACC), which is, so it appears to me at any rate, more conventionally referred to as anthropogenic global warming (AGW). While I feel the former term is, strictly speaking, more accurate, given the latter term is more commonly used, I will henceforth refer to the phenomenon in question as AGW for brevity. (1)

As per the post title, I intend here to summarize, using the language I am capable of (layman language, from a scientific perspective), the empirical evidence used to support the generally-held view, among practicing climate scientists and large scientific organizations, of the existence of AGW, and thence of the necessity to develop policy and action to respond to this phenomenon.

This post shall therefore be concentrated in three parts. The first, "It's Real", will show that, contrary claims notwithstanding, the current trend in the Earth climate system is one of large-scale warming. The second, "It's Us", will show that this warming forcing is the result of human activity. The third, "It's Bad", will show that this warming cannot be expected to be, on balance, of net benefit to the human species. (2)

I shall dedicate some concluding remarks to comment on several objections to these conclusions of climate science.

Any climate scientist or other person with extensive knowledge of the basic science and the literature on the topic who chances upon this post should feel free to offer suggestions on additional sources, re-wordings of text to correct errors and more closely match the science, and the like. All comments to this post will make it through moderation to the extent that they are based upon a correct reading of one or more pieces of peer-reviewed literature, avoid senseless hyperbole, and most especially avoid unsubstantiated allegations of conspiracy, dictatorship, and the like. (3)