Friday, August 19, 2005

They're getting themselves heated up again

I love it when two news accounts appear on the same day that diametrically oppose each other. The first deals with those twin giants of American intellectualism, John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who have just confirmed the factual veracity of global warming with a recent visit to Alaska during its record breaking heat wave.

Fresh from a trip to Barrow, America's northernmost city, Senator McCain said anecdotes from Alaskans and residents of the Yukon Territory confirm scientific evidence of global warming. "We are convinced that the overwhelming scientific evidence indicated that climate change is taking place and human activities play a very large role," McCain said.

"I don't think there is any doubt left for anyone who actually looks at the science," Senator Clinton said. "There are still some holdouts, but they are fighting a losing battle. The science is overwhelming, but what is deeply concerning is that climate change is accelerating."

Meanwhile from the Guardian, in the U.K., we have this three paragraph story:

Two climate change skeptics, who believe the dangers of global warming are overstated, have put their money where their mouth is and bet $10,000 that the planet will cool over the next decade.

The Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev have agreed the wager with a British climate expert, James Annan.

The pair, based in Irkutsk, at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, believe that global temperatures are driven more by changes in the sun's activity than by the emission of greenhouse gases. They say the Earth warms and cools in response to changes in the number and size of sunspots. Most mainstream scientists dismiss the idea, but as the sun is expected to enter a less active phase over the next few decades the Russian duo are confident they will see a drop in global temperatures.

Only time will tell but I'd take that bet any day. Any takers?


Kitty Bo said...

My husband and I went to visit my daughter and her family in Alaska this summer. I think one of my favorite parts were the glaciers. They are like the Ancient of Days. We went to the Portage glacer. Actually, there are signs as you walk through the park showing were the galcier was even back in the 1870's. So Alaska has been responding to a warming trend before the modern age. But, the warming is acelerating. When we went out on the Prince William Sound with my son-in-law's uncle and aunt, they told us how the glaciers, which spill into the sea, are shrinking. It is very sad. There is something so incredibley wonderful about Alaska. There is something untameable about it. However,it can be slowly murdered by global warming. Alaska and the rain forests, such great treasures. Did you see the article in Smithsonian about Alaska melting? My advice is get there as soon as you can while it is still there.

beamis said...

Glaciers are dynamic and change constantly. I'm not so sure that this current warming phase is anything that is abnormal in the context of the last few thousand years of ice at the poles. We can only guess if it is a trend, and at this point in time it is a mighty poor guess at that.

Skeeter said...

I'll put $10 on the Russians

Devastatin' Dave said...


Back in June, you had a post about global warming where I posted this as part of a larger comment:

2.)I would guess that solar activity, i.e. the 11 year sunspot cycle and solar flares play a part in global temperatures, but don't know if any studies have ever confirmed this.

I guess I'll get an answer sometime soon.

beamis said...

I'll go with the Russians for $1000.

Skeeter said...

The sun is less than a light year away so the reduction in temperature should happen very soon after the sunspots fade, so to speak.