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Climate change - the history of CO2

The media has been giving climatologists are hard time, recently. Mistakes have been made and to these has been added a lack of transparency in making statistics freely available. If you have read the responses given by some of the climatologists at the centre of this you will have seen that the mistakes made were not of any great significance, in terms of our overall understanding of the role of CO2.

But, faced with the continuing attacks by denialists and the inability of most of our media to understand even the most elementary physics, its sometimes not so easy to respond with confidence.

The link, below, is to a lecture delivered by Richard B. Alley of Penn State, an important member of the IPCC whose work centres on the historical/geological record. It lasts nearly an hour

There's a lot of science but also a simple and unequivocal message that the historical/geological record indicates that increasing CO2, increases global temperatures and that we can find no alternative causal agent that can explain away past periods when the Earth's temeperature was higher - or lower. It's worth watching, not just because of this clear message, but also because of the clear exposition of the scientific method that Alley includes, within his delivery. He repeats that there is no absolute proof but that the correlations are too close to be ignored. The arguement that there is no absolute and final proof is often used but so much of what we learn from science is bounded by the same proviso, we examine the evidence and derive a theory that gives the closest approximation to the data. The only real test is to burn all of the fossil carbon and see what happens. There are those who apparently want to try this....... Generally, they have no idea what they are talking about or they work for oil and coal companies!

http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml