Sunday, April 13, 2008

Climate Change

I have been sorting through the morass of information and misinformation related to climate change as I review articles and information for my individual project, and am somewhat bewildered at the amount of analysis that has been performed around this issue. Of course, so much of it has been done and published in an effort to either support or debunk the idea of climate change.

I had hoped to find good data (perhaps raw/unanalyzed), but I realize now that nearly every shred of information or data generated by NOAA or others related to such things as CO2 in the atmosphere over time, temperature vs. time, etc..., has been processed many different ways, and it's hard to know whether one has taken and/or omitted key data points or pieces of information. I have also discovered that the tried and true way to run a story into the ground by questioning the validity all of the data (raw), as opposed to blaming a trend line on a poorly understood phenomenon, is alive and well in the climate change argument world. For example, the large amount of data is generally collected at stations, and the siting of these stations is a contentious issue. Some of these stations are in or near towns and cities, getting the "heat sink" effect. If you want to shoot down the theory that the globe has warmed, you simply point out that a considerable amount of data has been collected at these stations.

When in doubt, question the data as dubious. This of course, works well in court.

Anyhow, there is lots of data that can be obtained if you are patient, and judging from the thoroughness of the methods (from what I have read), much of it likely excellent. But the devils is in the analysis by the different stakeholders. At this point in the process, I am skeptical of all involved in the debate.

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