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Monday, January 26, 2009

Bellamy’s hot air on global warming

I’ve listened to Dr David Bellamy on global warming and I don’t agree with him. Bellamy’s basic premise is that there is increased sunspot activity in the sun and that it’s this additional heat that is responsible for increases in the temperature on earth. To be fair to the good doctor he’s not a global warming denier. He accepts that temperature is on the increase unlike some on the other side but it is the cause of the increase that he disputes. No one can take Bellamy’s record of environmental campaigning away from him. It’s true that there’s been periods in the past when local temperatures in our part of Europe were both higher and lower than at present. Nobody has presented evidence that these were due to man’s activity. Bellamy believes that what’s happening now is part of a cycle and there’s little we can do about it. However it’s on aspects of chemical fact rather than environmental data that I’d post my health warning on his views.

The reality is that CO2 levels are climbing, CO2 is a green house gas that is it holds heat in. NASA tell us that the earth’s temperature would be a lot lower were it not for the presence of CO2 in our atmosphere. Scientist can show that CO2 levels were lower in the past because they can core down through artic ice to analyse dissolved air samples preserved for millions of years and they can show this increase has accelerated in the recent past. The % CO2 in the air is now up by a third from the figure that I learnt in school principally because of increased combustion and deforestation. It’s clear that more CO2 in the air will mean less heat is reflected out from the planet and so more heat is retained within the atmosphere regardless of what Dr Bellamy claims on sunspot activity. Dr Bellamy has been making these claims on susnspots for some time however in the past few years sunspot activity ahs reduced significantly, so if the suns is the problem, global warming should be less of a problem now but its not.
What we know however is that the early scientific models produced to predict global warming patterns have been hopelessly wrong. Warming is occurring at a much faster rate than previously forecast. The Bellamy theory proves nothing other than sometimes even popular scientists get things wrong. If he’s right we’re in big trouble because we could get a double whammy, global warming plus solar warming!

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