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Monday, February 2, 2009

My Stance on Global Warming

Blog posted and written by guest commentator and AccuWeather Meteorologist Mark Paquette....

Wow, I am almost overwhelmed by the comments received about my last post dealing with my mention in the Senate Minority Report on Global Warming. I can say that I truly feel lucky and honored to be mentioned in it. However, as I said in last week's blog, I don't really feel like I am a dissenter, but a proponent of man-made global warming, which in my opinion, is occurring as we speak. So, I would like to use this post to share my personal belief on man-made global warming and clear up where I stand.

Unlike many of the commenters and people here who work at AccuWeather, I do not feel that I am an expert or am confident enough in my knowledge to go far in-depth on the subject of global warming. However, I do have some simple reasons why I do think it is happening. One of the reasons I think that the earth is warming is by looking at the number of record highs seen as compared to record lows. This was brought up in my last post, so I will not dwell on this here, as many people brought up great points as to why this should not be a reason for believing in man-made global warming, and I am at least considering these reasons.

More importantly, another reason why I think warming is occurring is the graphs shown below. All of these increases (which would even be more dramatic if the time went back more than the 30 years as shown on the graphs) seen in these scientifically proven greenhouse gases are at least partly, if not chiefly, due to man. Simplistically, how can all of these greenhouse gases increase without influencing the earth's temperature? Even if the earth is in a natural cooling phase, how can these increases in greenhouse gases not negate somewhat this cooling? On the other hand, if the earth is in a natural warming phase, how can the changes in these gases not cause the warming to be enhanced? I just don't understand how people can know that these changes in the atmosphere are occurring, and know that these gases increase the amount of energy (warmth) kept near the earth's surface, but this information is just ignored or thought not to matter. This data may be a small piece of the atmospheric and climatic "pie", but isn't it a piece? And isn't it caused by man? Wouldn't this data, by itself, cause warming? Isn't this what man-made global warming is? Warming caused by man?

Another reason I believe global warming is occurring is the amount of heat we release into the atmosphere. From heating our homes, to factories and power plants burning fossil fuels, to internal combustion engines in cars, trucks, tractors, etc., aren't these releasing heat into the atmosphere that would not been released if man was not on the planet? How about the decreased albedo from the miles upon miles of roadways? From buildings with dark roofs? Would they be on the planet without man? Obviously not. Yes, these factors maybe mere drops in the proverbial bucket, but don't these drops add up over time and contribute at least somewhat to man-made global warming?

Yes, the earth will continue to see cold snaps (see this month in the Northeast US), but wouldn't these cold snaps be more drastic if it wasn't for man's influence? And what about how warm the west coast of the US has been? We'll hear people say, global warming, schwarming, look how cold it is where I live. Well, how about the rest of the world? What is happening there?

I will continue to try and post unbiased blogs, as a scientist, that is my duty. If there is data to prove to me that global warming caused by man is not occurring, then it is also my duty as a scientist to at least consider changing my opinion. I appreciate all the readers and commenters of this website, and I will continue to do my homework and try to learn as much as I can about the fascinating subject of global warming.


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