The greenhouse effect aka global warming is a hot research and economic topic these days. Before proceeding with the discourse, please permit a brief definition of the “infamous” greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gas is simply a layer of fluid enveloping a planet, it absorbs and redistributes the sun’s energy back to the globe as light and heat within the thermal infrared range.
Several scientific reports view global warming as the human-made apocalypse that will destroy humanity and render the earth uninhabitable without a timely and appropriate remedy. The race against time to mitigate the adverse impacts of human activity on the planet is now at full momentum. What started a few years ago as simple academic exercise is now a flourishing multi-trillion-dollar industry with nearly eight billion patrons.
However, the notion that virgin earth was greenhouse effect free is as nonsensical as the conjecture that greenhouse gas is the enemy. Without greenhouse gas, the earth will be a deserted frigid planet not a pot of boiling lava imagined by most global warming advocates. Blaming humans for the earth’s greenhouse effects leaves much to be desired since uninhabited planets such as Venus, Mars, and Titan have notable greenhouse effects.
As more scientist joins the global warming crusade, valuable contextual climate facts are sacrificed on the altar of statistical convenience and scientific correctness. The fact that virgin earth was a wild ice-free frontier of the extreme weather events is now an obscure footnote in the global warming initiative. Suddenly, the extreme events of the first four glaciations and the accompanying interglaciation periods are now moot and irrelevant to the present events.
As an academic research subject, the constructs of global warming entail the following primary observed impacts. The once in tens of thousands of years’ temperature rise, the disappearing polar ice caps, extreme weather events, the sheer size of the ozone layer depletion, and rising sea levels. Conversely, it is important to note that the effect of several climate forcing mechanisms with verifiable extreme impacts seems assiduously muted to bolster the human culpability perspectives.
The feedbacks from several climates forcing mechanisms explain the increase or decrease of extreme weather events. Whether the systemic response of the climatic elements would amplify or diminish the chances of extreme weather event depends on the alignment of a plethora of inanimate planetary factors. Historically, the alignment of forcing mechanisms and the subsequent extreme weather response is beyond human control.
Regarding the rising temperature, it is true that temperatures have been higher over the past 20 years than any time in recent history. However, the recent prolonged temperature spike is not the highest on record. Scientifically, the thermal maximum titles belong to the Paleocene-Eocene epoch way before the advent of humans and the industrial age. The earth has a rich history of extreme temperature and weather events before the arrival of any human species.
The argument that the melting polar ice will push sea level to dangerous highs does not hold water. Because irrespective of age, ice has neither environmental nor socio-political agendas; it just melts! If the polar ice were to dissolve back into the oceans, the new high ocean levels would probably be a lot lower than pre-ice age ocean levels.
A simple understanding of the radioactive decay concept may help us deconstruct the recent rapid disappearance of the polar ice caps. The half-life of melting ice is an exponential function of time and temperature. If we keep temperature constant above the freezing level, as time increases, the rate of melting will still increase exponentially. That is, the time to melt the last ice mass will be extremely shorter than the time to melt the first half, just as we are witnessing today.
We also cannot ignore the forcing impacts of the earth Milankovitch cycles which vary the quantity and the intensity of the sun’s energy across the earth’s surface. Essentially, the earth’s rolling motion around the sun is not always on the same straight path and is slightly different from time to time. This slight Milankovitch difference is known to produce significant weather extremes; this aspect is appropriately covered in almost all the global warming publications.
While real science is incorruptible, it certainly can be influenced. The amount and the nature of sponsors’ influence on the research design and findings remains a gray matter. Be that as it may, whatever influences the research question dictates the overall research design and influences the possible results of research. While logical research conclusions often derive from methodic data analysis, validity is a different dimensional challenge.
Global warming is not an exact science, it may not be as waterproof as believed. A huge portion of climate change research work is based on several forms of quantitative correlation designs. Whereas, correlation is not the same as causality. Secondly, the high level governmental and business interests subject global warming research to external forcing.
The preponderance of complementary conclusions creates a knowledge bandwagon atmosphere that may render scientific dissension an uphill task. The majority factor may discourage the most experienced researcher from heralding a research finding that is at variance with the norm. From every indication, researchers are competent and brave, but they also require triangulation and scholarly anchoring to proof a point.
However, while the constructs and the science of global warming enjoy a robust integrity, there is just too many moving parts that may impose validity and reliability threats on the conclusions. Consequently, the inherent confounding omissions, the approximation of correlation as causality, and conformance bandwagon effect deconstructs the findings of the global warming agenda.
Since the areas overburdened by ice during the last glaciation are still undergoing continental rebound, the current global warming model is absent an element of earth’s gradual healing process. Apparently, the earth is still recovering from the last glaciation just like the gradual recovery of a loaded time spring as the load lessens. At this point, the glacial load is significantly lower, and the earth’s rate of recovery towards initial virgin state alarms her latest inhabitants.
However, humans owe a debt of responsibility to remedy the damage done to the environment. This includes increased toxicity of the land, water, and air. Humans owe the obligation to help the flora and the fauna recover from years of direct human abuse. As more life species are threatened with extinction because of the impacts of human biochemical and nuclear wastes, humans owe the earth a debt of care to avod working its untimely extinction.