With the announcement that 2015 was by far the hottest year on record – soaring past defending champion 2014 – it’s time to check in on our “Climate and Energy” series. To refresh: the series seeks to foster a discussion that rises above the heated rhetoric “to define the issues and, more importantly, propose solutions.” I am not, as they say, a scientist, but I have long worked with scientists, and it seems clear that something is happening up there. The great majority of scientists believe that humans play a major role in the problem, but I have an old scientific friend who is not convinced.
“It should be remembered in all the flak, rhetoric, and hand waving now with us that the assortment of mechanisms and their mutual interactions that drive these cycles is still far from clear. It is also far from clear the extent to which anthropogenic activity over the last 250 years has exacerbated the process.
“No question about global warming, but it is sun-driven, not man-made. The big question is how much anthropogenic CO2 produced compared to terragenic CO2 produced as oceans warm, reducing solubility of CO2 in water. I am swinging to idea that anthropogenic is a butterfly belch compared to terragenic.”
This is no small difference of opinion, as it demands that we focus on adapting ourselves to inevitable warming, rather than on bending the natural world to our will.
Join the conversation.
Find this series on my website, where you will also find the other two 2015 series, “Rescue at Sea” and “Refugees.”