Climate Change: Science and Skepticism
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The paper analyzes the positions of two researchers who are opposed on their views of climate change. The paper specifically considers their positions in light of several significant differences the two have, primarily on the issue of computer modeling. The paper notes that S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist at George Mason University, when referring to global warming, argues that "the scenarios are alarmist, computer models reflect real gaps in climate knowledge, and future warming will be inconsequential or modest at most". The paper comments that the opposer is Tom Wigley, a climatologist and senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research who commands a wide array of evidence to support his claims regarding climate change. The paper considers the position of each on the issues of computer modeling and the potential impact of climate change, drawing on outside research to demonstrate which position has the greater likelihood of being correct.
From the Paper:"The issue is that when we are dealing with models that work on systemic averages, there is a certain degree of uncertainty and ambiguity built into the model itself. Climate change skeptics like Singer immediately prey upon this uncertainty. He argues that the models are too ambiguous and seemingly contra-dictory to warrant our support. Different models produced by different scientists to account for different data sets cannot even necessarily agree on the same things, therefore the models cannot be trusted. Singer even goes so far as to im-ply that we cannot trust the scientists who construct these models because they could tweak the models to produce the results they want, seemingly in order to impress their climate change colleagues and ensure funding for other projects. Of course, such a claim borders on slanderous and cannot be rightfully considered a mark in favor of Singer's position. Wigley responds generally, "Cooking the books would be a concern if that was what scientists were apt to do. But I don't think scientists generally behave that way". In fact, if we accept that scientists will do anything to ensure their next paycheck, then the integrity of the scientific process is lost and claims by all scientists--Singer in-cluded--cannot be trusted."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Bailey, Ronald. "Why Meaning?" Reason (Apr. 2004): 10-12.
- "First Test of Predictions of Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity." Space Daily (15 July 2005): NA. General OneFile. Gale. 27 Nov. 2007 <http://find.galegroup.com>.
- "New Observations Confirm Recent Warming of the Tropical Atmosphere." Space Daily (15 Aug. 2005): NA. General OneFile. Gale. 27 Nov. 2007 http://find.galegroup.com.
- Singer, S. Fred. Interview. What's Up with the Weather?. PBS. Apr. 2000.
- Wigley, Tom M. Interview. What's Up with the Weather?. PBS. Apr. 2000.
Cite this Research Paper:
Climate Change: Science and Skepticism (2008, December 04) Retrieved December 10, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/research-paper/climate-change-science-and-skepticism-109669/
"Climate Change: Science and Skepticism" 04 December 2008. Web. 10 December. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/research-paper/climate-change-science-and-skepticism-109669/>