Monday, July 2, 2007

NASA's Global Warming Q&A

Since I now work in solar physics, I seem to get a lot of questions about global warming. Mostly, these come from people who want me to say that the sun is responsible for climate change, not human activities. When I tell them that changes in the sun's output (which some evidence suggests has gone up in the past 100 years) are at least an order of magnitude too small to account for global warming since 1950, I then get put into the "crazy/hippie/liberal-wacko" group. And I'm really starting to get sick of that.

In the interest of full disclosure, when I was in high school in the late 90's, I was pretty skeptical of global warming myself. But with the data that has come out in the past decade, there really isn't much room to scientifically argue whether human activity is driving global climate change since 1950. But for those of you who still need convincing, or have friends who do, check out this very helpful and informative Q&A put out by NASA on climate change.

One thing that I appreciate about NASA's Q&A is that they are very careful to use science rather than scare tactics. Many people who doubt global warming are skeptical because they saw some poorly dressed nerd working himself into a frenzy on the Discovery Channel and claiming global warming is going to kill us all in 20 minutes. I know the threat is real, but that claim just isn't believable. Even worse, you have movies like The Day After Tomorrow that sensationalize the issue to the point that global warming looks about as credible as Godzilla attacking Tokyo. Anyway, kudos to NASA for a well thought out, non-sensational presentation of the facts about global warming.


  1. Nick, I always knew you were part of the "crazy/hippie/liberal-wacko" group. And I guess because I generally agree with you I'm in the same group.


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