NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Global Warming Alarmists Retreat

November 24, 1998

The ranks of those who believe man-made emissions are increasing world temperatures are thinning, observers report. Even James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, who put the phrase "global warming" into popular usage, has reportedly backed off.

More scientists are acknowledging that so may factors influence the climate that it is not yet possible to state with certainty how and why climate change takes place.

  • In the August 18 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hansen wrote: "The forces that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change."
  • Experts report that as climate models have been refined, they have tended to predict less global warming.
  • In 1990, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that the average global temperature would rise 3.3 degrees Celsius over the next century -- but in 1995 predicted only a 1.0 degree increase due to human activity.

Scientists agree that natural factors -- such as volcanic or sunspot activity, clouds and oceans -- are important variables in raising or lowering Earth temperatures, but their role is still only imperfectly understood.

Source: Anna Bray Duff, "Greenhouse Warming Cools Off," Investor's Business Daily, November 24, 1998.


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