LETTER- No global warming proof
The interview by Lindsay Barnes with UVA climatologist Jerry Stenger ["Jerry gander: Stenger has his eyes on the skies," February 7] posed the question "Does the new man in charge believe that global warming exists?"
The answer by Stenger is most troubling from the viewpoint of accepted scientific protocol. His answer that global temperatures have "increased rather sharply over the last 30 years" and that this has occurred over a period of great increase in the amount of greenhouse gases leads to the "reasonable conclusion" that ..."part of it is driven by human activity."
There is no justification for such a conclusion.
As a scientist, Stenger should understand that mere association is not proof. Many events can be selected to show association without the least bit of cause and effect. In most other sciences, this would be grounds for a working hypothesis, at most.
Former UVA climatologist Michael Mann tried to prove this hypothesis in 1998 with the now infamous "hockey stick" construct of global temperature history. Subsequent independent analysis exposed it to be fundamentally wrong.
Stenger does not acknowledge that there has been no significant global warming for the past ten years in spite of continuing atmospheric CO2 increases. Even the manmade global warming activists at the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] now acknowledge this. Rajendra Pachauri, head of a UN panel, says he will look into this apparent temperature plateau. The largest increases in global temperature had already taken place before 1940, and the subsequent increases in atmospheric CO2, with 1934 as the warmest year of recent history, according to corrected NASA records.
The record shows an average global warming of about 0.8 degree C over the past 100 years. No "human fingerprint" has been proved. A lot of evidence does point to a recurring pattern of eons of warmings and coolings.
Charles G. Battig, MD