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Friday, July 18, 2008

American Physical Society Sponsors Debate On Validity Of Global Warming Science

The debate is back on with dueling experts as the Physics and Society Forum unit within the American Physical Society (APS), which represents 50,000 physicists, now proclaim that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming.
The Physics and Society, one of 39 units of the American Physical Society will be sponsoring a public debate on the validity of global warming science. (Links to the first two papers below, one against the consensus and one for the consensus)

On the APS' Physics and Society Forum, which is only 1 of 39 units of the APS itself, has an editors note declaring that "There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

They go to say that because of the ramifications of any conclusions that are made will have "immense implications for public policy and for the future of the biosphere" they will be presenting a debate within the pages of Physics and Society concerning the conclusion.

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity -- the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause -- has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton's paper an "expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and "extensive errors"

Although this unit of the APS is arguing against the stated position of the APS itself, the APS has not changed their official position since November 2007, which is that global warming is from human activities, and they make it very clear that the Physics and Society paper is at odds with their official position and the newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed and that the Physics and Society forum is only one of 39 units within their organization.

In an email that Lord Monckton, who was the science adviser to Britain's Thatcher administration, sent to DailyTech, he says, "I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC's 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central 'climate sensitivity' question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method."

What this goes to show is that even physicist experts within the APS group, that has held and still holds, the official stance which says evidence of global warming is "incontrovertible", are still debating the issue despite that official stance.

What the Physics and Society Forum is doing is opening up the debate, publicly, that many have tried to declare as over.

The debate starts with Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley with the first article that argues against the correctness of the IPCC conclusion. In favor of the IPCC conclusion we have a jointly written article from David Hafemeister and Peter Schwartz from from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Scientists and experts from a variety of different fields are still arguing about this issue and with this new debate starting within the Physics and Society, the dueling experts are putting on their gloves, coming out of their corners and getting ready to rumble.