20 February 2008 22:15 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Human impact on the global climate has not been accurately determined, a ?xml:namespace>
A report by the Washington-based George Marshall Institute summarised what is known and not known about the earth’s climate and the human influence on it.
“The information provided is not intended to rebut claims about human impacts on climate or the potential for adverse impacts later this century,” the institute said.
The report, the institute said, was intended to separate fact from speculation and provide a demonstration that there is not an exact scientific basis for “drawing definitive and objective conclusions about the extent of human influence on climate, past, present, or future.”
The non-profit organisation challenged the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s consensus, arguing that the conclusions made in the fourth assessment report by the UN group lack a true scientific process.
The IPCC report said that evidence of global warming is unequivocal and human activities, such as the emission of greenhouse gases, has very likely caused global warming.
The Marshall Institute, however, said, “For many, especially those engaged in advocacy, the claim of consensus [by the IPCC] is a device used to advance their agenda.”
The research group’s report conceded that humans may have an impact on the climate, but called for more research in climate science because so little is known about mankind’s impact on earth’s climatology.
“The direct effects of greenhouse gas emissions are relatively easy to determine, but their indirect effects, through water vapour and other feedbacks, are poorly understood,” the Marshall Institute report said. “The impacts of other human activities, such as particulate emissions and land-use changes, are poorly understood.”
Little is understood about the climate, the Marshall Institute report said, because climate science is still new.
“It is only since the 1970s that satellites have been available to provide global climate data,” the
The US Congress and several states are contemplating various legislative initiatives for mandatory controls on greenhouse gas emissions.
The institute is funded in part by the Earhart and Exxon Education foundations, among a number of other contributors. The report is available at http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/577.pdf.
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