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Global Warming a CONTROVERSIAL issue Global warming remains controversial because:
Scientists cannot prove theories if results support an idea it doesn't mean it proves it there could be alternative explanations.
There is incomplete knowledge of how the climate systems on our planet work, and the data sets used in making predictions
about climate change have their limitations e.g. there is no way to precisely how much carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere by
fossil fuel consumption.
Changes in temperatures could be due to natural cycles of climate variation or are due to changes in the Sun's activity.
Political and economic considerations may affect how individuals, organisations and countries interpret evidence. E.g. if cuts in C02
emissions will affect a business or country they might not accept the causal link between the 2 factors.
Scientists maybe biased e.g. to keep jobs.
EXTRAPOLATION Data that's already been collected on atmospheric CO2
emissions can be extrapolated used to make predictions about how it will change in the future.
Modelling climate change is extremely difficult because there are many factors that affect it:
Other greenhouse gases e.g. methane, CFCs and nitrous oxides.
The degree of reflection from those parts of the Earths surface that are free of ice and snow.
The extent of cloud cover
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Changes in the suns radiation
Limitations of future climate change models include:
We don't know how CO2 emissions will change will we continue with `business as usual' or will we emit less?
Limited knowledge of how the climate system works.
The change in atmospheric CO2 concentration due to natural changes e.g. from volcanoes, isn't known.
We don't know what attempts there will be to manage atmospheric CO2 concentration, or how successful they'll be.
Failure to include all factors affecting climate.…read more