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Harvard
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Literature & Language
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Science of Climate Change (Essay Sample)

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Notes from the lecturer on how to tackle this question

 

This section seems to be confusing lots of people so I will have a go at explaining it differently
Firstly, what is science? A brief definition such as the following
Science - The systematic study of humans and their environment based on the deductions and inferences which can be made, and the general laws which can be formulated, from reproducible observations and measurements of events and parameters within the universe. http://www.arc.gov.au/general/glossary.htm

Basically we need to make the point that science (or the scientific method) should collect evidence, report the evidence and the results be reproducible.

There have however been cases in climate science where this has not occurred, and the evidence has been manipulated and used selectively. An example of this is the Climate Gate incident with the University of East Anglia. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/20/climate-sceptics-hackers-leaked-emails

A brief definition of what is climate change, the greenhouse effect etc.
An important point to consider when answering this is that there may be a problem with the 'science' as not all views are included in its formulation. At present climate science is run by the IPCC (which is part of the UN, a political body not a scientific one) and therefore may be subject to political influence. Scientists also have their own politics, and it is often very difficult to get an idea that is different published.
Climate Change - a reference handbook (by Downie & Brash) pages 45-50, available in the e-book library, may be of some help.

The following sources may be useful in answering this section
International Climate Change Regime (Yamin & Depledge) page 464 onwards
http://www.une.eblib.com.au.ezproxy.une.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=253910

The Complete Guide to Climate Change (Dawson & Spannagle) page 224
http://www.une.eblib.com.au.ezproxy.une.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=370970

Climate Confusion (Spencer) page 125
http://www.une.eblib.com.au.ezproxy.une.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=478871

 

Here are some tips that will hopefully help with answering the first assignment.

What is the 'science of climate change'?
an important point to consider when answering this is that there may be a problem with the 'science' as not all views are included in its formulation. At present climate science is run by the IPCC (which is part of the UN, a political body not a scientific one) and therefore may be subject to political influence.
Climate Change - a reference handbook (by Downie & Brash) pages 45-50, available in the e-book library, may be of some help.

Sceptics criticisms
There are a number of criticisms made by skeptics in regards to An Inconvenient Truth. As the word limit for this assignment is 1500 words it is not possible to go into detail about every criticism. Therefore I would suggest that you briefly outline each criticism and go into detail about 2-3 of the points.

 

 

 

 

 

The following article may be of use;

 

Consensus science, or consensus politics?. COPYRIGHT 2001 Nature Publishing Group

Author(s): Mark Schrope [1] I have uploaded a copy for your convenience.

source..
Content:
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Science of Climate Change
Introduction
The paper critically looks into the science of climate change. On the same context, the paper discusses using specific examples the climate skeptics’ criticisms of the film Inconvenient Truth starring former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The massage of the movie is very clear; global warming is entirely caused by humans and the consequences are devastating.
Science has been defined as knowledge attained through practice or study covering general truths of the operation of general rules and laws that has been systematically collected, tested via scientific methods and the results can be reproduced. Observation as well as carrying out experiments to attempt to explain and describe natural phenomenon is an integral part of science.
Climate change refers to alteration from one climatic condition to another usually beyond the present conditions due natural or manmade effects. The phenomenon has been thought to be the greatest environmental challenges of our time with a higher probability of affecting human as well as other living organisms (Gleick, 2001). Climate change insinuate alteration as regards the average weather or that which revolves around distribution of events of weather around an average including greater/ fewer weather events that are extreme.
Greenhouse gas effect is a phenomenon in which gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides find their way into the atmosphere and block heat energy from getting back after hitting the earth surface hence raising surface temperatures.
It is worth mentioning that there are incidences that the proper features defining science were not considered or just neglected while dealing with this issue of climate change. Similarly, IPCC which is apart of UN is the body which is bestowed with the mandate to oversee things related to climate change composed of scientists cum politicians. For this reason, facts and figures have been manipulated due to scientist self interest or due to political influence. This now bring what is termed ‘science of climate change’ as there is a born of contention between skeptics and those that hold such notion as those of Al Gore concerning climate change.
The film Inconvenient Truth
The movie revolves around showing Al Gore giving a public lecture via slide shows about global warming. The film touched on various issues about global warming; causes of global warming, effects of it and covered issues such as losing of ice in Greenland, Himalayan glacier and Antactica, hurricane severity as well as other weather issues. He talks of his father’s tobacco business and the way it caused lung cancer to his sister, he later shut it down.
Basically, the work was a summary of research, science and projections. Causes of global warming according to the film are classified as natural or man-made and include high solar intensity that ke...
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