Posted by | October 18, 2011 11:44 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

OK, so he is a scientist, but he is a Texan.  The state climatologist for Texas, John Neilsen-Gammon,  presumably someone that Governor Perry would call for perspective on a climate related issue, gave a thoughtful interview on the subject of climate change to the Texas Tribune late last year on the subject of climate change.

The overall pattern … vaguely follows global pattern for temperature change, with warming in the early part of the century, then fairly flat in the middle and warming since then. It seems that a part of that is due to an increase in greenhouse gases. And the computer models — just atmospheric models — that are run with historical sea-surface temperatures give this same pattern, so basically you’ve got the sequence of events: the warming, the change in the radiative properties of the atmosphere affecting the ocean temperatures, which in turn affect things locally.

Now, there’s a lot of natural variability that goes on top of that, so it’s not really possible at this point to say what fraction is due to global warming, but based on what we know, it seems like a significant fraction of it is.

That’s exactly it, and a point that seems to elude many climate skeptics.  Just because the earth may be warming naturally doesn’t mean that man-made climate change is not also happening.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.