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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

How Do We Know Global Warming Is Real?

By Phil Plait

If you read the comments of any global warming blog post I write—and I don’t recommend it, unless pain is something you enjoy—you see a lot of people have a very, very fundamental misunderstanding of how global warming and climate change work.

At this point, it’s clear that this must be ideologically driven; the scientific evidence is so overwhelming that there must be some other reason people still deny the reality of both. Still, seeing the sorts of comments deniers make shows that even the most basic concepts of how it all works are being misinterpreted. Willfully or otherwise.

So here’s some good news: On the blog Open Mind, Tamino has put together an astonishingly well-done, simple explanation of global warming. It starts with temperature measurements but goes into how they are done, how the seas are rising, how flooding has increased, how the poles are melting and glaciers retreating, and then how and why this is tied to human-produced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

It’s great, and you should read it.

Will Tamino’s piece slay the zombies of climate science denial? No, of course not. Like I said, facts are irrelevant to deniers unless they can be used as a blunt weapon on reality. But having the facts at your fingertips is always a good thing, and they’re laid out well there. I know I’ll be linking to this quite often in the future.

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