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Scientist figures out why global warming is falling short of predictions

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Global warming is happening, or at least it should be. According to climate researchers, there are plenty of greenhouse gasses in the air, and the planet is warming. The problem is, the planet isn't keeping pace with previous, alarming predictions. Why not? One scientist now thinks he's found the answer.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It isn't that somebody forgot to carry the 1. The answer it seems, lies in aerosols released by plants. According to researcher, Pauli Paasonen, from the Helsinki University, the models are off because they do not properly take into account the impact of plant-released aerosols.

Aerosols are particles that hang in the air. They typically have a cooling effect because they contribute to the formation of clouds. Particles aggregate water molecules, which forms crystals of ice in the upper atmosphere. These crystals form clouds, which in turn reflect solar radiation back into space.

If this is happening on a global scale, it could moderate the impact of global warming.

Climate change skeptics argue that the models which predict global warming are too simplistic and inaccurate to be trusted. Now, as measurements fall short of expectations, they claim there is no justification for making major economic shifts of the kind that have been proposed to offset warming influences.

However, the increased measure of aerosols is itself a sign of global warming. In fact, without warmer temperatures, there'd be less aerosols. So the planet is indeed warming, but it apparently has a way of slowing that warming down. Note that slowing isn't the same as stopping.

Slow warming is still warming and we're seeing indisputable proofs of that, such as reduced volumes of polar ice. For some people it is a bad thing, as sea levels rise and environments are altered. However for many Americas, the impact of global warming is powerfully mitigated by natural luck, modern technology, and the fact that Americans enjoy such a high standard of living that significant changes to offset global warming would be more disruptive than the warming itself. For this reason, it remains a powerfully divisive political issue in the United States.

It must be conceded that global temperatures are not keeping pace with predictions. So is the sky falling or not? After a lot of research and debate on the subject, one can at best conclude "probably" however questions of causation, severity, and how best to respond still need to be resolved.

Even if the warming trend is natural rather than man-made, it is still happening and it is changing environments. It requires a response that demonstrates proper respect for creation and care for all of our brothers and sisters around the globe.

Regardless of opinion, a proper discussion of how we should confront this issue is always timely.

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