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Free Market Project

3/16/2006 9:51:12 AM

Updated 03/15/06

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Global Warming Fact Sheet

     There is less consensus about climate change within the scientific community than typically reported. Some scientists believe that temperatures are warming and human action is the cause. Others will accept data that seems to indicate warming but attribute this apparent trend to solar phenomena or natural cycles. Still others challenge the tools and methods of data gathering that are the foundation for claims of warming. Indeed, even the basic measurement of todays temperature can vary widely when measured from the ground and from satellite. Historical temperatures are often drawn from the growth rate of trees and other foliage. Concerns about that data have led to serious questions about the landmark hockey stick graph (Michael Manns historical record of temperatures and the basis of many global warming claims). In response to criticism, Mann has refused to release the complete data sets used in his study. Although Russia recently agreed to the emissions-regulating Kyoto Protocol, the Russian Academy of Scientists questions the science behind the treaty.


  • Accu-Weather, the respected weather forecaster, is on record saying, Global air temperatures as measured by land-based weather stations show an increase of about 0.45 degrees Celsius over the past century. This may be no more than normal climatic variation...[and] several biases in the data may be responsible for some of this increase.
  • Over the last 18 years, satellite data shows that the climate has cooled slightly. Satellite data is preferable sinceunlike ground based thermometersit is not subject to the heat island effect around cities.
  • Climate change is not necessarily a result of greenhouse gas emissions. Gallup survey results show that only 17% of the members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Society thought 20th-century climate change was the result of an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Warming is not necessarily bad. Larger quantities of CO2 in the atmosphere and warmer climates would likely lead to an increase in vegetation. Vegetation thrived during historical warm periods. In fact, the Vikings once farmed in Greenland.

Relevant Studies


  • Pat Michaels, research professor and state climatologist, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia; senior fellow, Cato Institute. Author of Meltdown: the Predictable Distortions of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media. (published 9/27/2004) 804-924-0549,
  • Myron Ebell, director, Global Warming and International Environmental Policy, Competitive Enterprise Institute. 202-331-2256,
  • S. Fred Singer, president, Science and Environmental Policy Project. 703-920-2744,

Free Market Project Updated June 2005


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