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The overwhelming majority of Earth Science faculty of major universities around the world share the views of the world’s national academies of science. Skeptics’ views are dangerous, because they have delayed and continue to delay the development of a political consensus to deal with climate change.
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Famous Skeptic of Climate Change Recants Dr. Richard Muller, a prominent physicist and skeptic of climate change, spent two years trying to find out if main stream scientists were wrong about climate change. From foundations connected to climate change deniers, including $600,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation, he raised $2.4 million to do the research. He strongly argued that his study was done without bias . After two years of study ending in 2011, he determined that climate change scientists are right. Climate change is occurring and is caused by human activity. And global temperatures are rising rapidly . For example the data he independently generated showed that atmospheric temperatures over the land areas of the Earth are 1.6 0 F warmer as of 2011, than in the 1950s. His data matched the data collected by NASA and NOAH, two prominent US Government agencies.
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Detecting Climate Change 1) Direct Evidence High technology and precision instrumentation. These tools are recent innovations and have been providing data for only a couple of centuries at best. 2) Indirect Evidence from Proxy Sources No direct evidence in the past prior to instrumentation. Scientists decipher and reconstruct past climates by using the following proxy indicators . These proxy indicators respond to and reflect changing atmospheric conditions.
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Proxy Indicators a) sea floor sediments b) land sediments c) ice core data d) tree-ring density e) coral reefs f) ancient pollen g) historical, non-meteorological records 1) vineyard records (crop records) 2) information about weather events in novels 3) information about weather events in nonfiction books h) studies of other planets
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a) Evidence from Sea Floor Sediments Seafloor sediments are useful recorders of worldwide climate change, because they contain remains of living organisms . Near surface sea organisms die and their shells slowly settle to the floor of the oceans, where they become part of the sedimentary record. The numbers and types of organisms living near the sea surface change with the climate . The average annual temperature of the surface water of the ocean approximates that of the contiguous atmosphere. Changes in the climate over the sea surface are reflected in changes in organisms living near the surface of the deep sea .
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Pelagic foraminifers that inhabit the sea surface are animals sensitive to variations in water temperatures. Thus the connections between ocean sediments and climate change is obvious.
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