Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cool site of the day

The Discovery of Global Warming

Via RealClimate, so here is their description

If you haven't already seen the American Institute of Physics website by Spencer Weart on the 'The Discovery of Global Warming', we heartily recommend it. It provides both a summary of science, and more importantly, a history of how an obscure speculation from over one hundred years ago has become the scientific consensus of today. It has recently been updated with many more references from 1873 to the present, and so is even more worth reading
The site could use a make-over (it has a rather plain look,) but there is a lot of great information to be found there.

Edit - One reason that this sort of site is valuable is that a problem with science education is that people are not taught how science arrives at its conclusions. They see science as a static body of facts, and when science changes on some issue, they take that to mean science isn't trustworthy. But in fact, the self-corrective nature of science is its virtue. Science is dynamic body of provisional conclusions, always to be revised in light of new evidence.

What this site does is show how our understanding of the science of global warming has progressed and evolved over the last century to arrive at the point it is at now. I suspect that if more people were made aware of the history of the science of climate change they would more readily accept the current consensus understanding that global warming is happening and is anthropogenic (human caused.)

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