Monday, July 12, 2010

How to show that Arctic warming is affected by atmospheric CO2?

It is often asked by those who are sceptical of the warming influence of CO2 for evidence that the recent rapid melting of the Arctic is being caused by human created greenhouse gases. The above graph is something that everyone interested in this issue should pay attention to. What is shows is that there is a statistically significant correlation between the natural logarithm of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and the temperature of the Arctic as measured by UAH. And the temperature of the Arctic certainly has an impact on Arctic ice. The data is taken from these two sites:

While this graph is not proof of a link, it is indeed evidence - all that science can provide. It should be noted that what the slope of the graph shows is that the climate sensitivity of the Artic region is seven degrees. In other words, for every doubling of CO2, the temperature of the Arctic as measured by satellite is projected to increase by seven degrees celsius. The speed of Arctic warming is thus between two and three times that of the earth as a whole - the range that was projected by the IPCC ...)

(The calculation of this is done as follows: take the slope, which is approximately 10, and multiply it by .7 - the natural logarithm of two, a doubling. This gives you the projected increase in temperature per doubling.)

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