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article imageClimate Change - Who's Fault? Or No-Fault?

By Gar Swaffar     Mar 17, 2009 in Environment
Climate change or climate shift? Climate change caused by humans is considered by some to be a proven fact, others are simply not convinced.
The idea of a global climate change event which is caused by human activity and most specifically by the use of fossil fuels is considered by some people as a concept which cannot be denied.
Others who study the current changes in weather patterns and mean temperatures are far from convinced and posit other causes or sometimes admit they don't know the "why" but can chart the changes.
Dr. Anastasios Tsonis from the University of Milwaukee is one of the latter. Dr Tsonis is willing to say that there is a climate shift occurring, but admits he can't fully explain why it happens.
Dr Tsonis and the rest of the team of scientists at the University are using a math application called synchronized chaos.
The synchronized chaos was applied to data from the past 100 years and found it works well in describing the actual events which now seem to be occurring.
"Imagine that you have four synchronized swimmers and they are not holding hands and they do their program and everything is fine; now, if they begin to hold hands and hold hands tightly, most likely a slight error will destroy the synchronization. Well, we applied the same analogy to climate," researcher Dr. Anastasios Tsonis said.
The University team suggest the act of synchronization is capable of creating the resulting climate shift.
They also note the last climate shift probably occurred in 2000.
That would be the end of the warming trend which had been happening for the thirty years prior, and ushered in a cooling trend.
The synchronized chaos math application also appears to account for the global temperature trends over that 100 year period.
Eventually, the systems begin to couple and the synchronous state is destroyed, leading to a climate shift.
"In climate, when this happens, the climate state changes. You go from a cooling regime to a warming regime or a warming regime to a cooling regime. This way we were able to explain all the fluctuations in the global temperature trend in the past century," Tsonis said. "The research team has found the warming trend of the past 30 years has stopped and in fact global temperatures have leveled off since 2001."
The ability for a scientist of any field of research to state plainly and clearly that they don't have all the answers is a change which is rare.
Now the question is how has warming slowed and how much influence does human activity have?
"But if we don't understand what is natural, I don't think we can say much about what the humans are doing. So our interest is to understand -- first the natural variability of climate -- and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural," Tsonis said.
Lets say that again - natural variability of climate.
It would be difficult to show the net affect of humans on the planet was a zero sum function in relation to localized climate changes. Creating lakes, where none existed, over grazing causing at lest in part the desertification of some areas. But the evidence for global shifts in climate due entirely to human fossil fuel use has not been proved yet, only hyped.
The weather changes, just as it has for the past few million years prior to Cadillac Escalades and coal powered electric plants.
More about Climate change, Univ milwaukee, Climate shift