The climate conversation

With early summer unusually hot in much of the US, speculation about climate change has risen along with the temperature. Quality of the conversation about global warming, however, seems never to rise. News reports imply that extraordinary warmth confirms the climate change nightmare—that human activity, especially the use of fossil energy, intensifies the greenhouse effect and portends overheating. The main culprit in this scenario is carbon dioxide, which absorbs radiated infrared energy that otherwise would escape into space, warming Earth's surface and lower atmosphere. Because the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is increasing, people are thought to be causing observed warming, and a...

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