Global Warming: Skeptic or Believer

12/13/2012 9:16:52 AM

It's a topic that has been talked about for quite some time and many different people are a part of it. Climatologists study it and politicians argue it, but the meteorologists seem to be caught in the middle of the debate. We decided to ask them their thoughts on global warming.

The topic of global warming has been around for a long time but the real debate started in the 80s and then took on a life of its own.

"I do think that global warming is real and I do think man-made greenhouse gases contribute to that warming," said Dr. Christopher Landsea, National Hurricane Center Science and Operations Officer. "I don't know if it's a quarter or a half or two thirds but some of the warming at least is due to man-made causes."

It's the greenhouse gases that have been a major part of this topic.

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"Carbon dioxide, it's a greenhouse gas," said James Spann, Chief Meteorologist with WBMA-TV Birmingham. "I'm not denying that. But I think the impact is so small that it's basically insignificant for us to change the world economy."

Not every person is a skeptic on the topic. There are some meteorologists who believe CO2 is a major player in what is happening with the Earth.

"Personally, I'm convinced it's happening and man is having a contribution to it," said Brett Anderson, AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist and Climate Change blogger. "I'm not sure how much of a contribution to it and I'm not sure how much warming we are actually going to see with the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years. I still think there are a lot of questions with that."

Climate models are also a huge part in the global warming discussion. While some think there is nothing wrong with them, others feel relying on them is not the best idea.

"You know we as weather forecasters use computer models every day and we know the limitations and the weaknesses of them because we can see them every day," said Dr. Joe Sobel, AccuWeather.com Senior VP, Director of Forensics. "But how do you know what the weaknesses of a computer model that predicts something a 100 years into the future? You can't."

Lee Goldberg, Chief Meteorologist WABC in New York City said some things cannot be debated.

"The aspect of global warming that's striking to me is that with our data set I don't know what type of judgment you can make on the cause," said Goldberg. "What I do know is that you can't debate the change. So, you are foolish to do that."

While some of these meteorologists have said they are frustrated with how the whole idea has evolved and what it has become, they still aren't convinced it's too late to fix the problems.

"I mean I may be a skeptic, but I have no problem cutting CO2 emissions," said Bernie Rayno, AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist. "In fact I believe we should do that. Not because I believe that CO2 is causing that climatic shift but I think it's a prudent thing to do."

Keep in mind; these are not the opinions of the companies these meteorologists work for, but their own. Many people have their own thoughts on the matter, but whether you are a skeptic or a believer, the choice is ultimately yours.