OP RanaAccept facts and give the world a breakBy OP Rana (China Daily)Updated: 2010-08-07 07:25Large Medium SmallLast week, a British Met Office report presented unmistakable evidences of global warming. The report was prepared by the British Met Office and its US equivalent, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It provides the “greatest evidence we have ever had” that the world is warming.The report came less than a month of the third and final review of the e-mails affair of the University of East Anglias climatic research unit and exonerated the scientists of any dishonesty or wrongdoing. The East Anglia e-mails were leaked just weeks before the Copenhagen climate change conference in December, which produced a disappointing result for the environment as a whole. The media (especially Western media) used the leaks to lash out at the East Anglia scientists for “furnishing false data” and their “high-handedness in presenting a stark picture” of climate change.The voice of those who saw the leaks as a deliberate attempt to undermine the Copenhagen conference was drowned in the ocean of criticisms leveled by climate skeptics and big industrial houses, which incidentally are big-time polluters too, at the climate scientists in East Anglia, as well as those associated with the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Among the weapons they used were the IPCCs “Himalayan blunder”, that is, its misplaced assessment that the Himalayan glaciers would melt in the next three or so decades.To all intents and purposes, the Copenhagen conference was a failure. The developed countries were freed of any binding emission cuts. It was, in effect, left to each country to decide how much greenhouse gas (GHG) emission it wanted to reduce over a given period. And the world went back to its polluting ways, warming the planet further – this time without any sense of guilt or accountability.The media are supposed to be societys watchdogs. In fact, the West treats them as watchdogs of all watchdogs when it comes to affairs that are closer to its heart – human rights and nuclear proliferation, for instance. And why not, for the newspapers and news channels in the developed world almost always come up with data favorable to their masters, that is, politicians and corporate giants.But even the watchdogs of all watchdogs have to have some semblance of objectivity. Had they had that, the Met Office report and the final review of the East Anglia e-mails affair would not have evoked just a weak-kneed response from them. They would have give as much, if not more, space and time to the two reports. Why?Lets see what the Met Office report says. It presents 10 indicators, from melting glaciers to rising sea level, of global warming. It gives the latest temperature readings from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean. Earlier, scientists relied mainly on land temperatures recorded at weather stations across the world to show the planet was warming. The Met Office, for the first time, clubs together different ways of measuring changes in the climate.The 10 indicators include measurements of sea level rise taken from ships, the temperature of the upper atmosphere taken from weather balloons and field surveys of melting glaciers. The report shows “unequivocally that the world is warming and has been for more than three decades”.Skeptics may still ask why the winter in Europe and northeast America was unusually cold this year. Taking the cold winter into consideration, the report says that despite that this year is set to be the hottest on record. The NOAA and NASA both have said the first six months of this year were the hottest on record, while the Met Office says it is the second hottest start to a year after 1998.”GHGs are the glaringly obvious explanation” for 0.56 C (1F) warming over the last 50 years, said Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the Met Office. “Despite the fact that people say global warming has stopped, the new data, added onto existing data, give us the greatest evidence we have ever had” that the world is still warming.But is this conclusive proof for the skeptics and the big industrial houses and the media they seem to have on their rolls? Perhaps not, for they have always known that global warming is a reality. Its only that they have kept (and will keep) denying it publicly so that they can make more money by exploiting the world further and warming the planet to doom.This author is a senior editor with China Daily. He can be reached at oprana@hotmail.com

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