How Can We Stop Global Warming?


Strange Facts and Questions about Global Warming ACADEMIA and the CLIMATE EMERGENCY ITS THE LIFESTYLE, NOT THE SCIENCE Sceptics and Deniers Contact the Author, Michael Tuckson References and Acknowledgements Short CV For Beginners and the Bewildered COPENHAGEN and  AFTER BLOG WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW My Sitemap

An Independent, Global and Flexible Approach: This site has no national, political or scientific sub-theory bias. It is regularly Updated and Improved.


Basic Global Warming Information


Dr. Michael Tuckson


The graphs and maps below show

1. Global temperatures continue to rise even though they oscillate yearly and the rise slowed a little over the last decade. The rise has also plateaued on some previous occasions, but risen afterwards.

2. Solar radiation cannot explain the temperature rises in the last three decades.

3. Cosmic rays cannot explain recent temperature rises.

4. Global warming is mainly rural, thus not due to urban heat islands.

5. We must consider short-term and long-term gases and dusts.


Global warming and climate change is also shown by a range of phenomena, hardly needing sophisticated statistics, models or abstruse observations and tests, that anyone can observe if they wish to.

  1. Glaciers are retreating, 
  2. The Arctic ice is retreating and thinning 
  3. Spring is arriving earlier 
  4. Natural animal and plant distributions are moving pole ward
  5. Fires are becoming more common in every continent with forests remaining   
  6. The pine beetle is destroying forests across North America. 
  7. Drought and floods are savaging Australia 
  8. Droughts are becoming more common in Africa and Asia 
  9. Heat waves have killed thousands in India and Europe 

A consequence of rising carbon dioxide concentrations, quite apart from warming, is acidification of the oceans that is destroying marine shelled animals and thus many ecosystems.


Below I show several graphs and maps that answer the main concerns of the real sceptics. Real sceptics are open minded and amenable to well presented information and ideas. Deniers are people who never change their mind and only pretend to be interested in science. Everyone should understand the information so as to be able to participate in discussions with sceptics or deniers.

Recent Global Temperature Changes

This first graph shows the yearly global temperatures changes (based on US NASA records). Notice that although the annual temperatures oscillate ( due mainly to oceanic oscillations) the overall trend continues upward.  The actual 2009 figure is a bit higher than the estimate, being equal to the second highest on record.

Global Warming Trend

                                                        (Graph from the Copenhagen Diagnosis, 2009)


The graph below from NASA's GISS has the exact date for 2009 showing it to be equal to four others in the last 11 years 

Global Land - Ocean Temperture Index

A Decade Plateau?

Although the last ten years has not warmed dramatically (the NASA data shows a faster warming than the UK data as the UK data does not include some data from the Arctic that NASA has access to) according to both data sets it has not cooled over the last decade, and the decade as a whole was the hottest for about 120,000 years. The climate in the most vulnerable regions has not improved to the pre-industrial state or even the 1940s climate. The very high temperature in 1998 that was due to the El Nino was more than replicated in 2005 without the El Nino. Although 2008 was a relatively cool year and led to cries of a cooling Earth, 2009 was equal to the second hottest year for thousands of years.

Note that when the deniers were crying cooling they did not doubt the accuracy of the data, although from some private emails they now claim to have found inaccuracy. The slight decrease in the average rate of rise of atmospheric and shallow ocean warming may have been due to the levelling off in the rate of rise of methane concentrations (see below) and the decline in water vapour (Solomon, 2010). Another researcher suggests the relative plateau is due to aerosol and cloud effects. This science is difficult enough without bank rolled and ideological deniers distorting it.

Note other small temperature "plateaus" in the mid 1980s and early 1990s that deniers don't comment on, as significant rises have taken place since.

Changing Methane Concentration

Ocean Heat Uptake

But what is most revealing is Murphy's 2009 study based on Domingues et al data showing that the heat content of the oceans down to 3000 metres depth continued to rise rapidly in the early naughties, well above the El Nino high of 1998. But other data since this diagram was drawn up show a relative plateauing.

But as you can note in this diagram plateauing or falls have happened several times before. We could call these the undenied plateaus (and falls) as no one draws attention to them. Note particularly the plateau of 1981-1985 that would have agitated the deniers no end if they had been around then.

Earth's Total Heat Content Anomaly

(This diagram is taken from the excellent Skeptical Science website)

Whatever the exact balance of causes of the atmospheric changes in recent decades, rising global temperature in the 1990s and 2000s have raised the rate of ice sheet melting by 10 times and increased the rate of sea level rise from 2 mm to 3 mm per year.

If you feel confused, try....For Beginners and the Bewildered

Further warming from human made GHGs and surface earth system feedback will mean much more serious heat waves, droughts, forest fires, dust storms, wet storms, floods, human, crop and animal diseases, the loss of tens of thousands of species and whole ecosystems, acidification of the oceans, and sea intrusion through sea level rise, typhoons and storm surges. This could be catastrophic for our children and grandchildren not to mention further generations. It could mean that global warming could go beyond human influence and rise six or more degrees creating a state in which few humans would survive (Mark Lynas, 2008). We must start to take more serious action to avoid this fate.

Even if the last four decades of warming were largely natural, which it isn't, we must do all we can to stop it, and reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by absorption as, at least, it is going to destroy ocean ecosystems. 

Is Global Warming Human?

Climate scientific theory claims that global warming in the last four decades is very largely due to human created greenhouse gases together with certain dusts, as well as natural feedbacks (see separate page: Surface Earth system feedbacks) Other dusts or aerosols are having a cooling effect. Since the evidence for significant warming became stronger, many deniers have claimed that it is due to natural causes, either increased solar radiation or increased cosmic ray penetration. They have also claimed that it is due to a human cause quite different from atmospheric gases and dusts, that of urban heat. It is interesting that I have never seen a deniers comparison of these three causes, nor a proportioning of their influence. While deniers are are united in their opposition to climate theory, they have nothing like an alternative consensus theory themselves. In the history of science, major scientific theories have only been overthrown by a better theory, not simply by rancourous oppostion.

The Effect of Solar Radiation on Global Warming

The graph below compares the solar radiation (red line) and the average global temperatures (blue line) (graph smoothed). From 1930 to 1945 an increase in solar radiation contributed markedly to global warming, but since 1980 the temperature has risen steeply but solar radiation has fallen. (after Andrew Glikson). The solar sunspot cycle is superimposed on other longer term changes that are not easily predictable. Even if we are extremely fortunate and the sun cools dramatically over the next decade or two, we will still be faced with rising acidity in the ocean and all the other over-exploitation of resources. When the cycle turns, as it must sooner or later, the heating will be catastrophic if we have not controlled green house gas and warming dusts in the meantime. 

Solar Radiation

As solar and other influences are changing slightly or falling, this warming trend since 1970 can only be due to greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other pollution, and now increasing surface earth system feedback. 


Do Cosmic Rays Cause Global Warming?


It has been shown recently that periodic changes in the amount of cosmic rays reaching Earth show no correlation with cloud cover. One of many examples from this research is shown below. Previously, it had been postulated that cosmic rays contributed to the formation of clouds that then contributed to, or even solely caused, global warming.  


  Cosmic rays and cloudiness

Urban Heat Island Effect 


In examining the common sceptic/denier claim that global warming is due to the urban heat island effect, Coby Beck on Grist has been inspired to compared a picture of the Earth's lights at night from Astronomy Picture of the Day with NASA GISS's 2005 Surface Temperature Anomaly (see below).


World Lights at Night


2005 World Surface Temperature Anomaly


As Beck says, if global warming theory is an error, as it is due to high temperature anomaly readings in urban areas, why is it that many of the major temperature anomalies identified by NASA on a world scale are largely in highly rural rather than urban areas, and vice versa. Particularly note the Arctic, south Central Africa and India.


The Range of Influences on Global Warming


Climate scientists call the range of influences on the earths energy balance that have changed since about 1750, radiative forcing. Note that in the diagram below the influences are summed for about 255 years, whereas the main debate with deniers is about the last four decades since 1970.


The energy (or power) unit is watts per square metre of the Earths surface (energy is power generated over a time period). These are not total influences but the change over roughly 255 years, instantaneously measured. The diagram below (Wikipedia after IPCC) summarizes the two types of influences, the red and yellow ones (positive) that tend to cause the Earth to warm and the blue ones (negative) that tend to cause it to cool, and the net or summary in dark red on the right. The main coloured bars indicate IPCC's best estimate for the values, while the line bars indicate the degree of uncertainty. Note that the change in natural influence from the Sun (solar irradiance) over this period is very small.


Estimates continue to change a little as new research results are published. However, some of the amounts shown here from IPCC are different from those in independent papers. Notably some scientists believe black carbon soot has a major positive radiative effect (warming) of about 0.5 W/m2 (see below) and others note the small influence of volcanoes separately.


Radiative Forcing


Short-term Greenhouse Gases, Aerosols and Dusts 


Some scientists are proposing that we need to re-evaluate the contributions of the various greenhouse gases and other pollutants, comparing short-term and long-term substances and the causes of their emissions. Some independent scientists (notably Molina et al, 2009) are saying that more emphasis should be put on methane, black soot, ground level (tropospheric) ozone and CFCs, the latter using the Montreal Protocol. If estimates are made of influences over the short-term such as 20 years or even 10 years these short-term influences are relatively more important. They are not saying that carbon dioxide should be downgraded in our sights, but that these other substances should be markedly upgraded.


Black carbon haze over South Asia

Grey haze over the Ganges Plain and Bay of Bengal, February 2006. Due to black carbon and other soot resulting from incomplete combustion in biomass burning mainly for cooking, heating and field clearing, and fossil fuel burning. This is thought to be contributing to reduction in monsoon rainfall and snowfall, and retreat of Himalayan glaciers. Most black carbon over the Himalayas and Tibet is thought to now come from the Ganges region. Image from NASA. Information from John Bachman (2009) and Xu et al. (2009). More efficient cooking stoves, alternative farming, increased engine efficiency and discharge filters are needed.


Climate Sensitivity  


Climate sensitivity is a difficult term, not because it is complex, although it does have two meanings, but because it does not obviously reflect our everyday meaning of the word. But if you start by defining human sensitivity as the change in feeling resulting from an outside impact, you will understand more easily. In most climatology sensitivity means the temperature change (usually rise) due to a doubling (or halving) of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. James Hansen’s various teams have estimated it several times at about 3 degrees per CO2 x 2. The calculations are based on models of the atmosphere over the last few decades, and palaeo-climatology, especially in the last few ice ages going back about 400 thousand years. One of Hansen’s teams proposed another related meaning, that of the temperature change per unit of forcing or radiative influence. This yields a value of about 0.75 degrees Celsius per Watts per square metre (W/m2) of the Earth's surface.


Thus sensitivity gives us an estimate of temperature rise for increased carbon dioxide emissions or combined forcing, very important relationships for the future of the Earth. Others have estimated different sensitivities which explains the great range of scenarios in IPCC reports.


A Proposal


If we are to avoid polluter climate change and sea intrusion, the world’s fossil fuel exploitation and greenhouse gas and dust strategies must be upgraded to reflect the very latest science, not only that of the IPCC in 2007. It must also note the reality that appropriate technological change without a radical strategy change may not be fast enough to stop serious deterioration. Behavioural change, such as consuming less animal products, using less air conditioning, bicycle riding when it is dry, cutting less forest and job-time sharing to cope with the inevitable slowdown in total work opportunities, is needed while we promote the new technology. Birth control must parallel technological change. Many, especially in the 'modern' sectors of the world, in all countries, would benefit from advanced multi-media presentations on climate science and strategies for change, and face-to-face discussion, but if this is not possible in the short-term, some hope lies in a people's web strategy. Citizens as well as government must cooperate internationally on these matters to have a hope of success. Particular attention should be paid to the thinking of influential and powerful deniers in corporations and government. Both are acting against their descendants' interests. 

What You Can Do

If we are to survive this global warming crisis many readers of this website must help in their own way, by regular emailing or writing to politicians, forming a hierarchical strategy group or other methods (see below and other pages of the site) . We must also persuade many others to help. If millions do not contribute, especially in the USA, I fear we may be lost. If you do nothing and the artic ice disappears or the ice shelves collapse, don’t look your children in the face.  Note that just individudal emission reduction is not enough. You must directly or indirectly challenge the influential or powerful deniers that usually falsely call themselves sceptics, and must be distinguished from real sceptics. If you don't know of any deniers in your country write to regional newspapers in the USA where thousands of deniers will see your letter. You must also work with the masses who know a little, try a little, but don't really know what to do that is important, and hardly realize how important it is.

If you feel lost as to what to do then study the options covered here. Start with the broad outlines in the sub-page..... WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW.

Return to home page for more general discussion of ideas ...

New Strategies to Stop Global Warming

Alternatively continue with the other climate science pages such as:

Climate Science

Thermal Inertia of the Oceans

Surface earth system feedbacks 

Emissions, Concentration and Temperature



  Copyright © 2009 Michael Tuckson.  All Rights Reserved 

 Print this page  |   Bookmark this page


Language Links Above




Các chiến lược mới để làm giảm nhẹ sự thay đổi khí hậu      

Semi-Random Slogans

Invite a denier to lunch

Eat less meat every day

Form a small climate group

Inertia will kill us, twice

Holiday on bicycles

Learn how to plant and nurture trees

Drain your rice fields sometimes 

Auction caps 

Grow and store carbon 

Write to a newspaper in a denier region 

Help the employees, not the fossil fuel owners

Read a book, not a newspaper, on the bus

350 not 450

Study tropical forest protection

Why are most deniers men?

Carbon tax before cap and trade

Look for a home closer to work

Write a new page for this website

Oppose lobbying

Put a new slogan on your bicycle or bag every day 

Study the latest climate science first

No air-conditioning before lunchtime

Drink just a little cow milk

Study Earth's thermal inertia

Learn how to teach

Send parts of this website to a politician

Grow and store carbon in houses 

Organize exchanges with Asian universities 

Grow crops not livestock

Rationing is equitable

Study thermal inertia in buildings

Practice dialogue, not argument

Behaviour before technology

Make a bicycle path plan

Don't use concrete

Drive a much smaller car

Study the denier claims

1.5 not 2.0

Don't use trees for offsets

Work with a bilingual person 

Eat even less meat every day

Support better democracy

Do deniers care for their grandchildren? 

Paint your roof white

Oppose advertising by polluting companies

Consume less, save money

Form an international group 

Help a politician to learn

Making cement emits CO2.

Education must be global 

Grow and store carbon in the soil

Fans, not air-conditioning

Lobbying is bribery

Study growing algae

Improve the school curricula

You can't read driving a car

Find dated photos of glaciers

Study which companies bribe political parties 

How do you entice a denier to want to learn?

Share your job with an oil driller

Plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere

Have you tried Tahini dip?

What do deniers understand?

Dress less formally in the heat

Design a more tempting commuter bus

Get to know a denier's children

Pay tax to fund retraining

Less clothing, not fans

Eat kangaroo meat 


Improve the university curricula

One is enough

Interview a climate scientist on video

Insulate your home

Open a wind turbine factory in a coal town

Study Earth feedback processes

300 not 350

Wheat is safer than rice

Take men's fashions up, and women's down

Use a condom in emergencies

Share some job-time

Protest forest destruction

Wear a cotton coat

Study tree plantations

Eat just a little cheese

Get to know a denier's grandchildren

Why do the rich want to grow?

Put on an extra jumper when its cold outside

Offer a new job to a coal miner

Adopt two

Join an NGO today

Political bribes, not donations

None is enough

Holiday close to home

Invest in a diverse plantation

Wear less in the heat

Talk to migrants about emailing home

Make compost

Promote eco-tourism for locals

Read more of this website

Ask a politician have they read James Hansen

Eat less cream

Jumpers are cheaper than gas

Arrange a climate debate

Build a thick-walled house

Study how to turn moderate deniers

Study fast growing trees

Hand out appropriate leaflets at railway stations

Study your local energy organization

Learn about the delights of veganism

Study Chinese

Practice walking

Shirts are enough in hot weather

Support rapid research on how to turn deniers

Try an IUD

Asians make blankets from cotton and kapok

Get to know your neighbours

Recycle jumpers and coats

Holiday by mass land transport

Drink red wine, not milk

Support rapid research on capturing CO2 from the air.

Hand out leaflets at bus stops

Men's legs are beautiful too

Talk to local government about recycling biological waste

Keep a stock of morning after pills


Adopt another one

When will the USA go metric?

Write and publish leaflets

Holiday on a sailing ship

Start a course on climate change and solutions

Exercise periodically when its cold

Farmers now support the Green party

Give a talk at the local school

Chocolate's great with soya cream

Climate crisis not climate change

Share a car with your neighbours

Study tipping points and irreversibility

Email government ministers

Form a climate group with your neighbours or friends

Read Climate Cover-Up

Study palaeo-climatology

Soon meat becomes less tempting

Improve your foreign language skills

Adopt a baby girl 

Write an article for your local newspaper

Read Storms of My Grandchildren (after reading some climate science such as on this website)

Take plastic packaging off at the shop

Climate emergency not climate crisis

Ask you government to make a good video on the climate emergency

Move your company to where your workers live

Invite your favourite denier to a vegan lunch

Ask the supermarket to turn off half the lights

Study carbon taxes in more than one nation

Join yours with other climate groups

Shop at dimly lit shops

Email people you know abroad

Ask a climatologist to explain the various! meanings of CO2e

Plant and nurture trees in your garden till its full

Learn about biochar

Study the bus routes in your town or city

Support James Hansen for the Nobel Prize for physics, peace or whatever.

Protest new oil exploration

Install a solar thermal hot water heater

Shop for food where the fridges have lids or doors

Plant 10 trees a month in neighbours' gardens and in parks

Ask your adult children what they think

Write a better letter to the newspapers

Organize a demonstration outside coal company offices.

Where are the Nobel prizes for Earth and social sciences?

Form a climate group at work

Give a talk at a school in a coal town

No children is best

Buy a glass of wine for a denier

Start an NGO

Support honest and intelligent politicians

Study short-term GHGs

Join a good political party

Give a talk at a school at an oil town

Study hire-purchase for solar panels

Stake out a coal energy factory

Don't export coal or oil

Work in a vulnerable area

Invest in geothermal

Live with a farmer family in the holidays and help them plant trees

Build a sailing ship

Give talks at the local town.

Hand out leaflets at another station

Video a debate

Move to a swinging seat in time for close elections



















 Michael Tuckson

The website author and publisher, December 2009.


Easy Summary


We must try to understand up-to-date climate science coming out over the last few years that warns of possible disaster. Ice shelves and sheets are melting much faster than before. Global temperatures are rising, with oscillations due to ocean oscillations. Natural causes are minor compared with pollution. This understanding must be spread by advanced adult education, especially among the powerful. As many readers as possible must spread understanding.


Denier leaders are funded by the fossil fuel, tobacco and similar corporations and/or are ideologues. Their arguments are always against, not considering pro and con, as with real science. They rarely call for better understanding, just attempt to confuse. None are climate scientists. Their motivation is salary and weak government, not salary and discovery. Either they do not care about their descendants or they do not understand the probable future.


We must put more emphasis on the short-term greenhouse influences such as methane. Carbon dixide must be captured from the atmosphere. Also we must lead with behaviour change before appropriate technology spreads. Birth control is important in some regions. Job-time sharing and retraining can reduce any unemployment resulting from mitigation measures. Mitigation must be coordinated globally by government and citizens in modern sectors. City pairing could be useful.