Well well, I was wondering when this would rear its ugly head again! (I thought about asking if anyone saved the 'Scientists Believe in Global Warming' topic form the old forum, wish I had remembered to).
I'll explain again below, in the best way I can, why I believe that climate change is real, and why even though it may seem sometimes that nothing is happening, I certainly don't see that as a reason to be complacent that nothing ever will.
But, first, I'll tell you a little about myself if you don't mind! (Feel free to skip to the science if you're not interested in where my opinion comes from)
Well, I started my Master's degree in geology, oohh, 5 years ago. In the first year at the good ol' U o Bristol the first year of Geology is the same as something called Environmental Geoscience, and, finding that much more exciting and genuine, I decided to switch. I wanted to save the world. CLimate change (at every stage of the Earth, not just now) is a pretty essential part of the course, and the evidence mounted to me. (In this case you can find my opinion either researched and informed or brainwashed, depending on your view of the university education system in the UK
However, I soon became extremely bogged down by the media. I found that the pursuit of truth was so diluted by the media, and everything was hype. I realised that the general public was sick of all this trash (which pretty much half of it is) rammed down their throats that it was going to be pretty much impossible for me to save the world.
So I gave up largely on my dreams of saving the world from climate change, because all people wanted to do was argue with me, no-one wanted to listen any more. Now I study volcanoes (although I like to see what effect they have on the climate too).
Now! Away form my sad story and on the the science.
I believe climate change is man made because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Sounds simple? Let me give an example from the ancient past of how carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere is known to heat the planet, so much so it bought us out of the deepest ice age. This covered pretty much the entire globe, leading to it being termed 'snowball Earth'. How the hell do we get out of that? During an ice age of this scale, the normal cycles of the Earth stop, including weathering of silicate minerals form rocks. This is important because this is the only long term removal of CO2 form the atmosphere is from silicate weathering. During this time volcanoes were still spitting CO2 into the atmosphere, and since there was nothing taking it out anymore, it built up, and eventually warmed the planet enough to begin the runaway removal of the ice. For more details see here: http://www.snowballearth.org/end.htm
Right, so this CO2 is a greenhouse gas. What about humans? Well, we know we're putting CO2 into the atmosphere. We don't need fancy research to tell us that. It comes out of cars, chimneys, deforestation, you name it, we know we're producing it. And we have records of how much it's rising, the most famous is this:
To round up my view on the whole thing, it's this: CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We know we're producing a lot of it, and it's increasing. For me, to assume that this will do nothing is extremely naive. Just because not all of the things we are expecting haven't happened yet, doesn't mean they won't.
The science of predicting the exact results is a LOT more tricky than the science of knowing that something will happen. I admit the models and such are bad at predicting the future temps etc now, but the science is evolving, and I don't think these are any reason to disregard that climate change is a real consequence of our actions.