US Policy Shift Turns Focus to Greenhouse Gases

The latest analysis, done at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., found that natural shifts in the output of the sun and other factors were responsible for the warming from 1900 to 1950, but could not explain the sharp and continuing rise since 1970.

Published: 26-Aug-2004

IN  a striking shift in the way the Bush administration has portrayed the science of climate change, a new report to Congress focuses on federal research indicating that emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are the only likely explanation for global warming over the last three decades.

In delivering the report to Congress yesterday, an administration official, Dr. James R Mahoney, said it reflected "the best possible scientific information" on climate change. Previously, President Bush and other officials had emphasized uncertainties in understanding the causes and consequences of warming as a reason for rejecting binding restrictions on heat-trapping gases.

The report is among those submitted regularly to Congress as a summary of recent and planned federal research on shifting global conditions of all sorts. It also says the accumulating emissions pose newly identified risks to farmers, citing studies showing that carbon dioxide promotes the growth of invasive weeds far more than it stimulates crops and that it reduces the nutritional value of some rangeland grasses.



blog comments powered by Disqus