Liberals tend to believe that global warming is man-made.
Some on the right believe that global warming is from natural causes.
Is it possible that both man-made and natural factors are causing global warming, making for a "double whammy"? If so, might that help explain why global warming is progressing faster than the models predicted?
This essay explores that possibility.
It is obvious that there are many signs that the Earth is getting substantially warmer. As just two of many examples, polar sea ice has failed to re-form for the second year in a row. And carbon dioxide levels are soaring (carbon dioxide raises the Earth's temperature since it is a "greenhouse gas" -- that is, it traps heat in the planet's atmosphere in the same way that greenhouses trap sunlight and keep the plants warm).
And if global warming heats up the oceans enough, then the "great conveyor belt" of warm ocean water can shut down. Here's a drawing of the great temperature conveyor belt.
If that happens, then the climate can abruptly change, and a new ice age could begin.
Sound far-fetched? The Pentagon doesn't think so.
In fact, there is evidence that the great conveyor belt is already starting to fail. See also this article; and this one; and this one.
It is possible that we are still coming out of the last "little ice age", and much of the warming we are experiencing is part of a normal cycle.
Another study shows that solar activity variations have a "marked influence" on the Earth's climate.
And a third demonstrates that a dramatic thinning of the Earth's protective ozone layer above the Arctic last year was the result of intense upper-level winds and an extra dose of "space weather".
Scientists have also found that cosmic rays linked to global warming are increasing. The sun is simply getting hotter. Indeed, solar output has been increasing steadily ever since scientists have been able to measure it.