Is it proven fact, or just conventional wisdom?
Ronald Bailey has a very balanced piece on global warming in Reason. Long on detail; short on hysteria.
With so many researchers in the climatological community apparently convinced of the reality of dangerously rapid man-made climate change, why do I continue to rely so much on the skeptical Christy? Christy is the climatologist who has put together the highly accurate atmospheric temperature data from satellites since 1978. And confidence in his data is bolstered by the fact that they correlate nicely with temperature data from radiosondes, which are a completely independent measure of temperature. Christy's data show that since 1978 the planet is warming up at a rate of 0.08 degrees Celsius per decade. The Arctic, according to Christy's data, is indeed warming faster than the rest of the planet, at a rate of 0.39 per decade. But the Antarctic is cooling by 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade.
For the nationalistic, Christy's satellite data find that the lower 48 states of the U.S. are warming at a rate of 0.07 degrees per decade. If temperatures continue to increase by 0.08 degrees Celsius per decade, the planet will warm by 0.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. That compares to an increase of 0.6 degrees Celsius during the 20th century. Not much of a crisis. Richard Lindzen says he's willing to take bets that global average temperatures in 20 years will in fact be lower than they are now.
If you want to start unraveling the scientific Rubik's Cube that the largely uninformed media has made out of global warming, this article is a good place to start.
Update: Once you've gotten started here's where you go for a real education on the politics of global warming.
Update: Welcome Philadelphia Inquirer readers!
You might also take a look at these other informative posts on "global warming."
Global... What Exactly?
What's Going on with the Arctic?
John McCain has an Opinion on Everything
Arctic States Agree to Vague Plan to Slow Thaw