Press release by Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Jeff Zweerink
Renowned astronomer and physicist Dr. Hugh Ross and astronomer Dr. Jeff Zweerink are available for comment about the science behind global warming.
To: National Desk
Contact: Reasons To Believe, 731 East Arrow Highway, Glendora, CA. 91740 (626) 335-1480
NEWS ADVISORY, December 18, 2006, Standard Newswire Service -- Global warming is real. But its causes -- and therefore its solutions -- are more complex than most people seem to realize.
So says astronomer Hugh Ross, founder and president of the premiere science-faith think tank Reasons To Believe (www.reasons.org). "We tend to think Earth's climate will always be optimal for human civilization if we just take better care of it. But nothing could be further from the truth," states Ross. "When we put emotion and politics aside and take a rational look at our planet's history, we actually see something quite different."
Ross explains, "Ice and sediment cores show that over the past four million years, the global climate has oscillated many times. The changes are caused by variations in Earth's orbit. Each cycle lasts about 100,000 years with an ice age typically taking up 90,000 of those years, and a global warming effect, the other 10,000 years."
"Many natural phenomena significantly affect the global climate. Atmospheric conditions are impacted by tectonic activity, erosion, and changes in Earth's biomass, for example," adds UCLA astronomer Jeff Zweerink, Ph.D.
"While politicians and activists focus on the effects of fossil fuel burning," says Dr. Zweerink, "the breeding and domestication of cows and cultivation of rice, for example, actually does more harm than driving too many SUV's." Zweerink is a new addition to the team of scientists at Reasons To Believe.
According to the Journal of Quaternary Science, over the last 8,000 years cattle farming and rice crop cultivation alone have nearly doubled the quantity of methane in the atmosphere. At the same time, deforestation has increased the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. Both methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases that trap the sun's heat.
"Contrary to the claims of a few high profile politicians, celebrities, and environmentalists, some of our human activities in fact create a cooling effect," continues Ross.
"The release of aerosols and particulates actually blocks out sunlight and generates light-reflecting cloud layers, especially over densely populated and highly industrialized regions where pollution is loosely, if at all regulated.
"The bottom line here is that there are dozens of physical, chemical, and biological processes that contribute to both heating and cooling the planet," states Ross. "When any one of these factors gets out of balance with the others, Earth is at risk of losing its optimal climate for human civilization.
"This delicate balancing act of multiple and diverse natural processes and human activities gives us reason to be cautious," continues Ross. "But to suggest that we can stop global warming by simply cutting back on fossil fuel combustion and altering our industrial processes is naïve at best. If we ignore one or more of certain mechanisms that contribute to either global warming or cooling, our attempted solutions could actually make matters worse," Ross notes.
"Scientifically speaking this intricate balance, designed specifically for humanity's benefit, is no accident. The amazing fine tuning observed in all these complex processes gives us a clear picture of a Creator who exquisitely prepared a place for humans to live in and to launch -- at least for awhile -- a global high-tech civilization."
Hugh Ross, Ph.D. After studying physics at the University of British Columbia and astronomy at the University of Toronto, Hugh Ross continued his research on quasars and galaxies as a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. While at Caltech he began serving as minister of evangelism for Sierra Madre Congregational Church.
Since 1986 he has led Reasons To Believe, an institute founded to research and proclaim new reasons -- from the frontiers of science -- for trust in God's Word and faith in Jesus Christ. Over the years Dr. Ross has given hundreds of apologetics lectures, seminars, and courses in universities, churches, business firms and other venues across the U.S. and around the world. He is a popular interview guest on a wide variety of nationally/internationally syndicated radio and television programs.
His books include The Fingerprint of God, The Creator and the Cosmos, Beyond the Cosmos, The Genesis Question, A Matter of Days, and as co-author, Origins of Life, Who Was Adam, The Genesis Debate, Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men. His latest book Creation As Science: A Testable Model Approach to End the Creation/Evolution Wars was released in September.
Jeff Zweerink, Ph.D. The latest addition to the Reasons To Believe scholar team Zweerink still works part-time on the physics and astronomy research faculty at the University of California at Los Angeles where he studies gamma rays, black holes, and neutron stars. At Reasons To Believe Zweerink appears frequently on the weekly Web cast Creation Update and writes many of the Today's New Reasons to Believe that are posted daily at www.reasons.org. He is presently writing a book with Ross on the anthropic principle.
Reasons To Believe (www.reasons.org) is currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Founded in 1986 by renowned astrophysicist Hugh Ross, Ph.D. Reasons To Believe is unique in its position of demonstrating that science and the Bible complement one another. The mission of Reasons To Believe is to remove the doubts of skeptics, strengthen the faith of believers, and offer solid answers to questions about God and science.
Reasons To Believe provides resources that will keep you informed about up-to-the minute discoveries in the sciences and how they harmonize with God's revelation in the words of the Bible. It is our conviction that since the same God who 'authored' the universe also inspired the writings of Scripture, a consistent message will come from both revelations. In other words, the facts of nature will agree with, not contradict, the Bible. Recent scientific discoveries support this now more than at any other time in history.