Several experts on climate change, including both proponents and skeptics of the man-made global warming theory, question former Vice President Al Gore's assertions in his Academy Award-winning documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth."
"I don't want to pick on Al Gore," said Don J. Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, told an annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, according to a report in The New York Times. "But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data."
In the slideshow presentation that is the central part of "An Inconvenient Truth," Gore lays out what most researchers consider to be the worst-case scenario for global warming, with total melting of polar ice caps, a sea-level rise of 20 feet and catastrophic flooding and droughts.
"He's a very polarizing figure in the science community," Roger A. Pielke Jr., an environmental scientist at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, told the Times. "Very quickly, these discussions turn from the issue to the person, and become a referendum on Mr. Gore."
Current scientific consensus holds that human industrial activity has sharply increased the amounts of carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere, and that average temperatures worldwide will rise for at least the next century — but at a much more gradual rate than that depicted in "An Inconvenient Truth."
"Climate change is a real and serious problem," said Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish political scientist and statistician whose book "The Skeptical Environmentalist" challenges many of the catastrophic assertions made by proponents of the global-warming theory. "The cacophony of screaming does not help."