Philippine Science Letters
vol. 5 | no. 1 | 2012
published online March 23, 2012

EDITORIAL

CLIMATE CHANGE AND DISASTER
SCIENCE IN THE PHILIPPINE SETTING

by Helen T. Yap
Editor


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WHAT IS "CLIMATE CHANGE," AND HOW DO WE MANAGE IT? WHAT IS APPROPRIATE ACTION FOR THE PHILIPPINE SETTING? These questions, though succinct enough, harbor a complex history behind them. And, the answers are not at all straightforward. Any scientist will acknowledge that earth’s climate has always been changing, as witnessed by the procession of ice ages and interglacial periods in the recent history of the planet. However, what is at issue now is whether human impact has been so significant as to influence the rate at which the climate has been changing. The debate has been heated, and continues to simmer. There is a school of thought, probably now the dominant one worldwide, that maintains that increasing emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (such as methane, even water vapor) have created the so-called planetary "greenhouse effect," leading to overall global warming. But there is also compelling evidence that it is the intensity of solar radiation that correlates positively with global warming, providing an alternative view to the carbon dioxide-greenhouse interpretation.