Scientific Uncertainty – Assignment Example

The paper "Scientific Uncertainty" is a worthy example of an assignment on science.
Who runs each of the websites and what is their stated mission, agenda, and values (3 marks)?
The Skeptical Science website is maintained by John Cook on behalf of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. The website’s mission is to criticize ideas related to scientific skepticism. This is because they tend to focus on the narrow argument of the issue while neglecting the broader picture. The website seeks to criticize the skepticism leveled upon the fact that human beings are the prominent contributors to the prevalence of global warming. Its values dictate that any skepticism should have scientific proof attained through extensive research on peer-reviewed literary materials.
Heartland website is run by a research organization named Heartland Institute whose mission is to discover, develop and enhance market solutions to social and economic challenges. The institute’s agenda is to promote skepticism on man-made climate change while defending the free market environmentalism. It is devoted to rely on market-based scientific facts while negating any influence from government policies.
The NASA website is administered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States government. Its mission is to apply advanced technology to identify the causes of global climate change and the efficient methods of preventing it. Its agenda is to identify the key indicators and evidence of climate change, causes, effects and the uncertainties related to the climate change phenomena. It maintains its scientific values through the use of evidence-based facts.  What key evidence does each of the websites present about climate change and ice melt and what is the stated sources of this evidence (6 marks)
Referring to evidence by Allison et al, 2009, the skeptical science website asserts that the global temperatures have increased since 1880, with the warmest years occurring since 1981 to date. The data from the National Research Council, 2006 asserts that the last century witnessed a 17-centimeter rise in the global sea level. The mass of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet has decreased with a minimum of 36 cubic miles in both cases. This indicates that the world is currently experiencing a massive glacial retreat due to global warming (Skeptical Science, 2012).
According to the information outsourced from the Forbes magazine by the Heartland Editorials, high amounts of ice have been recorded in the Antarctic sea compared to the previous years (Cook, 2012). The shrinking of the Arctic sea ice and the growth of the Antarctic sea ice is being viewed by scientists as a global warming crisis. The website also alludes that the enhancement in climate awareness is due to the increased alarmism. This is because most alarmists are taking advantage of the situation to justify draconian actions such as carbon taxes.
According to the NASA website, the National Snow and Ice Data center alludes that the Arctic Sea ice melted to a record minimum in 2012. The extent of the sea ice reduced to 3.41 million square kilometers setting a new record. Referring to the 2012 skS weekly digest, the website asserts that the decline proves that the current ice cover is thin due to the prolonged and unfavorable in climatic changes (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2012).

Which website is the most effective in displaying information on climatic change and which is the least effective? Explain the reasons for your answers (3 marks)
NASA website is the most effective in displaying information on climatic change. This is because it provides a detailed breakdown of its contents with extensive material references. Evidence-based causes and effects of the topic are provided with a clear outline of the institution’s role in mitigating the menace. The information is further supported by figures and photographs that attract interest and enhances understanding. The website has also connected the past facts with the current events for better understanding.
The heartland website institute is the least effective in that a wide range of topics are provided. Most of the topics have not been explained in details. The information provided is not based on evidence; normally opinionated ideas. Lack of sufficient photographs or diagrams increases reliance on theoretical work that is not viable for scientific work.

Which website do you think is the most credible in presenting reliable scientific evidence about climate change and which is the least credible? Explain the reasons for your answers (3 marks).
NASA website is the most reliable in presenting scientific evidence. This is because the topic of discussion has been discussed exhaustively through the use of distinct steps such as causes, effects, and evidence. The use of images and video will help in proving that what is being discussed is real. The website also provides educational materials for those willing to apply the information in a practical sense.
The least credible site is the Heartland Institute website as it lacks the required scientific proof in the form of images or video. The lack of extensive references is an indication that most of the information has been suggested or it is full of mere opinions that are scientifically unsound. The scientific evidence presented on the website may not attract the attention of the target group. The information on the website includes other topics such as budget and education that would rob-off the attention of those accessing it.