Climate change has political hints but the science is master
THERE is no place in the discussion on ‘‘climate change’’ for uninformed opinion, conspiracy theory, or religious belief. The only things that matter are the facts. That’s why, on the one hand, I feel compelled to congratulate Norm Brice ( TB Opinion March 28) for doing his own research, and on the other hand, to question his conclusions.
Norm mentions some very informative websites. I’m no scientist, but when I perused these sites I came to a different conclusion. I have no doubt that he is being truthful, but I suspect that he carefully selected data to support a previously held position. In fact, the only thing I agree with is where he states, ‘‘. . . the US Annual Heat Wave Index 1895-2008 shows no clear trend in heat waves.’’ Norm quotes this accurately, but the report goes on to say, ‘‘. . . the percentage of the United States affected by heat waves has also risen steadily since the 1970s.’’ Norm seems to think there is no problem, and has sourced the NOAA website, among others, to present his case. Here are some direct quotes from the same website that run counter to Norm’s view:
‘‘ The rate of increase ( in global temperatures) over the past 50 years is nearly twice that of the past century.’’
‘‘ While natural variability does play an big role in climate change, the large body of evidence supports the conclusion that human activity is the main driver of current warming.’’
Also, the website summarises its graph of global temperatures with these comments:
‘‘ 1980s – warmest decade since 1880s. Every year of the 1990s warmer than the 1980s average. Every year of the 2000s warmer than the 1990s average.’’
The NOAA website also has data on the decline in glacial ice volume, Arctic Sea ice shrinking, ocean heat content increasing, animal species movi n g poleward, and sea level rising. The other websites tell a similar story.
There are some dissenting voices, of course, and some people seize upon this to claim that the science is far from settled, but the vast majority of climate scientists agree that the climate is warming, and that human activity is the main contributing factor. I’m not an alarmist ,but I’m alarmed.