To the Editor,
Re: Arguments over climate get overblown, Letters, April 24; Climate consensus simply doesn’t exist, Letters, April 26.
While the science of climate change can be confusing and complex, Jim Corder summed it up best when he said, “in the natural sciences, if you can’t measure it, you can’t prove it.”
In other words, numbers speak. So in this spirit let’s take a look at the numbers.
For 400,000 years, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have hovered between 180-280 ppm, with slow fluctuations between these points. Now, CO2 concentrations rocketed to 385 ppm since the Industrial Revolution; increasing over a 100 ppm in a very short time.
According to James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Sciences, the Earth has warmed 0.8 C over the past century. What’s more, nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since the year 2000.
National Snow & Ice Data Centre shows, due to warming, over one million square kilometers of Arctic sea ice melted since 1979, and it continues to melt at a rate of 43,000 square kilometres per year.
Testifying in front of the United States Senate, climatologist Benjamin Struass stated, “global average sea levels has risen about eight inches since 1880,” and many studies indicate it will further rise “between one and seven feet.”
In a well-cited paper published in Nature, a team of marine biologists from the University of Plymouth, UK found that surface ocean water has become 30 per cent more acidic over the past 150 years, due to increased CO2 concentrations.
As Maoz Fine from Bar-Ilan University in Israel stated in The Guardian, “millions of species of fish, shellfish and micro-organisms will be wiped out.”
Scientists are not alarmists, they are thorough rationalists. But as seen here, their findings can be alarming.
Are there gaps in climate science? Sure. But there are also gaps in the fossil record. Yet we still rely on it for our understanding of evolution. What’s important is that a mountain of evidence indicates that humans are radically altering their planet for the worse. And before we can find solutions, we need to acknowledge this.
When Tom Harris says that a “0.7 C warming of the past century” is nothing to worry about, it’s clearly unfounded, and he does a disservice to people who are searching for the truth.
When doing your research, use your judgment and stick to websites that include people with the credentials and authority to speak on the subject.
You can often spot them because they use hard, measurable, peer-reviewed evidence in the form of numbers, rather than unsubstantiated rhetoric.