Thomasville Times Enterprise

March 7, 2014

LETTER T0 THE EDITOR: Just examine the evidence


— In reply to a ranter about the science on climate change, the statement “Human influence on the climate system is clear” is not my statement.  It is part of the conclusions of the September 2013 report by the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an internationally accepted authority on climate change. It bases its assessment on the published scientific literature reviewed by thousands of volunteer scientists and other experts. It produces reports that have the agreement of leading climate scientists. The latest findings are summarized below:

• "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”

• "Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years".

• Human influence on the climate system is clear. It is extremely likely (95-100 percent probability) that human influence was the dominant cause of global warming between 1951-2010.

• "Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further [global] warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions".

• "Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped.”

I believe that 95-100 percent probability from a majority of climate scientists (estimated at over 97%) is good enough to justify credibility and action! There are some scientists and certainly many pundits with loud voices that disagree with these findings and, unfortunately, they are getting the lion’s share of the press in many media sources.

Again, I urge you to do your own research from a wide range of sources, not just those promoted by the deniers, and I refer you to the U.S. military, NOAA, The Weather Channel, NASA, photos of recent years of melting glaciers all over the world, data on declining ice thickness and summer extent in the Arctic, huge loss of permafrost, ocean acidification, etc., etc.  Just do a web search of a question like “Are humans causing climate change?” or “What percentage of climate change is caused by human activity?” and see for yourself.

On The Weather Channel, there is a report that a review of the more than 2,000 peer-reviewed climate articles in the last year by more than 9,000 authors in the scientific literature, only one rejected man-made global warming. The reviewer concludes, "You don’t have to poll scientists or talk to people. All you have to do is read the (published, peer-reviewed scientific) papers and see what evidence is there. I think ...people’s opinion is less important than the scientific evidence that backs up opinion."

Beth Grant