The fraud from climate deniers
To the editor:
The letter by Bob DeMaura in last Tuesday’s Ledger-Transcript was headlined “Climate fraud misses real data.” However, the real fraud is that being perpetrated by the climate deniers, who, together, are trying to make us think that we need not worry about global warming and that we can continue burning fossil fuels without any concern for future generations.
Among the misinformation propagated by DeMaura is the statement, “Over the past 15 years there has been no increase in global temperatures.” There has indeed been a slow-down in atmospheric warming over this period, but the warming has continued. A comparison between some of the global land surface temperature studies conducted by traditional climate scientists (from NASA, NOAA and England’s Hadley Centre) and the independent “Berkeley Earth” studies carried out by the research group of the climate skeptic, physicist Richard Muller, can be seen at http://berkeleyearth.org/summary-of-findings. All four studies agree that, although land surface temperatures were unusually high in 1998 (15 years ago), they were even higher in several subsequent years.
But land-surface temperatures are only a small part of the story. Approximately 93 percent of the excess heat energy being retained by our planet due to greenhouse gases is going into the oceans. Indeed, if the ocean weren’t storing so much of the trapped heat, air temperatures would already be too high for human life. Unfortunately, heat stored in the ocean will continue to warm our atmosphere long after we stop emitting greenhouse gases. Fortunately, if we transition rapidly from an economy based on fossil fuels to one based on renewable sources of energy, we and our descendants will avoid the worst consequences of our long-time dumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.