No distractions on global warming

The author of the letter “Data sets show little warming” apparently totally missed the meaning of the Science magazine article that he quotes in order to show the failure of the recent Earth’s surface temperature data to demonstrate global warming. The Science article, titled “Climate Outsider Finds Missing Global Warming,” shows that the rates of warming over the past 15 years have been underestimated due to a dearth of data for the Arctic, and inadequate techniques to accommodate for the data gaps.

Rather than showing that global warming is not demonstrated by current temperature data reports, it shows that the calculated average temperatures should have been higher, and more closely in agreement with global warming models, not contradicting them. In addition, the recent IPCC summary report clearly shows that even the uncorrected temperature data give strong evidence of surface warming, though they can be misinterpreted by selecting isolated results.

Thus, the writer’s first paragraph should read: The federal government is not blocking the development of needed energy resources, it is protecting present and future generations from increasingly severe suffering and property damage stemming from human-caused global warming. Global warming deniers, on the other hand, are not protecting proper economic development, they are enriching present-day carbon dioxide emitters from the need to pay to clean up or eliminate up their emissions, at the expense of that growing suffering and damage stemming from their inaction.

Aside from this uninformative letter, global warming is assuredly with us, and needs attention, not distractions. As should be well known, average Earth temperature is only one indicator of global warming. Unusually severe storms, wildly changing weather patterns, increasing alpine and glacial melting rates, sea level increases and species movements and extinctions all point to a clear pattern of dangerously increasing heat content of the troposphere.

And also, it is not an “implausible theory” that human-caused introduction of massive amounts of greenhouse gases is interfering with the Earth’s ability to radiate excess heat away from its surface, it is the accumulation of good scientific observation and understanding of the real world, that is revealing a growing major problem.

The Enterprise should not be giving space to long-refuted deniers’ claims about global warming, or, if it does so, it should properly examine them, and demonstrate to its readers why they should be ignored.

Stephen Fass

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