, Gloucester, MA

August 22, 2013

Letter: Climate change data and the real world

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

Warren Salinger’s letter to the editor (the Times, Thursday, June 27) was a passionate response to my letter on Climate Change (the Times, Wednesday, May 29).

Mr. Salinger believes that “climate change is a human, not political issue,” and he said that my letter, which discussed the problems that NOAA’s climate change scientists are having with their models’ predictions, “obfuscates the potential tragedy.”

Actually, I believe that my letter should give hope to Mr. Salinger in an otherwise bleak picture.

I agree with Mr. Salinger, Climate change is ultimately a human issue. He, however, sounds like an idealist who believes that, because it is a human issue, that fact alone should be enough to cause all governments to take the necessary actions to stop the threat.

In the real world, it doesn’t work that way. As Mr. Salinger noted, the government policies of India, China and other developing countries, have led to worldwide, massive increases in greenhouse gases. No matter what the U.S. does to limit its emissions, and it is already doing a lot, all indications are that these other countries are going to continue along the same paths. So, for those who believe the Climate Change alarmists and their dire predictions, the earth is indeed headed for a tragic future.

My letter of May 29 should have offered some hope to Mr. Salinger. The facts of the matter indicate that the climate scientist-alarmists at NOAA can’t predict the future of global warming and, therefore, climate change.

According to NOAA, in spite of a 9 percent increase in carbon emissions from 1998 to 2012, their measurements of global temperature, over that same period of time, did not increase. The NOAA computer models had forecast a significant increase in global temperature given these emissions, but it didn’t happen. This is not climate change denial; these are indisputable facts which can be seen on the NOAA website.

What this proves is that those who say that global warming science is settled are wrong. The NOAA scientists didn’t know enough about the complex, atmospheric system interactions to accurately forecast global warming in the short term, so how can they make credible, dire predictions for the long term?

As Mr. Salinger said in his letter, we don’t know the proportions of climate change that are due to cyclical and human causes. I agree. It is for that reason that the NOAA scientists didn’t get their forecasts right. And that is the hope we have.

We can pray that, in spite of rising carbon emissions, global temperatures will further stabilize, as they seem to have done over the last sixteen years, and then decrease. If not, then the human tragedy that concerns Mr. Salinger may occur.

Given the earth’s historical record of constant climate fluctuations due to a range of natural occurrences, such as changes in the sun’s output and volcanic action, my bet is on global temperatures decreasing in the long run, and that calamitous climate change “due to manmade carbon emissions” will be averted.