Letter: Warming of climate system unequivocal

I am writing in response to a letter published in the Williams Lake Tribune, Feb. 11, titled “Global warming the biggest scam.”

Editor:

I am writing in response to a letter published in the Williams Lake Tribune, Feb. 11, titled “Global warming the biggest scam.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created in 1988 and assigned the task of assessing all aspects of climate change and its impacts. Thousands of scientists from 195 countries are involved in this process.

A summary of their fifth assessment report was released last November.  Where there was some uncertainty in key assessment findings, the teams of authors dealt with this by using “uncertainty qualifiers” in their report.

I think it is important for people to be aware of some of the key findings of the IPCC so I have selected the following quotes from their latest report.

“Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.

In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years (medium confidence).

Ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for more than 90 per cent of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010 (high confidence).

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

The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.

(Note that there is no uncertainty qualifier for this statement).”

Obviously everyone will decide on their own whether or not to accept the IPCC findings but it is clearly not rational to believe that thousands of the world’s scientists and the majority of the world’s national governments are involved in some kind of clandestine plot.

It may be comforting to deny that climate change is real or to believe that the threat is not as serious as the scientists are telling us, but you should ask yourself the question, what if they are right?

Keith Monroe

150 Mile house

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