A response to Mike Mason's global warming science denier letter in the Oct. 7 DCI:
Apparently Mr. Mason should be the most famous acclaimed climate scientist in the world today since he has figured out that global warming isn't happening. Wow! Nobel Prize stuff. Either that or he is ill-informed in nearly every point he makes since every major scientific organization, university and climate scientist in the world today would disagree with him. A quick visit to the basics pages at the NASA or EPA sites or a perusal of the latest Intergovernmental on Climate Change (IPCC) summary (of a 1,000 pages plus collection of reports) for the world's policy makers will give basics of what we know from the real science. Reading the real science, or taking a basic modern physics course that includes climate science, will reveal that all of Mr. Mason's claims have been addressed and discounted. www.skepticalscience.com is also a good website to easily compare the facts to denier claims.
The earth is warming and continues to do so. This year will be the hottest year on record as far as average global temperature, breaking the 2014 record. Humans continue to add long-lived greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere at an increasing rate and simple conservation of energy physics predicts that if you put more energy into a system than the amount that leaves, the temperature will rise. As the temperature rises on the earth, the climate changes.
We have seen only mild negative effects so far with only about 1 degree C of warming from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution but predictions based on the physics, and history of past climate, say that things will be much more dramatic by about 2050 and even worse by the end of the century. So far sea level rises of about a foot are mainly due to simple expansion of oceans due to warming. Ninety percent-plus of the warming ends up in our oceans. But the Greenland ice sheet melting is happening much faster than models predicted and new water is pouring at an ever increasing rate from land ice into the sea. The latest predictions suggest about a two meter rise by century's end, which would flood the City of Miami and many other low lying areas. And that is only the beginning.
While increased CO2 may in the short term benefit some plants (this effect works best in a closed greenhouse), in the long run the negative effects of higher temperatures and extreme weather are predicted to lower crop yields. Besides CO2, plants also need sunshine, fertilizer and water, and high CO2 coupled with drought is a double whammy.
I agree that there is an astonishing level of ignorance in the world today concerning climate science especially since the real science is so easy to access and not that hard to understand and yet we daily see letters to the editor, Internet comments, political speeches and whole denier websites and books devoted to denying the science. Casting doubt to delay action while the window of opportunity to be able to mitigate this issue rapidly closes is a dangerous game. Bearing false witness at the expense of the greater humanity is immoral under any belief system. The time for conspiracy theory climate denial is over and the world needs to focus on real solutions to a very real, critical problem.