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CRITICAL TO REVIEW FACTS BEFORE COMING TO CONCLUSIONS ON GLOBAL WARMING
In a letter to the editor in the April 24 Tribune, Ron Robins discussed key questions we should ask about climate change. There are many issues associated with changing climate and a very wide range of positions on these issues.
His response to his first question, “Is the world warming?” was “Between 1998-2015 there was an 18-year pause in rising temperatures.” A June 2015 NOAA report stated: “A new study published online today in the journal Science finds that the rate of global warming during the last 15 years has been as fast as or faster than that seen during the latter half of the 20th Century. The study refutes the notion that there has been a slowdown or ‘hiatus’ in the rate of global warming in recent years.” NOAA global temperature data indicate 2016 was the warmest year on record since 1880.
His second and third questions were: “Does climate change pose a threat to the planet?” and “Is climate change caused by humans? ... ?” His answers discussed linkages between global temperature, sea level and CO2 levels. His statement “seas are rising ~2mm/year, about 7-9 inches per century” was reasonably valid historically, but a Smithsonian Institute report suggests “the rate in 2016 is estimated at 3.4 millimeters per year.” He referenced an analysis that claimed a level of 5,000 ppm of CO2 over the last 140 million years. But the American Geophysical Union published a study in 2011 that estimated a maximum of ~410 ppm over 5 million years and NASA has plotted global CO2 range of ~180 to 300 over 400,000 years to 1950. Today the CO2 level is about 400 up from 300 in 1950.
There is information on global temperature, sea levels and CO2 levels and their impact available from various sources. Before arriving at a personal opinion I suggest reviewing data from credible, scientific sources.