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Letter: Evidence of climate change never more compelling

Last modified: 1/20/2014 10:41:01 AM
Bob Washburn knows a lot about ice-fishing, but he displays his limited grasp of climate science in his Jan. 12 Sunday Monitor column (“Bitter cold winter good news for ice fishers”).

He declares that climate change has been debunked and then makes reference the “Atlantic multi-dectal oscillator.” I assume he means the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation – an ongoing series of long-duration changes in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures with 20-40 year long cool and warm phases.

Rather than being debunked, the scientific evidence for climate change has never been more compelling. Virtually all climate scientists agree that the global climate is warming and that it is associated with increases in carbon dioxide generated by human activity. Polar vortexes occur over both the Arctic and Antarctic and are persistent weather patterns with seasonal variation described as early as 1853. Cold weather events occur when the Arctic polar vortex weakens, causing frigid polar air to spin off and descend southward over the northern hemisphere. The loss of seasonal sea ice during summer months results in warmer ocean water that radiates excess heat, weakening the polar vortex and producing cold weather events. In short, the extreme cold weather that we have just endured may well be another consequence of global warming.

I encourage Washburn and other Monitor readers to take a break from media pundits and draw their own conclusions about climate change based on unbiased information from reputable scientific resources such as the NASA Global Climate Change page available at climate.nasa.gov/evidence.

SHANNON E. MILLS

Concord


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