In a recent “Another Voice” article, Dr. Douglas Moreland cast doubt on the predictions of climate scientists that the Earth is on a dangerous course of global warming.
Let’s review what we do know:
• NOAA and NASA just released their year-end climate reports, and 2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record globally. The three years that were hotter were 2016, 2015, and 2017, in that order.
• Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean have lost a significant amount of ice cover.
• Ocean temperatures are on the rise, and this is consistent with observations on coral bleaching and more intense cyclonic storms such as hurricanes, which are spawned over warm water.
The list goes on.
Are there weeks when the temperature is below average? Of course, because as Moreland correctly points out, data points don’t always sit on the model’s curve. But there is no uncertainty about the trend in global temperatures over the last 100 years.
A NOAA web page explains that “To calculate a global average temperature, scientists begin with temperature measurements taken at locations around the globe.
Because their goal is to track changes in temperature, measurements are converted from absolute temperature readings to temperature anomalies – the difference between the observed temperature and the long-term average temperature for each location and date.
Each value is then used to calculate a global temperature average.
This process provides a consistent, reliable method for monitoring changes in Earth’s surface temperature over time.” Furthermore, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the warming trend is extremely likely to be due to human activity.
Moreland says in his article that he has been a neurosurgeon for 29 years. I imagine that during that time he has had to make diagnoses based on the best available evidence and to recommend treatment that carried a certain amount of risk. But lack of action would have carried its own bigger risk.
Now we are asked to do the same for our planet.