Climate change - the science tells a different story

In 2008 the expected global reduction in GDP from global warming was 20 per cent in 20 years. We are beginning to see that come true. Thousands lost their lives in typhoon Haiyan’s destruction of The Philippines. But because individual storms cannot be 100 per cent tied to global warming, sceptics think that means they can ignore all storms of increasing violence. That is just head-in-the-sand nonsense. Fortunately, the media has recognised global warming for what it is now producing: life-taking events across the world.

Haiyan is now classified as the worst Philippine typhoon ever recorded, with at least 7,500 lives lost. The multi-billion dollar costs of hurricanes Katrina, Irene and Sandy, typhoon Haiyan, and the fire storms in Russia, Australia and USA, and the increasing damage to UK infrastructure, have one cause: global warming.

Brian Beck questions how we know that over 95 per cent of scientists working on climate change believe the problems are man-made. This comes from a “Sceptical Science” survey of all 13,950 peer-reviewed papers whose abstracts contained the words ‘Global Climate Change’, published between 1991 and 2011. Only 24 of these 13,950 rejected global warming (so 99 per cent support). Each paper was classified twice, by SS analysts from across Europe, North America and Australasia.

Some 97.1 per cent of papers said climate change is man-made. If I can find this and a second similar survey in 20 seconds on Google, why can’t Brian?

Brian Beck tells us that global air temperatures are not increasing. True, as far as it goes. Air temperatures remain at record high levels. Does that mean global warming has stopped? No. What Brian does not say is that ocean temperatures continue to rise. Man-made CO2 acidification also continues, with already measurable effects on Great Barrier Reef corals, fish skeletons, mollusc shells and plankton’s ability to survive. Plankton are the bottom of a food chain with us at the top.

I feel ashamed that in this scientifically excellent country we still have some politicians unable to grasp the huge press of scientific data, and who accept the sloppy jeering scepticism rather than understand the hard facts.

It isn’t just the Philippines that will suffer from freak weather. Think about global warming next time your train is delayed or the road is blocked.

Professor Peter Gardiner