Originally Published: December 6, 2010 9:59 p.m.
Jerry Fowler's ridiculous attempt (Nov. 19 letter, "Science clears the air about climate change") at explaining away the human factor in global climate change is typical of the deniers. He actually implies that the carbon emissions will cool the earth. I say let the scientists decide. Here is what NASA says.
Humans have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by more than one-third (280ppm to 379ppm) since the industrial revolution began. This is because of the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, which combine carbon and oxygen in the air to form CO2. This has changed the natural atmospheric greenhouse and certain effects seem likely:
1. The earth will become warmer leading to increased precipitation overall with some areas wetter and some dryer.
2. The oceans will warm expanding them and melting glaciers and other ice leading to sea levels rising.
3. Climate patterns will change and thus change where crops will grow best.
In its recently released fourth assessment report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 independent scientific experts from countries around the world concluded that there is a more than 90 percent probability that human activity over the past 250 years has warmed our planet. In addition, studies show that the sun's energy output has not changed significantly since 1750.
Warming by the sun should warm all atmospheric layers. What scientists see is a cooling of the outer atmosphere and a warming at the earth's surface. Thus, the sun is not responsible for the warming of the earth.
Finally, the panel also concluded that there's a better than 90 percent probability that human produced greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide, have caused much of the observed increase in Earth's temperature over the past 50 years.
So, you decide. Believe a denier such as Mr. Fowler, or believe 1,300 world-renowned scientists.