Letter to the Editor

Global warming questions

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

To the Editor:

In May 2019, The IPCC reported on a study of global warming to 1.5O C. This is about .5OC above current warming levels of 1OC (2OF). Using the latest climate change pathway model, this study predicted that the 1.5OC level of warming would occur between the years of 2030 and 2050. Current politicians jumped on the low end range to say that we are in a climate crisis now and that huge sums of money should be spent immediately to reduce greenhouse gases. This despite that there is nothing magic about reaching this 1.5OC level.

This latest study represents a good summary of where we are in climate change research and climate change scientist have worked hard to continue expanding our knowledge. In my study in this area, several articles came to my attention indicating there is a warming from the Antarctic to Arctic regions. (The Royal Society Publishing, Philosophical Transactions A, “The ocean’s role in polar climate change: asymmetric Arctic and Antarctic responses to greenhouse gas and ozone forcing”, July 13, 2013)

Currently in the Antarctic, there is slight cooling when averaged over the region. There is a small area where the warming is as high as that in the Artic. Currently in the Artic the average warming is in the order of 2OC. In the climate science literature, there is much debate about the various factors producing this gradient. According to the report cited above, the ocean’s current may play a role. This gradient suggests that climate change (i.e. global warming) is considerably more complicated than has been previously suggested in the literature.

Several questions about this gradient should come to the mind of researchers. First, is it a constant gradient? Is it slowly changing with time? Is it possible that it might reverse, such that Antarctica is heating and the Artic is cooling? We currently are losing ice in the Artic region and slightly gaining ice in Antarctica. The opposite would probably be true if the warming gradient reversed.

Let’s hope that further research provides greater insight to the factors involved in this gradient before huge amounts of money are directed to fix a very complex climate change phenomenon.

Jerry Adcock

Wartrace


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