As the professor of environmental chemistry at Florida Atlantic University, I was more than a bit appalled, though not surprised, by the letter from Mr. Lawrence Sweetwood (Climate Change Is a Scam, July 7). I say not surprised, since the current White House is like-minded. People who do not want to believe that mankind is capable of influencing our atmosphere likely have large stockholdings in gas and oil or the automobile industry.
I have seen the hard data, not the just the pro or con hype for climate change. It is real, and it is primarily anthropogenic (man-generated). The Earth was actually in a leveled off to cooling portion of the well-known Milankovitch cycles until about 20 years after the start of the Industrial Revolution. Only during the huge methane releases from the continental slopes that occurred about 55.5 million years before present, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETA, has the rise in temperature and global warming gases been this steep.
It takes only a bit of a temperature increase to allow more water, actually the largest global warming gas, to evaporate into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, plus water, plus refrigerants (chlorofluorocarbons) and other compounds increase the trapping of outgoing infrared radiation, and the average Earth troposphere temperature goes up. There is a huge body of peer-reviewed evidence and a worldwide acceptance of climate change — except now for the president and his staff. Only the close-minded avoid the obvious.
Man-made climate change/modification is real. It is presently affecting the poles more than the temperate and tropic climes the most. Wait until the oceanic conveyor belt shuts down.
Dr. J. William Louda, Loxahatchee Groves