The letter regarding global warming (Check The Facts On ‘Global Warming,’ Sept. 22) strays from facts a lot. I, as a professor of environmental chemistry, will agree that this year’s bad hurricane season may or may not be directly related to climate change, of which “global warming” is just a part. Weather patterns are extremely complex and tied not only to sea surface temperatures but the North Atlantic Oscillations, El Niño/La Niña events (aka ENSO), etc. However, “global warming” is affecting the mean annual temperatures of the polar regions much more than the tropics. Ice caps and sheets are melting at unprecedented rates. Ice-free periods are spreading rapidly. This is the main effect of “global warming.”
Back to hurricanes, yes, sea surface temperatures are also rising and likely feed the energy content/category of hurricanes as well. But let’s not overlook the entire spectrum of climate change — global warming, sea-level rise, ocean acidification and other man-induced (aka anthropogenic) perturbations of the environment.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide is well over 0.04 percent (aka 400 ppm) now and is a direct combined result of fossil fuel burning and deforestation. I pity the naysayers, for they are being bitten in the rear and don’t realize it. I guess the previous author is playing his Trump card (pun-intended). We should not “fear” climate change, but we should work to reverse it. The American Indians have long said that “we did not inherit the land from our ancestors — we borrow it from our children.”
Dr. J. William Louda, Loxahatchee Groves
Editor’s note: Dr. Louda is a research professor at Florida Atlantic University.