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Armchair doubts over climate change don’t reflect reality
PHILIP ROE declares from the comfort of his armchair at his house in Stamford Bridge (Letters, September 11) that there must be some doubt about whether global temperatures are rising due to climate change because sea ice in the Arctic is thicker in August 2013 than it was in August 2012.
Perhaps he would like to go and talk to members of the Inuit communities in Northern Canada, such as those in Sachs harbour on Banks Island, whose houses are sinking into the ground as a result of the melting permafrost and whose traditional way of life is vanishing as the Caribou fall through the ice, while polar bears are replaced by Grizzlies.
Or perhaps he would like to go and talk to the inhabitants of Kiribati in the Pacific, who, having already abandoned most of their 32 islands because of rising sea levels, are now negotiating with the government of Fiji to move there permanently when, in a few years time, their last remaining island disappears under the sea.
I am sure the members of these communities, and all those many others affected by climate change, would love to hear that they have nothing to worry about.
Colin Campbell, Fulford Park, York.
• PHILIP ROE seems to misunderstand the science behind climate change and the effects it has.
I recommend the NASA website to him to help him understand the situation. On it the problem is explained in terms everyone can understand and NASA knows what it is talking about. After all, they are involved in rocket science.
David March, Springhill Court, Tadcaster.
• OH DEAR! Philip Roe begins with just one observation (and I admit I don’t know where he gets it from) that the Arctic ice cap has “increased by a massive amount” from August 2012 to August 2013.
This, he says, proves that climate change is nonsense, temperatures are about to plummet, and are a serious embarrassment to the hair-shirt climate modellers who are all trying to pull the wool over our eyes by entering inaccurate data into their computers.
On the very same day an item appeared on the BBC news website about the European Space Agency’s Cryosat satellite, which uses advanced radar to measure the amount of Arctic sea ice, rather than just predict it from computer models.
It was launched in 2010, and in three years of operation has observed a continuing decline in sea ice to a new record low last winter. This is a real measurement, not an output from a climate model on a computer, and confirms what the climate modellers have been predicting.
Are the BBC and the European Space Agency also signed-up members of this imagined hair-shirt conspiracy? I doubt it. Dream on, Philip. Climate change, global warming, call it what you will, is real and is due in large part to our carbon dioxide emissions.
Alan Robinson, Lindley Street, Holgate, York.
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