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Under the weather
I WOULD not describe myself as a “climate-change zealot”, but nor do I need to be one to explain to Geoff Robb (Letters, December 7) that the recent storm surge, the worst since 1953, is not the result of climate change. It is due to what we call “weather”.
Storm surges come from a combination of low barometric pressure, which causes the sea to rise, storm force winds, and high tides. They are not rare. There have been at least six in the Bristol Channel over the past three decades. But they vary in intensity. The conditions in 1953 and 2013 were exceptionally severe.
Climate change affects weather, but its influence on sea levels is not due to exceptional one-off storms. It is caused by the gradual melting of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, and in glaciers around the world. It is a long-term phenomenon, and a major threat to low-lying coastal areas around the globe.
Mr Robb is confusing two different things, weather and climate.
Peter Hollindale, Grange Garth, York.
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