Regarding Frank Stover’s Tuesday letter, “The debate isn’t over,” I need to put some things straight regarding the never-ending “controversy” about global warming.
Climate scientists are not trying to shut off discussion about the human impact of global warming. Many have simply moved past trying to refute the same old arguments, having shown to their satisfaction the profound human impact on climate.
Calculations show that the increase in carbon in the carbon dioxide concentration — about 35 percent since the beginning of the 20th century (fact not in contention) — is approximately accounted for by the carbon consumed in the burning of fossil fuels during that period. Thus, the CO2 increase is an irrefutable consequence of human activity.
Climate models all show that the increase in CO2 accounts approximately for the increase in global temperature. This is simply required by the laws of radiative transfer, which are contained in such models. The models show little change in global temperature without the increase in CO2.
The slowing in the rise in temperature is a blip in the long-term record. Global temperature is still rising, albeit more slowly, and it will continue to do so. To require the global atmospheric temperature to respond to each change in atmospheric CO2 increase is naive. Nature does not behave that way.
The writer is a Penn State meteorologist.