Letter: Australian heat caused by carbon emissions

Published January 23, 2014 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

While we shiver and cough under our current inversion layer, down-under tennis players at the Australian Open suffer heat exhaustion at a sweltering 112 degrees. Australia's Bureau of Meteorology reported that the average temperature during 2013 exceeded the long-term average by 3.7 degrees, the country's hottest year since recordkeeping began in 1910.

This occurred without El Niño, which adds to warming in the South Pacific. Climate scientist David Karoly at the University of Melbourne wrote, "It is NOT (emphasis his) possible to reach such a temperature due to natural climate variations alone." The warming effect of greenhouse gas emissions "vastly increased the odds" for setting a new high, he noted.

Meteorologists, paleontologists, physicists, chemists, biologists, ecologists, oceanographers, geologists, geographers and mathematician modelers, each investigating the same question using their different technologies, come to the same conclusion: Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are leading to increased atmospheric temperature.

To disregard these results as normal variation or as a conspiracy or collective bias among scientists is to be either a handsomely paid consultant for fossil fuel industries, an ideologue blinded by self-deception, a politician whose campaign is financed by undisclosed sources, or just a plain fool.

Donald Lee Granger