Rapid climate change is fact
To the editor:
Yesterday, I stumbled upon my old helicopter pilot log book. This is the record of where, when and who I worked for. My civilian career began on the North Slope of Alaska as a young Bell 212 co-pilot flying under the tutelage of, literally, battle-hardened Vietnam vets.
As I paged through my log I checked out 1983. Logged: Shell Oil, Tern Island. This was the first oil found under the arctic ocean.
Then, 34 years ago, there was little public mention of global warming.
But, there were a few worried scientists and politicians. As I looked down at the Arctic from my helicopter, above me there was a satellite monitoring the ice.
Scientists have predicted warming since 1900. Just in case they were right, they wanted to know.
How much have we warmed the earth with heat trapping carbon dioxide; the byproduct of burning coal, oil and gas? Even though the oceans absorb over 90 percent of the additional trapped heat, we have warmed the world 1.8 degrees.
What about the Arctic Ocean? What did that defense meteorological satellite tell us? In one half lifetime, that is 38 years, the Arctic Ocean has lost 500,000 square miles of thick ocean sea ice and the rest has thinned considerably.
Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe says scientists have documented 26,500 lines of evidence proving global warming is real. Personally, loosing half a million square miles of arctic sea-ice is the most striking evidence.
Perhaps, though, I should be more concerned that the arid regions of the world are experiencing scientifically predicted prolonged drought? The current Syrian political refugees actually began as climate refugees. Syrian farmers simply ran out of water.
Today, the UN informs us we have an additional 20 million new, drought ravaged refugees in Africa and Yemen. Should I be keenly aware of these environmental refugees instead of a hunk of ice?
Are these polar and equatorial climate phenomena related?
Is climate change a hoax?
Here are two good rules of thumb. One, scientists search for and tell us truths. Two, politicians tell us what we want to hear.
I know it is not fun to hear, but rapid climate change is happening.
The most important thing to remember is that we can slow and eventually stop it. To stop it, though, we first have to acknowledge it is real and caused by burning coal, oil and gas.