Friday, February 25, 2011

A letter to WDIV Channel 4 Meteorologist Chuck Gadica

Chuck Gadica

Thank you very much for the piece you did tonight (Thursday, Feb. 24 on the 11 o’clock) about why a warming planet may result in more precipitation. Using the sponges with the demonstration made it easily understandable for a lay audience (I might steal the idea myself!)

It surely helped inform the shrill dialogue over whether more snowstorms and rainfall amounts disprove climate change theory. They don’t.

I was stunned, however that you referred to rising global temperatures twice as an uncertain proposition. (“…if we are warming…”) Even the most skeptical scientists now acknowledge that the climate has been warming for some time. Dr. Patrick Michaels – a leading skeptic and one of few climatologists who openly challenges the IPCC report  – told a panel discussion audience in Detroit two years ago that the planet was most assuredly warming, (although he believes mankind may not be a significant driver in that trend). He told the audience that making the argument that ‘the planet is not warming’ is a discredit to the skeptics’ cause because it is so easily and thoroughly disproved.

The data is unambiguous. NOAA reports that 2010 tied for the warmest year on global record, and that it was the 34th consecutive year that global temperatures exceeded the 20th Century average. (emphasis mine). 

The question of how significant a contribution mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions make to this warming climate; and the ranges of temperatures and changes we might see in the future are addressed most rigorously in the IPCC report, which concludes both the contribution and effects are/will be significant. Of course, there are no precise answers to these important questions.  

However, the simpler question of whether the planet is warming -- or not -- is abundantly clear through NOAA’s recorded data and that of other agencies throughout the world.

Your help in explaining science to your viewers is invaluable, and you do it very well….but I hope in the future you will make it clear to viewers that the data show unambiguously that the earth is getting warmer, and has been for many decades.

 Thank you very much for your time,

Hugh McDiarmid Jr.
Farmington Resident\15 year WDIV viewer
(Phone number)

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