Monday, December 2, 2013
Sam Traylor (We must act against climate change, Nov. 24) is justifiably concerned about rising sea levels accompanying global warming.
Eighteen thousand years ago, during the last Ice Age, the Mediterranean Sea level was 300 feet lower than today, allowing “cave painters” access to caves whose entrances are now under water. There appear to have been two instances in the late Proterzoic Eon when Earth froze solid: there was no “sea level.”
Three million years ago sea level was 100 feet higher than today. Thirty-five million years ago sea level was 200 feet higher and Earth was ice-free.
Like the release of carbon dioxide from warming oceans, melting permafrost and increased tree mortality, changing sea levels are epiphenomena that carry no etiological weight.
I have previously (Carbon dioxide obsession causes real issues to me missed, Nov. 24) pointed out that changes in the global temperature anomaly (GTA – AKA cause) precede changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide level (AKA effect).
Interested readers have the opportunity to see on their own if our very real anthropogenic carbon dioxide has provided positive feedback to the GTA.
Google “400,000 years temperature carbon dioxide.” The first link, “Understanding the CO2 lag in past climate change — Skeptical Science” acknowledges the lag but suggests that, once released, this additional carbon dioxide provides additional feedback. “Figure 1,” if examined closely enough, shows that temperature (the red line) has not responded to our added (the blue line) anthropogenic carbon dioxide.
This is much easier to see from the eighth link, “Images for 400,000 years temperature carbon dioxide,” that comes up when Googling “400,000 years temperature carbon dioxide.” The clearest figures are “Let’s face the truth about climate change mitigation ...,” and “Temperature and CO2 for Last 400,000 years.”
What the data shows, and what these figures show with varying levels of clarity, is the carbon dioxide we have added to the atmosphere, over the past 150 years, has had no effect on the GTA. Since this data was collected atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have continued to increase and the GTA has remained flat.
Sea level could vary, as it has in the past, if Earth continues to (naturally) warm. Over half of us (over 150 million people), in the United States, dwell in coastal areas. We would do well to begin to think seriously about adaptation and abandon the maggot of mitigation by reducing carbon emissions.