May 23, 2013

Another View: String of tornadoes belies global warming skeptic's views

Rather than deny the facts, we should prepare for 'increased severe weather phenomena.'

In his column titled "Hysteria obscures lack of substance to climate change claims" (May 17), M.D. Harmon is continuing to insist that global warming is a "problem that doesn't exist." He suggests that "predictions of increased severe weather phenomena are not coming true." Mr. Harmon is ignoring the facts.

On May 16, CBS' Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate reported, "At least six people were confirmed dead, more are missing, and extensive damage was reported after as many as three tornadoes slammed into the lakefront town of Granbury on Wednesday evening, flattening homes and buildings and tossing vehicles like toys. Hailstones as large as baseballs were reported from Georgia to Minnesota. ... at least 51 dead ... horrific damage."

On Sunday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than two dozen tornadoes were spotted in parts of Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Illinois, bringing hailstones, some as large as baseballs. Reuters reported that "a massive storm front swept north through the central United States on Sunday, hammering the region with fist-sized hail, blinding rain and tornadoes, including a half-mile wide twister that struck near Oklahoma City."

The highest global average temperature yet recorded was in 1998, but a study reported in Nature Geoscience shows the worst is yet to come. Alexander Otto, lead author of this research at Oxford University, said there was much that climate scientists could still not fully factor into their models, and that "most of the recent warming has been absorbed by the oceans and that this would reverse itself as the oceans continue to heat up."

Predictions of increased severe weather phenomena actually are coming true with a vengeance. We should be preparing for it instead of denying the facts. Mr. Harmon is confusing "climate change" with the weather in his backyard.

Robert J. Seeber is a resident of Windham.


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