Letter: Crazy weather a symptom of climate change


I appreciate the “tip of the iceberg” sketch on the letters to the editor page of the Feb. 25, 2023 issue of the South Whidbey Record. It’s funny and sad all at once. Let me add to the climate change part of that sketch.

Climate change is being driven by increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. And the main such gas is carbon dioxide that comes from burning of fossil fuels such as peat, coal, natural gas and petroleum products. Carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere was around 280 parts-per-million (PPM) for several hundreds of years until the industrial revolution began about 250 years ago It is now more than 400 PPM and rising at an ever increasing rate right up to the time that I type these words.

Yes, some counties on planet Earth are making efforts to decrease input of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. But they still show no sign of decreasing the rate of increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. If you have doubts about this, simply do an internet search for the Keeling Curve, named for the man who began making daily measurements of carbon dioxide in our air back in 1957 at a laboratory high on a Hawaiian mountain. I visited this place in 1970 and didn’t appreciate then how important this growing set of data would eventually become. But until that daily-updated Keeling Curve flattens and turns downward, we and coming generations can anticipate a climate change life with more crazy weather.

Wendell Duffield