Letter: How can one not notice our changing climate?


Mr. Gunther, thank you for your letter to the editor of June 25 regarding the carbon pollution crisis, weather vs. climate and sea level rise vs. tides, etc.

Climate 101: Many confuse climate that is regional or global and trends over decades, centuries, millennium, with weather, which is local and immediate, i.e. daily or weekly. Hence, we have climatologists and meteorologists. When we speak of rising sea levels in this context, we are not referring to tides.

Sea level rise is primarily affected by two things, thermal expansion —- warm water expands and the ocean is warming, and melting of land-based ice sheets, primarily Antarctica, which would contribute 185 feet to sea level rise, and Greenland, which recently underwent an unprecedented ice melt pulse and will add 23 feet.

Regarding your question about geography, if you study a representation of the earth, you’ll see there is one interconnected ocean parts of which we refer to by differing names, Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, etc. There are land-locked seas such as the Aral, Dead, Black, etc. and huge lakes, such as the Baikal, Titicaca, Superior, Great Salt lakes.

I am shocked that you have not seen weather-related “changes.” Have you actually not experienced the smoke from the unprecedented, but predicted, wildfires from British Columbia, Washington state and Oregon? Not seen the ashes of Paradise, Calif.?

The Midwest has suffered relentless, catastrophic flooding this year and the Canadian Armed Forces is tired and financially depleted after coping with weather disasters there.

Here in Washington state we’ve experienced an alarming 2,500 lightning events just this week and are seeing increasingly frequent and destructive storms including tornadoes. Temperatures in India soared above 120 degrees recently and Europe is undergoing an unprecedented heat wave right now.

This is only the beginning of a very scary, chaotic expensive future. But you needn’t believe me. Information is available from the University of Washington’s Climate Impact Group, the National Climate Assessment and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which last year published an interim report saying we have 12 years before anthropogenic climate/ocean chaos will be unstoppable.

I hope this has been helpful. Rejoice in the fact you are elderly and won’t experience the worst impacts of carbon pollution’s wrath.

Gary Piazzon