According to John Donnelly in his recent letter to the editor, climate change causes are as scientific as flat earth theories.
At the start, he makes it plain that he is a devout Roman Catholic, which means he is a devout believer in a specific religious faith. It is a great thing about our western world countries that people can believe anything they like without reprisals in any form. However, it does not mean that what they believe is actual fact and certainly religious beliefs are not fact; rather they are greatly illogical, whereas science is based on observed, proven facts.
I conclude that Donnelly is not a scientist. I am.
We have two schools of thought, one claiming global warming is due to man’s introduction of great quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the other claiming it has no effect, and both claiming their conclusions arise from proven scientific observations.
So, let us look at the situation from a chemical point of view.
In any reaction, there are reactants on each side of the equation and these always try to achieve equilibrium levels. Through the early centuries there has been a close equilibrium set up between the amount of CO2 generated by living entities such as animals and the vegetation available to react with this.
But along comes man, who starts to burn the fossil fuels, causing a big input of CO2 into the atmosphere. At he same time, we work to destroy the forests, the main source of CO2 conversion back to oxygen.
Add another factor, the rapidly increasing world population, all emitting CO2.
We are seeing an increase in the amount in the atmosphere, but not as much as might have been expected. Why? Because the oceans are dissolving a large proportion of it and becoming acidified. This is causing serious damage to all kinds of oceanic life forms.
Even so, the content is increasing overall but, remember, our planet has a very large surface with vastly varying ecosystems so that can have a big effect on measurements of all factors involved.
This could explain why we have the two different views.
There is no doubt that atmospheric CO2 is increasing and, because of its innate properties, can cause an increase in global temperature. This is evidenced by the glaciers melting.
We see an effect of this in the Gulf Stream. We are experiencing much higher temperatures here. The Gulf Stream passes up our eastern coast and will add to melting of glaciers. This dilutes the sea water and slows its movement. This is indicated off the coast of Scotland by a decrease in the salinity of the Gulf Stream there, so the warming effect is reduced.
Note the severely cold winter weather being seen in the British Isles.
So far this has concerned carbon dioxide, but there are other gases having an effect, such as methane, but that’s another story.
I would suggest that both parties make valid points, but the whole ecosystem is so vast and varied.
I do believe the overall truth is that man is destroying this planet.
The writer lives in Conway.