Climate versus weather
IT is so disappointing to note that many people still do not understand what climate change means. Weather is always variable but climate change means that:
1. Average temperatures are increasing (now 2C in south-east Australia). Because of this warming sea levels were rising at 2.5mm per year in 1990, but they are now rising at 3.5mm per year and the rate is continuing to accelerate. A number of factors such as sedimentation, droughts, and tectonic plate movements may mask the rising sea level locally but it is is now the fastest ever recorded and it is inexorable.
2. Weather is becoming more extreme and that means more extreme droughts, more extreme floods, more extreme heatwaves, more extreme storms, more extreme cyclones and more extreme cold spells. All these effects are now being experienced on a global scale and predictions for the future are dire unless urgent actions are taken. The costs of these effects are already in the multi-billions of dollars. It's not just our grandchildren we need to be concerned about we need to be concerned for us and our children.
- Terry Annable, Cooranbong
It's down to us, people
REGARDING global warming, science shows us that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have been rising steadily since the start of the industrial revolution. The increasing use of fossil fuels has been accompanied by a rise in global temperatures.
The sun warms our planet, which in turn emits thermal radiation. Much of this radiation is absorbed by the carbon dioxide, warming the atmosphere and thus our planet. This is the greenhouse effect. In the absence of carbon dioxide the world would be extremely cold and life as we know it, including us, would not exist.
In the late 1800s, prescient scientists warned of the possibility of global warming, and its due cause. This effect is now certain. With the increase in climate instability, ice-sheet melting, the migration of species (including people), the beginning of evolutionary response of various flora and fauna, and the thawing of permafrost in Canada and Siberia, the evidence is plain.
In 1989, the CSIRO held a widely attended conference 'Greenhouse and Energy'. Many of the coming problems of climate change were set out. How much government action has occurred since this conference and many similar conferences around the world?
The earth is not flat. There is no such thing as the tooth fairy. There is no magician to fix things. It's down to us.
- Ian Smith, Balmoral
System still working?
ARE you sure your solar hot water system is working? While there are still plenty of sunny days left switch off your electric booster for a few days. Cold water means you're paying for the booster and action is required
- Tim O'Connell, Morisset
Plan for global cooling
CARL Stevenson's concern that we're all being conned ("Climate change questions", Lakes Mail, March 12) may well be true. He may be aware that the last ice age was about 60 thousand years ago and that these chilly events turn up about every 100 thousand years. So we've passed the apex of global warming and must now be heading into the next ice age? Rather than stressing over global warming maybe we should be planning for global cooling?
- George Paris, Rathmines
FURTHER to my recent letter ("Forgotten west side story", March 5), about the condition of the plants on The Boulevarde at Toronto, I am attaching three images to show the sad and neglected state some of the plants are now in. The extreme heat conditions have played a part but I am sure you would not see this happen to the gardens at Warners Bay or Speers Point foreshores.
- Diamond Porter, Blackalls Park