Cannot dismiss emissions increase

Regarding the Aug. 31 article, “NASA study links strong tornadoes to warming”:

Before dismissing the latest warnings of the impact of increased CO2 emissions on climate change, consider this: Since 1956, annual global CO2 emissions have increased from 1.3 billion tons to 7 billion tons. At the same time, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have gone from 300 parts per million (ppm) to 380 ppm an increase of 80 ppm over the last 50 years!

Skeptics say, “Yes, but this is merely part of a natural cycle”. Wrong! At no time in the last 500,000 years have atmospheric concentrations been anywhere near the absolute levels that exist today. And, most importantly, at no time in the last 500,000 years did any similar increase occur in less than 100,000 years and certainly not in 50 years!

How have atmospheric CO2 concentrations changed over the last half million years?

Within each of the four naturally occurring cycles, concentrations were between 200 ppm during the coldest periods and 300 ppm during the warmest periods; and, never during any of the four 100,000 year cycles did concentrations fluctuate more than 100 ppm.

There’s nothing natural about atmospheric CO2 concentrations jumping from 300 ppm to 380 ppm in the last 50 years. So, if the latest warnings are of concern to you, the good news is that by immediately reducing our greenhouse gas emissions we can address the worst aspects of climate change. But let’s hope we overcome our natural skepticism and take action sooner rather than later.

Gary Lintz


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