The scientific observations and information gathered over the past century and longer, especially the past 50 years, of climate change provide compelling and incontrovertible evidence that globally the climate is changing and at rates that are faster than any period in the past 200,000 years. And this change is due largely to humans putting huge volumes of carbon into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

There are lots of claims about fake news for climate science, but the only fake news on the topic is coming from the Trump Administration and others who exhibit deliberate ignorance and denial of the actual facts that are supported by all climate scientists.

Certainly climate has changed over geologic history due to natural processes, however these natural factors are well understood and they are not the cause of the change occurring over the past century. During the last interglacial warm period about 125,000 years ago, global sea levels were more than 25 feet higher than present. We can expect three to five feet of rise by the year 2100 and 20 to 25 feet of rise in the next couple of centuries, unless societies cut and reverse carbon emissions to the atmosphere.

The buildup of carbon in the atmosphere results in warming due to the “greenhouse effect” from solar radiation, and some of that heat over time gets transferred to the oceans. There is clear evidence of warming of the atmosphere and oceans well beyond any natural variation due to weather. Global temperatures have warmed, which is causing major impacts such as more-intense storms, sea level rise, more droughts, more intense weather events, and deterioration of coral reefs and land-based ecosystems.

Climate change is as real and factually supported as other well-established theories, such as biological evolution, plate tectonics, gravitational attraction and a round versus flat Earth and, as such, needs to be recognized as an emergency situation for the entire world. Addressing the reality of climate change and the need for reaching zero carbon emissions in the next two decades should be a top priority for the USA and all nations. The physics of the greenhouse effect have been known for almost 200 years and climate science has steadily developed over the past 50 years; the time for action is past due.

Carbon emissions need to be reduced to zero by alternative energy technologies within the next two decades and technology and a massive tree planting effort are needed to actually remove carbon from the air and sequester it safely in soil and suitable geologic formations underground.

Mr. Williams is a professional coastal scientist. He lives in North Falmouth.

(1) comment

Lynn Kempen

Did you fail to notice that the term "climate change" replaced the term "global warming" because there was zero evidence supporting such claim? Inquiring minds actually consider why that is the case, rather than jumping on political band wagons sans evidence.

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