LETTER: Heat capacity of ocean exceeds that of atmosphere

Columnist ignores mountains of evidence confirming climate change

Re: Science loses ground to superstition, Oct. 3

Tom Fletcher concludes in his latest opinion piece, “It’s ironic that as the “information age” accelerates, our society, overwhelmed by conflicting messages, slips back towards superstition.” He is doing his part to help that slip.

He chooses to portray the overwhelming scientific consensus as either “superstition” or a “popularity contest.” The report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the result of hundreds of scientists reviewing thousands of scientific publications and millions of gigabytes of data to reach the conclusion that current climate change is mostly caused by human activity.

Clearly this is not a matter of superstition nor is it very popular, even among the scientists who have reached this conclusion. I am sure they too would prefer to conclude that the “hiatus” indicated the end of “global warming” if only the rest of the evidence didn’t tell them otherwise. Being good scientists they don’t ignore all the other data showing melting ice, increasing ocean temperatures and rising sea-levels, etc.

The denialists, including Tom Fletcher, will grasp at data such as atmospheric temperatures and ignore the mountains of evidence confirming climate change. This issue can be explained if only the denialists are willing to listen. The heat capacity of the ocean far exceeds that of the atmosphere. So Mr. Fletcher would do well to do decide whether the Titanic will sink because of the hole in its hull rather than the leaky tap in his cabin.

Neil Smith