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Letter: We should heed scientific consensus on global climate change

Heed consensus, take action on global warming

12:53 AM, Feb. 11, 2014  |  Comments
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EDITOR: As a scientist, I teach my students not to cherrypick just the data that supports a hypothesis, but rather to consider all the data available on a topic. According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2013 was the sixth hottest year since 1850, and 13 of the 14 warmest years on record occurred in the 21st century.

In Aug. 2012, the American Meteorological Society stated "There is unequivocal evidence that Earth's lower atmosphere, ocean and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities. This scientific finding is based on a large and persuasive body of research." The AMS went on to call for policy changes to mitigate climate change.

In his recent letter, Jim Maas cited a single climate scientist far outside the mainstream on this issue. If that individual is right and all the data we are currently receiving on human-caused climate change is wrong, then we have nothing to worry about.

If, however, up to 99 percent of the world's climate scientists are right and still we do nothing to respond to the climate crisis that has already begun, then our children and succeeding generations will face a catastrophe of enormous proportions.

Science has already shown us how we can reduce the impact of global climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into our atmosphere. If we don't take appropriate action, we will have to answer to future generations for our inaction.

Ned Grossnickle,

professor of biological sciences, University of Wisconsin Marathon County,

Lake DuBay

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