Dr GM Lindsay (Letters, 12 February) is wrong to claim that “there has been no increase in global temperatures for 19 years”, and nor has the Met Office ever supported such a falsehood.
The Met Office Hadley Centre publishes a global land/ocean surface temperature series (HADCRUT4).
It shows that the past five years (2010-2014) were on average about 0.29C warmer than the similar period of 19 years ago (1991-1995). Satellite measurements (RSS) of lower troposphere temperatures show a similar increase of 0.26C.
Dr Lindsay is also wrong to claim that emissions of CO2 from volcanoes dwarf human emissions from fossil fuel use. Both the US and British Geological Surveys concur that annual global volcanic CO2 emissions total less than one percent of those from humans.
Dr Lindsay does at least appear concerned at the large increases in temperature projected by the IPCC.
But the IPCC is inherently conservative: some researchers suggest higher temperatures sooner.
For example, Betts et al 2010 (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society) suggests that continuing reliance on fossil fuels “would lead to a warming of 4°C relative to pre-industrial during the 2070s” and Dr Michael E Mann in 2014 calculated that such reliance would cause the Earth to cross the dangerous threshold of 2C warming by 2036.
Such dangers can be avoided, but only if we urgently reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
To ignore such warnings is folly. To do so whilst indulging in easily refuted falsehoods is, frankly, ridiculous.
I am fully in sympathy with those who believe that our frail planet must be understood, respected and protected.
In my view, however, it does not follow that we must eschew the burning of fossil fuels and cover the land and sea with unsightly and dangerous wind farms.
The puny amount of gases and other pollutants produced by our cars, buses, planes and boilers pales into insignificance when compared with the huge volumes of gases, dust and other pollutants being spewed out continually by volcanos around the globe.
Our contribution simply does not make not a pin of difference.
Global warming is a natural phenomenon which will continue over the millennia regardless of our activities, being produced partly by changes within the earth’s core but predominantly by changes in solar activity.
So, we may return to the use of fossil fuels, including coal, with clear consciences, knowing that wild life on land and at sea is no longer being endangered.
The two “facts” that Dr GM Lindsay imagines disprove global warming are, in fact, myths that have been debunked ad nauseam.
The “no increase in global temperatures for 19 years” claim is only for atmospheric data. Include the oceans, which hold much more heat, and temperature rises unabated throughout that period.
The volcanoes claim was an error by Australian geologist Ian Plimer. In fact, humans emit 100 times more CO2 than volcanoes.
That Dr Lindsay peddles such easily refuted myths illustrates the lack of basic fact-checking that typifies global warming deniers.
(Dr) Stephen Moreton