The heat is on

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Councillor Rose (Letter, 8 August) challenges Steuart Campbell for failing to provide evidence for his stance on climate change. However, he himself then goes on to posit “an unpleasant truth that climate predictions of 
dangerous global warming were not founded on good science” without himself producing any evidence.

The Scottish Wild Land Group has serious and as yet unanswered questions about the effectiveness of wind farming in combatting climate change and about the negative social and economic impacts of the subsidy regime which underpins the current energy strategy.

However, we accept that by far the greater part of respectable scientific evidence worldwide points to extremely “dangerous global warming” caused by human activity; evidence which cannot be so lightly dismissed by people such as Mr Rose.

Listening to that evidence and assessing it as far as is possible for amateurs is surely far more productive than putting forward sceptical sound bites and potentially unfounded assertions.

John Milne

Scottish Wild Land Group

Ardgowan Drive

Uddingston, Lanarkshire

Steuart Campbell (Letters, 7 August) suggests that the apparent stasis (hiatus) in climate temperature in the 1950s was due to sulphur dioxide emissions from coal burning and the hiatus of the last 15 years was due to extra heat being absorbed by the deep oceans.

Neither is correct. World coal consumption and sulphur dioxide emissions have continued to rise from 1820 to the present day.

Regulations to control sulphur dioxide emissions in some countries were only concluded in the last part of the 20th century but sulphur dioxide emissions have increased elsewhere, notably in developing countries.

As for the present hiatus, the suggestion that extra heat is being absorbed by the deep ocean is just one of a number of suggestions to account for it.

The original indications of potential deep ocean warming were derived from models.

Actual measurements from 2005 onwards by ARGO, a set of probes that record such temperatures, has seen the claimed heat trend all but disappear.

A more likely possibility is that there has been an over-estimation of the sensitivity of climate temperature to atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Heat-based models that indicate a rise of only 1.4 degrees C with a doubling of carbon dioxide are thus more probable.

(Prof) Tony Trewavas FRS FRSE

Scientific Alliance 
Scotland

North St David Street

Edinburgh