LETTERS: Tom Fletcher’s column filled with incorrect facts

How ironic that Tom Fletcher’s latest piece should appear opposite an editorial entitled Not entitled to our own facts (Oct. 11). Mr. Fetcher’s article is littered with incorrect facts and report statements taken out of context.

1. No informed environmentalists or the U.N., says that hurricanes are caused by climate change. The scientific facts are that hurricanes are exacerbated by warming oceans. The engine of the hurricane is warm surface water feeding evaporation and enabling the air to carry more moisture. So warmer ocean waters means more powerful hurricanes and heavier rainfall events.

2. It is a pity Mr. Fletcher did not include the rest of the conclusions from the NOAA report he quotes. To use his own words, what the report actually says is: “Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones globally to be more intense on average (by two to 11 per cent, according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply a larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.” And “…will likely cause tropical cyclones to have substantially higher rainfall rates than present-day ones, with a model-projected increase of about 10 to 15 for rainfall rates averaged within about 100 km of the storm center.” For years climate science has been predicting more powerful and intense storms.

3. Likewise he has cherry picked one statement from the IPCC report. However, the report goes on to say that ”It is likely that there has been an increase in extreme coastal high water related to increases in mean sea level.” And it also says, “It is likely that anthropogenic influences have led to warming of extreme daily minimum and maximum temperatures at the global scale.” Several daily maximum temperatures were broken again this year in B.C. and even more would have been broken but for the smoke laden skies from the forest fires!

4. This last IPCC conclusion above is pertinent to his assertions about B.C.’s record fire season. No doubt years of fire suppression has led to fuel build up in our forests, but the fact is the new record fire season experienced across the entire northwest of our continent, not just B.C., are due to warmer temperatures summer and winter. The drying effect leads to earlier and longer fire seasons, and a greater frequency of fires starting.

Mr. Fletcher would have some credibility if he offered a more balanced view, instead of which, in his misplaced zeal to denigrate environmentalists and cast doubt on the work of thousands of climate scientists, he cites his own reconstituted “facts.”

Roland Alcock, Sooke

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