CLIMATE: Why 1880 is important

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Al Gore’s book “An Inconvenient Truth” © 2007 reflected worldwide fear of catastrophic global warming and flooding from rising oceans. In response, world leaders in Paris adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015.

In June 2017, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement.

Trump based his action on advice of scientific advisers who disagreed with major parts of Gore’s conclusions.

Whether or not current global warming is catastrophic brings world temperature records into play.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) set 1880 as the date when world temperature records began. 1880 marked the end of the Little Ice Age and the beginning of current warming.

NOAA chose 1880 because there are no world temperature records before that time. The thermometer was invented by Daniel Fahrenheit in 1724. World weather station data was not available until 1880.

Ocean levels seem more reliable than computer modeling to determine world temperatures prior to 1880.

Geological records provide information on past sea levels. Human artifacts mark low ocean levels. Evidence of high ocean levels involves fossils and other deposits from ocean life.

110,000 years ago, prior to the last Ice Age, the ocean was 16 to 20 feet higher than today.

The Minoan global warming raised the ocean 7 feet higher than today.

Current global warming began 140 years ago. The Minoan warming was the shortest in history — 300 years. We can only guess what the future will bring.

ROBERT E. LAUNHARDT

Pinehurst

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