Scientific probability indicates world’s climate is changing

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From: Dr John D Rayner, Humberdale Drive, North Ferriby, East Yorkshire.

REGARDING recent severe weather and David Cameron’s comments suspecting a link with climate change, it is perhaps inevitable that following the cogent analysis feature by Sarah Freeman (Yorkshire Post, January 10), there should follow – two pages later – a bluster of ignorant hot air from Bill Carmichael to protest that both the Prime Minister and Sir David King have “confused weather and climate”.

Surely Mr Carmichael understands that weather and climate are not unrelated – the latter is the long term summation or averaging of all the former events on a global or regional basis. Therefore any overall trend in climate statistics must reflect changing patterns in the underlying detail. You cannot change an average without adjusting one or more of the amounts in the sum.

The widely accepted conclusion of current climate science is that global warming will result over time in observable changes in climate data – indeed these are already apparent. It is obvious to anyone who fully comprehends the probabilistic nature of the calculations that behind changing averages there will be examples of greater individual extremes – and a few extreme examples may well be in the opposite direction to the movement of the average, as North America is currently discovering.

Perhaps on a linguistic technicality it may be wrong to say “climate change means potentially more extreme weather events”, but colloquially that is the essence of the position.

Doubtless Mr Carmichael would be equally unhappy with the more precise alternative that “global warming means more extreme weather events, leading over time to changed climatic averages”. Either way, the fact that individual weather events will not be attributed by science with 100 per cent certainty does not mean that there is nothing going on. Scientists understand that characteristic of probability, and it is high time that the last few refuseniks and shallow thinkers in politics, industry and the media got their brains into gear.

From: Pamela Z Frankland, Hull Road, Dunnington, York.

WITH reference to more than 100 flood warnings that were in force on January 8, now is the time to ignore the Environment Agency, RSPB, RSPCA and all the other “do-gooders” and clean the rivers out, cutting back branches and weed overgrowth.

I have been advocating this for 48 years when the River Derwent was last dredged out.

The suffering and cost of all this flooding to the local residents is traumatic, to say the least.

The recent report of plastic on river beds causing concern for the health of wildlife and humans, due to plastic particles being found in fish, is alarming and it is another reason to clean out the rivers, surely?

The work carried out by electronic engineers should be commended, not criticised.

It all goes to prove we cannot govern the weather. David Cameron suffered verbal 
abuse from a woman who 
had been flooded. He should 
now insist on rivers being 
cleared out on a national 
scale.