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Reader Opinion: Just plain wrong on climate

On May 10, a community education instructor Mr. Rolf Westgard wrote an error-filled opinion piece in the Brainerd Dispatch on the topic of climate change. Among his errors, he claimed that there has been no warming in the 21st century. It turns o...

On May 10, a community education instructor Mr. Rolf Westgard wrote an error-filled opinion piece in the Brainerd Dispatch on the topic of climate change. Among his errors, he claimed that there has been no warming in the 21st century. It turns out that the hottest years on record are 2014, 2010, 2005, and 2007. The current year is on track to break the prior record. His claim misleads his readers and does a disservice to honest discussion. While I study climate change, I ask your readers not to take my word for it. Temperature records for the major meteorological organizations can easily be accessed by computer. The major organizations are NASA, NOAA, The Hadley Center in England, and the Japanese Meteorological Agency. Interesting enough, a few years ago the Koch brothers helped fund an independent group to check these numbers and they found that sure enough, global warming is real.

Mr. Westgard's statements about drought, floods and storms is simply nonsense. The current drought in California is the worst in 1,200 years. It has no recent precedent. I study heavy precipitation events. The heaviest rainfalls are increasing along the eastern half of the U.S. causing more floods. These are facts.

Dr. John Abraham

Climate Scientist

University of St. Thomas

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