In the Feb. 3 guest opinion — “Should Congress defy President Donald Trump and move quickly to deal with climate change? — William Happer misrepresents climate science, as he fails to mention the issues of climate feedback or consequences of climate change.
An example of feedback is the electronic shriek we hear from a microphone/loudspeaker system. The loudspeaker feeds back into the microphone creating runaway amplification. Heating by CO2 is an input to the climate system. When CO2 heating occurs, water vapor and clouds do not remain constant. Water vapor increases, providing a heating feedback. Clouds also provide feedback, but their impacts are more complicated and have been the object of significant research. The net effect of rising CO2 and associated feedback is known to be warming. There is uncertainty as to the rate of warming, but the evidence is clear that change is happening: rising temperature, melting ice, and rising sea level.
Mr. Happer’s labeling of climate science as a hoax is denigrating to a serious science issue. Rising sea level and expected increase in severe weather will put millions of people at risk. We know enough at this point that we should be having a different discussion: not whether humans are causing climate change, but what we should be doing about it.
James Mather, Richland