More climate change research

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EDITOR – In response to the letter from Dr Stopper who wrote in last week to suggest that the climate is not changing because the Antarctic ice is growing - I do not have an unshakeable belief in climate change as he suggests, I just accept the scientific majority held view, but I would be delighted and very relieved if that was proved incorrect.

Unfortunately the vast majority of the evidence points to the fact that climate change is real.

Thousands of government scientists representing 195 different countries contributed to the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and they openly accept that there is some conflicting evidence as the situation is complex.

The world is not warming uniformly, the reason why is not fully understood yet. The depth of ice in Antarctica is growing, possibly due to more snow falling there.

As the oceans warm they evaporate more and this falls as rain in temperate regions and as snow in Antarctica.

Such information does not mean that the whole thesis of climate change is wrong, but simply that more research is needed to fully understand what is happening and why.

I applaud Dr Stopper’s scientific scepticism - all scientists need this to encourage them to keep searching for answers. However, such scepticism needs to be used to drive us to find the truth, not to justify inaction.

The risks of climate change have been reported for 20 years now - the debate over whether it is really happening should be over, we need to focus on what we can do to minimise its impacts.

Opponents of wind power regularly highlight the problems of depending upon wind power alone - but the reality is that no-one is suggesting that we do. A broad energy mix combining wind, solar, biogas, wave and tidal power together with energy storage will be needed to cover intermittentcy of supply in the future. In the medium term this will involve back-up supply involving fossil fuels such as gas, as few suggest that we shut down our existing gas power stations immediately.

Finally, I was interested to see the letter from Councillor Strange last week explaining that he and his colleagues are only standing up for their constituents when they do their best to stop new wind farms.

We are assured that they do in fact support renewable energy initiatives in Lincolnshire. This is great news, although I must say that I have not seen much visible support from our Councillors for the existing renewable energy installations.

However, I very much look forward to seeing letters in local papers from our Councillors in the near future giving visible and vocal support to new proposals for clean energy projects in an equally enthusiastic manner as they give their objections.

Peter Sanderson