Opinion piece rebuttal

I quote an opinion piece sent in by one the Gold Coast Bulletins Readers published in the edition of the 14th MArch 2011;

 “Devastating earthquakes, killer tsunamis, crazy cyclones, destructive floods. Has there ever been more evidence in favour of climate change? I think not.”

While I like the fact that this person believes in Climate Change I think (no – I believe) I will have to disagree with their opinions on what happens due to climate change. Firstly, how can climate change be blamed for a tsunami (which I assume they mean the recent tsunami that happened in Japan) which was caused by two fault lines moving? Secondly, how can an Earthquake (which, once again, I believe they refer to the recent Japanese earthquake) are caused by climate change?

The section where they refer to destructive floods has some merit to their argument that climate change COULD be the cause. However, in this situation, I believe that they are referring to the recent Queensland floods in Australia. If this is the case you cannot jump immediately to climate change as the cause of them. To begin with, in Australia, we only have, approximately, 200 years of recorded weather data. We cannot determine if these events are actually a 1 in 200 year event. Additionally, these events were a ‘one off’ event (at least for the time being). If these events increase over time (as are the predictions of climate change modelling) then there would be more evidence to blame these events due to climate change.

If anyone disagrees with my opinions please leave your comments. If I am incorrect on any of my assumptions I wish to be corrected – it is the only way to learn (maybe)!

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4 Responses to Opinion piece rebuttal

  1. Haha. Thanks Jo. At least someone does.

  2. I think a point that is a bit subtle about the effect of climate change on natural disasters is that it can just stack on top of them. So with the floods, or any floods, climate change won’t be the CAUSE, but they can make them worse than they would otherwise be. So it might flood to 8m instead of 7 due to more intense rain or something. Or a bushfire might be more intense due to a hotter day.

    On earthquakes etc, agree totally.

    • Indeed. Thanks for the add on info. If I understand what you are trying to say is that CC has the potential to increase the severity (and I sugguest the possibility of quantity) of these events occuring.

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