Letter: Recent cold weather should not distract us from climate change

January 10, 2014 

During the last few days, winter storm “Ion” has grabbed headlines on TV and in newspapers (ADN, Jan. 6) for the havoc it has caused in the Midwest and East from snow, freezing rain, wind and bitterly cold temperatures. 

Although severe, this storm will not likely have any impact on climate change since climate is a result of multiple weather events and patterns over many years and decades. 

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the trend for the planet over the last 1,400 years has been warming, and this trend is virtually certain to continue and get worse unless carbon emissions are reduced.

While the winter storm “Ion” was spectacular in its short-term cooling of large portions of the U.S., we should not take our eye off the ball of the long-term problem of climate change. Our focus should be on finding ways of lowering carbon emissions (like a revenue-neutral carbon tax) and preparing for the many effects we will see in future decades from a warming climate.

— John R. DeLapp

Anchorage

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