Re: "GOP stays stubborn about climate change" (Eugene Robinson column, 1-20).
Robinson's figures may not be precisely correct. But his premise, based on hard-to-refute scientific evidence, is. Consider fairly recent data.
• Since 1980, the average temperature of the Earth has risen more than a full degree from what it was then. And the last 10 years have been some of the hottest on record.
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• In January 1980, isea ice covered 15.5 million square kilometers. Today, January levels have shrunk to 13.75 million kilometers.
• Approximately 650,000 years ago, carbon dioxide levels were at 225 ppm. Currently, they're at 400 ppm. The optimum level for Earth's biosystems is less than 350 ppm.
• Since 1993, global sea levels have risen a full 7 centimeters.
Variability is always a factor, of course. The amount of sea ice may fluctuate from year to year. And volcanic eruptions can affect carbon dioxide levels. Also, methodologies may differ.
Regardless, the overall trend has been gradually upward. Our world is definitely heating up. And, in my opinion, it should be plain to just about everyone. Even Stone Age aborigines, living in the murky forests of Papua New Guinea, have probably noticed unprecedented changes.