Marc Friedenberg knows the difference between climate and weather, unlike our president and some in Congress. We can no longer afford to have leaders who deny climate change by bringing a snowball into Senate chambers, ignoring the global context of climate change and foolishly comparing a short-term, regional winter pattern to the unequivocal, long-term upward trend in global temperatures.
In October of 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a special report that underscored the urgency to expediently curb greenhouse-gas emissions. We are now likely committed to a warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels.
We must take action now to avoid an increase of 2°C (2.7°F) by the year 2100. The difference between the two scenarios is striking. For example, the IPCC has high confidence that impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, including species loss and extinction, will be lower if we take action now and limit the warming to 1.5°C.
According to the IPCC report: “Coral reefs, for example, are projected to decline by a further 70–90% at 1.5°C (high confidence) with larger losses (greater than 99%) at 2°C (very high confidence). The risk of irreversible loss of many marine and coastal ecosystems increases with global warming, especially at 2°C or more (high confidence).”
I enthusiastically endorse Marc Friedenberg as the logical nominee to represent the 12th Congressional District. He will responsibly and expediently address the crisis of climate change, whose urgency transcends political party, in my opinion. We cannot delay any longer.
The author is a retired senior lecturer and senior forecaster, Penn State Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science.