Climate change and the weather

Wed, Jul 11, 2012, 01:00

Sir, – Ciaran Cuffe (July 4th) chastises me for quoting him selectively in referring to his prediction of “summer droughts” in Ireland. He then proceeds to repeat his original forecast with further predictions of drops in our summer rainfall. Mr Cuffe also admonishes me not to confuse climate with weather and quotes from the Environmental Protection Agency report Climate Change – Refining the Impacts for Ireland. The same report states that climate change is already taking place here and gives as evidence the fact that “In Ireland, six of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 1995”.

How is this different from me pointing out that some of our wettest summers have occurred since Mr Cuffe predicted “summer droughts”? Few people doubt that our climate is warming and that anthropogenic factors are among the many causes.

However, climate models are not infallible. Mr Cuffe does not help by taking a modelled forecast of a 12 per cent reduction in summer rainfall and jumping to a prediction of “summer droughts”. – Yours, etc,

JOHN HAMILL,

Church Heath,

Castleblayney,

Co Monaghan.