Beaufort, N.C.

Sept. 23, 2019


We are writing in response to the editorial of Sept. 4th, entitled “No global warming,” published just as Hurricane Dorian was approaching our coast. We are writing in our capacities as directors of the Duke, UNC and N.C. State laboratories here in Carteret County. We would like to set the record straight about the science of climate change and the impact of these changes on hurricanes.

The editorial quoted John Hinderaker, a trial lawyer who writes for the blog site PowerLine, suggesting that U.S. temperatures may be cooler today than they were in the early 20th century. That is factually incorrect. The editorial claims that the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) shows no evidence of warming. However, since the USCRN came on line in 2008 and temperature records are inherently noisy from year to year, an 11-year long dataset is unlikely to show a significant trend. Rather, the USCRN is intended to provide a good climate record for the future.

So, here are the facts. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62º Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human made emissions into the atmosphere. The evidence for these changes comes from a huge amount of data collected by satellites, ocean observing systems, and land based stations.

This is not just our view, but a scientific consensus supported by the overwhelming majority of climate scientists. The position that our climate is changing rapidly, and that these changes are driven by human activities, is supported by a vast number of scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Medical Association and the American Chemical Society, to name but a few.

Much of this increased heat has been absorbed by the upper layer of the world’s oceans, which have warmed more than 0.4º Fahrenheit since 1969. The combination of warmer oceans and a warmer atmosphere provides more heat to fuel hurricanes and more moisture carrying capacity, leading to stronger and wetter storms. This is particularly true in the western North Atlantic, where we see a strong signal of increased sea surface temperatures over the past half century.

We should have a robust debate about what to do about climate change here in Carteret County, where we are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and to coastal storms. But that debate should start from a common understanding of what science tells us about climate change. And the science is clear — the earth is warming rapidly. It is up to us to decide what to do about it.

If you are interested in learning more, a good place to start is the NASA web site on Global Climate Change

ANDY READ, director, Duke University Marine Laboratory

RICK LUETTICH, director, UNC-CH, Institute of Marine Sciences


director, N.C. State

University, Center for Marine Sciences and Technology

(19) comments


What you need to do is go to China, and India, since they are the largest polluter's on the GLOBE, and have your discussion! (we, here in America have done more then our part, sorry your wasting our time). Hope those 2 governments open their arms with praise to let you folks in and show you all love, hahahahahahahah) ....[beam]


Your statement is dead wrong, as usual. USA have twice the amount of CO2 emission per capita than China and 10 times more than India.


The shelf life of any newspaper that continues to spew ignorant, editorial garbage on a weekly basis isn't sustainable.


Funny. This is not a "newspaper" any longer. Need paper for that. Guess it is a news media electronic outlet. And a good one at that. Small, local news sources are what keep us grounded and informed. They are not meant to please.


The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Of course it couldn't have anything to do with manufacturing a crisis to push a socialist agenda, or in this particular instance keep the money gravy train going. By the way, did everybody apologize to a plant today for your environmental "sins"?


I would like to submit a rebuttal of sorts to the opinion expressed by Andy Reid and others. I suggest that your readers go online, to YouTube and search for prager university (or prager u). Look for their presentations on global warming or climate change. Discussions on these topics include thoughts from such experts as professers from MIT and the cofounder of greenpeace.


Duke, UNC and NC State are real universities. prager university is not. prageru is founded by a talk show host to promote his wacko political views, it has nothing to do with anything educational. prageru are not even remotely unbiased, some of their major donors are from the oil and gas industry.


"So, here are the facts. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62º Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human made emissions"

Facts based on assumption. Hmmmmm.....

Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions

“The oceans contain 37,400 billion tons (GT) of suspended carbon, land biomass has 2000-3000 GT. The atmosphere contains 720 billion tons of CO2 and humans contribute only 6 GT additional load on this balance. The oceans, land and atmosphere exchange CO2 continuously so the additional load by humans is incredibly small. A small shift in the balance between oceans and air would cause a CO2 much more severe rise than anything we could produce.”


Your math is not good. About 1% CO2 added to the atmosphere by humans every year is not tiny or incredibly small, it is incredibly large. However, your numbers are wrong; humans contribute somewhere north of 30 billion tons of CO2 emissions each year, or 4+%. It is incredibly HUGE.

John Bonney

Eaggleston is obviously right in his thoughts. Anyone on the water can verify his observations. Chemical oceanographers identified global warming and it's effects well before the politics became involved. Skip the new sources and just look at old Chemical Oceanography textbooks from the 70's. Who identified chemical processes verifying the issue starting with the industrial revolution.

With that being said; today we have a tortured, politicized debate. Eaggleston appears to suggest dialog and discussion. There's nothing wrong with that. There is middle ground for sane people. Who need to discuss the issues like adults.


I would like to ask a question of Mr. Read, Mr. Luettich and Mr. Eggleston. Since the invention of the car and America's great love of driving, could the great expanse of macadam we have been building for the last 60+ years be holding heat and cause rising temperatures? Sun beating down on the road sure makes things hotter and I'm just wonder about the effect of that on the temperatures.

David Collins

Black asphalt does absorb and retain heat from the sun. This heat is released when the sun goes down , slowing down the nighttime cooling of the air around it . Any lasting effects are not known , just guessed at .

Talk about carbon , aren’t all of earth’s creatures carbon life forms ? Will we ever have any more carbon on this planet than we already have ? How can you eliminate carbon if that is what everything is made of ? How would you get rid of it ?


David, if you take carbon out of the ground and burn it it is then in the atmosphere. Not hard to understand.


asphalt contributes to "global warming" about as much as peeing in the ocean raises the sea level.

David Collins

Waiting for that one. Co/2 is food for plant life. Plant life releases oxygen. Stop slash and burn policies around the globe and restore the forests. With all the Co/2 floating about they should grow quickly.

Am sure you are referring to the burning of coal, the green eyed monster of the decade. The residuals left after burning do have many uses. Concrete, wallboard and can be refined to recover valuable elements. Always wondered why so little effort has gone into this field. After all, the raw material is free for the asking. Doesn’t get better than that.


"NASA predicts ICE AGE with ‘DEAD SUN’ sparking fears Earth temperatures to plunge

THE Earth could be plunged into a mini ice age if the sun continues to remain dead, experts fear." Nov, 2018

The climate has always changed, and it always will. The weather 900 years ago was much warmer than it is now because of cycles and the sun.


The hockey stick graph is a fraud. A man-made computer software algorithm generated it, and the algorithm is rigged to produce a hockey stick shape no matter what data were entered. Like everything else found in the rigged world of “climate science,” the hockey stick graph was a fraud the day it was generated.

Always A Teacher

There's much more to the entire issue than plants use CO2 for photosynthesis and animals give off CO2 from respiration. Plants, along with EVERY living thing, give off CO2 as a result of respiration. Let's not forget about methane either. Sometimes when I read the comments it reminds me how I am surrounded by people who have little scientific background and just shoot blindly from the hip.

David Collins

Guess I will never get an answer . Such is the world of moderation .


Everybody is an expert on their own level. Facts are facts. Yes this summer was warmer than last summer. This decade was warmer than last decade. All the data collected in the past 10, 20 and 100 years is so insignificant to the 4 billion years where climate has changed over and over again. It is a fact that "man made" CO2 emissions are such a small percentage of the total what can we do that can really make a difference ?

Every country and every person could increase or reduce CO2 emission and it would not be relevant compared to the ocean gas exchange, volcanoes and other natural non man made causes.

Consider this- humans are part of the earth so whatever we do is natural as far as the planet goes. Humans certainly did not cause the CO2 levels to be higher in the past and yet the earth is still here.

I might consider changing my lifestyle when the climate pushers like Al Gore, Bono, Pelosi, and DiCaprio stop using private jets to go to climate summits and limit themselves to less than 4 fireplaces per vacation home.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.