Dear Editor: For anyone who isn’t clear on what “global climate change” means, here are some simple scientific facts that can’t be disputed:

1. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the southern Atlantic Ocean are significantly warmer now than their historic norms.

2. Hurricanes draw their energy from warm ocean waters.

3. Warmer air carries more moisture than cooler air, so storms that occur over warmer water will have more water in them than ones that occur over cooler water. (Harvey dumped more rain on Houston -- about 30 inches -- than any storm in U.S. history. Irma had winds at 180 mph for 37 hours, which was a record, and was the second category 4 storm to hit the U.S. in three weeks).

Now, you can argue over why the water is warmer -- is it because there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which holds in more heat (caused by a higher use of fossil fuels), or is it a natural occurrence? -- but you can’t argue that global climate change is happening, and it is causing some major damage to the coastal areas adjacent to the warmer sea water. For anyone who thinks that “global climate change” is a passing fad or the latest “in” topic of the media, I think a reality check of the above information is in order.

Patricia M. Giesfeldt 

Appreciate these insights? Get Cap Times opinion sent daily to your inbox

Cottage Grove

Send your letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.