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December 22, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Man’s effect on global warming?

Climate change is real. It has been going on since earth’s beginning. In the 1300s, global temperatures were 2 to 3 degrees higher than now; in the early 1600s, temperatures were 3 to 4 degrees lower than now. The real question is whether the activities of man have any appreciable effect.

As a scientist who once worked in atmospheric science, I look at available data before drawing conclusions. The following information obtained on a variety of Internet sites should be considered:

• During the past 17 years, average global temperature has remained relatively unchanged. In fact, since 2001, global temperatures have cooled about 0.4 degrees.

• The arctic ice, although less than in 1981, has increased in extent by 50 percent in the past year.

• The sea ice in Antarctica, at 25 percent above normal, has hit a 35-year record high this year. Recall the Russian ship with climate scientists getting trapped in that ice in December.

• In August 2010, a satellite measured the coldest temperature ever recorded on earth in Antarctica at minus 135.3 degrees.

• Thousands of scientists don’t agree that human activity causes global warming. Those scientists, however, are ones whose livelihoods do not depend on their research of global warming.

• The ice cover of the Great Lakes just set a new record as to the largest extent of ice recorded. Lake Superior is 92 percent ice-covered.

• The analytic models used by scientists to predict temperatures are dependent on inputs and assumptions, making accurate predictions difficult.

It is my conclusion that global warming, as a result of man’s activity, is not settled science. While I support research into alternative energy, I am unwilling at this time to accept significantly higher energy costs in the name of preventing possible man-made global warming.

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