Letters from the April 14, 2007, issue of Science News

Heated comments

I am disappointed in your article on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summary (“From Bad to Worse: Earth’s warming to accelerate,” SN: 2/10/07, p. 83). It was a political summary, not the 1,500 page report that’s due in May 2007. How often have you seen a scientific summary published 3 months before the final report? I am concerned that you do not appear to be publishing any other valid climate-change hypotheses, such as solar cycles, long-range historical data on climate changes, the possible role of cosmic rays and the sun’s magnetic field on climate cooling, global warming on Mars, etc. You owe your readers a balanced viewpoint on climate change.

Jim Cudahy
Knoxville, Tenn.

While I agree that the planet is warming, it is not manmade warming. We had a mini–ice age from 1300 to 1850 that produced glaciers, helped reduce sea level, and generated the migration of people. We have a sun in a solar maximum dumping more heat on the planet. There are more important and real pollution problems that need to be addressed than this bogus global-warming problem. We can stop estrogen imitators and other chemical pollution without destroying our economies.

Donald R. Laster Jr.
West Long Branch, N.J.

I guess you haven’t thought that the solar cycles are more aligned with global warming than is man’s expelling of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Besides, volcanoes contribute much more.

Greg Hackney
Freeport, Texas

For a review of how variations in the sun’s magnetic field and other aspects of the solar cycle affect Earth’s climate, see “Pinning Down the Sun-Climate Connection” (SN: 1/20/01, p. 45). The IPCC report does note that changes in solar irradiance since 1750 have boosted global temperatures slightly. However, the planet-warming effects of greenhouse gases generated by human activity during that period are more than 20 times as strong as those due to solar variations, the scientists estimate.—S. Perkins

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