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