Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Global Warming Letter in Times-News

This letter was printed in the Times-News August 30, 2006

The purpose of the letter is to get some feedback. The points I write about are from "A Long Term Perspective on Global Warming" by Petr Chylek. I found the essay during my "debate" on JuniperWest's blog, of which I recently wrote. As I described in that post, I didn't get any useable information from them, so I thought I'd write this letter in hopes of causing more discussion. If you follow the link above to the online version of the newspaper, scroll down to the bottom and there are reader comments. I have to admit, the moon thing has got me stumped. If I see any response letters in the upcoming days, I'll post links to them as well.

Here's the letter:

People talk about global warming as if it's a new phenomenon. It's not. We have ice core-derived temperature data for the last 420,000 years. This data shows that global warming periods have occurred in the past. Our current warming period started 11,000 years ago. It has made the development of our civilization possible. It truly is a remarkable period of the Earth's existence.

In more recent terms, there have been two distinct warming periods in the last 120 years. The first lasted from 1890-1940. We are currently in the second period, which began in 1970. In between, there was a noticeable cooling period from 1940-1970. The drop in temperature during these decades alarmed many scientists, with some even predicting imminent global catastrophes.

The warming trend that began in 1890 was not caused by CO2. The warm periods that occurred 130, 240, 320, and 420 thousand years ago were not caused by CO2 either.

An important predictor of the future is the past. In the midst of the current global warming period, we should be striving to understand our planet's past warming trends in order to better understand the present and prepare for the future.

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