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Global Warming Is Still Just a Theory, Not Fact

July 14, 1991

I must take exception to Michael Schrage's column, "If Warming Trend Bugs You, Think Profit" (June 27). His statement, "If, as the experts insist, the world really is undergoing a fundamental climatic shift toward higher average temperatures . . ." implies that a consensus has been reached in the scientific community with respect to this phenomenon, and that is not true.

Four major studies have recently been completed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the National Oceanics and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Agriculture Department. These studies used different data as well as some collected over a period of 150 years, and none found a "global warming" effect.

Philip H. Abelson, editor of Science magazine and one of the most respected men in the fields of engineering and applied sciences, wrote an editorial in the March 30, 1990, issue titled: "Uncertainties About Global Warming."

He reported that 14 groups are now computer modeling the atmosphere and when they examine the doubling of "greenhouse gases," they see an effect on their computer screens. However, none of these computer program models works well enough to predict anything beyond sunrise; not even one rainstorm. When those programs can tell us whether it is going to rain, we may want to listen to them with regard to the sky falling. For his own conclusions, Abelson turned to our weather history and some new data. He wrote:

"There was substantial increase in (Earth's) temperature from 1880 to 1940, However, from 1940 until the 1960s, temperatures dropped so much as to lead to predictions of a coming Ice Age. New precise satellite data raise further questions about warming. From 1979 to 1988, large temperature variability was recorded on weekly to multi-yearly time scales, but no obvious trend was noted during the 10-year period."

Schrage's error may seem small, but it is one more instance in a consistent pattern of panic promotion appropriate to the pages of the National Enquirer, Star, Globe and the like.


Santa Barbara

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