Letters to the Editor

Science not invalidated

The global warming trend has showed an upward arc since about 1910, though the wiggles in this line are easily seen.

Some larger spikes, such as that seen caused by the 1998 El Nino, may make the next 15-year period appear flatter, but such variance is typical. Up to two decades sometime appear flatter if carefully selected. Choosing a year earlier essentially eliminated this “flattening trend,” which was carefully chosen for dates and length of time to try to make a point.

The science is solid, so why the variability? The single-largest reservoir of temperature is our oceans. Slight movements of these waters and homogenization of the temperatures within layers of the ocean can have profound effects, and are consistent with the variability seen in air data but hard to verify.

Oceans have a much greater heat capacity than air. Last year was the warmest year in global air temperature to date. There has been no slowing of ocean level rise, ocean temperature rise or Arctic sea ice decline.

Records continue to be set even for air temperature, with 1998 and 2005 setting records and the 11 warmest years on record occurring since 1998.

Somebody’s desperate book doesn’t invalidate science. In 400,000 years CO2 did not exceed 300 parts per million. Through four natural cycles, we are now racing past 400 parts per million.

Doug Keith, State College

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