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Global warming is established fact
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 8/27/2007 5:20 AM

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It was with growing distress that I read Cal Thomas' op- ed, "Global Warming fanatics might not heed the facts" on Aug. 20. He, like the few remaining global warming naysayers, have latched onto the recent adjustments in 1934 temperature data as evidence that global warming is a myth perpetrated by "fanatics."

A full explanation of the data adjustment and its minor impact on climate change information can be found at the realclimate.org entry for August 10, titled "1934 and all that" by Dr. Gavin Schmidt.

According to Dr. Schmidt, who is a climate modeler at GISS (Goddard Institute of Space Science), "The sum total of this change? A couple of hundredths of degrees in the U.S. rankings and no change in anything that could be considered climatically important (specifically long term trends)."

Dr. Schmidt presents both sides of the controversy, with data. Mr. Thomas expresses his opinion, and includes only the information that supports his position.

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts." I suspect Mr. Thomas, like too many Americans, does not understand scientific inquiry and the statistical analysis of data. The interpretation of scientific data should be left to those with the proper training, like Dr. Schmidt. His RealClimate Web site is a great resource for information about global warming, including controversies such as the one presented by Mr. Thomas.

The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is that global warming is a fact, that it is due to human activity and that we are running out of time to reverse some of its effects. Mr. Thomas does his readers a great disservice by encouraging them to delay in responding to the global warming crisis. We need to get past the senseless debate about the fact of global warming and proceed immediately to developing strategies to address it.

Lynn Barnett

Vernon Hills