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Global warming: Letter writer's claims not backed by evidence
Mr. Day's recent letter (Dec. 23) makes several assertions regarding global warming, none of which are supported by scientific evidence. I will respond to them in no particular order.
To begin, global warming did not stop in 1998, nor has a cooling trend taken its place. NASA and NOAA place 2005 as the hottest year on record and 2009 is likely to be warmer than those tied for second, 2007 and 1998.
Ocean temperatures have not begun to cool. NOAA reported in June that the world's ocean surface temperatures were the warmest on record.
The Arctic is the fastest-warming region on our planet; 2007 saw the lowest sea ice extent since 1979. Some of that ice has regrown, but it is young and thin, making it vulnerable to further melt. In addition, while the sea ice extent has briefly recovered, Arctic sea ice area is nearly one million square kilometers below what it was in 1979.
The West Antarctic ice sheet has long been observed to be melting while the East Antarctic was thought to be more stable. However, a multi-year study, recently reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, has found the East Antarctic to be melting at a rate faster than expected, a surprising, and unwelcome, observation.
Global warming is a serious issue that requires more thought than Mr. Day's letter.