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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Wednesday, May 08, 2002
Global warming, global shwarming: A New York Times News Service story published in today's San Diego Union-Tribune reports that cooling in the Antarctic region is a result of the hole in the ozone layer.

When it comes to the global climate, stories like this just go to show that scientists still don't have a good handle on how it works.


While average global temperatures have risen about one degree Fahrenheit over the past century, Antarctica overall appears to have cooled slightly in the past few decades.

That has been puzzling, because the polar regions are thought to be more sensitive to warming trends than the rest of the globe. Even more puzzling, a small portion of Antarctica that stretches north toward South America defies the cooling trend. It has been warming very rapidly, about five degrees over the past 50 years, 10 times the global average.

Writing in the journal Science, David W.J. Thompson, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, and Susan Solomon, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo., argue that the ozone hole, which has opened up each spring over Antarctica in recent years, may help explain the contradictory trends.

"Ozone seems to be capable of tickling the Southern Hemisphere patterns," Thompson said in an interview.


Well, it's got to be the ozone hole because we humans are the guilty parties in that environmental tragedy too. The problem is that these scientists are just guessing. The most accurate global climate models still can't duplicate the existing climate. The global temperature increases that these models produce are still twice as large as the observed temperature change.


Thompson agreed that the ozone hole could not explain the whole climactic picture, and said other influences like ocean currents probably played important roles, too. "I seriously doubt it's the only player," he said. "I think it's one of many."


Finally, some honesty. The problem is that they still don't understand the "many." Remember, it was only 20 years ago that scientists were warning of the coming ice age. They didn't get it back then. They still don't get it.

Until their climate models can accurately mimic what has happened, it's foolish for lawmakers to create environmental laws based on speculation. It's not ready, aim, fire. It's fire, fire, fire.

9:36 AM

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