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Jack Nagel, Published December 25 2008

Global warming warrants attention

Fargo

After reading a letter written by Tom Kovach in the Dec. 23 issue of The Forum, I felt it necessary to provide your readership with assurance that despite Kovach’s misguided attempt to poke fun at the issue, global warming is an extremely serious issue that merits worldwide attention.

Perhaps the real problem lies with the phrase “global warming.” Now used more often to attack science than to support it, global warming describes the increase in average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, roughly over the past 50 years. This definition of global warming is an irrefutable scientific fact. Furthermore, and contrary to Kovach’s assertions, this change in our climate can result in a wide array of localized weather patterns, including unusually frigid temperatures and increased or decreased snowfall.

Within the scientific community, where, I might add, exists the only group of people qualified to conduct the necessary research on the subject, there is no debate as to whether global warming exists. The only debate, if there is one, is what is the underlying cause of the warming; given the rise in temperature directly followed the increase in carbon emissions, it is difficult if not impossible to discount anthropogenic contributions to the problem.

In order to discover the truth of the matter, one must utilize the scientific method, and not resort to meaningless satire. I encourage the public to look past the grumblings of uninformed commentators, and instead devote that time to reading the literature and studying the data that has been collected on global climate change. An honest and open exploration of the problem is the only way we can prevent further damage to our planet and stop global warming before it is too late.