Nothing has happened
Dear Editor:I want to thank Susan (Hassol, Aspen Times letters, March 7) for a very energetic response. However, while she correctly states that very fine adjustments to background radiation measurements from space were necessary, it should be pointed out that the effects trying to be measured are so small that even the slightest inaccuracy can miss them altogether. I asked in my previous letter that people such as Susan just look at the data. The sun is and has caused ice ages, mini-ice ages (we’re due for one now), including the mini-ice age in the 1700s, and been a major factor in changing climate for billions of years. It is hotter now than it has been in 8,000 years. Direct measurements showed that it caused the cooling on Earth from 1945-1970 despite increasing CO2 levels.Rather than debate Susan, The Aspen Times has limited me to 300 words if I include a graph that illustrates that data. With ongoing increases in CO2 levels, the IPCC model predicts increasing temperatures. Since Susan wants to be current, what actually happened in the last three years? Extracted from the 1978 to present MSU NASA Marshall satellite data on mean earth temperatures, what happened in the last three years is nothing, only a slight decrease (-0.04 C), no volcanic eruptions, no El Niño ocean effects. If we take the entire record (1978 to present), we are hotter now by, on average, 0.256 degrees centigrade, partially due to the three-year 1998 El Niño peak and a slightly hotter sun. That’s it. Energy independence, efficient use of fossil fuels and pollution reduction are very important; that is why I stressed oil shale and liquid-burning solid oxide hydrogen fuel cell development (a 3-to-1 decrease in fuel consumption over the internal combustion engine), which Susan seems to have missed.Mike MasonCedaredge
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