Debates on these pages would be more productive if our writers — on both sides of an issue —would stick to the facts.
Short-term trends within the Earth's atmosphere do not a pattern make. A long view of climate and biology will reveal numerous episodes in the past where temperatures were higher and lower than now. A few millions years ago the the Earth was 4 degrees warmer than it is now. Compared to mammals, insects have less efficient respiratory systems, which limits how large they can get.
Oxygen levels were much higher when the Earth was younger as the fossil record contains roaches as large as skateboards and dragonflies with 9-foot wingspans.
As to the “radiation” at the South Pole, Joseph Reichert needs to clarify what sort of radiation he thinks is leaking through some of the most pristine air in the world. Does he mean “ionizing radiation” (like X-rays) or UV as there is 100 miles of air over our heads that filters out most of the ionizing radiation from space. If he refers to the hole in the Ozone, he neglects to mention that after the industrialized West reduced the production of CFCs the hole has begun to shrink.
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As to rise and fall of sea levels, that has happened before. Chesapeake Bay is a drowned river valley. At the time of Homer, the Mediterranean was three feet higher than it is now.
Mark Godwin, Lebanon