Writer misunderstands global warming

The title of Marvin Murray's recent guest column, "Global warming debate riddled with inaccuracies" (May 10), is a good one, because his column is filled with falsehoods and misconceptions.

He claims there is no consensus that global warming is occurring, yet 97 percent of climate scientists do believe it's likely that man's industrial activities are contributing to long-term global warming. Mr. Murray labels this majority of climate scientists as fanatics, a mindless insult that weakens his own credibility.

Mr. Murray reveals a lack of understanding of the issue when he concludes global warming isn't happening, because some individual years in the past were warmer than recent years. Scientists admit average annual temperatures always have and will fluctuate. But they believe the unnatural increase in greenhouse gases is causing a long-term trend of increased average temperatures.

Mr. Murray wrote that human respiration was the real source of most of the carbon dioxide on the planet. This is a ridiculous falsehood. Humans do exhale carbon dioxide, but the amount is miniscule compared to the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels resulted from the geological process that converted millions of generations of vast forests into coal and oil. Over the past 100 years, factories and cars have suddenly released the massive amount of carbon these fossilized plants slowly absorbed from the atmosphere over millions of years. Moreover, industrial activities release two other greenhouse gases (methane and nitrous oxide) that theoretically contribute to global warming.

Mr. Murray's source, the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is funded by Big Oil. Industry-funded think-tanks are not good, unbiased sources of information. A better source would be www.realclimate.org.

Mark Gelbart

Augusta

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