M.D. Harmon’s column about global warning (“Global warming’s name keeps changing like the weather,” June 13) is short on science. In Harmon’s universe, the effects of carbon dioxide pollution are just modern fantasies. In one of his opening lines, Harmon is overly optimistic when he asserts that global warming stopped in 1998.

Before we write off global warming, let’s look at some of the facts. While carbon dioxide, methane and other gases in the air contribute to global warming, some particulates in the air contribute to global cooling. Volcanic ash in the stratosphere is a known coolant, because the ash forms water droplets that reflect sunlight. Increased volcanic activity has been in effect since 2000, so a period of cooling is not unexpected.

The last period of global cooling started in the 1940s and ended in the 1970s. Not surprising, volcanic activity increased between 1943 and 1953 with about the same annual rate of eruptions as in the current period. If the pattern of cooling preceded by increased volcanic activity repeats itself, we could see at least another decade of cooler weather and more global-warming denials from Harmon.

Meanwhile ,we continue to move more carbon molecules from the ground into the air when we heat our homes and drive our cars and fuel our factories. Global warming is with us and needs to be resolved before we run out of oil.

Peter Konieczko


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