It is fitting that Dr. Dave Klein's letter uses a florid obsolete term of Italian origin to insult those with whom he disagrees. How very supercilious of him.

Again he argues against a position no one has taken. While his logic is correct given the assumption he makes, it is that assumption that is in error. He seems to think that global warming refers to the rocks, sand, trees and all the solid/liquid objects on the surface of the Earth. But the atmosphere is just as much a part of our planet and is a very active and important one at that.

Global warming is intrinsically related to climate change. Climate is the long-term weather patterns that occur over years, not the day-to-day weather events you see out your window. Climate is determined by the atmosphere which is where global warming takes place close to the Earth’s surface. That is where the greenhouse gases trap heat. So we get more water vapor absorbed by the warmer air resulting in heavier snows, rains, flooding and stronger storms.

As an aside, take the planet Mercury, closest planet to the sun. It has almost no atmosphere and the surface temperature is 800 F in the day and -280 F at night.

Now move on to Venus, the hottest planet in our solar system. Venus’ temperature remains at a relatively constant temperature of about 870 F. Why is that when Venus is almost twice as far from the sun as Mercury? Venus has a dense atmosphere of 96 percent carbon dioxide that quite effectively traps any heat from the sun that gets through as well as any heat given off by the planet itself.

Of course Venus’ atmosphere is nothing like Earth’s but it is instructive in understanding how CO2 can warm a planet. We won’t see 800 F any time soon but as concentrations of greenhouse gases rise and temperatures go up only a few degrees. We will have stronger storms, more droughts, more flooding and more instability in the world. Even the Pentagon signs on to this scenario and considers it a national security issue.

Frank Ferguson

Billings

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