In response to two recent letters on global warming, I did some research. I consulted NASA, the National Climate Data Center, the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, Weather Underground, Farmer’s Almanac and the U.S. Census Bureau.
U.S. weather records go back to the 1880s, offering 130 years of comparative data. But this is a blink in time considering the 650,000 years since the largest Ice Age. Since then we’ve had six smaller ice ages – each about 100,000 years apart; each lowering Earth’s temperatures by 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
The last one peaked 20,000 years ago. So doing the math, we’re coming off historic lows and less than midway to historic highs. Based on these previous natural climate cycles, I conclude we should expect our ultimate warming in another 20,000 years or so – regardless of man’s existence.
Need to believe man is at fault? Picking from dozens of possible offerings, I submit the hottest temperature ever recorded: 136 F, Al Aziziyah, Libya, Sept. 1922. This event predates commercial aviation (now 700 million passengers per year in the U.S. alone) and was when the U.S. had 4.46 percent of the cars it has today and the world’s population – now 6.9 billion – was less than 2 billion.