Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Opinion >  Letters

Climate debate needs context

The Spokesman-Review

Ms. Madsen’s recent letter (“Climate fear hard to swallow,” Feb. 13) misunderstands the comments by P.J. Polissar and others in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” (June 13, 2006). They studied four glacial advances that occurred from A.D. 1250-1810 during the Little Ice Age, a time of global cooling. They do indeed conclude that solar activity minima were responsible for those four late Holocene glacial advances. Their conclusions on solar activity, however, addressed only changes during the Little Ice Age, which ended in the 19th century.

Extrapolating to modern climate, they concluded that “estimates of net anthropogenic greenhouse-gas radiative forcing for the next 50 years surpass that of solar forcing in previous centuries, implying that profound climatic impacts can be predicted for tropical montane regions.” That is, human activity is a major component of current climate change.

This is consistent with all accepted models of modern climate change, which indicate that increased solar insolation and anthropogenic greenhouse gases are both causing increases in mean global temperature. Science operates on all available data, not snippets taken out of context.

Matthew Root



Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters on topics of public interest. Your letter must adhere to the following rules:

  • No more than 250 words
  • We reserve the right to reject letters that are not factually correct, racist or are written with malice.
  • We cannot accept more than one letter a month from the same writer.
  • With each letter, include your daytime phone number and street address.
  • The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt.
Click here to learn more.

Submit letters using any of the following:

Our online form

Mail: Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Fax: (509) 459-3815
Questions?: (509) 459-5430