By now most of us at U.S. 1, at least, know enough not to confuse the weather with the climate. But still, faced with an AccuWeather time and temperature alert on our computer screen that showed 0 degrees in Princeton at 9 a.m. last Friday, February 20, we had to ask: What the hell happened to global warming?
As Diccon Hyatt points out in his article beginning on page 28 of this issue, the short answer is probably that nothing has happened to alter the inexorable warming of our planet, and that the recent cold snap may in fact be one more inconvenient consequence of that long-term climate change.
Climate change has become a political football for some, and the experts in the field sometimes become partisan players. As the New York Times reported on February 22, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics scientist Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon has failed to disclose nearly $1.2 million he has received from the fossil fuel industry in scientific papers in which he claimed that warming could be explained by variations in the sun’s energy.
We are lucky to have in our backyard some highly credible sources, including scientists at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory on Forrestal Road in Plainsboro and researchers at Palmer Square-based Climate Central, which describes itself as “an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about our changing climate and its impact on the American public.”
Senior science writer Brian Kahn’s recent article on average snow fall is reprinted on page 29 of this issue.
Up at Rutgers, climate scientist Jennifer Francis has her own theories on the causes and effects of global warming. She describes how global warming is responsible for the bitter cold lingering in the Northeast this winter in an article published on “The Conversation,” a Boston based online journal that makes full disclosure a key component of its editorial policy.
According to its website, www.theconversation.com: “Our aim is to promote better understanding of current affairs and complex issues. And hopefully allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversation.
“We aim to help rebuild trust in journalism. All authors and editors sign up to our Editorial Charter. All contributors must abide by our Community Standards policy. We only allow authors to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise, which they must disclose alongside their article. Authors’ funding and potential conflicts of interest must also be disclosed. Failure to do so carries a risk of being banned from contributing to the site.”
#b#More on Summer Camps.#/b# Now, for those who want to hear less about sub-zero temperatures and snow and more about summer camps, Community News Service’s complete directory of summer camps, including updated listings, is now available online at www.mercercamps.com.