The Next Step On Global Warming

The conclusion of the National Academy of Sciences report to the White House that human activities are causing global warming (front page, June 7) is largely based on the claim that there was an unusually rapid rise in surface temperatures during the last two decades, according to readings from surface thermometers.

But another committee of the academy, with some of the same experts, published a report in January 2000 that tried to explain why the global atmosphere showed little if any warming since 1979, according to the best data from weather satellites and weather balloons. The current report makes no explicit mention of the incontrovertible disparity between the different data sets.

The obvious importance of this matter for setting national policy calls for an evidentiary hearing in an open, trial-like setting during which the proponents of the differing data sets can be questioned and cross-examined following established procedures in front of a jury of scientists and nonscientists.

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