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More about the Keeling Curve
An Oct. 23 letter writer decries anti-intellectualism and antiscience sentiment with respect to climate change and the Keeling Curve. However, he appears quite comfortable with deceit and sophistry. Charles David Keeling, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, began measuring the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide in 1958 in Hawaii. Then it equaled 315 ppmv (parts per million by volume). On Tuesday, the figure was 393.95.
CO2 is generated by natural processes and absorbed by others. Ice-core samples taken by the British Antarctic Survey indicate that for the 800,000 years preceding 1800, this “carbon cycle” remained in a range averaging 200 to 280 ppmv, with the fastest large natural increase measured in older ice cores of around 20 ppmv in 1,000 years.
As the letter writer accurately says, humans account for only about 4 percent of the annual increase in atmospheric CO2. What he fails to acknowledge is that , since 1958, CO2 has increased by an average of 20 ppmv every 14 years. Not 1,000 years — 14 years. The rest of his contentions are pure obfuscation.
Nature’s grand balancing act using photosynthesis has been disrupted by human burning of fossil fuels. There is no other reason, and the effects will be devastating for the future. Explain that to your grandchildren.
JOHN AMMERMAN, St. Louis Park
Website isn’t smooth, in my experience
Regarding “Online traffic spikes with Trip Planner” (Oct. 21): While the article mentions many features that make Metro Transit’s planner seem like a great tool, I have had mostly negative experiences. The article talks about how the Trip Planner will inform users of when the next bus will arrive. Unfortunately, I’ve had many instances in which a bus was extremely early and I nearly missed it, or it was extremely late and I was stuck waiting. On other occasions, a bus never came at all. In addition, the mobile site works for me only about half the time.
It’s extremely frustrating to get stuck in the city, unaware of when my bus might arrive or sometimes even which bus to take. I do think that the article successfully laid out the high points of the Trip Planner site, I hope to see improvements in the future.
SAMANTHA SULLIVAN, Minneapolis
TASTE OF MINNESOTA
A fine idea, but set at the wrong time of year
Glad to hear the Taste of Minnesota is back in business (editorial, Oct. 21). The festival will be held July 3-6 on St. Paul’s Harriet Island. I went to the first one back in 1983, in suffocating heat, and had no appetite. Every year since, the muggy air has prevented me from sampling exotic foods. The timing of the celebratory festival, around July 4th, is appropriate, but eating a wide variety of foods in 90-degree temperatures is not.
SHARON E. CARLSON, Andover
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.