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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Research global warming

By Ken Hughes | Published Sunday, August 8, 2010

When I want facts from which to draw my own conclusions about global climate change, I certainly don’t seek views of either the right or left political persuasion or from self-styled conservatives of any fashion or media. It’s best to seek data and information from a source that does not have a political, much less a theological, axe to grind.

Beginning in 1996, I designed and built water and other ozone-based treatment systems that are in daily use aboard research vessels of America’s University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System fleet, including the Knorr, Oceanus and Atlantis of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI); the Roger Revelle and Melville of Scripps Institution of Oceanography; the Endeavor of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and the Alpha Helix of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Seward Marine Center. Also on my customer list is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) vessel McArthur II operating out of Seattle.

My dear friend Dutch Wegman, WHOI port engineer for R/V Atlantis, told me that the waters surrounding Woods Hole, at the southwest tip of Cape Cod, Mass., are 8 degrees warmer than they have ever been. Chris Morgan, chief engineer for R/V Atlantis, a close friend and associate, sent me a report from Canadian researchers that proves warmer seawater has reduced phytoplankton, the foundation of the marine food chain, by 40 percent since 1950.

NOAA reports the planet has just come through the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months and the warmest April, May and June on record. Nine nations reported their all-time temperature records in 2010, including Russia (111 degrees), Niger (118), Sudan (121), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (126), and Pakistan, which also set the new all-time Asian record in May of 130 degrees. Record seawater temperatures are killing coral polyps, and coral reefs worldwide are in imminent danger of collapse.

In late December 2002, when I was at the Seward Marine Center commissioning the ozone-based Silver Lab’s research facility salt water outfall to prevent the possible escape of non-indigenous species from students’ research tanks, I drove up to see the Kenai peninsula’s Exit Glacier. Its ragged end has now receded more than 2 miles from where it was then. There’s a personal report that may be read at http://hubpages.com/hub/Exit-Glacier-Run. Don’t take the effects of global warming just from me. If the oceans are ever killed, humanity will be close behind.

Ken Hughes
Decatur

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