Global warming is a misleading phrase |

Global warming is a misleading phrase

Allen Best

MAMMOTH, Calif. A climate scientist from San Diego says he wishes that the phrase global warming had never been introduced. Its a misnomer, said Richard Somerville of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, because the effect is broader and more complex than mere elevation of temperatures.Speaking at a conference of meteorologists held at Mammoth, Somerville pointed out that global warming is thought to increase cloud cover, which in turn reduces daytime temperatures. That same cloud, however, makes nights hotter.And whats wrong with that? Among other things, explained The Sheet, which covered the meeting, this shift provides an ideal environment for a certain fungi that lives on the skin of amphibians. Harlequin frogs in Central and South America are thought to have become extinct as a consequence of this fungus.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS Those in the know, says The New York Times, do not call snowmobiles snowmobiles. They call them sleds.That observation is in a story about the hybrid sport of snowmobiling-skiing/sledding, which the Times states is relatively new, although the Jackson Hole News & Guide was reporting phenomenon 10 to 15 years ago, and papers in Vail and Aspen soon after.Not so long ago snowmobilers and backcountry skiers mixed about as well as motor oil and water, writes the Times. But the rise of sled-skiing, also called hybrid skiing or, occasionally, Ski-Doo skiing, has blurred the lines in the well-worn motorized-versus-non-motorized debate and in many places it has brought new crowds and new headaches to North Americas increasingly busy winter backcountry.The epicenter of the trend, The Times believes, is near Whistler, with dozens of skiers and snowboarders driving toward the Pemberton Ice Camp. Sixty machines can be parked at a time near Crested Butte, where the road leads across Kebler Pass. Also mentioned are snowmobile-skier controversies near Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Vail.The article also explains several causes for the surging use of snowmobiles. Improved skis have allowed average skiers to get into the powder snow at ski areas. Frustrated powder skiers are then heading into the backcountry on snowmobiles that, like skis, have improved markedly in recent years.But for many backcountry skiers like Kim Hedberg, who heads the Colorado-based Backcountry Snowsports Alliance, motors remain unwelcome. They dont understand that their use of a sled is ruining my experience, she says.Vail, Colorado

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