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Name: Anonymous
Status: Other
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Dear Scientist

I am writing about Rosalie Bertell's argument that global warming is, in part, the result of a 1974 treaty between the US and the Soviet Union. This treaty authorised the melting of the ice caps, allowing Russia to open up Vladivostock and the Americans to access the Alaskan oil fields.

I am interested in The Science- an investigation into exactly how the melting of the ice caps has affected the earth's atmosphere and global warming. &

The politics -why the treaty was signed and whether the possible repercussions were known

So far, Bertell is the only scientist, I have come accross who suscribes to this theory.

I am looking for other potential experts to talk to.

I write in the hope that you might be able to point me towards an authority who might be able to tell me more about this treaty and its effects.

The question that I really want to ask you is - how true is this theory? Did the authorised melting of the ice caps in 1974 really cause global warming?



Replies:
I had not heard of this statement by Rosalie Bertell. Do you have a reference for it. I cannot find one on the internet. If you do, please let me know.

Most likely the 1974 treaty (a test ban treaty I assume) might have indicated the right of the two countries to break sea ice to get to Vladivostok, Russia and Prudhoe Bay, AK. I cannot believe that melting of the ice cap would have been a part of any treaty and certainly man has made no active attempt to melt the ice cap for any purpose.

If you have any credible information other than hearsay by someone concerning Dr. Bertell, I would like to see it.

David Cook
Argonne National Laboratory


I have read the Times article now.

Fortunately, Dr. Bertell is not an atmospheric scientist or atmospheric chemist. Some of what she said to the reporter is either incorrect or incorrectly reported (this would not be new for the media).

As I suspected, the 1974 treaty is the one that allowed the US and Russia to access Vladivostok and Prudhoe Bay by breaking ice. Intentional global warming to melt the northern ice cap was not part of the treaty. If she thinks so, she is wrong and she may be showing signs of senility if she believes it.

There is no shipping going through the Arctic Ocean from Atlantic to Pacific or vice versa. I know of only one ship that made it through behind an icebreaker, and that was part of an experiment to look at ice thickness.

Global warming, if it is occurring (we don't have good evidence to show this yet, despite some unwise statements by a few scientists, who, by the way, have lost some credibility in the eyes of many of us atmospheric scientists) is the result of a complicated assortment of greenhouse gasses (the most important of which is not CO2 probably, but methane and some selected aromatics and aerosols), changes in land use (burning of forests, farming, etc.), and Earth's feedback mechanism.

Weather systems and storms are much too large to be modified by man. Experimental attempts at weather modification of small isolated storms and clouds have taken place since the 1950s with extremely limited success. Dr. Bertell either doesn't know what she is talking about or it was reported incorrectly.

As a radiological expert, Dr. Bertell is great! However, she is not an authority on atmospheric science or atmospheric chemistry, and her claims, if reported correctly in the article are utterly false and unfounded.

I'm sorry that you thought that she might have been speaking authoritatively

David R. Cook
Atmospheric Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory



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