CLEVELAND (TDB) -- Bumped into a recently revised U.S. government operated Web site, www.epa.gov/climatechange, that asserts the phrase ''global warming" is less scientifically accurate than ''climate change." Both terms have been tossed about to describe the phenomenon of rising temperatures. Apparently, the Bush Administration bases its preference on a National Academy of Sciences report that concluded "climate change" is the superior linguistic term.
As a lay person, I can't see much difference. If the Earth is changing I'm not going to sweat over language.
The Bush EPA acknowledged that ''climate change" is not a fraud or hoax and confirmed that scientists have observed effects such as rising sea level, shrinking glaciers, lengthening growing seasons, and ice on lakes and rivers freezing later/melting earlier. But there was some word-parsing. This sentence, for example, comes across as a clear attempt to downplay human activities: "Northern regions such as Alaska are expected to experience the most warming. Alaska has been experiencing significant changes in climate in recent years that may be at least partly related to human caused global climate change." Does that mean Alaska's warming trend "may be" linked to a human induced cause? Or does it mean that it is "at least partly related" to humans?
Meanwhile, the EPA said three Ohio counties have met Clean Air Act standards for smog -- Stark (Canton-Massillon), Allen (Lima area) and Belmont County, which is on the Ohio River near Wheeling, W. Va. The EPA published details today in the Federal Register. Smog develops when air-pollutants react on warm, sunny days. Factories and cars are the leading causes, and the bad air can trigger health problems including coughing, wheezing, respiratory distress and chest pain.
The EPA said the three counties have met the 8-hour air-quality standard for ozone in 2003, 2004, 2005 and that new monitoring data from 2006 shows they ''continue to attain the eight-hour ozone standard."