English Letters Science Scientific American

Please Rescue Scientific American


Dear Editors

May I ask if anybody could please rescue Scientific American (SciAm)?

Time and again in the past year or so, I have been disappointed by what comes up in SciAm, especially compared to the though-provoking, ground-breaking stuff that regularly graces American Scientist (AS).

Here’s an example. In SciAm‘s July 2007 magazine, you published an already-outdated article “Warmer Oceans, Stronger Hurricanes“, by K.E. Trenberth.

The author barely mentions the issue of wind shear, that most if not all models indicate will increase because of Global Warming, thereby creating a huge obstacle for the formation of hurricanes.

Talk about negative feedback…

In American Scientist‘s July 2007 magazine for comparison, one can find the excitingly great science made by people that, despite being convinced there is a problem with anthropogenic global warming, still don’t have any fear to state that there may be other reasons for the glaciers of Mt Kilimanjaro to disappear.


I hope you’ll be able to get your act together sooner rather than later, and go back to what Scientific American has been known for, for more than a century: a magazine where ordinary people can stand on the shoulder of giants, instead of being fed their stale crumbs.


Am I saying that SciAm needs rescuing because their articles accept anthropogenic climate change? Not at all.

If that were the problem I’d be even less keen to read from American Scientist and Sigma Xi, the scientists’ organization behind it. They are into Anthropogenic Climate Change right, left and center.

The relation between the articles I mention is that the hurricane one is old and incomplete (*), whilst the Kilimanjaro piece is new and challenging.

That’s why my plea is to the Editors of SciAm, not the author of the hurricane article.

(*) check this: Vecchi, G. A., and B. J. Soden (2007), “Increased tropical Atlantic wind shear in model projections of global warming“, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L08702, doi:10.1029/2006GL028905


I have a long-standing respect for SciAm. “All” I am asking is for it to get back to cutting-edge stuff covered in deep by major contributors challenging their readers into reconsidering long-standing beliefs.

Why was it AS rather than SciAm that published the article shattering the myth that Easter Island was destroyed by humans?

These days, the SciAm Editors are so concerned about appearing mainstream,
they can publish an article by AIDS-theory-dissident Duisberg on cancer only after plastering it up with disclaimers.


So please Editors of SciAm: get the fluff out of the magazine, “un-button up” a little bit, stop worrying so much about Science vs. Religion, and about what is mainstream science and what is not, and Scientific American will be once again as great as ever.

I am still hopeful. Perhaps one day the richness of the SciAm website will make it into the magazine.

Astronomia Cambiamento Climatico Clima Italiano Riscaldamento Globale

Venere vs. Terra

Temperature medie===>
Terra, superficie (1000 mbar) : 288K
Venere, con atmosfera piena di CO2, a 50km (1000 mbar): 330K

A parita’ di pressione (superficie terrestre), la temperatura su Venere e’ il 114% di quella terrestre.

Disponibilita’ di potenza per la sonda Venus Express===>
Orbita terrestre: 806W
Orbita venusiana: 1,425W

Alla distanza di Venere c’e’ quindi il 177% piu’ energia dal Sole che all’orbita terrestre (in realta’ il valore e’ piu’ prossimo al 190%, considerati i raggi delle orbite dei due pianeti)

114%<177% = Venere e’ piu’ fredda di quanto di dovremmo aspettare = probabilmente l’effetto di raffreddamento e’ dovuto alle nuvole opache venusiane di acido solforico

E infine===>
Temperatura comprimendo aria terrestre da 288k/1,000mbar a 90,000mbar:
Temperatura alla superficie di Venere (~90,000mbar): 735K

(calcoli basati su

Quindi a parita’ di pressione (superficie venusiana), la temperatura terrestre sarebbe addirittura il 120% di quella di Venere. Di nuovo, Venere e’ piu’ fredda di quanto ci dovremmo aspettare: di nuovo, probabilmente a causa di un raffreddamento dovuto alle nuvole di cui sopra, alte nell’atmosfera di Venere, che fanno arrivare poca energia solare alla superficie.


Evidentemente mi sto sbagliando di grosso, perche’ dell’ “effetto serra” da CO2 che starebbe causando le temperature infernali della superficie di Venere, non ne vedo traccia.

A naso sembrerebbe tutto un gran bel processo adiabatico. Magari pero’ un astronomo o fisico atmosferico potra’ fornirmi lumi.