Environment: The Forecast: Hazy and Puzzling

A study says the U.S. is still cool, but the greenhouse theory lives

In its Planet of the Year issue (Jan. 2), TIME highlighted numerous threats to the earth's environment. The magazine will continue to pursue that story, covering new developments and actions taken to solve ecological problems. This is the first of our follow-up reports:

Is the earth warming up or not? Many scientists say it is, thanks to the greenhouse effect, the heat-trapping property of gases that pollute the atmosphere. Some computer studies indicate that the warming could cause more frequent droughts and eventually produce a major climatic upheaval. Others say, not necessarily: increased cloudiness and other mitigating phenomena could counteract the...

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