National Geographic : 2001 Feb
Forum Oceans The picture on page 110 says so succinctly what great catastro phes do to those most vulnera ble. What a Madonna-like face, what a stricken child. I am not often moved to tears, but this photo says it all. JOHN F. VILLESVIK Naalehu, Hawaii Your October issue shows a computer-simulated path for Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 pass ing well south of Jamaica. In fact Gilbert scored a direct hit on Jamaica. I know because my fam ily was vacationing there during that unforgettable experience. STEWART SHARP North York, Ontario It's clear that we just don't know how global warming will affect the planet. It seems to me that if ice caps melt enough to disrupt the Gulf Stream so that long Siberian winters quickly seize Europe, as your article states, then the freezing temperatures could help cool the North Atlan tic-one of the two areas critical to ocean circulation. Any cooling could maintain the thermohaline circulation that powers the Gulf Stream. The water just has to be dense eno.ugl, to sink and dis place the water below it. With world oceans becoming less saline due to the infusion of fresh water, the cold water would not have to be as saline to sink. BENJAMIN R. JORDAN Kingston, Rhode Island Wild Gliders What patience and ingenuity it took to get those photos! For me it brought back memories of central Sumatra. While in Rumbai I saw a lizard that might have been interesting to Tim Laman. I noticed what appeared to be a large leaf fluttering to the ground from a tree. It was a gray-brown lizard six to eight inches long. It didn't move, so I picked it up and, on impulse, tossed it into the air. It again fluttered to the ground, landing with a gentle plop. I found that it was able to flatten and greatly widen its body by spreading its rib cage. Its feet were not webbed, nor were there skin flaps between the legs or between the legs and tail. There was no gliding. It just fluttered down. W. T. VAN RAVENSWAAY Bedford, Texas Having studied tropical forests in the Americas and Borneo, I believe that the large number of gliders in Borneo is due to dif ferent forest structure rather than, as Tim Laman suggests, the NATIOAL GEGAPI October 2000 Readers of the October issue said the coverage on oceans renewed their sense of wonder and responsibilityfor the environment. The articleon sea vents "illustrateshow much we don't know about the oceans that cover more than two-thirds of our own planet," wrote one reader. "'New Eyes on the Oceans' is a realwake-up call," said another. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * FEBRUARY 2001 I NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "For the increase anddiffusion of geographicknowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C ., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 6,500 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., Presidentand CEO Executive Vice Presidents TERRENCE B. ADAMSON TERRY D.(ARCIA, Mission Programs NINA D. HOFFMAN, President, Books and School PublishingGroup CHRISTOPHER A. L .IEDEL, C(O ROBERT B. SIMS, President,Magazine Group BOARD OF TRUSTEES GILBERT M. GROSVENOR, Chairman REG MURPHY, Vice Chairman JOAN ABRAHAMSON, WILLIAM L. ALLEN, THOMAS E. BOLGER, LEWIS M. BRANSCOMB, J. CARTER BROWN, MARTHA E. CHURCH, MICHAEL COLLINS, JION M. FAHEY, JR., JAMES H. GILLIAM, JR., IOHN JAYISELIN, JAMES C. KAUTZ, I. WILLARD MARRIOTT, JR., FLORETTA DUKES Mc KENZIE, PATRICK E NOONAN, DENNIS R. PATRICK, NATHANIEL P. REED, WILLIAM K. REILLY, ROZANNE L. RIDGWAY, JAMES R. SASSER, B. FRANCIS SAUl. II, GERDISCHUEFE-HILLEN TRUSTEES EMERITUS Joe L. Allbritton, Owen R. Anderson. Frank Borman, Robert L. Breeden, Lloyd H. Elliott, George M. Elsey, William Graves. Caryl P. Haskins, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Laurance S. Rockefeller, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Frederick G. Vosburgh RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE Peter H. Raven, Chairman; John M. Francis, Vice Chairmanand Executive Director; Richard S. Williams, Jr., Vice Chairman: Martha E. Church, H. J . de Blij, Linda Manzanilla, David Pimentel, Charles H. Southwick, John H. Steele, George E. Stuart, Hans-Dieter Sues, George E. Watson, Henry T. Wright EXPLORERS-IN -RESIDENCE Stephen Ambrose, Robert Ballard, Wade Davis, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Johan Reinhard, Paul Sereno MISSION PROGRAMS Development: Anne D. Cowie. Education Foundation: Lanny M. Proffer. Exhibits: Susan S. Norton. Expeditions Council: Rebecca Martin. Geography Bee: Mary Lee Elden. Lectures: P.Andrew van Duym, Gregory A. McGruder SchoolPublishing: Ericka Markman, Vice President. International: Robert W. HernAndez, Vice President ADMINISTRATION Communications: Betty Hudson. Finance: Michael J. Cole, Controller; H. Gregory Platts, Treasurer.Human Resources: Thomas A. Sabl6. Law: Susan Borke, Angelo M. Grima, Suzanne R. McDowell. Membership and Marketing Services: Mary P. Donohoe, Donna L. Hasslinger NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES C. RICHARD ALLEN, Presidentand CEO Television:Timothy T. Kelly, President.National GeographicChannel: David Haslingden, President, International;Laureen Ong, President, U.S .; Andrew C. Wilk, Exec. Vice President.Programming. nationalgeographic.com: Mitchell Prayer, President. Maps: William L. Stoehr, President;Allen Carroll, Chief Cartographer. Enterprises: Linda Berkeley, President; Lynn Cutter, Travel; John Dumbacher, Licensing. Finance: Frances A. Marshall Copyright© 2001 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. NATmoNAL GEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border: Registered Trademarks ® Marcas Registradas. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.