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We've had our share of snow, sizzling heat, bad storms and floods in Virginia in the past year, but is that anything out of the ordinary? PBS-TV's "Nova" and "Frontline" will join forces on Tuesday, April 18, at 9 p.m. in an attempt to answer the question on "What's Up with the Weather?"

Is it global warming?

Is it due to our dependence on fossil fuels?

Is there a catastrophe in the near or distant future?

The special edition of the two respected programs will explore the effects of greenhouse gasses and why they've increased by a third since the Industrial Revolution. Those on one side of the debate will try to persuade you that every time you take a shower or use a toaster you're contributing to the problem. The other side isn't so certain. They'll tell you that a direct connection between man and the earth's warming can't be proven, and that the increase in earth's temperature (it's up by one degree in the last 100 years) is due to natural causes.

The scientific uncertainty has reached into the political arena already, but critics will argue that the international treaty that Vice President Al Gore helped negotiate in late 1997 will harm the U.S. economy.

PBS will augment the special with a Web site full of maps and quizzes. You can access it at www.pbs.org/wgbh/warming



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