Is Global Warming Real or a Fantasy?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Global Warming and Other Environmental Threats: Is Global Warming Real or a Fantasy?
Author: Joe (Joe)
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 10:28 am
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May 27, 2014

‘Time Is Running Out’ To Stop Rising CO2 Levels, Says UN

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record high last month, according to the UN’s weather agency, highlighting the need to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Monday that the monthly average CO2 concentration in the northern hemisphere surpassed 400 parts per million in April. CO2 levels have topped 400 before, but this is the first time the monthly average passed the threshold, which the UN says has “symbolic and scientific significance.”

“This should serve as yet another wakeup call about the constantly rising levels of greenhouse gases which are driving climate change,” WMO chief Michel Jarraud said in a statement. “Time is running out.”

Author: Joe (Joe)
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 8:55 am
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Panel's Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come

March 31, 2014


A United Nations report warned that climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.

Author: Joe (Joe)
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 9:52 am
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Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty on Warming

New York Times, By JUSTIN GILLIS, Published: August 19, 2013

An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace.

Author: Joe (Joe)
Friday, July 19, 2013 - 10:33 am
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Snow and Arctic sea ice extent plummet suddenly as globe bakes

By Jason Samenow, Published: July 18, 2013

NOAA and NASA both ranked June 2013 among the top five warmest (NOAA fifth warmest, NASA second warmest) Junes on record globally (dating back to the late 1800s). But, more remarkable, was the incredible snow melt that preceded the toasty month and the sudden loss of Arctic sea ice that followed.

The amazing decline in Northern Hemisphere snow cover during May is a story few have told, but is certainly worth noting. In April, hefty Northern Hemisphere snow cover ranked 9th highest on record (dating back to 1967), but then turned scant, plummeting to third lowest on record during May. Half of the existing snow melted away.

“This is likely one of the most rapid shifts in near opposite extremes on record, if not the largest from April to May,” said climatologist David Robinson, who runs Rutgers University Global Snow Lab.


Author: Joe (Joe)
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - 9:13 am
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UN Charts ‘Unprecedented’ Global Warming Since 2000
July 03, 2013

The planet has warmed faster since the turn of the century than ever recorded, almost doubling the pace of sea-level increase and causing a 20-fold jump in heat-related deaths, the United Nations said.

The decade through 2010 was the warmest for both hemispheres and for land and sea, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization said today in an e-mailed report examining climate trends for the beginning of the millennium. Almost 94 percent of countries logged their warmest 10 years on record, it said.


Author: Joe (Joe)
Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 10:52 am
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Greenhouse Gas Milestone: CO2 Levels Set Record

SETH BORENSTEIN May 10, 2013, 5:03 PM 3479

Updated 11:27 A.M. E.T.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Worldwide levels of the chief greenhouse gas that causes global warming have hit a milestone, reaching an amount never before encountered by humans, federal scientists said Friday.

Carbon dioxide was measured at 400 parts per million at the oldest monitoring station which is in Hawaii sets the global benchmark. The last time the worldwide carbon level was probably that high was about 2 million years ago, said Pieter Tans of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

That was during the Pleistocene Era. “It was much warmer than it is today,” Tans said. “There were forests in Greenland. Sea level was higher, between 10 and 20 meters (33 to 66 feet).”

Other scientists say it may have been 10 million years ago that Earth last encountered this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The first modern humans only appeared in Africa about 200,000 years ago.

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Author: Joe (Joe)
Friday, March 08, 2013 - 12:12 pm
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Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years
By JUSTIN GILLIS (NY Times, 3/8/13)

The modern warming period is unique over a longer period than previously thought, according to research to be published in the journal Science.

Author: Joe (Joe)
Thursday, August 02, 2012 - 3:34 pm
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Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is

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Author: Joe (Joe)
Sunday, June 10, 2012 - 11:53 am
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Global carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil-fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011, according to preliminary estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA). This represents an increase of 1.0 Gt on 2010, or 3.2%. Coal accounted for 45% of total energy-related CO2 emissions in 2011, followed by oil (35%) and natural gas (20%).

Read more:,27216,en.html

Author: The_virginian (The_virginian)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 4:01 pm
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PURE FANTASY...figures were fudged and the sample size so small it is almost laughable. Since then, GW has been proven to be a myth from the activities of man, however the Earth experiences climate change from natural cycles from ice ages (remember those from the 1970s) to the El Nino effect.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 4:55 pm
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Humans Faulted For Global Warming
International Panel Of Scientists Sounds Dire Alarm

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 3, 2007; Page A01

An international panel of climate scientists said yesterday that there is an overwhelming probability that human activities are warming the planet at a dangerous rate, with consequences that could soon take decades or centuries to reverse.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of hundreds of scientists from 113 countries, said that based on new research over the last six years, it is 90 percent certain that human-generated greenhouse gases account for most of the global rise in temperatures over the past half-century.

Declaring that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal," the authors said in their "Summary for Policymakers" that even in the best-case scenario, temperatures are on track to cross a threshold to an unsustainable level. A rise of more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels would cause global effects -- such as massive species extinctions and melting of ice sheets -- that could be irreversible within a human lifetime. Under the most conservative IPCC scenario, the increase will be 4.5 degrees by 2100.

Richard Somerville, a distinguished professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and one of the lead authors, said the world would have to undertake "a really massive reduction in emissions," on the scale of 70 to 80 percent, to avert severe global warming.

The scientists wrote that it is "very likely" that hot days, heat waves and heavy precipitation will become more frequent in the years to come, and "likely" that future tropical hurricanes and typhoons will become more intense. Arctic sea ice will disappear "almost entirely" by the end of the century, they said, and snow cover will contract worldwide.

While the summary did not produce any groundbreaking observations -- it reflects a massive distillation of the peer-reviewed literature through the middle of 2006 -- it represents the definitive international scientific and political consensus on climate science. It provides much more definitive conclusions than the panel's previous report in 2001, which said only that it was "likely" -- meaning between 66 and 90 percent probability on a scale the panel adopted -- that human activity accounted for the warming recorded over the past 50 years....

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 - 12:20 pm
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January 10, 2007

Agency Affirms Human Influence on Climate

A lot of government scientists have said it.
But until yesterday, it appeared that no news release on annual climate trends out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Bush White House had said unequivocally that a buildup of greenhouse gases was helping warm the climate.

The statement came in a release that said 2006 was the warmest year for the 48 contiguous states since regular temperature records began in 1895. It surpassed the previous champion, 1998, a year heated up by a powerful episode of the periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean by El Niño. Last year, another El Niño developed, but this time a long-term warming trend from human activities was said to be involved as well.

“A contributing factor to the unusually warm temperatures throughout 2006 also is the long-term warming trend, which has been linked to increases in greenhouse gases,” the release said, emphasizing that the relative contributions of El Niño and the human influence were not known.

A link between greenhouse gases and climate change was also made in a December news conference by Dirk Kempthorne, the secretary of the interior, as that agency proposed listing polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Admin)
Tuesday, July 04, 2006 - 12:21 pm
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Dennis Avery is the director of the Center for Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute, where he edits Global Food Quarterly. Avery crusades against organic agriculture claiming that modern industrial agriculture and biotechnology will save the world from starvation and disaster. Avery also disputes the scientific consensus on global warming (

He is the originator of a misleading claim that organic foods are more dangerous than foods sprayed with chemical pesticides.

Avery served as a senior agricultural analyst for the US Department of State for between 1980 and 1988 under the Reagan administration, "where he was responsible for assessing the foreign-policy implications of food and farming developments worldwide". [1] (

"As a staff member of the President's National Advisory Commission on Food and Fiber, he wrote the Commission's landmark report, "Food and Fiber for the Future," his biographical note states.

"Avery studied agricultural economics at Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin ... At Hudson, Avery continues to monitor developments in world food production, farm product demand, the safety and security of food supplies, and the sustainability of world agriculture," his biographical note states.

He enjoys a high level of influence among some sectors, and his big-business-friendly articles are disseminated to thousands of newspapers as well as subscribers in governments, banks and businesses.

Avery writes a weekly column for The BridgeNews Forum.

According to his biographical note "Avery travels the world as a speaker, has testified before Congress, and has appeared on most of the nation's major television networks, including a program discussing the bacterial dangers of organic foods on ABC's 20/20".

Avery is also a member of the scientific policy advsiory panel for the corporate-funded American Council on Science and Health. [2] (
Books and articles

* Global Food Progress, Hudson Institute, 1991.
* Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic: The Environmental Triumph of High-Yield Farming, Hudson Institute, 1995. (A second edition was published in 2000).
* A listof articles by Dennis Avery is available at

Author: Anonymous
Tuesday, July 04, 2006 - 1:27 am
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National Academy of Sciences flunking as referee in global warming debate.
By Dennis Avery

The Academy was supposed to referee an acrimonious debate in Congress and the science community over the infamous “hockey stick” global warming studies. Those two studies, published in 1998 and 1999, were led by Michael Mann, now at the University of Virginia. They appear to find dramatic 20th century warming, after 900 years of supposedly stable world temperatures. The study is controversial because it appeared to wipe out the Medieval Warming and Little Ice Age, two of the most widely documented climate events in history.

Nevertheless, it was widely published by the Clinton Administration and the UN climate change panel as “proof” of man-made global warming. And now, the National Academy has announced that it is “plausible” that today’s temperatures are the warmest in 1100 years, as Mann claimed.


Britain today has come out of the Little Ice Age which extended from 1400 to 1850, but it is essentially still too cold to grow wine grapes successfully. In 1068 AD, 938 years before today, Britain’s tax officials reported in the Domesday Book that nearly 50 British vineyards were growing wine grapes. Nor are German wine grapes grown as high on the hillsides today as they were in the Medieval period. Wine grape vines are one of humanity’s most accurate and sensitive indications of temperature in the pre-thermometer era.

More important, the Romans also reported growing wine grapes in Britain when they occupied that country in the 1st century. Thus we know that both the 1st and 11th centuries were warmer than today. Mann was wrong about the 21st century having “unprecedented warming.”

The bigger scientific sin of both Mann and the National Academy is trying to hide the natural, moderate 1500-year climate cycle.

The top science journals since 1984 have widely reported on the 1500-year cycle, which was first discovered in the long Greenland and Antarctic ice cores in the 1980s. Since then, the 1500-year cycle has also been found in the seabed sediments of five oceans, in glacier advances and retreats worldwide, in ancient tree rings, and in historic documents from both Europe and Asia. It goes back at least a million years.

The 1500-year climate cycle has no correlation with CO2 in the atmosphere. It has had a strong correlation with the length of the sunspot cycles on the sun.

CO2 may be adding to the Modern Warming, but its impact is apparently not large. Remember that our warming started 90 years before human CO2 emissions began to surge about 1940. When human CO2 emissions did surge after 1940, global temperatures went down for 35 years! The Greenhouse Theory says the Polar Regions will warm first, but they aren’t doing it. The Antarctic has been cooling since the 1960s, except for the tiny Antarctic Peninsula. The Arctic was warmer in the 1930s than it is today.

Is the National Academy of Science fearful that if the public understood the natural climate cycle, the science community would lose the billions of dollars the government now spends on the CO2 climate scare?

The National Academy has a massive conflict of interest that is truly disturbing.

Dennis T. Avery was a senior policy analyst for the U.S. State Department, where he won the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement. He is the co-author, with atmospheric physicist Fred Singer, of the forthcoming book Unstoppable Global Warming—Every 1500 Years, due in October from Rowman & Littlefield.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Admin)
Sunday, July 02, 2006 - 7:34 pm
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May 15, 2000

The Ice Age Cometh
The Greenhouse Effect is warming the Earth. But rising temperatures may lead to a new ice age
by Joachim Schüring

The last ice age is a mere ten thousand years ago - seen in geological terms, the "Holocene", i.e. the age we now live in, is no more than the blink of an eye. Throughout Earth's four and a half billion years history, there have always been ice ages - a fact proven not only by the mighty sediments typical for ice ages: occasionally, it is still possible to see and feel the scratch marks left by advancing glaciers on rock taken from underground. If you rub your hand against the grain of polished surfaces in New York's Central Park or in Adelaide, South Australia, you can even feel from which direction the ice came at the time.

The coming and going of global freezes is relatively easily explained. When the polar ice masses grow, more sunlight is reflected by the light-colored surfaces. This so-called "Albedo Effect" leads to additional cooling: thus, the growth of ice masses is a self-amplifying process. Naturally, the opposite also applies: when glaciers melt, the Albedo Effect is lessened, more solar energy is absorbed, and temperatures rise.

Based on this self-amplification, even slight climatic changes may suffice to trigger a freeze - or to end one.

But all this doesn't answer the question of what actually triggers such climatic changes. It is possible that periodic changes in the Earth orbit play a key role, as Yugoslavian geophysicist Milutin Milankovic suspected as early as the 1920s. Studies of ice cores in Greenland or the Antarctic, of ocean sediments and fossil plankton seem to corroborate this connection, at least for the last million years or so.

The data also shows that the ice ages ("glacials"), each of them lasting roughly 100,000 years, were regularly interrupted by brief warm spells ("interglacials").

Given the ongoing debate on human contributions to the global warming in process, it may at first seem paradoxical for a scientist to predict a new ice age for the future. But according to John Kukla, it is precisely this rise in temperature that may trigger a climate reversal. The paleo-climatologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is convinced that Milankovic Cycles are responsible for the periodic fluctuation between cold and warm spells: "It's either that, or climate drives orbit, and that just doesn't make sense," comments Kukla in his report published in "Science" magazine (February 11, 2000, issue), and adds: "The Holocene is just another interglacial that is more than half over."

But why does Kukla believe that global warming may be the trigger of a new cold spell? The researcher points to the fact that Earth's continental masses are distributed very unevenly. A good half of them are found in the tropics and subtropics, while only roughly 14 percent of landmasses lie in the polar regions.

The current warming trend is more noticeable over the large land masses than over the polar regions, which are mostly covered by water. As a result, says Kukla, a growing temperature and pressure differential is emerging between the equatorial latitudes and the polar regions. Subsequently, higher temperatures in near-equatorial regions lead to intensified water transport into the Polar regions, which causes the polar glaciers to grow - and presto! The Albedo Effect leads to a new ice age.

George Kukla is convinced that this is how it happened in the past - and thus he sees no reason why it should not happen this way again in the future. With the difference, this time, the Milankovic Cycle will not be the sole cause for a gradual acceleration of the process: this time, humans will be quickening the process via the Greenhouse Effect.

In any case, the glaciers won't be creeping up to our doors anytime soon: according to George Kukla, the next ice age is still 5,000 years away.

Translation: Larissa Wagner

Author: Anonymous
Saturday, July 01, 2006 - 2:24 am
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Monday, Jun. 24, 1974


Another Ice Age?

In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims.

During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries.

In Canada's wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest.

Rainy Britain, on the other hand, has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs.

A series of unusually cold winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have recently experienced the mildest winters within anyone's recollection.

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval.

However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F.

Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.

Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds —the so-called circumpolar vortex—that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world. Indeed it is the widening of this cap of cold air that is the immediate cause of Africa's drought.

By blocking moisture-bearing equatorial winds and preventing them from bringing rainfall to the parched sub-Sahara region, as well as other drought-ridden areas stretching all the way from Central America to the Middle East and India, the polar winds have in effect caused the Sahara and other deserts to reach farther to the south.

Paradoxically, the same vortex has created quite different weather quirks in the U.S. and other temperate zones. As the winds swirl around the globe, their southerly portions undulate like the bottom of a skirt. Cold air is pulled down across the Western U.S. and warm air is swept up to the Northeast. The collision of air masses of widely differing temperatures and humidity can create violent storms—the Midwest's recent rash of disastrous tornadoes, for example.

Sunspot Cycle. The changing weather is apparently connected with differences in the amount of energy that the earth's surface receives from the sun. Changes in the earth's tilt and distance from the sun could, for instance, significantly increase or decrease the amount of solar radiation falling on either hemisphere — thereby altering the earth's climate. Some observers have tried to connect the eleven-year sunspot cycle with climate patterns, but have so far been unable to provide a satisfactory explanation of how the cycle might be involved.

Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin's Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.

Climatic Balance.

Some scientists like Donald Oilman, chief of the National Weather Service's long-range-prediction group, think that the cooling trend may be only temporary. But all agree that vastly more information is needed about the major influences on the earth's climate. Indeed, it is to gain such knowledge that 38 ships and 13 aircraft, carrying scientists from almost 70 nations, are now assembling in the Atlantic and elsewhere for a massive 100-day study of the effects of the tropical seas and atmosphere on worldwide weather. The study itself is only part of an international scientific effort known acronymically as GARP (for Global Atmospheric Research Program).

Whatever the cause of the cooling trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Scientists figure that only a 1% decrease in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth's surface could tip the climatic balance, and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years.

The earth's current climate is something of an anomaly; in the past 700,000 years, there have been at least seven major episodes of glaciers spreading over much of the planet. Temperatures have been as high as they are now only about 5% of the time.

But there is a peril more immediate than the prospect of another ice age. Even if temperature and rainfall patterns change only slightly in the near future in one or more of the three major grain-exporting countries—the U.S., Canada and Australia —global food stores would be sharply reduced.

University of Toronto Climatologist Kenneth Hare, a former president of the Royal Meteorological Society, believes that the continuing drought and the recent failure of the Russian harvest gave the world a grim premonition of what might happen. Warns Hare: "I don't believe that the world's present population is sustainable if there are more than three years like 1972 in a row."

P.S. Wow! How the propaganda can change in a short period of time! Is it global warming or ice age? Isn't it all really about control?

Author: Joe Jenkins (Admin)
Tuesday, June 27, 2006 - 12:36 pm
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Earth's Climate Warming Abruptly, Scientist Says
Tropical-Zone Glaciers May Be at Risk of Melting

By Doug Struck
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 27, 2006; Page A03

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Earth's climate is undergoing an abrupt change, ending a cooler period that began with a swift "cold snap" in the tropics 5,200 years ago that coincided with the start of cities, the beginning of calendars and the biblical great flood, a leading expert on glaciers has concluded.

The warming around Earth's tropical belt is a signal suggesting that the "climate system has exceeded a critical threshold," which has sent tropical-zone glaciers in full retreat and will melt them completely "in the near future," said Lonnie G. Thompson, a scientist who for 23 years has been taking core samples from the ancient ice of glaciers.

Thompson, writing with eight other researchers in an article published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said the ice samples show that the climate can and did cool quickly, and that a similarly abrupt warming change started about 50 years ago. Humans may not have the luxury of adapting to slow changes, he suggests.

"There are thresholds in the system," Thompson said in an interview in his lab at Ohio State University. When they are crossed, "there is the risk of changing the world as we know it to some form in which a lot of people on the planet will be put at risk."

"I think the temperature will continue to rise, the glaciers will continue to melt. Sea levels will continue to rise. I think there is a good indication now that the magnitude of severe storms will rise," he said.

Thompson's work summarizes evidence from around the world and ice core sampling from seven locations in the South American Andes and the Asian Himalayas. It considerably extends the reach of a growing number of scientific findings documenting the historically unusual warming of Earth. A top scientific panel last week endorsed an earlier study, by Penn State professor Michael E. Mann, that concluded the recent warming in the Northern Hemisphere is of a scale probably unseen for 400 to 1,000 years.

Thompson, whose research has focused on glaciers in the high mountains of the tropics, writes that the warming there "is unprecedented for at least two millennia." He teamed with his wife, Ellen Mosley-Thompson, an expert in polar ice sampling, and concluded that the glacial retreat "signals a recent and abrupt change in the Earth's climate system."

Caspar Amman, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., said Thompson's "perspective of the changes over the past 2,000 years is striking. Something is definitely different towards the end of the 20th century."

But the finding likely to cause the most debate is Thompson's conclusion that a swift and sudden cooling of the climate five millennia ago occurred simultaneously with key changes in civilizations.

"It represents a time where, for many parts of the world, people ceased to be hunters and gatherers and formed cities," he said. "Many of the modern calendars began around this time. It would also fall in the general time frame of the biblical flood."

Thompson said he does not know what caused the abrupt change -- one possibility is a "mega La Ni?a" shift in upper air currents. But he said the evidence from such diverse sources as Mount Kilimanjaro; African lakes; Greenland and Antarctic ice cores; the Andes and the Alps point to a sudden arrival of cool and often wet conditions, all about the same time.

That time saw cities form in the Nile Valley and Mesopotamia, his paper says, and the end of a humid period in Africa that "seems to have begun and ended abruptly, within decades to a century." In what is now Florida, water levels rose rapidly. In Washington state, glaciers covered whole trees. In the Alps, a mortally wounded hunter nicknamed Otzi was buried quickly by snow and captured within a growing glacier until it melted enough to expose him in 1991.

Theories linking climate change with changes in the history of humans are increasingly popular. The book "The Winds of Change" by Eugene Linden argues that climate shifts accompanied the fall of many civilizations.

Gavin Schmidt, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, applauded Thompson's work but said his conclusions about events 5,200 years ago have many skeptics.

"You would have to put that argument as more intriguing rather than definitive," Schmidt said. "There are a number of issues in the tropical ice cores that are problematic for dating things 4,000 to 5,000 years ago."

Thompson and other scientists typically drill down to layers of glaciers put down by snow thousands of years ago. The air bubbles caught in those cores are analyzed to determine the atmosphere at the time. Sediment, insects and pollen are further clues to the climate in ancient history.

Author: Joe Jenkins
Friday, June 23, 2006 - 11:14 am
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Earth hottest it's been in 2,000 years By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jun 23, 7:45 AM ET

WASHINGTON - The Earth is running a slight fever from greenhouse gases, after enjoying relatively stable temperatures for 2,000 years. The National Academy of Sciences, after reconstructing global average surface temperatures for the past two millennia, said Thursday the data are "additional supporting evidence ... that human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming."

Other new research showed that global warming produced about half of the extra hurricane-fueled warmth in the North Atlantic in 2005, and natural cycles were a minor factor, according to Kevin Trenberth and Dennis Shea of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a research lab sponsored by the National Science Foundation and universities.

The academy had been asked to report to Congress on how researchers drew conclusions about the Earth's climate going back thousands of years, before data was available from modern scientific instruments. The academy convened a panel of 12 climate experts, chaired by Gerald North, a geosciences professor at Texas A&M University, to look at the "proxy" evidence before then, such as tree rings, corals, marine and lake sediments, ice cores, boreholes and glaciers.

Combining that information gave the panel "a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years," the panel wrote. It said the "recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia," though it was relatively warm around the year 1000 followed by a "Little Ice Age" from about 1500 to 1850.

Their conclusions were meant to address, and they lent credibility to, a well-known graphic among climate researchers — a "hockey-stick" chart that climate scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes created in the late 1990s to show the Northern Hemisphere was the warmest it has been in 2,000 years.

It had compared the sharp curve of the hockey blade to the recent uptick in temperatures — a 1 degree rise in global average surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere during the 20th century — and the stick's long shaft to centuries of previous climate stability.

That research is "likely" true and is supported by more recent data, said John "Mike" Wallace, an atmospheric sciences professor at the University of Washington and a panel member.

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y., chairman of the House Science Committee, had asked the academy for the report last year after the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, Rep. Joe Barton (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, launched an investigation of the three climate scientists.

The Bush administration has maintained that the threat from global warming is not severe enough to warrant new pollution controls that the White House says would have cost 5 million Americans their jobs.

"This report shows the value of Congress handling scientific disputes by asking scientists to give us guidance," Boehlert said Thursday. "There is nothing in this report that should raise any doubts about the broad scientific consensus on global climate change."

The academy panel said it had less confidence in the evidence of temperatures before 1600.

But it considered the evidence reliable enough to conclude there were sharp spikes in carbon dioxide and methane, the two major "greenhouse" gases blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere, beginning in the 20th century, after remaining fairly level for 12,000 years.

Between 1 A.D. and 1850, volcanic eruptions and solar fluctuations had the biggest effects on climate. But those temperature changes "were much less pronounced than the warming due to greenhouse gas" levels by pollution since the mid-19th century, the panel said.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization chartered by Congress to advise the government of scientific matters.

Author: joe jenkins
Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 9:35 pm
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Political conservatives, it seems, love to scoff at global warming theories and make fun of environmentalism in general, if not venting outright bile at anyone who cares about the planet. Yet, time after time, more and more evidence surfaces to support the disturbing theories. Here's a recent article from


WASHINGTON, DC, February 8, 2002 (ENS) - The National Science Foundation (NSF) is backing a five year study of environmental changes in the Arctic that indicate a marked warming of the atmosphere.

The NSF has designated $30 million to be allocated over five years for the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) project. The agency has requested an additional $1 million per year to start in fiscal 2003.

In recent decades, permafrost zones have melted, the extent and thickness of sea ice have decreased, glaciers are melting more rapidly and air temperatures are warmer. Other changes include different varieties of plant communities, warmer subsurface ocean currents and different precipitation patterns. All of these affect animal habitats and migration routes.

Native populations have also been affected. The environmental changes have been named Unaami, the Yu'pik word for tomorrow, because the changing environment makes it difficult for native residents of the Arctic to predict their future living conditions.

The SEARCH project is intended as an interdisciplinary study of the interrelated atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial changes in the Arctic and their potential impacts on the environment, regional societies and economies. In funding the study, NSF is acting on the Arctic Research Commission's recommendation for a long term study of the causes and consequences of the changes.

The NSF will first support a five year study of the freshwater cycle in the Arctic. Ten percent of the global freshwater runoff runs into the Arctic Ocean, where it affects the supply of nutrients and the overturn of ocean surface water that recycle nutrients.

The volume of freshwater helps to determine the volume of new sea ice created each year on the broad continental shelves of Russia. The biological productivity of the region, in turn, supports fisheries and marine mammals, while changes in the sea ice influence climate due to the ice's significant effect on the earth's heat budget.

This effort represents the first coordinated study of both the terrestrial and marine aspects of the freshwater cycle. NSF will begin considering proposals on the freshwater cycle in mid 2002.

Author: Herb
Monday, February 18, 2002 - 7:54 pm
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Hate to sound like a Republican, but if this is Global Warming then bring it on!

Here in Northern Wisconsin we always see 30-50 below zero F. every winter. This winter the coldest it's been has been 11 below!

Not sure which climate zone that is, but I can live in it. Maybe my humanure fertilized apple trees will actually produce someday and it sure helps the woodpile.

Frankly, I don't think what we're experiencing this winter here is Global Warming, but a benevolent Jet Stream.

Author: Anonymous
Tuesday, February 19, 2002 - 7:38 pm
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To Herb Why wouldn't your trees produce apples after 10 years?

Author: Herb
Tuesday, February 19, 2002 - 8:50 pm
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They're not all ten years old. But this is climate zone 3 plus lots of deer plus droughty sand soil. So if they didn't winterkill, the deer broke my fences or the drought gets them. But I'm plugging along with them. Maybe someday....

Author: Rob
Friday, February 22, 2002 - 3:21 am
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Some ocean islands face flooding as a consequence of global warming. The human inhabitants can probably relocate, but what about the plants and animals? Another concern I've heard is that diseases and pests now restricted to warmer climes would extend their range further north (or south in the southern hemisphere). Sounds pretty disturbing to me.

Author: saths
Friday, February 22, 2002 - 8:48 am
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To Rob Maybe if more people recycled organic materials into the (soil) ground earthworms would reproduce enough to use up a lot of that water instead of having so much in the oceans.

Author: saths
Friday, February 22, 2002 - 8:52 am
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To Herb
Would garlic planted around your property keep the deer out?

Author: joe
Sunday, March 03, 2002 - 10:00 pm
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There is a good article in the current issue (Feb/2002) of Mother Jones Magazine about global warming and how it's impacting the people and climate of the arctic. Worth looking at. The ice up there is freezing 6 weeks later in the fall, for example, which creates problems with their lifestyles and livlihoods.

Author: admin
Wednesday, April 03, 2002 - 11:50 am
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After a year of urging from energy industry lobbyists, the Bush administration is seeking the ouster of an American scientist who for nearly six years has directed an international panel of hundreds of experts assessing global warming, several government officials have said.

The specialist, Dr. Robert T. Watson, chief scientist of the World Bank, is highly regarded as an atmospheric chemist by many climate experts. He has held the unpaid position of chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since the fall of 1996. Now his term is expiring and the State Department has chosen not to renominate him to head the panel, which is run under the auspices of the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization.

Dr. Watson is an outspoken advocate of the idea that human actions ? mainly burning oil and coal ? are contributing to global warming and must be changed to avert environmental upheavals.

Last night, a State Department official said the administration was leaning toward endorsing a scientist from India, which along with other developing countries has been eager for a stronger role in the climate assessments.

But many influential climate experts say they have written to the department supporting Dr. Watson.

One of those letters was sent last month by Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone, an atmospheric scientist who is chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, and chairman of a National Academy of Sciences panel that assessed the international panel's climate analyses last year at the behest of the White House.

In an e-mail message sent to the State Department, Dr. Cicerone urged the administration not to withdraw its support for Dr. Watson and, if it did, at least to replace him with another atmospheric scientist.

Otherwise, "such a change would greatly reduce the emphasis on science in I.P.C.C.," he said, referring to the climate panel. He also said it would be "very, very difficult to find anyone better than Watson."

But energy industry lobbyists and some Republican elected officials have criticized Dr. Watson as biased and focused on building a scientific argument to justify cutting the use of coal and oil. In a letter to the White House a year ago, for example, Dr. Arthur G. Randol III, senior environmental adviser for ExxonMobil, said Dr. Watson used leaks of drafts of his panel's climate reports to further his "personal agenda."

"Can Watson be replaced now at the request of the U.S.?" read the letter. A copy was given to The New York Times by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private environmental group. Dr. Randol did not respond yesterday to requests for comment. But White House officials said his letter had no bearing on decisions about the panel.

The only other significant candidate nominated for panel chairman is Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, an Indian engineer and economist who is now one of five vice chairmen. He is highly regarded, but many scientists said his lack of grounding in atmospheric science made him an unsuitable choice.

Nevertheless several lobbyists for energy companies and auto manufacturers are scheduled to meet with senior State Department officials this afternoon, when they are expected to press the administration to endorse Dr. Pachauri.

One of the lobbyists said that in a two-man race, it was necessary for industry to make a choice ? and that the choice should not be Dr. Watson.

The panel's assessments of climate change underpinned negotiations leading to two climate treaties, the latest of them the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for cuts in emissions of heat-trapping gases. President Bush rejected it a year ago.

The panel's findings have been criticized as overly dire by energy industry officials and a few scientists. But many other experts have endorsed them, including the panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences.

Campaigners at private environmental groups yesterday attacked the efforts to replace Dr. Watson.

Some climate panel scientists said that other countries were planning to push for Dr. Watson to remain, and that it might be possible to craft a compromise in which the two scientists served as co-chairmen.

In an interview, Dr. Watson said the most important thing was to keep the panel from becoming divided into factions. "We've always worked well by consensus," he said. "I would hope it does not come down to a divisive vote."

Author: saths
Wednesday, April 03, 2002 - 2:40 pm
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Does Dr. Watson have suggestions as to what to do in place of burning oil & coal?

Author: admin
Wednesday, April 03, 2002 - 10:01 pm
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Have you read Balance Point yet?

Author: saths
Thursday, April 04, 2002 - 8:56 am
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I have read most of it online but not the book.

Author: joe
Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 7:56 pm
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This is from the NY Times, 6/20/02. Pretty Alarming.

No Margin for Error

[G] lobal warming is already attacking the world's coral reefs and, if nothing is done soon, could begin a long-term assault on the vast West Antarctic Ice Sheet. If the ice sheet begins to disintegrate, the worldwide consequences over the next several centuries could well be disastrous.

Coral reefs are sometimes called the rain forests of the oceans because of the tremendous variety of animal and plant life that they support.

"They're the richest ocean ecosystem, and if they are destroyed or severely damaged, a lot of the biological diversity simply goes away," said Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton who is an expert on climate change.

Dr. Oppenheimer and Brian C. O'Neill, a professor at Brown, have an article in the current issue of Science magazine that addresses some of the long-term dangers that could result if nothing is done about global warming.

One of the things that is not widely understood about the greenhouse gases that are contributing to the warming of the planet is that once they are spewed into the atmosphere, they stay there for centuries, and in some cases, millenniums. So a delay of even a decade or so in reducing those emissions can make it much more difficult ? and costly ? to slow the momentum of the warming and avert the more extreme consequences.

In their article, Dr. Oppenheimer and Dr. O'Neill suggest that public officials and others trying to determine what levels of global warming would actually be dangerous could use the destruction of the world's coral reefs as one of their guides.

Coral reefs, which are breathtakingly beautiful natural phenomena, tend to thrive in water temperatures that are only slightly below the maximum temperature at which they can survive. There is not much margin for error. Even allowing for some genetic adaptation, a sustained increase in water temperatures of as little as a couple of degrees Fahrenheit can result in widespread coral reef destruction in just a few years.

A number of factors are already contributing to the destruction of coral reefs, and global warming is one of them. As the earth's temperature continues to rise, global warming will most likely become the chief enemy of what Dr. Oppenheimer calls "these wonderful sources of biological diversity."

The threat to coral reefs is clear and indisputable. Much less clear is the danger that global warming presents to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

"We really don't know with any level of certainty what amount of warming would destroy the ice sheet or how quickly that would happen," said Dr. Oppenheimer. He and Dr. O'Neill wrote, "In general, the probability is thought to be low during this century, increasing gradually thereafter."

There is not even agreement among scientists on the amount of warming necessary to begin the destruction. But what is clear is that if the ice sheet were to disintegrate, the consequences would be profound. So you don't want to play around with this. You want to make sure it doesn't happen.

"We know," said Dr. Oppenheimer, "that if the ice sheet were destroyed, sea levels would rise about five meters, which would be catastrophic for coastal regions. That would submerge much of Manhattan below Greenwich Village, for instance. It would drown the southern third of Florida, an area inhabited by about four million people."

Five meters is approximately 16 feet. Tremendous amounts of housing, wetlands and farming areas around the world would vanish. Large portions of a country like Bangladesh, on the Bay of Bengal, would disappear.

So what could actually set this potential catastrophe in motion? Dr. Oppenheimer has looked back at past geological epochs. "There is some evidence," he said, "that when the global temperature was warmer by about four degrees Fahrenheit than it is today the ice sheet disintegrated."

It is now estimated that if we do nothing to stem the rise of global warming, the increase in the earth's temperature over the course of this century will be between 3 and 10.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That is a level of warming that could initiate the disintegration of the ice sheet. And stopping that disintegration, once the planet gets that warm, may be impossible.

Author: Stephen
Saturday, October 19, 2002 - 1:43 am
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Today on NPR I heard that Global Warming will increase crop yeild in agriculture. The highest % being rice at up to 45% increase. But they are saying there will be a shortage of nitrogen in the crops so they won't be as nutritional.
I don't have all the details, just a abit of what I heard and could retain in memory. Something interesting to research I would say.

Author: saths
Friday, October 25, 2002 - 8:38 am
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Why would nitrogen be short?

Author: Joe Jenkins
Sunday, February 22, 2004 - 11:51 am
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Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

· Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
· Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years
· Threat to the world is greater than terrorism

Mark Townsend and Paul Harris in New York
Sunday February 22, 2004
The Observer
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..
A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'

The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.
The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Climate change 'should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern', say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is 'plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately', they conclude. As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.

Last week the Bush administration came under heavy fire from a large body of respected scientists who claimed that it cherry-picked science to suit its policy agenda and suppressed studies that it did not like. Jeremy Symons, a former whistleblower at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said that suppression of the report for four months was a further example of the White House trying to bury the threat of climate change.

Senior climatologists, however, believe that their verdicts could prove the catalyst in forcing Bush to accept climate change as a real and happening phenomenon. They also hope it will convince the United States to sign up to global treaties to reduce the rate of climatic change.

A group of eminent UK scientists recently visited the White House to voice their fears over global warming, part of an intensifying drive to get the US to treat the issue seriously. Sources have told The Observer that American officials appeared extremely sensitive about the issue when faced with complaints that America's public stance appeared increasingly out of touch.
One even alleged that the White House had written to complain about some of the comments attributed to Professor Sir David King, Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser, after he branded the President's position on the issue as indefensible.
Among those scientists present at the White House talks were Professor John Schellnhuber, former chief environmental adviser to the German government and head of the UK's leading group of climate scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. He said that the Pentagon's internal fears should prove the 'tipping point' in persuading Bush to accept climatic change.

Sir John Houghton, former chief executive of the Meteorological Office - and the first senior figure to liken the threat of climate change to that of terrorism - said: 'If the Pentagon is sending out that sort of message, then this is an important document indeed.'
Bob Watson, chief scientist for the World Bank and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, added that the Pentagon's dire warnings could no longer be ignored.

'Can Bush ignore the Pentagon? It's going be hard to blow off this sort of document. Its hugely embarrassing. After all, Bush's single highest priority is national defence. The Pentagon is no wacko, liberal group, generally speaking it is conservative. If climate change is a threat to national security and the economy, then he has to act. There are two groups the Bush Administration tend to listen to, the oil lobby and the Pentagon,' added Watson.

'You've got a President who says global warming is a hoax, and across the Potomac river you've got a Pentagon preparing for climate wars. It's pretty scary when Bush starts to ignore his own government on this issue,' said Rob Gueterbock of Greenpeace.
Already, according to Randall and Schwartz, the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 'catastrophic' shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated.

Randall told The Observer that the potential ramifications of rapid climate change would create global chaos. 'This is depressing stuff,' he said. 'It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat.'

Randall added that it was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening. 'We don't know exactly where we are in the process. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years,' he said.
'The consequences for some nations of the climate change are unbelievable. It seems obvious that cutting the use of fossil fuels would be worthwhile.'

So dramatic are the report's scenarios, Watson said, that they may prove vital in the US elections. Democratic frontrunner John Kerry is known to accept climate change as a real problem. Scientists disillusioned with Bush's stance are threatening to make sure Kerry uses the Pentagon report in his campaign.

The fact that Marshall is behind its scathing findings will aid Kerry's cause. Marshall, 82, is a Pentagon legend who heads a secretive think-tank dedicated to weighing risks to national security called the Office of Net Assessment. Dubbed 'Yoda' by Pentagon insiders who respect his vast experience, he is credited with being behind the Department of Defence's push on ballistic-missile defence.

Symons, who left the EPA in protest at political interference, said that the suppression of the report was a further instance of the White House trying to bury evidence of climate change. 'It is yet another example of why this government should stop burying its head in the sand on this issue.'

Symons said the Bush administration's close links to high-powered energy and oil companies was vital in understanding why climate change was received sceptically in the Oval Office. 'This administration is ignoring the evidence in order to placate a handful of large energy and oil companies,' he added.

Author: Herb_Wis
Monday, February 23, 2004 - 10:48 am
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The "Global Warming" issue leaves me -- well cold.

I'm sceptical, but feel that it deserves to be studied.

I personally doubt that we are in on the edge of catastrophe. I more or less trust the earth to regulate itself how it sees fit.

Nothing seems to be clear about the issue. One group is saying that my part of the world is getting warmer and drier and the forest will move north. Another group is warning that global warming is going to dump a new glacier on us here overnight.

Don't know what to believe....

Author: Larry Warnberg
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 11:40 am
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Global warming and toilets? Is there a connection? Thanks to Joe for posting the Observer report on the Pentagon study. There's no doubt in my mind that climate change has implications for Homeland Security. Composting toilets can play a significant role in reducing reliance on vulnerable centralized sewage treatment systems. EPA offers training workshops for treatment plant operators to improve security, suggesting the Government already takes seriously potential threats to water supplies and wastewater treatment facilities.
Here in Washington State our Legislature also recognizes the need for long-term planning for climate change. Water shortages due to diminished snowpack in the Cascade mountains prompted a mandate to the State Health Dept. to develop Guidelines for Water Conserving Devices. I served for one year as a volunteer on a Task Force developing these Guidelines. As a result, Washington now has progressive Guidelines for graywater recycling and composting toilet systems. To my knowledge, this is the only State so far to allow permitting of a non-proprietary owner-built composting toilet, including simple affordable systems such as the Jenkins sawdust toilet. I encourage activists in other areas to work with their local Health Authority and State Health officials to reduce economic and regulatory barriers for composting toilets. As the Global Warming issue heats up, there should be more receptivity to toilet alternatives that conserve water, prevent pollution, and return valuable nutrients to soil.
Optimistically, Larry

Author: DaronPage
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 2:36 pm
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This book has some interesting thoughts on global warming and how it will lead to the next ice age, and also how we might be able to prevent it.

Hamaker, John D. and Donald Weaver. The Survival of Civilization. Hamaker-Weaver Publishers: Michigan/California, 1982. WWW PDF edition, 2002. Entire books downloads as a single PDF, about 1.7 mb.

A modern book but already a classic. This study of the soil-mineralization cycle and world-wide climatic changes is made available here courtesy of Don Weaver, who generously granted permission for world-wide-web distribution of this book. Don asked that special mention be made here of another website, this one created by Joanna Campe, where The Survival of Civilication and one other supporting title, To Love and Regenerate the Earth, can be found. That is:

Author: Herb_Wis
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 6:24 pm
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Actually, we are in an "ice age" right now. From what I understand an "ice age" lasts for a long long time with several advances and retreats of the ice.

The last retreat of the ice in North America was ONLY like 7,000-10,000 years ago. The ground is still rebounding from the weight of that ice. Seems like I have read that if previous inter-glacial periods hold true as to length, we are about due to go back into another advance of the ice anyway.

Not trying to convince anyone one way or the other. But if I had to decide, I'd rather seeing a warming trend for North America than a cooling trend. The frost free growing season here already isn't all that long. I sure haven't noticed it getting any longer.

Author: DaronPage
Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - 11:13 am
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The problem with either is the change in weather patterns, if it gets warmer it may also get wetter, or it may get dryer because the water is going somewhere else, either way the weather will change and probable not for the better,

they say that the warming trend at the equator will send the moisture to the poles, this makes the ice grow, also causes unstability (huracanes and such)

Author: Herb_Wis
Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - 7:13 pm
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Don't know what to believe about all this. But here's another interesting article telling about the coming Ice advance due to global warming:


The Pentagon's Weather Nightmare

The climate could change radically, and fast. That would be the mother of all national security issues.
By David Stipp

Global warming may be bad news for future generations, but let's face it, most of us spend as little time worrying about it as we did about al Qaeda before 9/11. Like the terrorists, though, the seemingly remote climate risk may hit home sooner and harder than we ever imagined. In fact, the prospect has become so real that the Pentagon's strategic planners are grappling with it.

The threat that has riveted their attention is this: Global warming, rather than causing gradual, centuries-spanning change, may be pushing the climate to a tipping point. Growing evidence suggests the ocean-atmosphere system that controls the world's climate can lurch from one state to another in less than a decade—like a canoe that's gradually tilted until suddenly it flips over. Scientists don't know how close the system is to a critical threshold. But abrupt climate change may well occur in the not-too-distant future. If it does, the need to rapidly adapt may overwhelm many societies—thereby upsetting the geopolitical balance of power.

Though triggered by warming, such change would probably cause cooling in the Northern Hemisphere, leading to longer, harsher winters in much of the U.S. and Europe.[/b] Worse, it would cause massive droughts, turning farmland to dust bowls and forests to ashes. Picture last fall's California wildfires as a regular thing. Or imagine similar disasters destabilizing nuclear powers such as Pakistan or Russia—it's easy to see why the Pentagon has become interested in abrupt climate change.

Climate researchers began getting seriously concerned about it a decade ago, after studying temperature indicators embedded... Continue


Oops, I guess you have to subscribe to read the rest, but the idea is that the ocean current conveyor belt system carrying warm water north shuts off due to the warming effects and then the northern latitudes turn colder and the glaciers advance again. (I read the entire article somewhere but can't find it now).

Author: Anonymous
Thursday, March 11, 2004 - 9:51 pm
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A couple of thoughts to bear in mind.

1) "global warming" means more thermal energy being captured in the planet's climatic systems. so this could mean that everywhere gets warmer -- nice for Russians and Canadians, but lousy for an Africa already reeling from extended droughts. When high-latitude folks joke about how nice a bit of global warming would be, reflect on the millions who live in equatorial and low-lat regions, and the impact of crop loss and extended heat waves on their already difficult lives. sea level rises could also wipe out low-lying island nations entirely. this is not a win-win situation.

2) more energy captured in the global climatic system might not be expressed as general overall warming, but instead as more violent excursions in local and regional weather conditions -- i.e. droughts being longer, rains more torrential, winds more powerful, storms more violent, hurricanes and tornadoes more frequent. this is the scenario that has the world's largest insurance cartels very worried. claims due to storm and flood damage, and fire damage from wildfires etc, are rising every year -- rising faster than the appreciating value of insured property. the biggest underwriters in the world, Swiss/German/French/British, are investing quietly in low-carbon technologies and encouraging research in alternative energy. they are not exactly tree hugging idealists, but businessmen who see that if the climate really gets unstable their corporate empires will go under in a blitz of enormous policy claims. for those of us who pursue agriculture on a small or large scale, violent and unpredictable weather means more danger of crop loss, more risk, more anxiety, and possibly less food.

3) climate systems -- all large chaotic systems really, like unregulated economies, stock markets, wildlife populations -- often respond in nonlinear ways to linear inputs. the "knee function" is one example, where you increase one parameter linearly and gradually, and the system doesn't respond much at first, but over a certain threshold it suddenly "flops" into a new state. kinda like pressure building up between tectonic plates and then suddenly a realignment happens, but even less straightforward and predictable. the "Gulf Stream turnoff" scenario is this kind of knee-function problem, where a "flop" takes place in the direction and strength of a warm current that just happens to make temperate agriculture possible in the British Isles.

4) positive (or runaway) feedback systems are those where a destabilising influence is self-encouraging and self-amplifying. as for example: we warm up the climate by anthropogenic carbon release. as a result, air temps rise and more people demand air conditioning in the very hot summers that follow. air conditioning requires massive energy expenditure from fossil fuel sources, which amplifies the warming problem. the warming also destroys snowpack on mountain ranges which feed rivers. hydro energy systems fail. more fossil fuel is needed to compensate. water becomes scarce and has to be trucked or pumped into large population centres as natural watersheds fail. the trucking and pumping require more energy. you get the picture. if climatic conditions get harder for humans to endure, our current fossil-fuel-centred system is likely to try to compensate by burning more fossil fuel than ever, which can only make things worse. this kind of positive feedback loop means that a situation can accelerate rapidly instead of deteriorating at a manageable pace.

So... though chaotic systems are by their very nature impossible to predict with accuracy, and therefore no one can look in their crystal ball and say "the consequences of global warming will be exactly X, Y, Z," there are aspects of climate change that make it far from paranoid or unreasonable to be concerned about the sudden onset of very negative effects. the very incalculability and potential magnitude of the effects should give us pause. [Or as one professional climatologist memorably put it, "We're already f***ed, but nobody wants to hear about it."]

Author: admin
Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - 11:07 am
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Alarm Sounded on Global Warming
Researchers Say Dangers Must Be Addressed Immediately
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 16, 2004; Page A09

Ten of the nation's top climate researchers warned yesterday that policymakers must act soon to address the dangers associated with global warming, which they described as a looming threat that will hit hardest and soonest at the world's poor and at farmers.

"By mid-century, millions more poor children around the world are likely to face displacement, malnourishment, disease and even starvation unless all countries take action now to slow global warming" and sea-level rises that will follow, Michael Oppenheimer, who teaches geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University, said at a conference. "Imagine the difficulties faced by families in Bangladesh. An area where about 8 million people now live would be underwater if global sea level were to rise half a meter. Where are they going to go?"

The day-long conference, organized by Donald Kennedy, editor of Science magazine, and Albert Teich, director of science and policy for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was aimed at convincing the public and politicians that there is ample evidence that the buildup of carbon dioxide is transforming ecosystems worldwide.

Bush administration officials have consistently sparred with environmentalists on how hard it should crack down on carbon dioxide emissions and other heat-trapping industrial and tailpipe gases. In 2001, Bush opted out of the Kyoto agreement on global warming, which would have forced the United States to impose stricter limits on greenhouse gases, on grounds that it would cost American jobs and exempt developing countries from the new standards.

Kennedy called climate change "the most serious issue" we face and said the scientific community must "make a clear expression" on the subject.

The academics emphasized that if international leaders do not act soon, they will not have the option of reversing global warming. David S. Battisti, who teaches at the University of Washington, said it is "a huge risk" not to curb greenhouse gases.

"You have to start doing things now," he said. "To undo it or stop it is not possible."

Researchers, including Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution, said scientists have begun to detect evidence that various species are having to adjust to global warming. Hundreds of species have moved to cooler regions, Field said, and agricultural yields are declining.

"We're seeing the least-competitive species in the ecosystem being winnowed out," he said. "If pushed hard enough, this sensitivity is going to blossom into profound problems."

Bob Hopkins, spokesman for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the administration has taken steps, including devoting $4 billion to climate change science and technology programs. The Commerce Department is also speeding up deployment of technology to measure atmospheric aerosols and carbon.

"The administration takes this issue very seriously and the president has laid out an aggressive plan to address climate change," he said.

Author: Anonymous
Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 10:34 pm
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I hate to give the bad news to some who think it might be nice to have warmer winters in North America - the US Dept of Defense report pointed out what global "warming" would mean for the USA and other parts of the world:

• Annual average temperatures drop by up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit over Asia and North America and 6 degrees Fahrenheit in northern Europe
• Annual average temperatures increase by up to 4 degrees Fahrenheit in key areas throughout Australia, South America, and southern Africa.
• Drought persists for most of the decade in critical agricultural regions and in the water resource regions for major population centers in Europe and eastern North America.
• Winter storms and winds intensify, amplifying the impacts of the changes.
Western Europe and the North Pacific experience enhanced winds.
The report explores how such an abrupt climate change scenario could potentially
de-stabilize the geo-political environment, leading to skirmishes, battles, and even
war due to resource constraints such as:
1) Food shortages due to decreases in net global agricultural production
2) Decreased availability and quality of fresh water in key regions due to shifted
precipitation patterns, causing more frequent floods and droughts
3) Disrupted access to energy supplies due to extensive sea ice and storminess
As global and local carrying capacities are reduced, tensions could mount around the

The full report is at:

Author: admin
Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 9:27 am
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World Temperatures Keep Rising With a Hot 2005

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 13, 2005; Page A01

New international climate data show that 2005 is on track to be the hottest year on record, continuing a 25-year trend of rising global temperatures.

Climatologists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies calculated the record-breaking global average temperature, which now surpasses 1998's record by a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, from readings taken at 7,200 weather stations scattered around the world.

The new analysis comes as government and independent scientists are reporting other dramatic signs of global warming, such as the record shrinkage of the Arctic sea ice cover and unprecedented high ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico.

Late last month, a team of University of Colorado and NASA scientists announced that the Arctic sea ice cap shrank this summer to 200 million square miles, 500,000 square miles less than its average area between 1979 and 2000. And a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration determined that sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico were higher in August than at any time since 1890, which may have contributed to the intense hurricanes that struck the region this year.

"At this point, people shouldn't be surprised this is happening," said Goddard atmospheric scientist David Rind, noting that 2002, 2003 and 2004 were among the warmest years on record.

Many climatologists, along with policymakers in a number of countries, believe the rapid temperature rise over the past 50 years is heavily driven by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities that have spewed carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gases" into the atmosphere. A vocal minority of scientists say the warming climate is the result of a natural cycle.

Rind compared the warming trend to what happens when a major league baseball team owner spends lavishly on players' salaries. Pumping heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, he said, produces the same kind of predictable results as boosting a team's payroll.

"When they get into the playoffs, should we be surprised?" he asked. "We're putting a lot more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and we're getting a lot higher temperatures."

Global temperatures this year are about 1.36 degrees Fahrenheit (0.75 Celsius) above the average between 1950 and 1980, according to the Goddard analysis. Worldwide temperatures in 1998 were 1.28 degrees Fahrenheit (0.71 Celsius) above that 30-year average. The data show that Earth is warming more in the Northern Hemisphere, where the average 2005 temperature was two-tenths of a degree above the 1998 level.

Climate experts say such seemingly small shifts are significant because they involve average readings based on measurements taken at thousands of sites. To put it in perspective, the planet's temperature rose by just 1 to 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century.

Rind, who said it would probably take a major event such as a massive volcanic eruption to keep this year from setting a record, said that scientists expect worldwide temperatures to rise another degree Fahrenheit between 2000 and 2030, and an additional 2 to 4 degrees by 2100.

From that perspective, this year's higher temperatures are "really small potatoes compared to what's to come," he said.

But one skeptic, state climatologist George Taylor of Oregon, said it is difficult to determine an accurate global average temperature, especially since there are not enough stations recording ocean temperatures.

"I just don't trust it," Taylor said of the new calculation, noting that Goddard's findings are "mighty preliminary."

Several scientists said yesterday that Earth's rapid warming could become self-perpetuating as the buildup of heat in the air, on land and in the sea accelerates. Ted A. Scambos, the lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., said the shrinkage of sea ice in the Arctic makes it more likely that the region will warm faster, because open water absorbs much more heat from the sun than snow and ice.

"Change is really happening in the Arctic. We're going to see this again and again," Scambos said. He added that, because the Arctic helps keep global temperatures down, any warming there can mean "you're going to change [the world's] climate significantly."

In response to recent warming in the Arctic, a coalition of environmental groups said it plans to sue the Interior Department to force it to list polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act because the sea ice they depend on is disappearing. The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups petitioned for the listing in February, but they say Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton has yet to respond.

"The polar bear's a harbinger of what's to come. It's the first animal to be threatened with extinction by climate change, but it won't be the last," said NRDC attorney Andrew Wexler. He noted that polar bears cannot adapt well to rising temperatures because they are dependent on sea ice for survival.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Chris Tollefson said the agency is analyzing the petition. "We haven't really reached a conclusion," Tollefson said.

The Bush administration has consistently advocated funding for technological research rather than requiring curbs in carbon dioxide emissions, saying that such limits could damage the economy.

William O'Keefe, chief executive of the George C. Marshall Institute, which is skeptical of global warming predictions, said policymakers should not rush to impose new rules on industry when it remains unclear whether the current warming worldwide reflects natural climate variability or a human-induced trend.

"It still remains very complicated," O'Keefe said.

But Rafe Pomerance, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for the environment under President Bill Clinton and who now chairs the bipartisan Climate Policy Center, said a modest system to limit and trade carbon dioxide emissions could help curb global warming.

"We need to develop a range of very serious policies and put them in place," Pomerance said.

Author: admin
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 11:09 am
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Warming to Cause Harsher Weather, Study Says

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 18, 2005; Page A02

Extreme weather events -- including heat waves, floods and drought -- are likely to become more common over the next century in the United States because of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study by Purdue University researchers.

The analysis, which is being published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, examines how heat-trapping gases linked to climate change may intensify precipitation, drought and other weather conditions. Instances of extreme heat will probably increase throughout the country, the scientists concluded, and many areas will experience heavier downpours even if rain becomes less frequent.

"I would be thrilled to be wrong," said Noah S. Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at the Purdue Climate Change Research Center and the university's department of earth and atmospheric sciences. "It's definitely going to be more extreme hot temperatures."

The four-person research team, which included two scientists from the Earth Systems Physics Group at the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, compared U.S. weather patterns from 1961 to 1985 with models of future weather patterns from 2071 to 2095.

Under this scenario, which assumes the amount of carbon dioxide in the air will roughly double over the next 100 years, the coldest days of the year in the Northeast will be as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, and the temperatures currently experienced on the 18 hottest days of the year in the Washington area will prevail for two months.

The Southwest will become drier and hotter, the paper predicts, while the Gulf Coast will become warmer and experience less frequent, but more intense, rains.

Last month, three scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., published a paper suggesting that precipitation around the world is likely to become more intense as global warming continues. One of the authors of that study, Gerald A. Meehl, said the Purdue paper is consistent with his findings.

"This is what you'd expect to see," Meehl said. "As the climate continues to warm, you'd see more precipitation intensity [because] the warmer air can hold more moisture."

Kevin Trenberth, who heads the Colorado center's climate analysis section, said the two separate findings highlight "the need to examine not just the precipitation amount but also the intensity, frequency, duration and type" of rain or snow that may stem from climate change.

But Patrick J. Michaels, a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, questioned the Purdue paper because the scientists assumed carbon dioxide concentrations would double.

"That's not going to happen," said Michaels, who has accepted funding from coal, gas and mining interests opposed to mandatory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. "These are very high assumptions that are not borne out by reality."

Diffenbaugh said his team did choose "a high-end scenario" in predicting future greenhouse gas emissions. He said it took five months to run the climate model on a supercomputer, and said he and other scientists did not have the time to calculate the impact of less carbon dioxide pollution.

Catastrophic weather events have taken an increasingly heavy financial toll on American homeowners and businesses in recent years. Over the past three decades, the country has experienced a 15-fold increase in insured losses from extreme weather events, according to a report issued last month by Ceres, a coalition of investors that lobbies businesses to be environmentally responsible. Increased development in flood-prone areas has contributed to those losses.

"We're in an era of escalating climate change impacts on governments and the public that can cause substantial financial risks," said Ceres President Mindy S. Lubber. "The government needs to step in and act, and call for policy changes that will reduce the risks."

Author: Anonymous
Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 3:59 am
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The Leipzig Declaration

As independent scientists researching atmospheric and climate problems, we -- along with many of our fellow citizens -- are apprehensive about the Climate Treaty conference scheduled for Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997. This gathering of politicians from some 160 signatory nations aims to impose -- on citizens of the industrialized nations, but not on others -- a system of global environmental regulations that include quotas and punitive taxes on energy fuels.

Fossil fuels provide today's principal energy source, and energy is essential for all economic growth. Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide -- the announced goal of the Climate Treaty -- would require that fuel use be cut by as much as 60 to 80 percent -- worldwide!

In a world in which poverty is the greatest social pollutant, any restriction on energy use that inhibits economic growth should be viewed with caution. We understand the motivation to eliminate what are perceived to be the driving forces behind a potential climate change; but we believe the emerging Kyoto protocol -- to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from only part of the world community -- is dangerously simplistic, quite ineffective, and economically destructive jobs and standards-of-living.

More to the point, we consider the scientific basis of the 1992 Global Climate Treaty to be flawed and its goal to be unrealistic. The policies to implement the Treaty are, as of now, based solely on unproven scientific theories, imperfect computer models -- and unsupported assumptions that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action. We do not agree. We believe that the dire predictions of a future warming have not been validated by the existing climate record. These predictions are based on nothing more than theoretical models and cannot be relied on.

As the debate unfolds, it has become increasingly clear that -- contrary to the conventional wisdom -- there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide. In fact, many climate specialists now agree that actual observations from weather satellites show no global warming whatsoever -- in direct contradiction to computer model results.

Historically, climate has always been a factor in human affairs -- with warmer periods, such as the medieval "climate optimum," playing an important role in economic expansion and in the welfare of nations that depend primarily on agriculture. Colder periods have caused crop failures, and led to famines, disease, and other documented human misery. We must, therefore, remain sensitive to any and all human activities that could affect future climate.

However, based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot subscribe to the politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes and calls for hasty actions. For this reason, we consider the drastic emission control policies likely to be endorsed by the Kyoto conference -- lacking credible support from the underlying science -- to be ill-advised and premature.

This statement is based on the International Symposium on the Greenhouse Controversy, held in Leipzig, Germany on November 9-10, 1995, under the sponsorship of the Prime Minister of the State of Saxony. For further information, contact the Europaeische Akademie fuer Umweltfragen (fax: 011-49-7071-72939) or The Science & Environmental Policy Project in Fairfax, Virginia (fax: (703) 352-7535). Or visit the website .


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Article from

Author: admin
Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 2:16 pm
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Warming Tied To Extinction Of Frog Species

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 12, 2006; Page A01

Rising temperatures are responsible for pushing dozens of frog species over the brink of extinction in the past three decades, according to findings being reported today by a team of Latin American and U.S. scientists.

The study, published in the journal Nature, provides compelling evidence that climate change has already helped wipe out a slew of species and could spur more extinctions and the spread of diseases worldwide. It also helps solve the international mystery of why amphibians around the globe have been vanishing from their usual habitats over the past quarter-century -- as many as 112 species have disappeared since 1980.

Scientists have speculated that rising temperatures and changing weather patterns could endanger the survival of many species, but the new study documents for the first time a direct correlation between global warming and the disappearance of around 65 amphibian species in Central and South America.

The fate of amphibians -- whose permeable skin makes them sensitive to environmental changes -- is seen by scientists as a possible harbinger of global warming's effects. Rising temperatures are threatening the survival of flora and fauna worldwide, including coral reefs in the Caribbean, which serve as critical fish nurseries, and South African rhododendrons, which cannot move to a cooler climate.

J. Alan Pounds -- the resident scientist at the Tropical Science Center's Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica and the study's lead author -- worked with 13 other researchers to pin down the link between rising tropical temperatures and the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus that has wiped out dozens of species of harlequin frogs in recent years.

"Disease is the bullet killing frogs, but climate change is pulling the trigger," Pounds said. "Global warming is wreaking havoc on amphibians and will cause staggering losses of biodiversity if we don't do something first."

The paper helps explain how global warming has allowed the chytrid fungus -- which kills frogs by growing on their skin and attacking their epidermis and teeth, as well as by releasing a toxin -- to thrive in Costa Rica and neighboring countries. The higher temperatures result in more water vapor in the air, which in turn forms a cloud cover that leads to cooler days and warmer nights. These conditions favor the fungus, which grows and reproduces best at temperatures between 63 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

At least 110 species of the vibrantly colored amphibians once lived near streams in the Central and South American tropics, but about two-thirds disappeared in the 1980s and 1990s, including the golden toad. While researchers had previously identified the fungus as a major reason for the frogs' demise, they have been trying determine why the disease has taken such a major toll in recent years.

Looking at more than 65 harlequin frog species that had vanished, researchers found that 80 percent of the time there was a correlation between higher temperatures and the species' disappearance. After a warm peak in 1987, for example, five species died off.

Author: food for thought
Saturday, January 14, 2006 - 2:58 am
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Date: January 10, 2006
Source: India Daily

Cyclical Ice age gets hold of the earth - how severe will it be by 2012?

Ice ages come every 11,000 years. A mega ice age comes every 105,000 years. Both are due between now and 2012. The 11,000 year cycle happens because of increase and decrease of cyclical underwater volcanic eruption. The 105,000 mega ice age happens because of the changing shape of the orbit of the earth around the sun – circular to elliptical and then back to circular every 105,000 years.

Both the cycles are overdue. They have actually started. Europe right now is in deep freeze. Japan and South Korea are experiencing the worst snowfall ever. Even New Delhi is experiencing the worst ever fog and cold weather. Do not get surprised to see New Delhi experiencing the weather of Moscow, Miami experiencing the weather of Chicago.

Since the 105,000 cycle is overdue, the freeze can be real severe by 2012 and beyond. Some Geologists believe that global warming is causing the freeze because of manipulation of warm ocean currents and streams. The manipulation has occurred for many reasons. Global warming from human civilization is one reason. But much more serious is the cyclical increase in under ocean volcanoes and stretched geysers over miles. Such an eruption has recently been discovered in Indian Ocean stretching 45 miles releasing superheated steam to 750 degree F.

Because of this extra heat ocean is getting evaporated. The resulting precipitation is forming the snow and eventually ice. In the last ice age, Montreal in Canada was under two miles of ice. NY was less than 400 feet of ice. The southern US has no ice but had the weather of Canada with very often snow fall.

With our current technology, our civilization will survive the smaller cycle – the 11,000 year cycle that can produce a mini ice age. Food will be scarce and much of the northern hemisphere will be under deep ice with little life there. Serious migration of population will take place from north to south.

The terrestrial civilization cannot survive the mega ice age that comes every 105,000 years. In that case the ocean levels will fall by 500 feet on an average. The whole earth will be under deep ice. How do we know if the ice age that is engulfing the earth is smaller or the mega one?

Some geologists, astrophysicists and scientists believe if the mega ice age is starting then certain parts of the world will be very cold and under deep snow for a few years. At the same time many parts of the world will experience very mild winter. El Nino which is due in 2008-2009 can cause the mega ice age to come. A super volcano in Toba or Yellow Stone can also cause the mega ice age. Earth’s current orbit around the Sun suggests that any of these will instantaneously ( two months for example) put the earth into deep freeze. A burst of cosmic dusts from the center of the galaxy can also cause the same. Severe weather patterns that is taking hold of the earth are not very good signs.

© 2006 India Daily. All rights reserved

Author: Herb
Saturday, January 14, 2006 - 11:14 am
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This whole Global Warming thing just seems to just get wackier and wackier.

Gotta say though that this current January here in northern Wis. is about as mild as I have ever seen it. Hardly budged in temp. from between 25-35 F. all month so far. Usually we are WAY below zero about now. But I'm not complaining and neither is my woodpile.

Re: Frog article. I really like frogs and would hate to see anything happen to them. In fact, I've been increasing frog habitat in my wetlands. Also increasing salamander habitat which have somewhat different requirements than frogs. Who'd a thunk it? But somehow I think that amphibians, which are among the oldest living vertebrates on earth, will out-survive the human race by a long shot.

Re: Indian article. Nor would I rule out the Indian article about cycles of sun input and undersea eruption heat gain. Something caused a series of ice ages and interglacial warm periods (some warmer than now), in North America and elsewhere in the past 1 million years which cannot be blamed on human auto exhaust.

A mere 10,000 years ago there was an ice sheet 2 miles thick hereabouts.

What caused THAT thing to melt?

Obviously some kind of global warming....

Scientists have long said we are now living in another interglacial period.

So when is the glacier coming back?

Or is it already overdue?

Author: Wayne
Sunday, January 15, 2006 - 6:21 pm
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I have nothing to add to the facts, fears, and/or fantasies regarding global warming, but I did hear a neat story about biodiesel on NPR's "Living on Earth"--here's the URL:

If you have trouble with that link, look for "Pond Scum or Planet Savers" at:

And for a story on biodiesel, see "Popularity of Biodiesel Grows Amid High Gas Prices":

Wayne Ferguson

Author: admin
Saturday, January 21, 2006 - 1:32 am
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Cloudy With a Chance of Chaos
Climate change may bring more violent weather swings -- and sooner -- than experts had thought.
By Eugene Linden
January 17, 2006: 5:07 PM EST

(FORTUNE Magazine) - A disturbing consensus is emerging among the scientists who study global warming: Climate change may bring more violent swings than they ever thought, and it may set in sooner. Lately John Browne, the CEO of BP, has been jolting audiences with a list of proposed solutions that hint at the vastness of the challenge. It aims at stabilizing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at about double the pre-industrial level while continuing economic growth. To do that, carbon emissions would have to be reduced ultimately by seven gigatons a year. A gigaton, or a billion tons, is even bigger than it sounds. Eliminating just one, argues Browne, would mean building 700 nuclear stations to replace fossil-fuel-burning power plants, or increasing the use of solar power by a factor of 700, or stopping all deforestation and doubling present efforts at reforestation. Achieve all three of these, and pull off four more equally large-scale reallocations of capital and infrastructure, and the world would probably stabilize its carbon emissions.

There's just one catch: Even change on this vast scale might not stop global warming.

What if the secret behind civilization is that we've had really good weather? Humankind has prospered and multiplied during one of the most benign climate eras in the history of the planet. And the past two centuries -- which witnessed the great expansion of the Industrial Revolution, a sixfold increase in human population, the triumph of the consumer society, and the rise of the integrated global economy -- have been particularly stable. One would have to go back 115,000 years to find a time as tranquil and warm as the present.

Even so, during the relative calm of recorded history, climate has periodically turned angry. And while this moodiness is but a shadow of the cataclysmic weather violence of the Ice Ages, it has been sufficient to shake or destroy civilizations. A sudden cooling and drying 8,200 years ago set back the development of the first cities in the Fertile Crescent. Some 4,000 years ago, decades of drought accompanied by howling winds scoured the Mesopotamian plain of the Akkadians, the most powerful civilization of the region. The Mayans never recovered from intense drought in the first decade of the tenth century A.D. And were it not for the Little Ice Age that thwarted the expansion of Viking civilization just six centuries ago, Europeans living in Canada and the U.S. might be speaking Norse rather than English.

Now climate is changing again. Most scientists recognized the reality of global warming more than a decade ago; most also agree that humans play a role in the changes. The consensus on climate change has solidified to rival the medical consensus on the dangers of smoking--but in the matter of climate, public perception has yet to catch up. Like the tourists on Phuket beaches who stood and gazed at an oncoming tsunami because it was outside their experience, society is reacting to the coming wave of climate change without urgency. People still believe that the science is controversial and the threat of climate change far off in the future; and while a few businesses, notably major insurers, have begun to adapt, governments are responding only slowly, as the lack of progress at this fall's international forum in Montreal showed.

The wave is coming, though. The last decades of the 20th century saw an unmistakable and extraordinary warming. During this same period, we suffered by some measures the strongest El Niño in 130,000 years and a swarm of statistically extraordinary droughts, floods, and other weather extremes. In 2005 precedents continued to fall, as wave after wave of tropical Atlantic storms continued right through the end of the year. The hot ocean waters that helped nurture storms in 2005 may also play a role in an intense drought in the Amazon rain forest, normally one of the wettest places on earth.

These and other weather surprises make scientists uneasy because they resonate with a new understanding of how climate changes. Just 40 years ago the consensus was that climate shifted from warm to cold and vice versa, smoothly and over many centuries. Since the early 1990s, however, scientists have been coming to see climate change as less like a dial and more like an on-off switch. The transition from, say, warm to cold is far more abrupt--taking decades, not centuries--and far more chaotic than previously supposed (though still not as fast as in The Day After Tomorrow, the 2004 disaster flick in which a new Ice Age arrived in a matter of days). Scientists now compare such transitions to the flickering of a flame or a fluorescent bulb--where the "flickers" may be quite violent, marked by fluctuations in temperatures of more than 18 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few years, as well as extreme variation in wind speeds and precipitation.

The Earth's heat-distribution system has already begun shifting massively in response to rising levels of greenhouse gases. Precipitation patterns, the change of seasons, storm intensity, sea ice, glaciers, temperatures on the tundras--all are in flux. As scientists nervously monitor sea and air currents for signs of major shifts, many believe that today's proliferation of weather extremes may be the prelude to another epochal transition--a possibility first flagged by the great oceanographer Wallace Broecker in the journal Science in 1997.

How bad could it get? Imagine Europe suffering floods and heat waves on a vastly greater scale than those endured in 2002 and 2003, while northern regions experience intermittent deep freezes as atmospheric and ocean circulations struggle to find new equilibrium. At the same time, droughts and floods not seen since ancient times would afflict some of the most densely populated regions on earth. The probability of drought in the American breadbasket would rise, and along with it the possibility that the U.S. grain surplus--which accounts for the dominant share of world grain exports--would disappear.

A flickering climate wouldn't just clobber countries with the wealth and technological resources to try to cope. It would affect every part of the planet, and in so doing reduce the resiliency of the global community. With every nation dealing with local emergencies, it would be more difficult to mobilize resources to aid victims in other areas, and there would be fewer resources to mobilize.

Municipalities around the world would struggle under the burden of greatly increased demands on funds to maintain and repair basic infrastructure. Forget about safety nets--FEMA and its ilk would be bankrupt. In the world's tightly coupled markets, financial tsunamis would surge through the system, leaving banks and corporations insolvent. Financial panics, largely absent for more than 70 years, would return with a vengeance.

Here at home, a flickering climate would impose an enormous tax on every individual and business. Property values in most places would plummet as buyers disappeared and costs of insurance and maintenance soared. The upper-middle-class American family, today so well protected against external shocks, would find its layers of insulation gradually stripped away as fuel, food, jobs, and social order became less certain. Katrina's aftermath exposed how quickly extreme weather can reduce an orderly society to dysfunction.

Some of the calamities that may happen--droughts that last more than a century, an advance of arctic zones southward, incessant and epic storms--simply overwhelm the imagination when we try to envision them in a world of six billion people depending on an exquisitely balanced food system. Earlier civilizations destroyed by climate did not have modern technologies or markets as a bulwark against nature's stresses. But changing climate won't challenge only markets and economies; it will stress the environment too, and by decimating ecosystems, we have undermined crucial buffers against weather extremes.


The storms, floods, and other weather calamities of recent years are just a start.

Consider the "500 year" floods in the Midwestern U.S. that caused $27 billion of damage in 1993. Decades of development had channeled and otherwise altered the Mississippi and other great rivers of the Midwest, reducing their access to floodplains that had absorbed and moderated the effects of extreme rainfall. Without those buffers, the rivers in 1993 rose higher than they might have in years past. When they breached dikes and other barriers, they spilled into the old floodplains, now largely occupied with farms and homes, amplifying the damage. We saw this pattern repeated in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and in the Christmas tsunami of 2004. While the tsunami killed more than 280,000 people and destroyed settlements over a swath of several thousand miles, a series of powerful tsunamis in that part of the world during the 19th century passed with far less damage and loss of life. They took place before protective buffers of mangroves were destroyed, before hundreds of millions of people moved into the potential path of the waves, and before cars, trucks, and other contrivances proliferated only to become projectiles when the 2004 tsunami swept them up.

Around the world, humanity has reduced nature's capacity to dampen extremes to an astonishing degree: more than 59% of the world's accessible land degraded by improper agriculture, deforestation, and development; half the world's available fresh water now co-opted for human use at the expense of other species and ecosystems; more than half the world's mangroves destroyed; half the world's wetlands drained or ruined; one-fifth of the world's coral reefs (including crucial barrier reefs) destroyed and one-half damaged--the list goes on and on.

Nature does not alert us to all her tripwires. Perhaps that's why in recent years the unprecedented has become increasingly ordinary. When pushed past a certain magnitude, the damage of natural events increases exponentially, and that threshold falls as natural buffers are eliminated. Research led by MIT climatologist Kerry Emmanuel suggests that hurricanes have doubled in intensity during the past 30 years as the oceans have warmed. Hurricane Katrina surged to its immense power when the storm passed over a deep layer of 90-degree Fahrenheit water in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Rita transfixed meteorologists when it strengthened from Category 2 to 5 in less than 24 hours while moving over those same hot seas. And in October, Wilma bested that by strengthening from tropical storm to Category 5 hurricane in a single day.

Since we are dismantling natural buffers just at the point when we really need them, it's tempting simply to conclude that humanity has a self-destructive streak. The explanation, of course, is not masochism but a collective failure of imagination--compounded by the fact that we are only now learning to weigh the threat. There are no models to estimate the economic impact of rapid changes in temperatures, storm tracks, precipitation, and so on. In a 2001 report entitled "Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises," the National Research Council, the principal operating unit of the National Academy of Sciences, noted that most modeling of impacts has been confined to cases in which changes are gradual and moderate. Modeling the effects of abrupt change is a lot harder, but the study makes a couple of important points.

First, economies can minimize the effects of a gradually changing climate if people recognize the threat and respond. With abrupt climate change, however, things happen so rapidly that neither markets nor ecosystems have time to adapt. Moreover, a dynamic market economy with capacity to respond to intermittent crises by spreading risk and reallocating assets may be unable to respond when crisis is ubiquitous and risks loom everywhere.

Second, even gradual climate change would pose immense challenges. Tim Barnett, an oceanographer at Scripps Oceanographic Institution, took part in a study of the likely effects of climate change on the Los Angeles area. Surprisingly, he says, even modest decreases in rainfall during what he called a "best-case scenario for future climate change" (a gradual and small change, decades in the future) could reduce available water for the area by 50% by 2050. The region has limited storage capacity for water and relies on the winter snowpack that builds up in the Sierra Nevada and the Rockies for water during the dry summer months. Under even modest climate-change scenarios, however, the snowpack would be smaller and would melt earlier. The region would dry up before its driest months.

Angelinos wouldn't necessarily go thirsty. California has plenty of agricultural water that could be diverted to human needs. The ancillary effects would be harder to manage. Farm output would be reduced, and water shortages could idle hydroelectric plants. Drought also makes trees more vulnerable to pests, such as the pandora moth that afflicts ponderosa pine. Dead trees are tinder for wildfires, like the ones that destroyed hundreds of homes in Southern California in 2003. Such impacts would roil the economy. Consider how increased fire risk and other effects of acute water scarcity might affect housing prices or the job market.

Keep in mind that the 50% reduction of available water was a best-case scenario. And while the richest state in the world's richest nation has some ability to weather a drought, such shifts would not be occurring in isolation. The changing climate that brought drought to Southern California would also be affecting weather throughout the American West and beyond--damaging property, disrupting agriculture, and spurring migrations.


You're in unsure hands.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 opened insurers' eyes to a catastrophic risk that they had been assuming for free. Their reaction provided a foretaste of how the global market might react to abrupt climate change. Following 9/11, insurers stopped writing policies that automatically included coverage of terrorist attacks. A number of major construction projects had to halt because banks would not finance them without terrorism coverage. Ultimately Congress passed and President Bush signed a law shifting responsibility for $100 billion in damage from future terrorist attacks to the U.S. government, and the construction projects got rolling again.

As climate change starts inflicting losses, insurers will again pull back, shifting financial risk to businesses and homeowners, the banks that finance them--and finally to taxpayers. In Florida, huge increases (up to 40%) in insurance rates are already making it harder for people to sell homes, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

More than 1,000 miles from New Orleans, in Cape Cod, Mass., a far-flung echo of Katrina has been the 20% rise in reinsurance costs (reinsurers are financial institutions that backstop insurance companies). The increase prompted Hingham Mutual Group, a property and casualty insurer, to drop coverage for 6,500 commercial properties. Customers left in the lurch have a fallback in FAIR (short for Fair Access to Insurance Requirements), a program mandated by various states and run by insurers. But Massachusetts's FAIR plan recently requested big rate increases, arguing that past weather patterns may no longer be a guide to estimating future climate risks. That rationale was "unprecedented," a team of industry experts noted in a report entitled "Availability and Affordability of Insurance Under Climate Change"; it's a vivid example of how insurance has difficulty adapting to changing climate.

For insurers the hazards of climate change become more concrete each year. Andrew Dlugolecki, a risk analyst at the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research in Britain, recently estimated that if climate gradually warms, the chances of the industry getting wiped out by weather-related catastrophes will rise from about one in 100 worldwide today to nine in 100 by 2050. A ninefold increase in the risk of collapse places a heavy burden on insurers, but the risks may be far greater than that. Asked in 2003 how climate change that's abrupt and chaotic might affect those odds, Dlugolecki speculated that the risk of catastrophic weather-related losses rises to about nine chances in 100 by as early as 2010. To insure a property or business affected by that degree of risk, a carrier would have to charge annual rates as high as 12% of insured value--most businesses and individuals start self-insuring (industry-speak for dropping their coverage and taking their chances) when premiums reach 3% of value.

Already the pain of weather-related insurance risks is being felt by owners of highly vulnerable properties such as offshore oil platforms, for which some rates have risen 400% in one year. That may be an omen for many businesses. Three years ago John Dutton, dean emeritus of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, estimated that $2.7 trillion of the $10-trillion-a-year U.S. economy is susceptible to weather-related loss of revenue, implying that an enormous number of companies have off-balance-sheet risks related to weather--even without the cataclysms a flickering climate might bring.

Corporate leaders could soon feel the heat too. In 2004, Swiss Reinsurance, a $29 billion financial giant, sent a questionnaire to companies that had purchased its directors-and-officers coverage, inquiring about their corporate strategies for dealing with climate change regulations. D&O insurance, as it is called, insulates executives and board members from the costs of lawsuits resulting from their companies' actions; Swiss Re is a major player in D&O reinsurance.

What Swiss Re is after, says Christopher Walker, who heads its Greenhouse Gas Risk Solutions unit, is reassurance that customers will not make themselves vulnerable to global-warming-related lawsuits. He cites as an example Exxon Mobil: The oil giant, which accounts for roughly 1% of global carbon emissions, has lobbied aggressively against efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. If Swiss Re judges that a company is exposing itself to lawsuits, says Walker, "we might then go to them and say, 'Since you don't think climate change is a problem, and you're betting your stockholders' assets on that, we're sure you won't mind if we exclude climate-related lawsuits and penalties from your D&O insurance.' " Swiss Re's customers may be put to the test soon in California, where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is pushing to restrict carbon emissions, says Walker. A customer that ignores the likelihood of such laws and, for instance, builds a coal-fired power plant that soon proves a terrible bet could face shareholder suits that Swiss Re might not want to insure against.


How business can take action--and why it needs political backup.

As businesses begin to recognize the dangers of climate change, markets will help economies adjust, pricing the risks and shifting resources. Yet markets have blind spots: They typically underprice long-term or novel risks. In the case of climate change, where large-scale actions must be taken lest change hit with full force, a purely market-based response would be too little, too late. To address the risks, governments need to get involved.

With the Earth's atmosphere already warming dramatically, we are probably stuck with some form of climate change. Yet the energy economy is still in the process of squeezing rather than easing the pressure on the trigger. China and other emerging economies are ramping up their consumption of fossil fuels, while the U.S., which is the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, continues to resist international efforts to rein them in.

In November and December, delegates from scores of nations convened in Montreal to negotiate emissions-control goals for greenhouse gases in the years following the expiration of the Kyoto treaty in 2012. But days of haggling produced nothing more than a resolution to discuss the issue further in coming years. (The U.S. and Saudi Arabia were the last to agree even to that.)

By itself, the Kyoto treaty will have minimal impact on the global-warming threat. Very few of the 160 countries that ratified the treaty (which went into force last February) will meet the targets of reducing emissions 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. The U.S. rejected the treaty, and China, which is likely to surpass the U.S. as a greenhouse-gas producer in the coming years, is not governed by its provisions. Says Elliot Diringer of the Pew Center for Climate Change: "Unless there is continued action after Kyoto expires, it will have been nothing more than a blip" in the buildup of carbon in the atmosphere.

Up to now, the primary objection by the Bush administration and other opponents of reducing greenhouse gases has been economic impact. The unknowns of climate change have made projecting costs and benefits an economist's guessing game. For instance, in 2002 the White House Council on Environmental Quality cited estimates by the federal Energy Information Administration that achieving Kyoto's goals would erode U.S. economic output by $400 billion in 2010. That estimate was the worst of seven scenarios examined by the EIA; another put the cost at only $7 billion to $12 billion by 2010. Other studies, like a recent one sponsored by HSBC and entitled "Carbon Down, Profits Up," cites dozens of companies, cities, and regions that have found reducing carbon emissions to be profitable, in part because carbon reduction is often synonymous with increased efficiency.

But as the weather grows worse, such exercises will become moot. The ambitious proposals that BP's John Browne has been talking about--building nukes by the hundreds, for example--would stabilize the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 500 parts per million by 2050, vs. 380 ppm today. Yet even that might not be enough to prevent climate chaos. Says Chris Mottershead, a distinguished advisor at BP: "Nobody knows whether climate's tipping point is at 400 ppm, 700 ppm, or if there is a tipping point." Science does know, however, that today's concentration of carbon dioxide is higher than any in 650,000 years; past climate flips took place with far less carbon in the air. What's more, BP developed its proposals with physicist Robert Socolow and ecologist Stephen Pacala, professors at Princeton University who worked with models of gradual, not abrupt, climate change.

Despite the daunting gap between present actions and what's required, plenty more can be done. Politics enables markets: An international agreement limiting carbon that includes the U.S. and the developing nations would supply the discipline necessary for carbon markets to flourish. (Carbon trading lets developed countries achieve emissions-reduction targets by paying to reduce emissions in developing countries.) According to an upcoming study of carbon markets by Ecosystem Marketplace, a website devoted to popularizing environmental derivatives, the carbon market in Europe has already surpassed $4 billion in trading value as utility, industrial, and insurance companies experiment with this new tool.

If U.S. politicians eventually conclude that action on the scale of the BP plan is necessary, they could jump-start change by redirecting the purchasing power of federal, state, and local treasuries--more than $1 trillion a year. Once government at all levels commits to purchasing clean technologies, making efficiency improvements, and using alternative energy where possible, this massive spending would provide economies of scale that would help speed the commercialization of new technologies as well as prepare society for the shift away from fossil fuels. Equally sensible would be to reduce subsidies and tax advantages that abet the waste of fossil fuels.

Such proposals have been on the table since the early 1990s. Many are even more salient today. By not taking action on greenhouse emissions, we are betting our well-being that climate change poses little threat. If we are wrong, we will meet our fate.

This article has been adapted by the author from his new book, The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations (Simon & Schuster); see also

Author: Herb
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - 12:00 pm
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Interesting article but one hell of a dose of global fear-mongering too!

The only effects of "global warming" on my radar screen is having to use less wood to heat my home, less local snow-plowing costs, less salt on the highways to rust cars, fewer people slipping on ice and breaking hips, and more turkeys, bluebirds, and cardinals living in these northern woods.

Of course it has also been very cloudy here this mild winter and my solar panels and batteries aren't liking that.

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