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June 09 Climate Truth Report

 

U.N. sees new peril in Asia's huge brown cloud

By Tini Tran, Associated Press Writer - 11/14/2008 - USA Today

Climate change and human extinction--are you ready to be fossilized?

By PURPLE S. ROMERO - 05/17/2008 - abs-cbn NEWS.com/Newsbreak

Greenhouse Gases, Carbon Dioxide And Methane,
Rise Sharply In 2007

ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2008) — Last year alone global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the primary driver of global climate change, increased by 0.6 percent, or 19 billion tons. Additionally methane rose by 27 million tons after nearly a decade with little or no increase. NOAA scientists released these and other preliminary findings today as part of an annual update to the agency’s greenhouse gas index, which tracks data from 60 sites around the world.

Redding Climate Change Petition
Click the Link above to download the Petition in Word Doc format.

We, the undersigned, accept the scientific consensus of the worldwide scientific community as documented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change statement in 2007 that claimed:

90% certainty that global warming was man-made and will "continue for centuries" and that "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase" in human-produced greenhouse has emissions.

We, the undersigned, agree with the United States National Academy of Sciences report in 2001 that:

"Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities."

We, the undersigned, agree with the 2003 statement by the American Geophysical Union that:

"Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate" and "Scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global…temperatures during the second half of the 20th century."

We, the undersigned, agree with the 2005 Joint Science Academies statement from Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Britain and the United States that:

"It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities" and "human activities are now causing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to rise well above pre-industrial levels" and "Increasing greenhouse gases are causing temperatures to rise."

We, the undersigned, agree with the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) 2007 Information Statement on Climate Change that said,

"Human activities are a major contributor to climate change" and "Direct human impact is through changes in the concentration of…greenhouse gases" and "Increases in (these gases) are nearly certain to produce continued increases in temperature."

We especially agree with the concluding statement of the AMS that:

"Prudence dictates extreme care in managing our relationship with the only planet known to be capable of sustaining human life."

To that end, we the undersigned residents of Redding, California, do hereby implore our City Council to publicly accept and acknowledge these scientific facts. Many cities, in this country and abroad, already have strong local policies and programs in place to reduce global warming pollution, but more action is needed at the local, state, and federal levels to meet the challenge. On February 16, 2005, the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement to address climate disruption, became law for the 141 countries that have ratified it to date. On that day, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels launched the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement initiative to advance the goals of the Kyoto Protocol through leadership and action by at least 141 American cities.

More than three years have passed Since Mayor Nickels launched his initiative and as of April, 2008, over 825 American Cities have now signed the Agreement including 118 in California, demonstrating the vision, courage and leadership this global crisis requires.

By signing the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, Redding will join with the rest of the world in recognizing our moral responsibility to reduce our emission of greenhouse gases as stipulated in the Kyoto Protocol, and make a clear statement to the citizens of Redding about our commitment to work with each other and with other communities to solve this planetary climate crisis.

We, the undersigned, urge our City Council to sign this Agreement and thereby commit to take the following three actions:

-Strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in our own community through various policies, projects and public information campaigns;

-Urge our state governments, and the federal government, to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol-7 % reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and

-Urge the U.S. Congress to pass bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation, which would establish a national emission trading system.

The U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
(As endorsed by the 73rd Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, Chicago, 2005)

A. We urge the federal government and state governments to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the target of reducing global warming pollution levels to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, including efforts to: reduce the United States' dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate the development of clean, economical energy resources and fuel-efficient technologies such as conservation, methane recovery for energy generation, waste to energy, wind and solar energy, fuel cells, efficient motor vehicles, and biofuels;
B. We urge the U.S. Congress to pass bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation that 1) includes clear timetables and emissions limits and 2) a flexible, market-based system of tradable allowances among emitting industries; and
C. We will strive to meet or exceed Kyoto Protocol targets for reducing global warming pollution by taking actions in our own operations and communities such as:

1. Inventory global warming emissions in City operations and in the community, set reduction targets and create an action plan.
2. Adopt and enforce land-use policies that reduce sprawl, preserve open space, and create compact, walkable urban communities;
3. Promote transportation options such as bicycle trails, commute trip reduction programs, incentives for car pooling and public transit;
4. Increase the use of clean, alternative energy by, for example, investing in "green tags", advocating for the development of renewable energy resources, recovering landfill methane for en-erg production, and supporting the use of waste to energy technology;
5. Make energy efficiency a priority through building code improvements, retrofitting city facilities with energy efficient lighting and urging employees to conserve energy and save money;
6. Purchase only Energy Star equipment and appliances for City use;
7. Practice and promote sustainable building practices using the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program or a similar system;
8. Increase the average fuel efficiency of municipal fleet vehicles; reduce the number of vehicles; launch an employee education program including anti-idling messages; convert diesel vehicles to bio-diesel;
9. Evaluate opportunities to increase pump efficiency in water and wastewater systems; recover wastewater treatment methane for energy production;
10. Increase recycling rates in City operations and in the community;
11. Maintain healthy urban forests; promote tree planting to increase shading and to absorb CO2; and
12. Help educate the public, schools, other jurisdictions, professional associations, business and industry about reducing global warming pollution.

Redding Climate Change Petition

We, the undersigned, urge our Redding City Council to sign this Agreement and thereby commit to take the following three actions:

-Strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in our own community through various policies, projects and public information campaigns;

-Urge our state governments, and the federal government, to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol-7 % reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and

-Urge the U.S. Congress to pass bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation, which would establish a national emission trading system.

NAME STREET CITY ZIP PHONE E-MAIL

Gore Launches $300 Million Climate Change Campaign

"We can solve the climate crisis, but it will require a major shift
in public opinion and engagement," Gore said in a statement.
Monday, March 31, 2008

We Can Solve It Website and Video

wear BLUE for Earth Day 2008 to VOTE for No Coal

Want to stop global warming? Wear BLUE for Earth Day 2008! Join millions of people around the world who will be wearing BLUE to signify their vote for NO COAL. Events will be happening April 19th through April 22nd, so...

Earth Day If you’re attending the Earth Day event on the National Mall in Washington, DC on April 20th, wear BLUE.

If you’re attending another major Earth Day event, wear BLUE.

When you dress in the morning on Earth Day, wear BLUE.

No matter what you’re doing for Earth Day 2008, wear BLUE.

A BLUE shirt, top, sweater or jacket... whatever. Just wear BLUE.

Then, on April 22, make your voice heard. Pick up the phone: Call Congress at 202.224.3121 and ask for an immediate ‘Moratorium on Coal’ - a halt to the construction of any new conventional coal-fired power plants. Through this Call for Climate event, Earth Day hopes to generate over a million phone calls to Congress!

Your BLUE vote will count. Fifty-nine conventional coal plants were canceled in 2007. That’s over a third of the 151 planned. That happened before millions of people joined together to say No Coal.

BYOBlue for Earth Day 2008. Be the vote that tips the balance.

Climate change confuses migrating birds

The swallows' return to British shores each year symbolises the passing of winter and the approach of summer. Swallows fly huge distances to spend the winter soaking up the sun in Africa, returning to Britain in spring to nest and breed But in a sign of the blurring of the seasons brought on by climate change, one of the birds has this year shunned migration to Africa and instead spent all winter in Britain. In what experts say is the first documented evidence of the species "overwintering" here, a solitary swallow has been monitored from November to the end of February in a village near Truro, Cornwall. Paul Stancliffe, a spokesman for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), called the discovery "incredible". Swallows fly south in the autumn, reaching as far as South Africa. They are not normally seen again in Britain until late March, although the first sighting of a returning bird this year was on February 16, on the Isle of Wight.

Climate change melting glaciers at alarming rate: UN
16th March 2008

The world’s glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, needing immediate action to prevent further constraints on water resources for large populations, UN data released today showed. “Millions if not billions of people depend directly or indirectly on these natural water storage facilities for drinking water, agriculture, industry and power generation during key parts of the year,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program. The culprit is climate change, according to data from the World Glacier Monitoring Service, based at the University of Zurich and supported by UNEP. The centre drew its findings from nearly 30 glaciers in nine mountain ranges revealing that in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 the average rate of melting more than doubled.

Easy Way To Make Your Voice Heard On Global Warming, Cleaner Cars

Members of the Senate have introduced Bill S. 2555 to Congress, which could permit California and up to 19 other states to effectively control greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, titled "Reducing Global Warming Pollution from Vehicles Act of 2008." The purpose of the Act is to allow states that choose to do so, to immediately proceed under the regulation of the State of California to control greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, instead of the State continuing "to litigate for what could be several years."

The Security Implications of Climate Change

By John Podesta and Peter Ogden
© 2007 by The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Washington Quarterly • 31:1 pp. 115–138.

Carbon Output Must Near Zero To Avert Danger, New Studies Say

By Juliet Eilperin Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, March 10, 2008

Stabilizing Climate Requires Near-Zero Carbon Emissions

"We show first that a single pulse of carbon released into the atmosphere increases globally averaged surface temperature by an amount that remains approximately constant for several centuries, even in the absence of additional emissions. We then show that to hold climate constant at a given global temperature requires near-zero future carbon emissions. Our results suggest that future anthropogenic emissions would need to be eliminated in order to stabilize global-mean temperatures. As a consequence, any future anthropogenic emissions will commit the climate system to warming that is essentially irreversible on centennial timescales."
Carnegie Institution of Washington • 1530 P Street NW • Washington, DC 20005

Global warming to affect transport

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID AP SCIENCE WRITER - SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER - March 11, 2008

Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation

Bugs for beating global warming
Will microorganisms help lead us to a green future? Scientists, and venture capitalists, hope so. From the Los Angeles Times - March 15, 2008

In the Greenhouse: Confronting a Changing Climate
Washington Post

Coping with Climate Change: a Bird’s Eye View
What About California?

2007 Gregg Garfin, Climate Assessment for the Southwest Institute for the Study of Planet Earth The University of Arizona

Record warm winter for northern Europe

By SARA SUNDELIUS Mar. 04, 2008 Associated Press Writer

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Icebreakers sit idle in ports. Insects crawl out of forest hideouts. Daffodils sprout up from green lawns. Winter ended before it started in Europe's north, where record-high temperatures have people wondering whether it's a fluke or an ominous sign of a warming world."It's the warmest winter ever" recorded, said John Ekwall of the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute.

In December, January and February, the average temperature in Stockholm was 36 degrees - the highest on record since record-keeping began in 1756. Record winter highs were set at 12 other locations across the country, according to the national weather service, SMHI.

Across the Baltic Sea, Latvia and most of Finland reported the warmest winter since 1925. Latvia saw an average temperature of about 33 degrees, nine degrees above normal, according to the national meteorological agency.

Southern Finland had only 20 days of snow, compared to 70 days normally, while neighboring Estonia had to cancel a popular cross-country ski marathon in the southern city of Tartu in early February.

Investors file flurry of global-warming resolutions

San Francisco Business Times East Bay Business Times - by Chris Rauber

U.S. investors have filed a record 54 shareholder resolutions with U.S. companies facing "far-reaching business impacts from climate change," according to a coalition of investors demanding that corporations include tangible responses to climate change in their basic business strategies. That's nearly twice as many as were filed two years ago, says the Boston-based Ceres coalition of companies, investors and environmental groups that includes San Francisco Bay Area companies such as Catholic Healthcare West, Clif Bar & Co., Gap Inc., PG&E Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc., along with both the Sacramento-based California State Teachers' Retirement System and the California Public Employees Retirement System, two of the nation's largest public pension funds. Companies targeted in this year's proxy season include some of the nation's largest electric power companies, oil and coal producers, airlines, home builders and other businesses that the coalition of investors believes are not adequately dealing with climate-related impacts on their businesses, Ceres said March 6. Those impacts could include physical changes such as droughts and rising temperatures, emerging climate regulations or growing global demand for low-carbon technologies and services.

Food crisis will take hold before climate change, warns chief scientist

James Randerson, science correspondent The Guardian, Friday March 7 2008

Food security and the rapid rise in food prices make up the "elephant in the room" that politicians must face up to quickly, according to the government's new chief scientific adviser. In his first major speech since taking over, Professor John Beddington said the global rush to grow biofuels was compounding the problem, and cutting down rainforest to produce biofuel crops was "profoundly stupid". He told the Govnet Sustainable Development UK Conference in Westminster: "There is progress on climate change. But out there is another major problem. It is very hard to imagine how we can see a world growing enough crops to produce renewable energy and at the same time meet the enormous increase in the demand for food which is quite properly going to happen as we alleviate poverty."

OECD: World Must Act on Climate Change

By DOUG MELLGREN – 03\06\2008 OSLO, Norway (AP)

WA Legislature passes climate change blueprint

By RACHEL LA CORTE Associated Press Writer Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Prophet of Climate Change: James Lovelock

One of the most eminent scientists of our time says that global warming is irreversible — and that more than 6 billion people will perish by the end of the century
Jeff Goodell Posted Oct 17, 2007 2:20 PM

Greenhouse gases at new peak in sign of Asia growth
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent - Reuters, UK - Sat Jan 19, 2008

TROLL STATION, Antarctica (Reuters) - Atmospheric levels of the main greenhouse gas have set another new peak in a sign of the industrial rise of Asian economies led by China, a senior scientist said on Saturday. "The levels already in January are higher than last year," said Kim Holmen, research director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, during a visit to the Troll scientific research station in Antarctica by Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Holmen said measurements at a Norwegian station high in the Arctic showed levels of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, were around 394 parts per million, up about 1.5 parts per million from the previous records early in 2008.

The levels have risen by about a third since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, in tandem with more use of fossil fuels in power plants and factories, and defying recent international efforts to cut back.

The carbon levels usually peak just before the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere, where most of the world's industries, land masses and plants are found. Levels then dip because plants soak up carbon dioxide as they grow.

Holmen said that the 2008 levels might still rise fractionally higher in coming weeks.

He said growing economies in Asia such as China and India were a reason for the rise in emissions, in line with a linked fall of industrial efficiency in the past two years or so -- more carbon is being emitted per dollar of economic output in a reverse of a long improving trend.

"The affluent world wants to buy cheap stuff and we buy it...from the inefficient old-fashioned technology that we have got rid of," he said. He added that there were also signs the oceans had become less efficient at soaking up carbon dioxide.

Sea urchins at risk due to global warming

Washington, March 2 (ANI): A new study has determined that global warming is proving to be a threat to the sea's tiniest creatures, namely sea urchins.

A new study has determined that global warming is proving to be a threat to the sea's tiniest creatures, namely sea urchins.
A team of marine scientists from the University of Calfornia, Santa Barbara, conducted the study. According to a report in National Geographic News, malformed seashells show that climate change is affecting even the most basic rungs of the marine food chain-a hint of looming disaster for all ocean creatures.
"Climate change could drastically reduce sea urchin populations in particular," said Gretchen Hofmann, a marine biologist.

Stop Global Climate Change By Building An "Ark"
By Clinton Callahan - OpEdNews - March 1, 2008

If neither governments, nor most businesses are taking effective measures to avoid global climate catastrophe, what can people do at a grass-roots level to help sustain life on earth?

After heart-breaking research, I offer these four ideas:
1. Verify the accuracy of the information in this commentary.
2. If you decide it is valid, share it as widely and as quickly as possible. (If you can help with translating it into other languages, please write to: ideas@just-stop.org.)
3. Choose which of the four personal strategies you will use (listed below).
4. If you elect to Just Stop, then begin a Just Stop Team, because we cannot Just Stop alone. (The details and implications of "Just Stop" are explained below, and at: www.just-stop.org.)

Climate crisis getting short shrift in US president race: Gore

MONTEREY, California (AFP) — Former US vice president and renowned climate change fighter Al Gore said Saturday that the global warming crisis is getting short shrift in this year's presidential race. Gore used the stage at a prestigious Technology, Entertainment and Design conference in Monterey, California, to call for activism to push climate change to the top of the candidates' political agendas. "As important as it is to change the light bulbs, it is more important to change the laws," Gore told an elite gathering of scientists, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and Internet superstars. "We have to become incredibly active as citizens in our democracy. In order to solve the climate crisis we have to solve the democracy crisis, and we have one."

The ‘Dangerous Threshold’ - a Destination, or a Milestone?

By Craig Mackintosh - January 3, 2008 - Celsias

Remember This: 350 Parts Per Million
By Bill McKibben - Washington Post - Friday, December 28, 2007

Global Warming "Tipping Points" Reached, Scientist Says
Mason Inman in San Francisco, California for National Geographic News December 14, 2007

Water policy and climate change are inseparable

Achim Steiner - Business Daily - February 25, 2008

When you talk about climate change, you are also talking about “water change”— they are inseparable. It is also clear that when you talk about climate neutrality you are also talking about water and its future abundance or scarcity. Thus any sensible water policy for the 21st century must include combating climate change. It is clear that the international community must successfully navigate the Bali Road Map, agreed at the last climate convention, by the time of the climate change meeting scheduled in Copenhagen in 2009. It is clear that without a deep and decisive climate regime post-2012 our ability to meet the Millennium Development Goals as they relate to water, and also to poverty and so many other issues, will be tough to put it mildly.

Biologist tells how climate change affects agriculture

By SARAH KINGSBURY - Chico Enterprise Record - 02/24/2008

Nobel Prize-winning biologist Jeff Price explained how climate change affects agriculture during the keynote speech of the California Nut Festival Saturday night. Price won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his work on the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the award with Al Gore for his help in the publicity of the report. Since then, Price has been on a six-month sabbatical from his work as a biologist in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Chico State University.

Global Warming, Up Close and Personal
By BRYAN WALSH Time Magazine Friday, Feb. 22, 2008

You think you know climate change. You've seen An Inconvenient Truth. You've noticed the changing and warming weather patterns in your part of the world. You're beginning to suffer from acute ecoanxiety. But to really see global warming in action, you'd need to travel to the Arctic, where climate change is already kicking into high gear. Temperatures are increasing faster in the far north than they are in the more temperate zones in the world, and recent studies indicate that the North Pole could be underwater in the summer in less than 10 years. But seeing the Arctic firsthand isn't easy, unless you're handy with a dogsled — so Will Steger is going to take you there.

Steger is a legendary polar explorer, the first person to make a dogsled trip to the North Pole, and winner of the National Geographic Adventure Lifetime Achievement Award. He's at home in those frozen, hostile parts of the world that few of us will ever tread. But he's also a dedicated environmentalist who was early to ring the alarm bell on global warming, the effects of which he saw firsthand in his frequent polar expeditions, both in the Arctic and Antarctica. To help raise awareness of the damage climate change is wreaking on the polar regions, next month Steger will be leading a team of six young adventurers on a 1,400-mile, 60-day-long dogsled expedition across Ellesmere Island, in the far Canadian Arctic. The rest of us will be able to observe Steger's journey — intended to appeal to what he calls "emerging young leaders" below the age of 30 — on the website GlobalWarming101.com. "We want to take our audience to the front lines of global warming," says Steger, still trim as a Navy ship at 64. "We provide the spark with this expedition."

Climate-change realities could ruin water planning
Study: Humans upset delicate weather balance

Shaun McKinnon - The Arizona Republic - Feb. 1, 2008 12:00 AM

Human-caused climate change could undermine a century of building dams, canals and reservoirs across the West as warmer temperatures alter the way water flows through the dry country, scientists say.

Two separate studies, published in today's issue of Science magazine, describe weaknesses in an already fragile system of stretching limited water supplies, suggesting that what happened in Arizona this week, when warm rains filled reservoirs too early, could occur more frequently.

One study attempts to quantify for the first time the human contribution to climate change in the West. It offers evidence that man-made greenhouse gases from vehicles or power plants have caused up to 60 percent of the variations in snowpack, stream flow and higher temperatures over the past half-century.

The second study argues that climate change has rendered the past all but useless in managing water supplies. What look like cyclical droughts could turn into a new climate regime. Water-storage systems built based on historical weather and climate patterns will fail more often as conditions change, forcing water managers to adapt or face shortages.

"We have built all of our infrastructure to maximize the world as we know it," said Tim Barnett, a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and lead author of one of the studies.

"As long as the climate stays the same, then we've optimized the system," he said. "But it's not going to stay the same. Things that used to work aren't going to work."

Climate Change Threatens Food Supply in Many Regions

By Art Chimes Washington, DC 01 February 2008

US Spends $88 on the Military for Every Buck Fighting Climate Change
By Kevin Tillman - AlterNet - January 31, 2008

The High Costs of Doing Nothing, Part I

Bill Becker is Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project, an initiative to help the next President of the United States take decisive action on global warming and energy security in his or her first 100 days in office.

A dirty little secret of climate change is that somebody wants us to pay much higher taxes and higher energy bills. But it’s not the advocates of climate action. It’s the other guys.

Make no mistake: The costs of switching to clean energy and an energy-efficient economy are far less than the costs of doing nothing.

saving catsA study released by the University of Maryland last October helps bring the cost issue into clearer focus. It concludes that the economic costs of unabated climate change in the United States will be major and nationwide.

Climate change will damage or stress essential municipal infrastructure such as water treatment and supply; increase the size and intensity of forest fires; increase the frequency and severity of flooding and drought; cause billions of dollars in damages to crops and property; lead to higher insurance rates; and even increase shipping costs in the Great Lakes-St Lawrence seaway because of lower water levels. And that’s just a sampling.

Climate change will affect every American economically in significant, dramatic ways, and the longer it takes to respond, the greater the damage and the higher the costs,” lead researcher Matthias Ruth told ScienceDaily.

 

Reflections on the U.N. climate change negotiations in Bali

By Richard C. J. Somerville | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists| 8 January 2008

Taking a 2-degree-Celsius limit on global warming as the goal, the Bali declaration states, "Based on current scientific understanding, this requires that global greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by at least 50 percent below their 1990 levels by the year 2050. In the long run, greenhouse gas concentrations need to be stabilized at a level well below 450 parts per million. In order to stay below 2 degrees Celsius, global emissions must peak and decline in the next 10 to 15 years, so there is no time to lose. As scientists, we urge the negotiators to reach an agreement that takes these targets as a minimum requirement for a fair and effective global climate agreement."

 

In Greenland, Ice and Instability
    By Andrew C. Revkin
    The New York Times - Tuesday 08 January 2008

    The ancient frozen dome cloaking Greenland is so vast that pilots have crashed into what they thought was a cloud bank spanning the horizon. Flying over it, you can scarcely imagine that this ice could erode fast enough to dangerously raise sea levels any time soon.

    Along the flanks in spring and summer, however, the picture is very different. For a lengthening string of warm years, a lacework of blue lakes and rivulets of meltwater have been spreading ever higher on the ice cap. The melting surface darkens, absorbing up to four times as much energy from the sun as unmelted snow, which reflects sunlight. Natural drainpipes called moulins carry water from the surface into the depths, in some places reaching bedrock. The process slightly, but measurably, lubricates and accelerates the grinding passage of ice toward the sea.

    Most important, many glaciologists say, is the breakup of huge semisubmerged clots of ice where some large Greenland glaciers, particularly along the west coast, squeeze through fjords as they meet the warming ocean. As these passages have cleared, this has sharply accelerated the flow of many of these creeping, corrugated, frozen rivers.

    All of these changes have many glaciologists "a little nervous these days - shell-shocked," said Ted Scambos, the lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., and a veteran of both Greenland and Antarctic studies.

Climate change puts small islands in peril
Monday, December 10, 2007

NUSA DUA (JP): For small island states, identified by scientists as the most vulnerable countries to global warming, the adaptation fund is a do or die battle for their citizens.
Delegates from the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Saturday pleaded for the world to take immediate action on the causes behind climate change, otherwise rising sea levels will wipe their homes off the world map.
“Urgent action is needed in the area of mitigation…adaptation financing is something we need today,” Ethelstan Angus Friday, head of the AOSIS delegates told reporters.
The alliance consists of 43 small island states and low-lying countries from around the world, including Tuvalu in the South Pacific, the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and Grenada in the Caribbean.
“People of Tuvalu will become refugees if their island drowns due to sea level rise,” Enthelstan said.
He added the Maldives Islands, which lie only one meter above sea level, need at least US$175 million to build sea walls to prevent water from sweeping the land.
"The infrastructure of the most vulnerable countries alone could measure in the billions of dollars,” he said.
As an archipelagic country, of about 17,000 islands, most of them small, Indonesia is also at risk of land loss to rising seas.
The adaptation fund, to address expected impacts of climate change such as land loss to rising seas, is one of the most crucial issues being debated during the climate change conference here.
This week’s ministerial meeting of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) is expected to decide the mechanism of the adaptation fund, including the institution managing the fund, financial sources and they way funds are to be distributed.

Global warming to impact grain production
Surinder Sud / New Delhi December 10, 2007

Agriculture will suffer substantial economic losses due to global warming with the gross domestic product of this sector in the world projected to drop by 16 per cent in the next 13 years. Significantly, even technology may not help to forestall these losses in totality.
 
The worst affected will be the developing countries of South Asia, including India and Africa where the crop outputs will plummet much deeper than in the developed countries.
 
This has been revealed in the bi-annual overview of the world food situation released last week by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
 
It reckons that the agriculture output in developing countries is likely to decline by whopping 20 per cent by 2020, against only 6 per cent fall in industrialised nations. The world agricultural gross domestic product as a whole will decrease by 16 per cent by 2020 due to global warming.

 

Climate Science Manipulation Alleged

By H. JOSEF HEBERT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has systematically tried to manipulate climate change science and minimize the dangers of global warming, asserts a Democratic congressional report issued after a 16-month investigation.
Republicans called the report, issued Monday by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a "partisan diatribe" against the Bush administration.
The report relies on hundreds of internal communications and documents as well as testimony at two congressional hearings to outline a pattern where scientists and government reports were edited to emphasize the uncertainties surrounding global warming, according to Waxman.
Many of the allegations of interference dating back to 2002 have surfaced previously, although the report by the Democratic majority of the House Oversight and Reform Committee sought to show a pattern of conduct.
"The Bush administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming," the report concludes.
It said the White House over the years has sought to control public access to government climate scientists, suppressed scientific views that conflicted with administration policy and extensively edited government reports "to minimize the significance of climate change."

 

Ominous Arctic Melt Worries Experts
By SETH BORENSTEIN

WASHINGTON (AP) — An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One even speculated that summer sea ice would be gone in five years.

Greenland's ice sheet melted nearly 19 billion tons more than the previous high mark, and the volume of Arctic sea ice at summer's end was half what it was just four years earlier, according to new NASA satellite data obtained by The Associated Press.

"The Arctic is screaming," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government's snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo.

Just last year, two top scientists surprised their colleagues by projecting that the Arctic sea ice was melting so rapidly that it could disappear entirely by the summer of 2040.

This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: "At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions."

 

Al Gore: Nobel Lecture, Oslo, 10 December 2007
The Nobel Peace Prize 2007

Nobel Peace Prize on YouTube

50 years on: The Keeling Curve legacy

By Helen Briggs
Science reporter, BBC News

Its name - the Keeling Curve - may be scarcely known outside scientific circles, but the jagged upward slope showing rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere has become one of the most famous graphs in science, and a potent symbol of our times.

It was 50 years ago that a young American scientist, Charles David Keeling, began tracking CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere at two of the world's last wildernesses - the South Pole and the summit of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii.

His very precise measurements produced a remarkable data set, which first sounded alarm bells over the build-up of the gas in the atmosphere, and eventually led to the tracking of greenhouse gases worldwide.

The curve set the scene for the debate over climate change, and policies, sometimes controversial, that address the human contribution to the greenhouse effect.

Long Island filmmaker takes on global warming

BY JOHN ANDERSON - Special to Newsday - November 23, 2007

How do the people in "Everything's Cool" - "End of Nature" author Bill McKibben, or Ross ("The Columbo of Climate Change") Gelbspan, or the Weather Channel's Dr. Heidi Cullen - get audiences to embrace the topic? "Our movie comes at a very interesting moment, I think," said Helfand. "Perhaps it's true that the Al Gore movie was the thing that got everybody to wake up and think about this differently, but I don't think it was because of the science. It was because the issue keeps the movie's characters up at night. Because of some very basic storytelling principles, you understand why they care about it more than you do. And I think getting into the hearts and minds of people who care is the next best thing to caring."

People, Helfand said, are afraid of a lot of things and put their fears in a hierarchy. Among things that are going to "scare the bejesus out of them," she said, global warming's not always at the top of the list. "Also, this society is not great at thinking long term. We're good at being reactive, but not preemptive."

U.N.: Greenhouse Gases Hit High in 2006

By ELIANE ENGELER

CO2 contributed 87 percent to the warming effect over the last decade, but in the last five years alone, its contribution was 91 percent, Braathen said. "This shows that CO2 is gaining importance as a greenhouse gas," Braathen said.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose by about half a percent last year to reach 381.2 parts per million, according to the agency. Nitrous oxide totaled 320.1 parts per billion, which is a quarter percent higher than in 2005.

Braathen said it appears the upward trend will continue at least for a few years.

The World Meteorological Organization's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin provides widely accepted worldwide data on the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

 

Early Climate Change Victim: Andes Water

By FRANK BAJA

EL ALTO, Bolivia (AP) — Twice a day, Elena Quispe draws water from a spigot on the dusty fringe of this city, fills three grimy plastic containers and pushes them in a rickety wheelbarrow to the adobe home she shares with her husband and eight children.

But the water supply is in peril. El Alto and its sister city of La Paz, the world's highest capital, depend on glaciers for at least a third of their water — more than any other urban sprawl. And those glaciers are rapidly melting because of global warming.

Informed of the threat, Quispe, a 37-year-old Aymara Indian, shows alarm on her weathered face. "Where are we going to get water? Without water how can we live?"

Scientists predict that all the glaciers in the tropical Andes will disappear by mid-century. The implications are dire not just for La Paz-El Alto but also for Quito, Ecuador, and Bogota, Colombia. More than 11 million people now live in the burgeoning cities, and El Alto alone is expanding at 5 percent a year.

The melting of the glaciers threatens not just drinking water but also crops and the hydroelectric plants on which these cities rely. The affected countries will need hundreds of millions of dollars to build reservoirs, shore up leaky distribution networks and construct gas or oil-fired plants — money they simply don't have.

"We're the ones who've contributed the least to global warming and we're getting hit with the biggest bill," laments Edson Ramirez, a Bolivian hydrologist who coordinates U.N., French- and Japanese-sponsored projects to quantify the damage exacted on fragile Andes ecosystems by richer nations that use more gas and create more pollution.

 

Ganga threatened by climate change

Bindu Shajan Perappadan - The Hindu - 11/23/2007

NEW DELHI: One of the greatest rivers of the Indian subcontinent and the source of life for hundreds of thousands of people, the Ganga is also one of the rivers most threatened by climate change.

According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change looking at the threat from climate change to human development and the environment, “only the polar icecaps hold more fresh water than the Himalayan glaciers”: “If the current trends of climate change continue, by 2030 the size of the glaciers could be reduced by as much as 80 per cent,” warns the report, titled “Up in Smoke -- Asia and the Pacific”, released here this week.

Some of India’s most important rivers are fed by the Himalayan glaciers. But rising temperatures means that many of the Himalayan glaciers are melting fast, and could diminish significantly over the coming decades with catastrophic results. In the long run, the water flow in the Ganges could drop by two-thirds, affecting more than 400 million people who depend on it for drinking water.

The report warns that in the short term the rapid melting of ice high up in the Himalayas might cause river swelling and floods. The formation of glacial lakes of melt-water creates the threat of outburst floods leading to devastation in lowland valleys.

“India is facing a major water crisis and its per capita grain production is declining. Countries like India cannot be expected to cover the cost of adapting to climate change out of their own resources. They will need financial and other help from the rich industrial countries,” says Raman Mehta of Action Aid speaking about the impact on climate change on agriculture.

 

“We Are Now In The Danger Zone”: Leading Australian Scientist Tim Flannery on Climate Change and How To Save the Planet

Democracy Now - 11/23/2007

We spend the hour with one of the world's leading scientists studying climate change, Tim Flannery. An Australian mammologist, palaeontologist and field zoologist, he has discovered and named more than thirty new species of mammals. He has been described as being in the league of all-time great explorers such as David Livingstone. Flannery might be best known as the author of the bestselling book "The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change." Earlier this year he was named 2007 Australian of the Year. Tim Flannery recently spoke before a packed crowd at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe New Mexico as part of "Readings and Conversations," a series sponsored by the Lannan Foundation. Today, Tim Flannery's speech on the environment, how human activity is altering the earth's climate and what we can do to save it.

Listen/Watch/Read
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/23/1514207

Global-warming gases set to rise by 57 percent by 2030

Wed Nov 7, 2007 - Agence France Presse

Emissions of greenhouse gases will rise by 57 percent by 2030 compared to current levels, which will increase the Earth's surface temperature by at least three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit), the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday.

In its annual report on global energy needs, the Paris-based agency projected greenhouse-gas pollution would rise by 1.8 percent annually by 2030 on the basis of projected energy use and current efforts to mitigate emissions.

The IEA saw little chance of reducing this pollution to a stable, safer level any time soon.

It also poured cold water on a scenario outlined earlier this year by the United Nations' main authority on global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The IPCC said that in order to limit the average increase in global temperatures to 2.4 C (4.3 F) -- the most optimistic of any scenario -- the concentration of greenhouse gases would have to stabilise at 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

To achieve this goal, CO2 emissions would have to peak by 2015 at the latest, then fall by between 50 and 85 percent by 2050, the panel.

But the IEA's World Energy Outlook report saw no peak in emissions before 2020.

 

Alarming UN report on climate change is too rosy, many say

By Elisabeth Rosenthal and James Kanter - International Herald Tribune - Sunday, November 18, 2007

Developments that affect the IPCC predictions and have made such scenarios even more likely, scientists said, include faster than expected industrial development in China and India. Economic growth has a huge effect because these countries' industries are largely powered by electricity from burning coal, a cheap but highly polluting source of energy.

"The IPCC report never imagined the world would move back to a coal- based energy economy - and that's essentially what we've done," said Gernot Klepper an economist who studies climate change at the Kiel Institute in Germany. "If you extrapolate from that we're running into a disaster."

Part of the reason the scientists inserted their alarming statements about polar ice melts in the synthesis report is because "recent observations" were not "fully included in ice sheet models" used by IPCC, the report said.

Some in the scientific community have gone so far as to question the effectiveness of the IPCC as the world's early warning system on climate change.

"Sadly, even the most pessimistic of the climate prophets of the IPCC panel do not appear to have noticed how rapidly the climate is changing," said James Lovelock, a British scientist, "Scientists have let this potentially disastrous future steal up on us unaware."

 

U.N. Report Describes Risks of Inaction on Climate Change


By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL - NYTimes - November 17, 2007

VALENCIA, Spain, Nov. 16 — In its final and most powerful report, a United Nations panel of scientists meeting here describes the mounting risks of climate change in language that is both more specific and forceful than its previous assessments, according to scientists here.

Synthesizing reams of data from its three previous reports, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the first time specifically points out important risks if governments fail to respond: melting ice sheets that could lead to a rapid rise in sea levels and the extinction of large numbers of species brought about by even moderate amounts of warming, on the order of 1 to 3 degrees.

The report carries heightened significance because it is the last word from the influential global climate panel before world leaders meet in Bali, Indonesia, next month to begin to discuss a global climate change treaty that will replace the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. It is also the first report from the panel since it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October — an honor that many scientists here said emboldened them to stand more forcefully behind their positions.

As a sign of the deepening urgency surrounding the climate change issue, the report, which was being printed Friday night, will be officially released by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday.

 

How Dry We Are - A Question No One Wants to Raise About Drought


By Tom Engelhardt

Sen. Boxer Seeks Answers On Redacted Testimony
White House Cut Climate Warnings

A Major Strike Through

By Juliet Eilperin - Washington Post - Thursday, October 25, 2007

 

The Future Is Drying Up


By JOE GERTNER- NYT - October 21, 2007
Lake Mead

“You don’t need to know all the numbers of the future exactly,” Pulwarty told me over lunch in a local Vietnamese restaurant. “You just need to know that we’re drying. And so the argument over whether it’s 15 percent drier or 20 percent drier? It’s irrelevant. Because in the long run, that decrease, accumulated over time, is going to dry out the system.” Pulwarty asked if I knew the projections for what it would take to refill Lake Powell, which is at about 50 percent of capacity. Twenty years of average flow on the Colorado River, he told me. “Good luck,” he said. “Even in normal conditions we don’t get 20 years of average flow. People are calling for more storage on the system, but if you can’t fill the reservoirs you have, I don’t know how more storage, or more dams, is going to help you. One has to ask if the normal strategies that we have are actually viable anymore.”

Lake Powell
Lake Powell, May 2007. Note the prominent "bathtub ring" caused by low water.

Drought-Stricken South Facing Tough Choices
By Brenda Goodman - The New York Times - Tuesday 16 October 2007
Lake Lanier

CLIMATE CHANGE: Entire Landscapes on the Move
By Stephen Leahy


BROOKLIN, Canada, Oct 4 (IPS) - The hot breath of global warming has now touched some of the coldest northern regions of world, turning the frozen landscape into mush as temperatures soar 15 degrees C. above normal.

Entire hillsides, sometimes more than a kilometre long, simply let go and slid like a vast green carpet into valleys and rivers on Melville Island in Canada’s northwest Arctic region of Nunavut this summer, says Scott Lamoureux of Queens University in Canada and leader of one the of International Polar Year projects.

 

 

Another 'must read' from Hansen

A response by Hansen to his boss the NASA chief administors remark. A reasonable person, but one not fully cognizant of current knowledge about climate change, may ask the question “Why should we bother to wrestle with human-made climate change? There have been huge climate changes during the Earth’s history. It is arrogant to think that humans can control climate or that we know enough to say that today’s climate is the best one for the planet.”-- This is a paraphrase of statements by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin on National Public Radio on 31 May 2007.

'Long-term' climate sensitivity of 6 degrees C for doubled CO2

Posted on Grist by Joseph Romm on 02 Oct 2007

The nation's top climate scientist is prolific: He has co-authored another important article: "Global Warming: East-West Connections" (PDF). And I'm not just saying that because he cites one of my articles. In fact, we've been having an email exchange and he strongly disagrees with me that it is too late, in a practical sense, to save the Arctic (and hence the polar bear). He believes strong and smart action now could work -- whereas I believe we need such action now to save the Greenland ice sheet, but doubt we can or will act in time to stop the total loss of Arctic summer ice.

I have previously written about the crucial climate variable -- the equilibrium climate sensitivity (typically estimated at about 3°C for double CO2) -- and how it only includes fast feedbacks, such as water vapor. Now Hansen has a draft article that looks at both current climate forcings and the paleoclimate record to conclude that "long-term" sensitivity is a stunning 6°C for doubled CO2. Here is what Hansen says on the subject (though when you read it you may wonder why Hansen is more optimistic than I am, rather than less):

Can a few parts per million really warm the planet?

Richard Malotky - Redding Searchlight - Sunday, September 9, 2007

Answering Malotky: Showing the Data

By Doug Craig

On September 9, 2007 the Record Searchlight, Redding, California’s daily newspaper published a column by Dr. Richard Malotky, one of several contributing columnists to that paper.  This column focused on global warming and asked “Can a few parts per million really warm the planet?”
http://www.redding.com/news/2007/sep/09/can-a-few-parts-per-million-really-warm-the/

The essence of Malotky’s viewpoint can be summarized as follows:

1)  There are two sides to the global warming debate, both of which have a “political spin” and no data, which causes Malotky to “get so aggravated by everything” he reads or sees on the subject.

2)  Those who believe that human beings are responsible for global warming are “protagonists.”  Note that he does not refer to them as scientists and does not acknowledge any scientific basis for this view. 

3)  He appears to acknowledge the reality of global warming, (although his “proof” is a joke about southern hospitality) and he accepts “the fact that humans are adding lots of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.”  However, he claims there is no connection between the two.  Malotky cannot believe that rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere can cause the temperature of the Earth to increase because it exists in such “tiny amounts” in our atmosphere.

4)  A much better explanation for global warming, according to Malotky is “sunlight” and/or the “slow cooker at the Earth’s core,” a “radioactive molten iron spinning dynamo.” 

 

Climate Change: Earth Journey
By Doug Craig

 

 

Climate Change Blogs

 

Dr. James Hansen, climate change scientist and director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, talks to Carrie Gracie on The Interview

Scientist James Hansen has devoted his life to researching climate change. Over the past 30 years he has repeatedly clashed with American administrations over the action needed to address the problem. Now, as director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, he still feels his message is the most important of our time. "We have now reached a point where if we don't get on a different course very soon, the planet is in big trouble," he tells Carrie Gracie on The Interview. And he says he feels driven to tackle climate change not just as a scientist and public servant but as a citizen and grandparent.

Arctic ice melt opens Northwest Passage
By JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press Writer
Sat Sep 15, 6:44 PM ET

PARIS - Arctic ice has shrunk to the lowest level on record, new satellite images show, raising the possibility that the Northwest Passage that eluded famous explorers will become an open shipping lane.

The European Space Agency said nearly 200 satellite photos this month taken together showed an ice-free passage along northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland, and ice retreating to its lowest level since such images were first taken in 1978.

The waters are exposing unexplored resources, and vessels could trim thousands of miles from Europe to Asia by bypassing the Panama Canal. The seasonal ebb and flow of ice levels has already opened up a slim summer window for ships.

Leif Toudal Pedersen, of the Danish National Space Center, said that Arctic ice has shrunk to some 1 million square miles. The previous low was 1.5 million square miles, in 2005.

"The strong reduction in just one year certainly raises flags that the ice (in summer) may disappear much sooner than expected," Pedersen said in an ESA statement posted on its Web site Friday.

The ethics of journalism don't work for science
The media and science often clash over published research, says Jonathan Wolff
Jonathan Wolff

Tuesday July 3, 2007 Guardian UK

ENVIRONMENT: New Data Erases Doubt on Storms and Warming
By Stephen Leahy

BROOKLIN, Canada, Sep 11 (IPS) - There is little doubt now that climate change is making hurricanes and cyclones much more powerful and more frequent, top scientists announced Monday.

There has been substantial and sometimes acrimonious debate about the connection between global warming and the documented increase in the number and strength of hurricanes over the past 10 to 15 years.

That debate is now over based on the PNAS study, which documents a clear link to rising SST in the regions of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that give birth to hurricanes.

The PNAS paper and other recent scientific research close the loop on the link between human-induced climate change and hurricanes, says Robert Corell of the American Meteorological Society.

"The number of most powerful storms, Category 4 and 5, have nearly doubled in the past 35 years," Corell told IPS.

Hurricane strength is measured by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, which categorises storms between one and five depending on their sustained wind speeds. Intensity refers to the total dissipation power over the lifetime of a storm. It should be noted that the majority of all hurricanes or cyclones never make landfall.

"The regions of the oceans where hurricanes and cyclones are born have seen substantial increases in the sea surface temperatures," Corell said in an interview.

Those SST increases have affected large parts of the Atlantic Ocean, so that the number of hurricanes have increased as well as their intensity, says Greg Holland, a climatologist and divisional director of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research.

Although natural variability plays a part in the increase in numbers and intensity, the impact of climate change is the predominant factor, said Holland. "The changes we're seeing in the North Atlantic are 70 percent due to climate change effects," he said.

Must read from Hansen: Stop the madness about the tiny revision in NASA’s temperature data!

The nation’s top climate scientist is so frustrated over the nonsense racing about the blogsophere and mainstream media about the tiny flaw in NASA’s U.S. temperature database that he has already sent out two e-mails on the subject.

The real deal is this: the ‘royalty’ controlling the court, the ones with the power, the ones with the ability to make a difference, with the ability to change our course, the ones who will live in infamy if we pass the tipping points, are the captains of industry, CEOs in fossil fuel companies such as EXXON/Mobil, automobile manufacturers, utilities, all of the leaders who have placed short-term profit above the fate of the planet and the well-being of our children. The court jesters are their jesters, occasionally paid for services, and more substantively supported by the captains’ disinformation campaigns.

The Fate of the Ocean 
Our oceans are under attack, and approaching a point of no return. Can we survive if the seas go silent?

Climate change escalates Darfur crisis
Less rainfall on the fringes of the Sahara Desert is putting more of a strain on resources than ever before.

By Scott Baldauf | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Water World: Slipping Toward Climate Catastrophe
By George Monbiot, Monbiot.com
July 12, 2007

Reading a scientific paper on the train this weekend, I found, to my amazement, that my hands were shaking. This has never happened to me before, but nor have I ever read anything like it. Published by a team led by James Hansen at NASA, it suggests that the grim reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could be absurdly optimistic.

The IPCC predicts that sea levels could rise by as much as 59 centimeters this century. Hansen's paper argues that the slow melting of ice sheets the panel expects doesn't fit the data. The geological record suggests that ice at the poles does not melt in a gradual and linear fashion, but flips suddenly from one state to another. When temperatures increased to 2-3 degrees Celsius above today's level 3.5 million years ago, sea levels rose not by 59 cm but by 25 meters. The ice responded immediately to changes in temperature.

'Sun not responsible for climate change'
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 11/07/2007

The study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays.

Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

Prof Lockwood said that the comprehensive study was a response to misleading media reports. He cited 'The Great Global Warming Swindle', a television programme shown in March by Channel 4, as a prime example.

"All the graphs they showed stopped in about 1980, and I knew why, because things diverged afterwards. You can't just ignore bits of data that you don't like," he said. "The key point of our paper is that since 1985 all the possible solar influences have been in the wrong direction to give warming," said Prof Lockwood.

Our Dying Oceans
By Doug Craig


In the November 20, 2006 issue of New Yorker Elizabeth Kolbert wrote an article entitled “The Darkening Sea, What Carbon Emissions are Doing to the Ocean.” Here are some quotes from this piece


  • Since the start of the industrial revolution, humans have burned enough coal, oil and natural gas to produce some 250 billion metric tons of carbon.

    • The concentration of CO2 in the air today—380 parts per million—is higher than it has been at any point in the past 650,000 years, and probably much longer.

    • At the current rate of emissions growth, CO2 concentration will top 500 parts per million—roughly double pre-industrial levels—by the middle of this century.

    • It is expected that such an increase will produce an eventual global temperature rise of between 3 and a half and 7 degrees Fahrenheit, and that this, in turn, will produce a string of disasters, including fiercer hurricanes, more deadly droughts, the disappearance of most remaining glaciers, the melting of the Arctic ice cap, and the inundation of many of the world’s major coastal cities.

    • The sea has absorbed nearly half of the CO2 that humans have emitted since the start of the 19th century.

    • Humans have pumped enough carbon into the oceans—some 120 billion tons—to cause a rise in acidity of about 30 per cent, a process generally referred to as “ocean acidification.”

    • Each year the seas absorb an additional 2 billion tons of carbon. Every day, every American, in effect adds 40 pounds of carbon dioxide to the oceans.

    • The acidification of the ocean is irreversible and will only grow worse with each passing day. According to Britain’s Royal Society, it will take “tens of thousands of years for ocean chemistry to return to a condition similar to that occurring at pre-industrial times.”

    • To keep pace with the present rate of temperature change plants and animals would have to migrate poleward by 30 feet a day.

    • A molecule of CO2 generated by burning fossil fuels will, in the course of its lifetime in the atmosphere, trap a hundred thousand times more heat than was released in producing it.

    • The coming centuries will see more ocean acidification than the past 300 million years.

    • If we cut our emissions in half we will still create the same amount of damage to the Earth but it will take us twice as long to do it. The end result will be the same.

    • As the oceans become acidified, carbonate ions are reduced and shelled animals have difficulty building their shells. Eventually the shells will begin to dissolve.

    • Some forms of sea life organisms have been on Earth for hundreds of millions of years and are now at risk of extinction.

    • Coral reefs are home to an estimated twenty-five percent of all marine fish species and represent some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. As we produce greenhouse gas emissions, the atmosphere and the oceans are growing warmer.

    • As the temperature increases, the coral reefs lose or expel the algae that nourish them in a process called “bleaching.” As we continue to heat up the planet, the coral reefs throughout the oceans will eventually disappear.

    • Bleaching is an acute distress which is killing off the reefs while acidification is a chronic stress that is preventing them from recovering.

    • It is estimated that at least a million, and perhaps as many nine million, distinct species live on or near reefs.

    • We may see entire food chains collapse and fisheries with them since most of the fish we get from the ocean are at the end of long food chains.

    • We are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere at least 3 times and perhaps as much as quickly as 30 times than the last time there was a massive release of CO2 into the atmosphere 55 million years ago.


Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise: Model Failure is the Key Issue

Guest post by Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University 26 Jun 2006

Filing the gap in knowledge between the risk (a significant probability of many meters of sea level rise) and the current reality (rapid local ice responses to local warming but small aggregate effect on sea level rise so far) will require a sharpened focus on all three fronts: observations, modeling, and paleoclimate assessment. Currently, the resources to do any one of these at the appropriate level are lacking. And because greenhouse gas concentrations and ice sheet loss are effectively irreversible, policy decisions need to be made based on the information in hand, which argues that deglaciation could be triggered by a modest warming.

ENVIRONMENT: Glacial Meltdown Speeding Up
Stephen Leahy - July 22, 2007 - Inter Press Service


BROOKLIN, Canada, Jul 22 (IPS) - A huge Greenland glacier has suddenly accelerated dumping enormous quantities of ice and water into the North Atlantic Ocean.

In the early 21st century, it's become clear that air pollution can significantly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching Earth, lower temperatures, and mask the warming effects of greenhouse gases. Climate researcher James Hansen estimates that "global dimming" is cooling our planet by more than a degree Celsius (1.8°F) and fears that as we cut back on pollution, global warming may escalate to a point of no return. Regrettably, in terms of possibly taking corrective action, our current understanding of global dimming has been a long time in the coming, considering the first hints of the phenomenon date back to 18th-century observations of volcanic eruptions. Below, follow a series of historic events and scientific milestones that built the case for global dimming.—Susan K. Lewis

Thanks to Spencer Weart of the American Institute of Physics, whose book The Discovery of Global Warming made this feature possible. A hypertext version of the book can be found at www.aip.org/history/climate/

 

Global Dimming
BBC's Horizon producer David Sington on why predictions about the Earth's climate will need to be re-examined.

BBC Global Dimming - Watch the Program on Google Video

But perhaps the most alarming aspect of global dimming is that it may have led scientists to underestimate the true power of the greenhouse effect. They know how much extra energy is being trapped in the Earth's atmosphere by the extra carbon dioxide (CO2) we have placed there. What has been surprising is that this extra energy has so far resulted in a temperature rise of just 0.6°C.

This has led many scientists to conclude that the present-day climate is less sensitive to the effects of carbon dioxide than it was, say, during the ice age, when a similar rise in CO2 led to a temperature rise of 6°C. But it now appears the warming from greenhouse gases has been offset by a strong cooling effect from dimming - in effect two of our pollutants have been cancelling each other out. This means that the climate may in fact be more sensitive to the greenhouse effect than thought.

 

 

El Nino, La Nina Cycle Needs Watching - UK Experts
Sylvia Westall - 7/6/2007

"Much research goes into connections between El Nino and La Nina and their global impacts," climate scientist Richard Graham said.

One worry among some forecasters is that global warming could disrupt the balance between the two parts of the cycle.

"That's the killer question. There is not such a global consensus amongst scientists on the actual impact of global warming on El Nino and La Nina," Huddleston said.

"But global temperatures are warming, sea temperatures are warming, so we may experience more El Nino-like conditions even though that natural cycle continues."

Will Warming Lead to a Rise in Hurricanes?
Source: Copyright 2007, New York Times Date: May 29, 2007

Bush's Global Warming Foot-Dragging
By Robert Parry - Consortium News - Friday 01 June 2007

George W. Bush snared front-page attention for his supposed shift on global warming, but the President's tepid "aspirational goals" - and comments from his NASA chief that a hotter planet might actually be beneficial - continue to reflect Bush's long-held doubts about the urgency of the problem.

Since running for the presidency in 2000, Bush has justified his foot-dragging on the issue, in part, through reliance on coal-industry-financed research embracing the same notion expressed by Bush's NASA administrator Michael Griffin, that global warming may turn out to be a good thing.

For instance, in a major energy policy address on September 29, 2000, candidate Bush turned to research from the Greening Earth Society, a think tank financed by the Western Fuels Association, a cooperative owned by seven coal-burning utilities.

In the speech, Bush offered the surprising assessment that technological breakthroughs, such as the Internet, were draining the nation's electrical grid and required construction of many new power plants, including coal-fired generators.

 

 

Special Report: Inspired by Ancient Amazonians, a Plan to Convert Trash into Environmental Treasure

New bill in U.S. Senate will advocate adoption of "agrichar" method that could lessen our dependence on fossil fuel and help avert global warming
By Anne Casselman - Scientific Ameican - May 15, 2007

"(AP) Gore calls Bush greenhouse summit plan 'smoke and mirrors'"
By ERIK SCHELZIG - Associated Press Writer - NASHVILLE, Tenn.

 


Former Vice President Al Gore on Friday called President Bush's proposal for a summit to look at ways to reduce greenhouse gases "smoke and mirrors."

At a signing for his new book "The Assault on Reason," Gore said it was a delay tactic for Bush to suggest that the U.S. and other nations meet to develop a long-term strategy for cutting greenhouse gases.

"Just yesterday the president offered a new approach that is purely and simply smoke and mirrors and has the transparent purpose of delaying the efforts that could start now," Gore said before the signing at a shopping mall in his hometown of Nashville.

Abuse and incompetence in fight against global warming
Up to 20% of carbon savings in doubt as monitoring firms criticised by UN body

Nick Davies - Saturday June 2, 2007 - The Guardian

Will Warming Lead to a Rise in Hurricanes?
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
By CORNELIA DEAN - NYTimes - May 29, 2007

NASA Goddard Institute Director Predicts Global Warming
'Tipping Point' is 10 Years Away

By Steven Edwards June 01, 2007

Head of NASA Undecided on Need to Tackle Global Warming
By Steven Edwards May 31, 2007

Bush kills off hopes for G8 climate change plan
Bush kills off hopes for G8 climate plan US recognises global warming danger but wants to lead response outside UN

Julian Borger, David Adam and Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Friday June 1, 2007 - Guardian

 

Playing to the Crowd: Talk About Warming
The New York Times - Editorial - Friday 01 June 2007

President Bush has been feeling the heat on global warming. He's been feeling it from Congress, from state governors, from the business community and, most recently and powerfully, from America's closest foreign allies, who are fed up with his passivity on the issue and desperate for him to show some real leadership.

So yesterday Mr. Bush stepped before the microphones in Washington to announce that he would help convene a series of meetings beginning this fall of the worlds' 15 biggest emitters of greenhouse gases (the United States is No. 1) to develop a long-term "global strategy" for dealing with climate change. He offered no details beyond the general hope that the nations involved would voluntarily establish "midterm national targets" and would increase their investments in new and cleaner technologies.

Given Mr. Bush's history of denial and obstructionism when it comes to climate change, there are good reasons to be cynical about this sudden enthusiasm, coming as it does on the eve of the meeting of the Group of 8 industrialized nations.

 

 

As the World Warms, the White House Aspires
By Dana Milbank - Washington Post - Friday, June 1, 2007

Honey, I'm Gone
Abandoned Beehives Are a Scientific Mystery and a Metaphor for Our Tenuous Times
By Joel Garreau - Washington Post Staff Writer - Friday, June 1, 2007; C01

Dire warming report too soft, scientists say Some nations lobbied for changes that blunt the study, contributors charge. The U.N. forecast is still bleak.
By Alan Zarembo and Thomas H. Maugh II, - LATimes Staff Writers - April 7, 2007

Marine life in hot water from climate change

Whales, dolphins and porpoises are facing increasing threats from climate change, as sea temperature changes and food sources such as krill diminish, environmental group WWF says.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Report: warming imperils state flowers

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - May 19, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Imagine the Sunflower State without sunflowers. That's one of the dire predictions contained in a new report on global warming released by the National Wildlife Federation, which says the Kansas state flower could move north to other states in a few decades.

Increasingly warm temperatures also could mean the end of the state tree, the eastern cottonwood, according to "The Gardener's Guide to Global Warming."

"Everything being equal, these plants won't thrive and will shift north," said Patty Glick, the report's author and the federation's senior global warming specialist.

The report paints the same dim future for state flowers in 18 states, including the magnolia in Mississippi, sagebrush in Nevada and black-eyed Susan in Maryland. Global warming threatens state trees in 17 states, according to the report.

 

 

Earth's natural defences against climate change
'beginning to fail'

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
The Independent UK - 18 May 2007

The earth's ability to soak up the gases causing global warming is beginning to fail because of rising temperatures, in a long-feared sign of "positive feedback," new research reveals today.

Climate change itself is weakening one of the principal "sinks" absorbing carbon dioxide - the Southern Ocean around Antarctica - a new study has found.

As a result, atmospheric CO2 levels may rise faster and bring about rising temperatures more quickly than previously anticipated. Stabilising the CO2 level, which must be done to bring the warming under control, is likely to become much more difficult, even if the world community agrees to do it.

The news may give added urgency to the meeting in three weeks' time between the G8 group of rich nations and the leading developing countries led by China, at Heiligendamm in Germany, when an attempt will be made to put together the framework of a new world climate treaty to succeed the current Kyoto protocol.

"This is a timely warning in advance of Heiligendamm and the G8 that the climate clock is beginning to tick faster," said the leading environmentalist Tom Burke, visiting professor at Imperial College London.

Climate change could lead to global conflict, says Beckett

· Foreign secretary warns of battle for scarce resources
·Julian Borger, diplomatic editor The Guardian Friday May 11, 2007

Climate change could spawn a new era of conflicts around the world over water and other scarce resources unless more is done to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, warned yesterday.
She said climate-driven conflicts were already under way in Africa. Underlying the Darfur crisis, she said, was a "struggle between nomadic and pastoral communities for resources made more scarce through a changing climate".

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Mrs Beckett quoted evidence that a similar conflict was brewing in Ghana where Fulani cattle herdsmen are reportedly arming themselves to take on local farmers in a confrontation over water and land as climate change expands the Sahara desert. The foreign secretary said the Middle East - with 5% of the world's population but only 1% of its water - would be particularly badly affected, with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq particularly hard hit by a drop in rainfall.

She said the Nile could lose 80% of its flow into Egypt, a country which would also be threatened by rising sea levels in the Nile delta, its agricultural heartland, where flooding could displace 2 million people, threatening internal stability.

"Resource-based conflicts are not new. But in climate change we have a new and potentially disastrous dynamic."


Climate: Time Is Short, Part Two
By Ted Glick - t r u t h o u t - Guest Contributor - 08 May 2007

There is significant evidence that the pace of global heating is accelerating.

One of the most recent is a study that, according to a group of American researchers, arctic sea ice is melting faster than computer models of climate calculate, and is about 30 years ahead of predictions made by the IPCC. Dr. Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado co-authored a study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, with other scientists from NSIDC and from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Dr. Scambos said that the ocean at the top of the world could be free or nearly free of summer sea ice by 2020 - three decades sooner than the IPCC's forecast of 2050.

Last fall, a scientific study revealed that between 2004 and 2005, Arctic perennial sea ice, which is 10 or more feet thick and which normally survives the summer melting season, abruptly shrank by 14 percent.

An article in the August 2006 issue of Science reported that the speed at which the Greenland ice sheet was melting had risen threefold in the past two years, compared with the previous five. If the Greenland ice sheet melts completely into the ocean, sea level worldwide will rise 20 or more feet.

A September 8, 2006 Associated Press story based on a study published in the journal Nature reported that methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (although much less long-lasting in the atmosphere), is being released from melting permafrost at a rate five times faster than previously thought.

And ice cores drilled in Antarctica show that, prior to recent times, the fastest increase of carbon dioxide was 30 ppm over a 1,000-year period. There has been a 30 ppm increase over the last 17 years.

We are in a planetary emergency, pure and simple.

 

 

City wakes up to economic threat of global warming

Higher temperatures could mean disruption to crops, a rapid rise in inflation and catastrophic famine. Richard Wachman on how the business world is at last taking extreme weather seriously

Richard Wachman - Sunday May 6, 2007 - Observer UK

 

U.N. climate plan called unrealistic
A strategy to cap greenhouse gas emissions
could cost 3% of the world's GDP.
By Alan Zarembo, LATimes Staff Writer - May 5, 2007

But Robert Socolow, a carbon mitigation expert at Princeton University, said that taking a cheaper and slower path could still be costly. A study by the British government last year found that damage from global warming — flooding, starvation, drought and other calamities — would easily top 5% of global GDP annually.

Arctic Sea Ice Melting Faster, a Study Finds
By ANDREW C. REVKIN NYTimes Published: May 1, 2007

Climate scientists may have significantly underestimated the power of global warming from human-generated heat-trapping gases to shrink the cap of sea ice floating on the Arctic Ocean, according to a new study of polar trends.


From The New York Times Learning Network

The study, published online today in Geophysical Research Letters, concluded that an open-water Arctic in summers could be more likely in this century than had been estimated in the latest international review of climate research released in February by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“There are huge changes going on,” said Julienne Stroeve, a lead author of the new study and a researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. “Just with warm waters entering the Arctic, combined with warming air temperatures, this is wreaking havoc on the sea ice, really.”

The intergovernmental panel concluded that if emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide were not significantly reduced, the region could end up bereft of floating ice in summers sometime between 2050 and the early decades of the next century.

For the new study, Dr. Stroeve and others at the ice center reviewed nearly six decades of measurements by ships, airplanes and satellites estimating the maximum and minimum area of Arctic sea ice, which typically expands most in March and shrinks most in September.

With an expert from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, also in Boulder, they then compared the observed trends with the projections made for the climate panel’s review using the world’s most advanced computer models of climate.

Dr. Stroeve’s team found that since 1953 the area of sea ice in September has declined at an average rate of 7.8 percent per decade. Computer climate simulations of the same period had an average rate of ice loss of 2.5 percent per decade.

The finding implies that the Arctic ice may be quicker to respond to warming as concentrations of heat-trapping gases rise in coming decades, said Marika Holland, an author of the new paper and a computer modeler at the Boulder climate center.

 

Arctic ice cap melting 30 years ahead of forecast
By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent
Tue May 1, 2:59 PM ET

 

Officials: Climate Change Harms Security

Generals, Diplomats, Democrats All Agree: Global Warming Threatens National Security

Emissions Already Affecting Climate, Report Says
By JAMES KANTER and ANDREW C. REVKIN - NYTimes - BRUSSELS, April 6

Scientists unveiled today the most detailed portrait yet of a world already in the midst of climatic and coastal changes, driven by global warming from human activities.

They said the earth’s climate and ecosystems were already being affected, for better and mostly for worse, by the atmospheric buildup of smokestack and tailpipe gases that trap heat. And they said that while limits on emissions could lower the risks, vulnerable regions must adjust promptly to shifting weather patterns and rising seas.

Martin Parry, co-chairman of the team that wrote the new report, identified the areas most affected as the Arctic, sub-Saharan Africa, small islands and Asia’s sprawling, crowded, flood-prone river deltas.

 

Permanent drought predicted for Southwest
Study says global warming threatens to create a Dust Bowl-like period. Water politics could also get heated.
By Alan Zarembo and Bettina Boxall - LATimes Staff Writers - April 6, 2007

The driest periods of the last century — the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the droughts of the 1950s — may become the norm in the Southwest United States within decades because of global warming, according to a study released Thursday.

The research suggests that the transformation may already be underway. Much of the region has been in a severe drought since 2000, which the study's analysis of computer climate models shows as the beginning of a long dry period.

The study, published online in the journal Science, predicted a permanent drought by 2050 throughout the Southwest — one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation.

The data tell "a story which is pretty darn scary and very strong," said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate researcher at the University of Arizona who was not involved in the study.

Heat Invades Cool Heights Over Arizona Desert

By TIMOTHY EGAN - March 27, 2007 -NYT SUMMERHAVEN, Ariz
“A lot of people think climate change and the ecological repercussions are 50 years away,” said Thomas W. Swetnam, director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “But it’s happening now in the West. The data is telling us that we are in the middle of one of the first big indicators of climate change impacts in the continental United States.”

10 Great Books on Global Climate Change

Doug Craig  

Al Gore and the Wedges Game
By Kelpie Wilson - t r u t h o u t | Environmental Editor
Saturday 24 March 2007

Gore Takes on Congress
By John Simpson - ScienceNOW Daily News - 21 March 2007

Why the right goes nuclear over global warming
Most of the heat is generated by a small number of hard-core ideologues.
March 25, 2007 - Jonathan Chait - LATimes

LAST YEAR, the National Journal asked a group of Republican senators and House members: "Do you think it's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of man-made problems?" Of the respondents, 23% said yes, 77% said no. In the year since that poll, of course, global warming has seized a massive amount of public attention. The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a study, with input from 2,000 scientists worldwide, finding that the certainty on man-made global warming had risen to 90%.

So, the magazine asked the question again last month. The results? Only 13% of Republicans agreed that global warming has been proved. As the evidence for global warming gets stronger, Republicans are actually getting more skeptical. Al Gore's recent congressional testimony on the subject, and the chilly reception he received from GOP members, suggest the discouraging conclusion that skepticism on global warming is hardening into party dogma. Like the notion that tax cuts are always good or that President Bush is a brave war leader, it's something you almost have to believe if you're an elected Republican.

BOLIVIA:
El Niño Has Bigger Bite with Climate Change
Bernarda Claure

LA PAZ, Mar 24 (Tierramérica) - Bolivia is entering its fourth month of onslaught from El Niño, the climate phenomenon that has grown stronger, and threatens to return with even greater force.

Myths and falsehoods about global warming
Media Matters for America - Fri, Mar 23, 2007

Collapse of Arctic sea ice 'has reached tipping-point'
By Steve Connor, Science Editor Independent UK 16 March 2007

A catastrophic collapse of the Arctic sea ice could lead to radical climate changes in the northern hemisphere according to scientists who warn that the rapid melting is at a "tipping point" beyond which it may not recover.

The scientists attribute the loss of some 38,000 square miles of sea ice - an area the size of Alaska - to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as well as to natural variability in Arctic ice.

Ever since satellite measurements of the Arctic sea ice began in 1979, the surface area covered by summer sea ice has retreated from the long-term average. This has increased the rate of coastal erosion from Alaska to Siberia and caused problems for polar bears, which rely on sea ice for hunting seals.

However, in recent years the rate of melting has accelerated and the sea ice is showing signs of not recovering even during the cold, dark months of the Arctic winter. This has led to even less sea ice at the start of the summer melting season.

Poll Finds Worldwide Agreement That Climate Change is a Threat
Publics Divide Over Whether Costly Steps Are Needed

An international poll finds widespread agreement that climate change is a pressing problem. This majority, however, divides over whether the problem of global warming is urgent enough to require immediate, costly measures or whether more modest efforts are sufficient.

The survey was conducted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.org, in cooperation with polling organizations around the world. It includes 17 countries—China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, Poland, Iran, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Israel, Armenia—and the Palestinian territories. These represent more than 55 percent of the world population.

This is the first in a series of reports based on the findings of this survey that will analyze international attitudes on key international issues. Not all questions were asked in all countries.

Twelve countries were asked whether steps should be taken to address climate change and majorities in all but one of them favored action. The largest majority in favor of measures to combat global warming is found in Australia (92%).

Caring for Creation: The Greatest Moral Crisis of Our Age
By J. Matthew Sleeth, MD - t r u t h o u t - Sunday 11 March 2007

Jim Dobson and several conservative Christian groups have sent a letter urging the National Association of Evangelicals to force its policy director in Washington to stop speaking out on global warming.

    As a physician, environmentalist, and evangelical Christian, I can state without reservation that global warming is real and that it disproportionately harms our one billion neighbors who live on a dollar a day or less. But, as Christians, our concern should not just be global warming; it should extend to caring for all of God's creation. We might argue about the extent of man's contribution to global warming, but we cannot deny the dome of smog that hangs over many of the world's cities, the thousands of species that are going extinct, and the increasing scarcity and access to fresh drinking water.

    The Bible repeatedly commands us to demonstrate our love for the Creator by caring for His creation. We are further told to love our neighbor, particularly the least among us who are hurt most by our profligate use of resources, by stewarding God's blessings wisely.

    Until six years ago, I was director of an emergency room and chief of the medical staff of a beautiful hospital in New England. I had all the trappings of the American Dream - a big house in a postcard-perfect village, two luxury cars and lots of stuff. Then in one week's time I admitted three women in their thirties with breast cancer, all to die. I decided that it was time to "stop running for the cure," and to start looking for the cause.

    The Bible calls me to take the plank out of my own eye before I worry about the speck in my neighbor's. So my family took an accounting and found that our energy usage was exactly average for America - which is well above the global norm. Yes, compared to other physicians, my family was using less, but the Bible tells us to measure our lives against the example set by Jesus. When held against His humble life of service - Jesus never owned a home, had more than one cloak, or rode except on a borrowed colt - my consumerist lifestyle was indefensible.

    Over the next year, my family embarked on a spiritual and environmental journey that resulted in us cutting back our electricity usage to one-tenth the national average and our fossil fuel use to one-third. We gave away half our possessions and moved into a house with the same footprint as our old garage. (Don't feel too sorry for me; we had a big garage.) Along the way, my wife, two teenage children, and I all were born again into a new and better life of service. I quit my job and began speaking, preaching and writing full time about faith and the environment.

    So what is the ethical response to global warming? Christians must start by acknowledging their complicity. The vast majority of our resource consumption does nothing to glorify God. In fact, it does just the opposite.

    As in any moral dilemma, evangelical Christians look to the Bible for wisdom. In Christ's most known sermon, given on a mountain, He tells us that "the meek shall inherit the earth." We must set an example by the way we live our lives and steward limited resources.

    It is time for Americans of faith to put aside their squabbles and begin working together to solve the greatest moral issue of our day. Future generations will not judge us by our rhetoric or good intentions, only by our faithful actions.    

Dr. J. Matthew Sleeth is author of Serve God, Save the Planet, A Christian Call to Action. For more information, see www.servegodsavetheplanet.org

 

Climate report warns of drought, disease
By Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer 11 March 2007

WASHINGTON — The harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people won't have enough water, top scientists will say next month at a meeting in Belgium.

At the same time, tens of millions of others will be flooded out of their homes each year as the Earth reels from rising temperatures and sea levels, according to portions of a draft of an international scientific report obtained by The Associated Press.

Tropical diseases like malaria will spread. By 2050, polar bears will mostly be found in zoos, their habitats gone. Pests like fire ants will thrive.

Will Climate Change Destroy the Atmosphere?
10 March 2007

One Woman, Fighting to Save Her People From Extinction
By Andrew Gumbel - The Independent UK - 24 February 2007

 If Nobel Peace Prizes could refreeze the polar ice caps, then Sheila Watt-Cloutier would be a very happy woman indeed because her people are, "defending the right to be cold".

    As it is, the Canadian activist, who lives in a remote community up above the Arctic circle, is thrilled to have her name put forward as one of the 181 nominees for this year's accolade from the Nobel committee, because it can only advance the cause for which she has been fighting for the past 12 years - protecting the Inuit peoples whose lives are directly and most immediately threatened by the change in the world's climate and raising awareness about global warming. As she said recently: "It's been a long haul and a daunting task to get the message out. When you're 155,000 people at the top of the world, there aren't very many people who even know who you are or what you're facing."

Five western governors sign agreement to reduce greenhouse gases
Joe Shaulis - February 26, 2007

[JURIST] The governors of five western US states signed an agreement Monday to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases [JURIST news archive], a cause of global warming [EPA climate change materials]. During the winter meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA) [official website], the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington [JURIST news archives] signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative [agreement text], which calls for the states to set reduction goals within six months, devise a "market-based program" to reach those goals and track emissions through a regional registry. "In the absence of meaningful federal action, it is up to the states ... to address climate change," Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) [official profile] said in a press release [text]. The market-based program could take the form of a cap-and-trade system, in which companies whose emissions exceed mandatory limits could buy credits from companies that produce less pollution. A regional cap and trade program would be a powerful first step toward developing a national program, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) [official profile], the only Republican among the five governors, said in an address to the NGA [press release]. Statements were also issued by Govs. Bill Richardson (D-NM), Ted Kulongoski (D-OR) and Christine Gregoire (D-WA) [press releases]. AP has more. Gannett News Service has additional coverage.

Climate Change Comes To D.C.
Jeff Rickert - TomPaine.com - February 26, 2007

There has been no better moment than the one before us now to achieve energy independence for America. After years of struggle to build a bipartisan consensus on solutions to the nation’s energy crisis, a new, Democratic majority Congress has both a mandate for change and the political foundation to implement a solution that matches the enormity of the problem. What Congress now needs is a blueprint, and some lawmakers will find that blueprint right in their own states.

For years now, states and cities across the country have been innovating on policies that promote clean energy and create good jobs. Their leadership serves as a guide for bold federal action that can transform the nation—making us safer, revitalizing the economy and stemming the effects of global warming.

State and city leaders from across the country began gathering Sunday at the Apollo Summit in Washington, seeking to capitalize on the political opportunity to translate the successes already achieved in states and cities into a national crusade. The summit is meeting at the same time as the National Governors Association and has brought together people from labor, the environmental movement, business and community organizations.

A Buyout Deal That Has Many Shades of Green
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN - NYT - February 26, 2007

Victory in Texas ... Environmental Agreement Tied to Sale of Electricity Giant Will Block Construction of Eight Dirty Coal-Fired Power Plants

A Policy Paved With Good Intentions

By Boris Kagarlitsky - ZNET - February 06, 2007

But these reductions still fall short of what ecologists consider the minimum steps necessary to halt the global warming process. Even with this limitation, the move might still have been welcome had it not been coupled with a determined effort to follow the same old political approach to averting climatic catastrophe.

The bureaucrats in Brussels maintain that the best way to save the environment is to encourage market competition in the energy sector. We should note here that neither China nor India are being called on to reduce emissions. As developing countries, they apparently retain the right to destroy the global environment along with their own particular part of it.

By calling on energy-consuming companies to install rapidly new clean technologies, the requirements from the European Commission represent a threat to their commercial viability. If simultaneously, as it also claims, it intends to create more competitive industries, then the pressure on businesses is only greater. This appears to leave corporate executives with just two options: They can operate at a loss or ignore the environmental regulations.

 

CONSEQUENCES OF A RISING BAY

Bay FloodGLOBAL WARMING: New set of maps reveals how melting polar ice could change shoreline and carry a high price for entire region

Jane Kay, S F Chronicle Environment Writer

Sunday, February 18, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global Warming: It's About Energy
By Michael T. Klare - Foreign Policy in Focus - February 17, 2007

Global warming is an energy problem, and we cannot have both an increase in conventional fossil fuel use and a habitable planet. It's one or the other. We must devise a future energy path that will meet our basic (not profligate) energy needs and also rescue the climate while there's still time. The technology to do so is potentially available to us, but only if we make the decision to develop it swiftly and on a very large scale.

 

gore

Scientists to Vie for $25M Climate Prize
Redding Searchlight - Feb 9, 2007

LONDON (AP) -- British tycoon Sir Richard Branson on Friday announced a $25 million prize for the scientist who comes up with a way of extracting greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Report says global warming very likely man-made, to continue 'for centuries'

polar bears stranded
Hard to bear: polar bears on a melting chunk of ice off northern Alaska.
A United Nations report issued today by the world's top climate scientists said global warning was "very likely" man-made and would bring higher temperatures and a steady rise in sea levels for centuries to come regardless of how much the world slows or reduces its greenhouse gas emissions.

"Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widspread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level," said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of scientists from 113 countries.

The panel's bleak 21-page report (PDF), released officially in Paris, was aimed at laying out the how, what and why of global warming, but not to offer remedies.

The report said man-made emissions of greenhouse gases can already be blamed for fewer cold days, hotter nights, killer heat waves, floods and heavy rains, devastating droughts, and an increase in hurricane and tropical storm strength — particularly in the Atlantic Ocean.

Warming Portends Pacific Havoc
Associated Press - May, 04, 2006

The slowdown was detected in shipboard and land-based data going back to the mid-1800s. It matches an effect predicted by computer climate simulations that trace global warming to a build-up of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, the researchers report. But simulations that consider only natural influences fail to produce the observed slowdown, Vecchi said. The study focused on what scientists call the Walker circulation, a huge wind pattern that covers almost half the circumference of Earth. The pattern traces a huge loop. Trade winds blow across the Pacific from east to west. The air rises in the western Pacific and then returns eastward at an altitude of a few miles. Then it sinks back to the surface and starts the loop again

 

U.N. seeks summit on climate change
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 16 (UPI)

The head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change proposes convening a global summit to plan a course of action for tackling the problem.
Since climate change "affects energy, energy security, economic issues (and) development issues, it really needs to be taken to the level of heads of state and heads of government," Executive Secretary Yvo De Boer of the UNFCCC told reporters at U.N. World Headquarters in New York Tuesday.
De Boer, who met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday, said the U.N. leader would be an ideal advocate on the issue.
"I feel that the secretary-general of the United Nations is in an excellent position to mobilize that kind of leadership and to help to move the process forward," De Boer said.
A spokesman for the secretary-general said Tuesday Ban is well aware of the urgent nature of reversing or stopping climate change and believes it is "an important issue that has serious consequences for humanity, including social and economic impacts."
Ban himself has said, "We must do far better in the mission to halt climate change."

SUBSIDIZING CLIMATE CHANGE

Lester R. Brown

Each year the world’s taxpayers provide an estimated $700 billion of subsidies for environmentally destructive activities, such as fossil fuel burning, overpumping aquifers, clearcutting forests, and overfishing. An Earth Council study, Subsidizing Unsustainable Development, observes that “there is something unbelievable about the world spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually to subsidize its own destruction.”

LESTER R. BROWN, founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, has been described by the Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers”and as “the guru of the global environmental movement” by The Telegraph of Calcutta. The author of numerous books, including Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble where he develops a vision for an environmentally sustainable economy, chapters, articles, etc., he helped pioneer the concept of environmentally sustainable development. His principal research areas include food, population, water, climate change, and renewable energy. The recipient of scores of awards and honorary degrees, he is widely sought as a speaker. In 1974, he founded Worldwatch Institute, of which he was President for its first 26 years. As President, he launched the World Watch Papers, the Worldwatch/Norton books, the annual State of the World report, the bimonthly magazine World Watch, the annual Vital Signs, and the Institute’s News Briefs. For relaxation, Lester runs.