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Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘greenhouse gases’

2016 Confirmed as Warmest Year on Record Globally

Posted by feww on August 11, 2017

Who Let the Genie Out of the Well?

2016 also 3rd consecutive year of record warmth

Last year was warmest on record, topping 2015, the previous warmest year since 1880, according to the 27th annual State of the Climate report.

Most indicators of climate change have continued to follow trends of a warming globe, while land and ocean temperatures, sea level and greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere broke records set in 2015, according to the report.

Notable findings from the report include:

Greenhouse gases were toppled record. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, reached new record-high values in 2016. Average global CO2 concentration in 2016 was 402.9 parts per million (ppm), an increase of 3.5 ppm compared with 2015 and the largest annual increase observed in the 58-year record.

Global surface temperature was the highest on record. The 2016 combined global land and ocean surface temperature reached a record-high for a third consecutive year, ranging 0.45°–0.56°C above the 1981-2010 average.

Average SST was the highest on record. The 2016 SST was 0.36C to 0.41C higher than the 1981–2010 average topping the previous record set in 2015 by 0.01 to 0.03 C degrees C).

Global sea level was the highest on record. The global average sea level rose to a new record high in 2016, and was about 82 mm higher than that observed in 1993, when satellite record-keeping for sea level began.

Arctic sea ice coverage was at or near record low. The maximum Arctic sea ice extent reached in March 2016 tied last year as the smallest in the 37-year satellite data record, while the minimum sea ice extent in September tied 2007 as the second lowest on record.

Tropical cyclones were above-average overall. There were 93 named tropical cyclones across all ocean basins in 2016, above the 1981-2010 average of 82 storms. Three basins – the North Atlantic and Eastern and Western Pacific basins – experienced above-normal activity in 2016.

 

World-wide events from 2016 State of the Climate Report (NOAA)

 

Download State of the Climate in 2016

Full Report

Executive Summary

Index Page

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GHG Concentrations Hit Yet Another Record

Posted by feww on November 9, 2015

Submitted by a reader

Warming amplified by interaction between CO2 and water vapor: WMO

The concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere continue to set new records.

A 36% increase in radiative forcing due to long-lived greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from industrial, agricultural and domestic activities, has affected the climate in the past 25 years, according to WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

The WMO report also highlights the interaction and amplification effect between rising levels of CO2  and water vapour, which is itself a major greenhouse gas, albeit short-lived. Warmer air holds more moisture and so increased surface temperatures caused by CO2 would lead to a rise in global water vapour levels, further adding to the enhanced greenhouse effect.  Further increases in CO2 concentrations will lead to disproportionately high increases in thermal energy and warming from water vapour.

“Every year we report a new record in greenhouse gas concentrations,” said WMO Secretary-General.  “Every year we say that time is running out. We have to act NOW to slash greenhouse gas emissions if we are to have a chance to keep the increase in temperatures to manageable levels.”

[“Manageable levels of temperature?” Is this crotch science or the more scientific “argument of the pubic hair?”]

Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 reached 397.7 parts per million (ppm) in 2014.  “In the Northern hemisphere CO2 concentrations crossed the symbolically significant 400 ppm level in 2014 spring, when CO2 is most abundant.  In spring 2015, the global average concentration of CO2 crossed the 400 ppm barrier.”

Caught in a massive positive feedback loop, Earth’s surface is heating up rapidly. The excess energy trapped by atmospheric GHGs is resulting in increasing levels of water vapor, which in turn generates even more heat.

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Weak Monsoon Threatens Drought in India

Posted by feww on June 2, 2015

UPDATED

Indian Govt Downgrades Monsoon Forecast to 88%

Rainfall below 90% is considered as drought year: IMD

India’s June-September monsoon rains will most likely be “deficient” this year and India Meteorological Department (IMD) has revised its earlier forecast from 93% to 88%, said the country’s earth sciences minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday.

A five-day delay in the arrival of the monsoons has also been forecast, as large parts of the country experience a searing heatwave that has killed more than 2,500.

“The rain-bearing system, that typically begins its four-month journey across India on June 1 in Kerala, is also crucial for power, drinking and irrigation. A bad monsoon hits power production since hydropower accounts for a quarter of India’s electricity output, critical for industry and households alike,” said a report.

Rainfall in NW India is likely to be 85 percent of the Long Period Term Average (LPA), 90% of LPA over the Central region, 92% of LPA over South Peninsula and 92% of LPA over the Northeast, with a margin of error of ±8%,  the minister added.

The monthly rainfall over the entire country is forecast at 92% of LPA during the month of July, and 90% of LPA in August (margin of error of ±9%).

Minister Blames Climate Change

“Let us not fool ourselves that there is no connection between the unusual number of deaths from the ongoing heat wave and the certainty of another failed monsoon. It’s not just an unusually hot summer, it is climate change,” said Vardhan.

India is Asia’s third-largest economy and world’s 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

The world’s second most populous country [pop: more than 1.2 billion,] India is home to 194 million hungry people—the highest number globally.

 

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Atmospheric GHG Break Record

Posted by feww on November 21, 2011

Concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached record high in 2010: WMO

The atmospheric GHG rose faster in 2010 than the decadal average.

Disaster Calendar 2011 – November 21

[November 21, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,577 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Global Mega Disasters. The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached record high in 2010, according to WMO. The atmospheric GHG rose faster in 2010 than the decadal average.
    • Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has risen by 39 percent to 389 parts per million (ppm) since 1750.
    • Methane (CH4) concentration has climbed by 158 percent since 1750 to a record high of 1,808 parts per billion(ppb), and up by 5 ppb since 2009.
    • Nitrous oxide (N2O) levels were 20 percent higher at 323.2ppb   than the pre-industrial era.
    • According to the latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the seventh in the series that began in 2004, there has been a 29 percent rise in radiative forcing from greenhouse gases between 1990 and 2010.
    • The atmospheric CO2 rose by 2.3ppm in 2010 compared to 2.0ppm in the previous year and the annual average of 1.5 ppm in the 1990s.
    • “The atmospheric burden of greenhouse gases due to human activities has yet again reached record levels since pre-industrial time,” said WMO Secretary-General.
    • “Even if we managed to halt our greenhouse gas emissions today, and this is far from the case, they would continue to linger in the atmosphere for decades to come and so continue to affect the delicate balance of our living planet and our climate,” he added.


Recent monthly mean carbon dioxide globally averaged over marine surface sites. Source: NOAA

Weekly average CO2 at Mauna Loa

  • Week of November 13, 2011:     390.32 ppm
  • Weekly value from 1 year ago:     388.40 ppm
  • Weekly value from 10 years ago:     369.79 ppm

Posted in global disasters | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Arctic sea ice may fall to record lows

Posted by feww on September 7, 2011

Arctic ice extent for August fell to 2nd lowest level for the month on satellite record

  • Monthly August ice extent for 1979 to 2011 shows a decline of 9.3% per decade.

  • Greenhouse gases are responsible for half of Arctic ice cover retreat from 1979 to 2005: Study

READ THIS FIRST

Continued hacking and content censorship

In view of the continued hacking and censorship of this blog by the Internet Mafia, the Moderators have decided to maintain only a minimum presence at this site, until further notice.

FIRE-EARTH will continue to update the 2011 Disaster Calendar for the benefit of its readers.

WordPress is HACKING this blog!

WordPress Continues to Hack Fire-Earth, Affiliated Blogs

The Blog Moderators Condemn in the Strongest Possible Terms the Continued Removal of Content and Hacking of FIRE-EARTH and Affiliated Blogs by WordPress!

Disaster Calendar 2011 – September 7

[September 7, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,652 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Arctic Ocean. Satellite data processed by the University of Bremen showed Arctic ice extent on September 5 fell below the same date in 2007.
    • Greenhouse gases are responsible for half of Arctic ice cover retreat from 1979 to 2005.
    • August average Arctic sea ice extent in 2011 fell to the second lowest level for the month since records began in 1979, NSIDC reported.
    • In August, ice extent retreated at a faster than average   pace of 67,700 km²/day . The average decline rate for August 1979 to 2000 was 53,700 km²/day.
    • Average ice extent for August 2011 was 5.52 million km², or 160,000 km² above the record low set inAugust 2007, and 2.15 million km² or 28% below the average for 1979 to 2000.
    • On August 31, 2011 Arctic ice extent was 4.63 million km², or 100,000 km² above the previous record low for the same date, set in 2007.
    • Air temperatures were up to 4 degrees Celsius higher than average (relative to the 1981 to 2010 climatology) over the Arctic Ocean (measured about 1km above the surface).
    • The ice will continue to melt for another couple of weeks.
    • Monthly August ice extent for 1979 to 2011 shows a decline of 9.3% per decade.


Sea ice data updated daily, with one-day lag. Orange line in extent image (left) and gray line in time series (right) indicate 1979 to 2000 average extent for the day shown. Click for high-resolution image. Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)


Monthly August ice extent for 1979 to 2011 shows a decline of 9.3% per decade. Credit: NSIDC

Other Disasters

Texas Wildfire Stats (issued by TFS)

  • Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2011
  • National Preparedness Level: 3
  • Southern Area Preparedness Level: 4
  • TFS Preparedness Level: 5
  • “Yesterday Texas Forest Service responded to 19 new fires for 1,490 acres, including new large fires in Red River and Rusk counties. In the past seven days Texas Forest Service has responded to 172 fires for 135,051 acres.”
  • “An assessment has been completed on the Bastrop County Complex and 785 homes have been reported destroyed. An additional 238 have been reported lost on other fires in the past three days, for a total of approximately 1,023.”

  • Texas governor Rick Perry is on record as saying climate change  is essentially a hoax:
    • “I just happen to believe the Earth’s temperature has been moving up and down for millenniums now.” Claiming that scientists disagree on the cause he added, “I happen to be one who is skeptical.”
    • “To spend billions of dollars” addressing an issue like that, Perry said, is “not in America’s best interests.
    • “I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. I don’t think, from my perspective, that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven, and from my perspective, is more and more being put into question.” Perry said.
    • In April Perry issued an official proclamation asking “Texans of all faiths and traditions” to pray for rain over the three-day Easter weekend.
    • “Now, therefore, I, Rick Perry, governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas,” the proclamation, posted on the governor’s website, began.
    • Perry should know that prayers without a “vow of repentance,” a “plea for forgiveness” and a “promise of abstinence” invariably backfire, in his case literally!

Related Links

Posted in environment, global deluge, global disasters | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

CO2 forcing deadly changes in the oceans

Posted by feww on June 19, 2010

Rising GHG is choking the oceans, devastating marine ecosystems and destroying the food chain: Study

Quote of the Day:

“We are becoming increasingly certain that the world’s marine ecosystems are approaching tipping points. These tipping points are where change accelerates and causes unrelated impacts on other systems.” John F. Bruno, marine researcher at the University of North Carolina.

Related Links:

  • Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part V : Hundreds of thousands of tons of surplus chemical weapons including large quantities of arsenic, cyanide, mustard gas, sarin gas and VX nerve gas are dumped off the US Atlantic coast as well as off other countries. [And a number of nuclear weapons are lying down there, too!]

  • Terrible Ocean Headlines : About one third of the world’s annual emissions of CO2 is absorbed by the surface of the oceans forming carbonic acid (ancient name acid of air or aerial acid), H2CO3, which is increasing the acidity of the oceans to as much as 7.7 pH in some areas off the California coast. [Pre-industrial (1700s) ocean pH: 8.179]

  • Human carbon emissions make oceans corrosive : ‘Carbon dioxide spewed by human activities has made ocean water so acidic that it is eating away at the shells and skeletons of starfish, coral, clams and other sea creatures …’

  • Dead Zones : Eutrophication—the overenrichment of water by nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus—has emerged as a leading water quality problem. This report identifies over 415 areas worldwide that are experiencing eutrophication symptoms, and there are significant information gaps in many regions. (Source: WRI)

Posted in ocean, Ocean Acidity, Ocean Co2, Ocean Co2 absorption, ocean heat content | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nature’s Assault on Cars Continues

Posted by feww on September 5, 2009

Image of the Day: Heavy rain causes widespread damage in NE Scotland

Heavy Rain Floods Parts of Scotland - Getty
Police view the damage of a bridge that has been washed away during flooding in the Burnbank area on Friday in Fochabers, Scotland. Heavy rain has caused widespread damage to the north east parts of Scotland. (JEFF J MITCHELL, GETTY IMAGES/September 4, 2009). Iamge may be subject to copyright.

About 500 homes in the Elgin and Fochabers, Moray, Scotland, were evacuated due to the rivers Lossie and Spey flooding their banks after a record amount of rainfall. The residents were forced to spend the night in makeshift shelters.

Related Links:

Posted in Elgin, Fochabers, Moray, river Lossie, river Spey, Scotland | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Arctic Warmest in 2000 Years

Posted by feww on September 3, 2009

You Like it Hot ?

“Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling”

Fig.final_10
New research shows that the Arctic reversed a long-term cooling trend and began warming rapidly in recent decades. The blue line shows estimates of Arctic temperatures over the last 2,000 years, based on proxy records from lake sediments, ice cores and tree rings. The green line shows the long-term cooling trend. The red line shows the recent warming based on actual observations. A 2000-year transient climate simulation with NCAR’s Community Climate System Model shows the same overall temperature decrease as does the proxy temperature reconstruction, which gives scientists confidence that their estimates are accurate. (Courtesy Science, modified by UCAR.) Caption UCAR.

Human activity forced the 1990s Arctic temperatures to warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, a new research finds. “The study, which incorporates geologic records and computer simulations, provides new evidence that the Arctic would be cooling if not for greenhouse gas emissions that are overpowering natural climate patterns.” Researches led by Northern Arizona University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

The scientists reconstructed summer temperatures across the Arctic over the last 2,000 years by decade, extending a view of climate far beyond the 400 years of Arctic-wide records previously available at that level of detail. They found that thousands of years of gradual Arctic cooling, related to natural changes in Earth’s orbit, would continue today if not for emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

“This result is particularly important because the Arctic, perhaps more than any other region on Earth, is facing dramatic impacts from climate change,” says NCAR scientist David Schneider, one of the co-authors. “This study provides us with a long-term record that reveals how greenhouse gases from human activities are overwhelming the Arctic’s natural climate system.”

Darrell Kaufman of Northern Arizona University, the lead author and head of the synthesis project, says the results indicate that recent warming is more anomalous than previously documented.

“Scientists have known for a while that the current period of warming was preceded by a long-term cooling trend,” says Kaufman. “But our reconstruction quantifies the cooling with greater certainty than before.”

How Greenhouse gases overtook  a natural cycle

The new study is the first to quantify a pervasive cooling across the Arctic on a decade-by-decade basis that is related to an approximately 21,000-year cyclical wobble in Earth’s tilt relative to the Sun. Over the last 7,000 years, the timing of Earth’s closest pass by the Sun has shifted from September to January. This has gradually reduced the intensity of sunlight reaching the Arctic in summertime, when Earth is farther from the Sun.

Researchers discovered that  summer temperatures in the Arctic cooled at an average rate of about 0.2 degrees Celsius (0 .36 degrees Fahrenheit) per thousand years because of the reduced energy from the Sun. “The temperatures eventually bottomed out during the “Little Ice Age,” a period of widespread cooling that lasted roughly from the 16th to the mid-19th centuries.”

Even though the orbital cycle that produced the cooling continued, it was overwhelmed in the 20th century by human-induced warming. The result was summer temperatures in the Arctic by the year 2000 that were about 1.4 degrees C (2.5 degrees F) higher than would have been expected from the continued cyclical cooling alone.

“If it hadn’t been for the increase in human-produced greenhouse gases, summer temperatures in the Arctic should have cooled gradually over the last century,” says Bette Otto-Bliesner, an NCAR scientist who participated in the study.

Natural archives of Arctic climate

Researches reconstructed Arctic temperatures over the last 2,000 years using three types of natural evidence. Each of the three “field-based data” was indicative of the response, which ” different component of the Arctic’s climate system to changes in temperature.”

These data included temperature reconstructions published by the study team earlier this year. The reconstructions were based on evidence provided by sediments from Arctic lakes, which yielded two kinds of clues: changes in the abundance of silica remnants left behind by algae, which reflect the length of the growing season, and the thickness of annually deposited sediment layers, which increases during warmer summers as deposits from glacial meltwater increase.

Research also incorporated readings from previously published studies including glacial ice and tree rings that had been calibrated against the temperature records.

The scientists compared the temperatures inferred from the field-based data with simulations run with the Community Climate System Model, a computer model of global climate based at NCAR. The model’s estimate of the reduction of seasonal sunlight in the Arctic and the resulting cooling was consistent with the analysis of the lake sediments and other natural archives. These results give scientists more confidence in computer projections of future Arctic temperatures.

“This study provides a clear example of how increased greenhouse gases are now changing our climate, ending at least 2,000 years of Arctic cooling,” says NCAR scientist Caspar Ammann, a co-author.

The new study follows previous work showing that temperatures over the last century warmed almost three times faster in the Arctic than elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. This phenomenon, called Arctic amplification, occurs as highly reflective Arctic ice and snow melt away, allowing dark land and exposed ocean to absorb more sunlight.

“Because we know that the processes responsible for past Arctic amplification are still operating, we can anticipate that it will continue into the next century,” says Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado at Boulder, a member of the study team. “Consequently, Arctic warming will continue to exceed temperature increases in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in accelerated loss of land ice and an increased rate of sea level rise, with global consequences.”

The Study will be published in the September 4 edition of Science

Related Links:

Posted in Alaska, alaskan forests, arctic temps, big oil, Climate Change, ecosystems collapse, Global Warming, Long-Term Arctic Cooling | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Oh NASA

Posted by feww on February 24, 2009

NASA Still Believes You Need a Rocket Scientist to Launch a Satellite into Orbit!

NASA’s mission to measure carbon dioxide from space fails as the $300 million satellite dives into Antarctica.


NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory and its Taurus booster lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. A contingency was declared a few minutes later. Image credit: NASA TV

OCO was launched on a Taurus XL, the smallest rocket used by NASA.  XL is manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation and has reportedly flown eight times, with a 25 percent failure rate (two failures including the OCO  launch).

In a statement released shortly after the failed launch NASA said:

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to reach orbit after its 4:55 a.m. EST liftoff this morning from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere.

The spacecraft did not reach orbit and likely landed in the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica, said John Brunschwyler, the program manager for the Taurus XL.

A Mishap Investigation Board will immediately be convened to determine the cause of the launch failure.

Preliminary indications are that the fairing on the Taurus XL launch vehicle failed to separate. The fairing is a clamshell structure that encapsulates the satellite as it travels through the atmosphere.

The European Space Agency, ESA, reconstructed its Cryosat spacecraft after it was destroyed on launch in 2006.  ESA officials recently announced that it would be launched again in late 2009.  However, the future of the OCO mission remains uncertain for now.


This is an artist’s concept of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory. The mission, scheduled to launch in early 2009, will be the first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, the principal human-produced driver of climate change. It will provide the first global picture of the human and natural sources of carbon dioxide and the places where this important greenhouse gas is stored. Such information will improve global carbon cycle models as well as forecasts of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and of how our climate may change in the future. Image credit: NASA/JPL. Caption: NASA.

Posted in Atmospheric carbon dioxide, Climate Change, JPL, Pacific Ocean, Taurus XL | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

World CO2 Emissions

Posted by feww on August 8, 2008

World Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions (from Fossil Fuel Consumption Including Flaring, Cement Production (FFFCP), and Tropical Deforestation (TD)

From 1-1-2008 to 8-8-2008 [08:08:08 GMT 😉 ]

23,803.61 MMT CO2
20,473.47 MMT [20,472,745,746,030 kg] from FFFCP
+3,330.14 from TD

Total Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions for 2007

38,058.66 MMT CO2
32,503.49 MMT
[32,503,489,000,000 kg] FFFCP
+5,555.17 MMT TD

Total anthropogenic CO2 production (1750 – Today) [based on CDIAC data updated by MSRB/CASF]

1,358,931.31 MMT CO2
1,271,796.21 MMT [1,271,796,205,000,000 kg] from FFFCP
+  87,135.11 MMT from TD

[“leftover from all previous emissions” = 1,729,948.05 MMT]

Total mass of atmospheric CO2

3,008,879.36 MMT [3,008.88 GT]

How much CO2 was there before?

Measurements of CO2 levels in Ice cores collected in Antarctica and Greenland indicate that the preindustrial carbon dioxide level was 278 ppm. Between 1000 and 1800 A.D. that level varied by no more than 7 ppm.

What about human activities?

The CO2 levels have now reached 386 ppm, which means human activities have increased the concentration of atmospheric CO2 by 109 ppm or 39 percent.

Notes:
MMT: Million Metric Tons
GT: Gigatons (billion tons)
Sources: CASF/MSRB; CDIAC; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency; Earth Systems Research Laboratory; Mauna Loa CO2 monthly mean data.

The following data were used to calculate the total mass of atmospheric CO2 :
1. Mass of dry air: 5.1352 × 1018 kg
2. The mean molar mass of air: 28.9625 g/mol.
3. Molar mass of CO2: 44.0095 g/mol.
4. Mauna Loa CO2 monthly mean data: 385.60ppmv

[On various websites reporting the carbon dioxide emissions, the total amount produced by human activities since 1750 varies from about 1.3 – 1.8 trillion tons. On one website the amount is published once as 1.36 trillion tons and again as 1.71 trillion tons of CO2 on separate pages.]

Related Links:

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Stop Unnecessary Air Travel!

Posted by feww on July 19, 2008

Use Videoconferencing!

Following our organization’s strong condemnation of the United Nations and its Secretary General for their “addiction” to the “carbon habit,” getting endless fixes through flying tens of millions of miles each year, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has now taken the lead on condemning the business world’s unbridled flying habits. More…

Related Links:

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    Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Arnie Knows the Score!

    Posted by feww on July 14, 2008

    Bush climate action claims “Bogus”: Schwarzenegger

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Bush administration did not believe in doing anything about global warming. Any last-minute action before they leave office would lack sincerity and would be “bogus.”

    “If they would have done something this year, I would have thought it was bogus anyway,” he said. “You don’t really have an effect by doing something six months before you leave office … it doesn’t sound to me believable at all. The sincerity is not there.”


    California Governor-Elect Arnold Schwarzenegger meets with George W. Bush in Riverside, Calif., Oct. 16, 2003. White House photo by Eric Draper.

    Environmental Protection Agency boss, Stephen Johnson, refused on Friday to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under existing pollution laws, despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that his agency, EPA, had the authority to do so.

    Schwarzenegger said EPA Chief’s decision “really means basically this administration did not believe in global warming, or they did not believe that they should do anything about it since China is not doing anything about it and since India is not willing to do the same thing, so why should we do the same thing?”

    The Bush administration blocked efforts by California and 16 other states Wednesday to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, setting up a political and legal fight over whether states can take a lead role in combating global warming.

    Stephen Johnson rejected in December 2007 California’s push for a waiver from the federal government to impose its own high standards for tailpipe emissions, regulations which the other states would have followed had California’s bid succeeded.

    Should the fate of an entire nation rest on the decision of one person who is acting with malice aforethought?

    Related News Links:

    Related Links:

    Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    What’s a Hydrokong?

    Posted by feww on June 27, 2008

    A Shrinking World Series

    Is it a mega-tropical storm system, or an extra-tropical cyclone (ETC), i.e., a non-tropical, large-scale low pressure storm system like a Nor’easter?

    “Hydrokong” is a colossal atmospheric phenomenon. It’s an extreme precipitation event which is enhanced by circulation changes that increase and concentrate the distribution of water vapor.


    Hydrokong! The Storm System as it appeared over the central United States June 12, 2008 04:15 UTC. The still image is an aviation color enhancement of a satellite image.

    Globally, as total precipitation increases, the duration or frequency of precipitation events decreases. However, warmer temperatures and regional variation can significantly affect those offsetting behaviors. For example, reduced total precipitation in one region, the Western United States, can significantly increase the intensity of precipitation in another region, the Midwest. Hydrokongs essentially create two extreme events, droughts in one region and flooding caused by mega-intense precipitation in another. As the global temperatures rise, more hydrokongs should be expected.


    Another Hydrokong in the making? A new System as it appeared over the central United States June 27, 2008 04:15 UTC. The still image is an aviation color enhancement of a satellite image.


    An aviation color enhancement of a floater [updated periodically] satellite image GEOS Eastern U.S. Imagery, NOAA SSD. For full size image right-click on the image and select “View Image.”

    In the words of Brian Pierce, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, describing the aftermath of flooding last week: “We are seeing a historic hydrological event taking place with unprecedented river levels occurring.”

    Are Extreme Precipitation Events Earth’s Natural Defense Mechanisms?

    Related Links:

    .

    Posted in air pollution, Climate Change, Drought, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    350 or 450ppm? Neither, Actually!

    Posted by feww on June 18, 2008

    Submitted by Dione, CASF Member

    What would the future be like for my daughter?

    Don’t know much about history
    Don’t know much biology
    Don’t know much about science books
    Don’t know much about the French I took
    But I do know that I love her

    What a wonderful world this would be

    Don’t know much about geography
    Don’t know much trigonometry
    Don’t know much about algebra
    Don’t know what a slide rule is for
    But I know that one and one is two

    What a wonderful world this would be

    [From a Herman’s Hermits song, Wonderful World, lyrics by Cooke/Alpert/Adler. Lyrics may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!]

    Creating A Sustainable Future (CASF) received an emotional email from a young mother, “Kay,” who wishes to remain anonymous. Kay has a 6-year-old daughter and lives with her family in NW United States. Kay says she is not high on science, “in all probability the Herman’s Hermits famous song, ‘don’t know much about history, biology, science books, geography, trigonometry, algebra, and slide rule’ was written about me!”

    She says her knowledge of climatology is even poorer than her French(!) “But I do know that I love my daughter and husband and ‘what a wonderful world this would be’ if we could rein in the greenhouse gases, and reverse the global warming.”

    “I have read a number of articles about CO2 pollution in the atmosphere including a few written by the famed NASA scientist, Dr J. Hansen … but he is a government scientist …”

    She wants to know the safe level of CO2 in the atmosphere and asks which of the 350, 450, or higher levels of CO2 pollution would be a “safe” level, and whether our reply could be put simply so that a “layperson” could understand the answer.

    Hi, Kay – thanks for visiting our blog and email!

    The CASF members believe even the lower atmospheric CO2 levels of 350ppm CO2 are unsafe! Here are the reasons why. Our findings put as simply as we could:

    1. Our climate models show that when the atmospheric CO2 levels leaped over the 330ppmv “threshold” in the mid 1970s it triggered a positive feedback loop, which is now impacting the climate. [The atmospheric CO2 inventory has risen by about 17 percent since then.]
    2. The “acid test,” if you’ll excuse the pun, of the accuracy of our models lies in the future, namely how much worse the environmental impacts will be in the 2008-2010 period. If the impacts of CO2 pollution worsened significantly, by a factor of 20% or more, by 2010 (we have a system for quantifying the adverse effects, see Index of Human Impact on Nature for an introduction), as we expect them to do so, then we know our models are accurate.
    3. The catch? By 2010 it would be too late to do anything to slow down the runaway positive feedback system [other than say a prayer for the dead!]
    4. While the preindustrial levels of 260-270ppm were [and they probably still would be ] “safe,” the longer term environmental impacts of CO2 at levels of about 290-300ppm, even if those levels were achievable [assume some miraculous means were introduced to wipe the slate clean,] in the current climatic state are uncertain!
    5. Based on the above, we recommend an immediate shift to zero-emissions, the benefits of which, although by no means immediate, would far outweigh the ultimate cost of playing Russian roulette with climate change.

    We hope the above helps. Feel free to visit us anytime!

    Best wishes
    Dione, FEWW Moderators and rest of CASF Team

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    dione

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    UNEP Issues Some CO2 Reduction Snakeoil!

    Posted by feww on June 6, 2008

    submitted by a reader

    Caution: For external use only! Avoid eye contact. Keep out of children’s reach. Apply sparingly!

    UNEP: Twelve Steps to Help You Kick the CO2 Habit

    The misleading title is meant to serve as an improvement on the waste recycling one-liners. Those eye-catching headlines invariably encourage consumers to recycle waste, without providing any information as to the full impact of the recycling process on the environment; mysteriously, they often fail to carry any good advice, for example, on how to cut down on the consumption in the first place.

    The most glaring UNEP deception is probably the propagation of the myth of self-empowered individuals, the notion that we are in charge and free to do what we choose to do. In other words, it’s not the exponential growth economy that is deciding our lifestyles, social behavior and consumption habits; it is our fault to become addicted to CO2 in the first place!

    In reality, however, our lives are ruled by a powerful discourse that prevents us from opting out of consumer lifestyles. The political economy ensures there are no alternatives to the prevailing malignant system. The media and advertising industry influence each and every decision we make. The system builds the roads, parking lots and airports, and it then demands we use them. We have no say on how things should be done. The only “choice” available to us is restricted to the type of vehicle we occupy the roads with to spend the daily installments of our mandatory solitary confinement, a choice we couldn’t make without the help of the advertising industry, of course.

    Without a change in the system of economy, we don’t stand a surviving chance as a species!

    Tell me again, how will you help kick my CO2 habit, when the economic system is producing the pollution for me?

    UNEP Clumsy Scaremongering Diminishes the Seriousness of Environmental Threats

    The most egregious misrepresentation made by UNEP in their report must be their recommendation to use a non-electric toothbrush as a major means of halving your carbon footprint. The per person CO2 emissions in the US is about 21.89 metric tons each year (Source: EIA 2005). The average electric toothbrush has a 6.5-Watt power rating—it uses 6.5 joules of electricity per second—that means, taking into account the losses from electricity generation, it produces a total of about 80 mg of CO2 per day, or 29 grams per year, if you brushed your teeth for about a minute every day! How or why the UNEP believes such small amounts of CO2 could make a dent in the overall pollution inventory is unfathomable [even with an inefficient charger they don’t get close to the UNEP figures, or cutting your carbon footprint by half!]

    [Note: One metric ton is equal to 1,000 kilograms (kg); 1,000,000 grams (g); 1,000,000,000 milligram (mg).]

    As for the electric alarm clocks, those that operate in the range of 20-40 Watts, are responsible for producing about 250-500 mg (a quarter to one half of a gram) of CO2 per day.

    Of course, most electronic alarm clocks run on batteries, using an AAA battery (1.5V, 1.2Ah) which is replaced about once a year. While manufacturing batteries creates chemical pollution and carelessly discarded ones constitute an environmental hazard, the batteries are not known as a major source of carbon dioxide pollution!


    Just exactly which one of the above figures can you influence and by how much? (Source: EIA 2005)

    Below is a list of the UNEP snakeoil remedies:

    • Use a wind-up alarm clock rather than an electric one.
    • Dry clothes on a washing line rather than in a tumble dryer.
    • Pack lighter suitcases. It says that world savings would be 2 million tonnes a year if every airline passenger cut the weight of baggage to below 20 kg and bought duty free goods on arrival. [Emphasis were added!]
    • Use a non-electric toothbrush.
    • Heat bread rolls in a toaster rather than in the oven for 15 minutes.
    • Take a train rather than a car for a daily commute of 8 km.
    • The average British household could cut 2 tonnes of CO2 annually with more efficient insulation, heating and lighting.
    • Reduce winter heating: cutting the temperature by a couple of degrees saves 6 percent in energy bills.
    • Avoid “carbon binges”: a return flight across the Atlantic is equivalent to running a car for a year for each passenger.

    How very revealing! It almost tells you which corporations wrote the “Kick the CO2 Habit.”

    Conclusion:

    FEWW Moderators have carefully considered UNEP recommendations and, taking into account all of the circumstances, believe the net results of all energy saving on the national scale in the target countries would only be significant if

    • All airline flights were grounded
    • All automobile journeys were halted
    • All non-essential commercial activities were ended
    • All unnecessary industrial production were stopped
    • All wasteful consumer practices were eradicated

    Heunep

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    Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part IV

    Posted by feww on May 26, 2008

    Wild Facts Series: Just when you thought the oceans were dying painlessly!

    Carbon Emissions Make Oceans Corrosive!

    ‘Acidified’ Water Threatens Marine Life on the Continental Shelf from Canada to Mexico: NOAA

    Researchers found evidence of corrosive water about 20 miles off the west coast of North America from Canada to Mexico last summer. The ocean water on the western North American continental shelf was previously thought not to be “acidified.”

    “Ocean acidification” is caused by the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, a process which makes water corrosive.


    Effects of increasing carbon dioxide and temperature on coral reefs. (NOAA Coral Reef Watch)

    “Acidification of the Earth’s ocean water could have far-reaching impacts on the health of our near-shore environment, and on the sustainability of ecosystems that support human populations through nourishment and jobs,” said Richard W. Spinrad, NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research. “This research is vital to understanding the processes within the ocean, as well as the consequences of a carbon-rich atmosphere.”

    “Our findings represent the first evidence that a large section of the North American continental shelf is seasonally impacted by ocean acidification,” said Feely. “This means that ocean acidification may be seriously impacting marine life on our continental shelf right now.”

    “While this absorption provides a great service to humans by significantly reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and decreasing the effects of global warming, the change in the ocean chemistry affects marine life, particularly organisms with calcium carbonate shells, such as corals, mussels, mollusks, and small creatures in the early stages of the food chain,” said Feely.

    NOAA said: “Previous studies found ocean acidification at deeper depths farther from shore. The researchers said that the movement of the corrosive water appears to happen during the upwhelling season during the spring and summer, when winds bring CO2 -rich water up from depths of about 400-600 feet onto the continental shelf. The water that upwells off of the North American Pacific coast has been away from the surface for about 50 years.


    Typical coral-reef community observed in the U.S. Virgin Islands. [Species lables: the image to view labels: Ma, boulder star coral (Montastrea annularis); Dc, knobby brain coral (Diploria clivosa); Pa, mustard hill coral (Porites astreoides); Pp, finger coral (Porites porites); D, dead coral (probably Porites astreoides); O, octocoral (soft coral); S, sponge.] Photograph by Nathan Smiley, USGS.

    The field study collected samples from Queen Charlotte Sound, Canada, to San Gregorio Baja California Sur, Mexico. The closest they found corrosive water was about four miles off of the northern California coast.”

    “We did not expect to see this extent of ocean acidification until the middle to the end of the century,” said Sabine. “Because of this effort, we have a baseline for future observations as we continue to study and monitor the relationship of biological and physical processes and their ability to respond to ocean acidification.”

    “We did not expect to see this extent of ocean acidification until the middle to the end of the century,” said Sabine. “Because of this effort, we have a baseline for future observations as we continue to study and monitor the relationship of biological and physical processes and their ability to respond to ocean acidification.”

    “When the upwelled water was last at the surface, it was exposed to an atmosphere with much less CO2 than today and future upwelled waters will probably be more acidic than today’s because of increasing atmospheric CO2,” said Hales, a professor of chemical oceanography, who is also funded by NASA.

    “We don’t know how this will affect species living in the zone below the level of the lowest tides, out to the edge of the continental shelf,” said Ianson, an oceanographer. “We do know that organisms like corals or pteropods are affected by water saturated with CO2. The impacts on other species, such as shellfish and other juvenile fish that have economic significance, are not yet fully understood.”

    “In Baja California, we have several Mediterranean-climate coastal lagoons where the main external physical and biogeochemical forcing is from the neighboring coastal ocean, strongly influenced by upwelling,” said Hernandez-Ayon, a coastal oceanographer. “We are concerned about these areas because they play an important role as nurseries and feeding grounds of juvenile fish populations but are also are ideal sites for shellfish aquaculture.” More …

    What is Bleaching?

    Corals are very sensitive to temperature change: a 1–2º C change in local temperature above their normal summer maximum can lead to a phenomenon called ‘bleaching’, whereby the corals expel their vital algal symbionts (algae which live in the cells of the coral), leaving the coral tissues translucent.


    Bleached Coral (Pocillopora) NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

    In 1998, a single bleaching event led to the loss of almost 20% of the world’s living coral. Corals can recover from these events but repeated episodes are likely to weaken the coral ecosystem, making them more susceptible to disease and causing a loss of biodiversity. (Source)

    How will ocean acidification affect marine life?

    Corals, calcareous phytoplankton, mussels, snails, sea urchins and other marine organisms use calcium (Ca) and carbonate (CO3) in seawater to construct their calcium carbonate (CaCO3) shells or skeletons. As the pH decreases, carbonate becomes less available, which makes it more difficult for organisms to secrete CaCO3 to form their skeletal material. For animals in general, including invertebrates and some fish, CO2 accumulation and lowered pH may result in acidosis, or a build up of carbonic acid in the organism’s body fluids. This can lead to lowered immune response, metabolic depression, behavioral depression affecting physical activity and reproduction, and asphyxiation. Since the oceans have never experienced such a rapid acidification, it is not clear if ecosystems have the ability to adapt to these changes (1,2). Effects of ocean acidification on organisms and ecosystems are still poorly understood. Over the last few years, research has intensified significantly to fill the many knowledge gaps. (Source)

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    Don’t Worry, it’s Only Earth

    Posted by feww on May 20, 2008

    A Herculean task, significant impact on physical and biological systems globally, worst cases in 800,000 years

    One species disappears every 20 minutes, UN Experts

    “In my view, climate change and the loss of biodiversity are the most alarming challenges on the global agenda,” Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at the opening of a U.N. biodiversity conference on Monday.


    Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef. Reproduced under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, ersion 1.2 or any later version. (author: Richard Ling)

    “In my view, climate change [Germany is the world’s 6th largest pollutor] and the loss of biodiversity are the most alarming challenges on the global agenda […] It will be a Herculean task to get the world community and each individual country on the right path to sustainability [still talking about ‘Tending Our Goats at the Edge of Apocalypse’] … The truth today is that we are still on the wrong track. If we follow this path we can foresee that we will fail to meet the target … Business as usual is no more an option if humanity is going to survive. Losing biodiversity is not just losing trees and species, it is an economic and security loss. [Thanks for reading our blogs, Mr Gabriel!]” (Source)

    Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change

    Significant changes in physical and biological systems are occurring on all continents and in most oceans, with a concentration of available data in Europe and North America. Most of these changes are in the direction expected with warming temperature. Here we show that these changes in natural systems since at least 1970 are occurring in regions of observed temperature increases, and that these temperature increases at continental scales cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone. Given the conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely to be due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, and furthermore that it is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent except Antarctica, we conclude that anthropogenic climate change is having a significant impact on physical and biological systems globally and in some continents. (Source)


    Instrumental Temperature record of the last 150 years. (Author: Robert A. Rohde) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License Version 2.5

    Greenhouse gases highest in 800,000 years

    Atmospheric greenhouse gases are now at the highest levels in 800,000 years, according to a study of Antarctic ice, which provides additional evidence that human activity is disrupting the climate.


    “Shanghai at sunset, as seen from the observation deck of the Jin Mao tower. The sun has not actually dropped below the horizon yet, rather it has reached the smog line.” This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (Photo: Suicup; via: Wikimedia Commons. )

    “We can firmly say that today’s concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane are 28 and 124 percent higher respectively than at any time during the last 800,000 years,” said Thomas Stocker, a researcher at the University of Berne. (Source)

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    The Eight Steps that Help Kill More of Our Fish

    Posted by feww on May 7, 2008

    How Your Car’s Exhaust Emissions Helps Create Dead Zones and Kill Our Fish

    Step One: You fill up the tank (gasoline is a processed fossil fuel product).


    REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (Image may be subject to copyright!)

    Step Two: As you drive around, your car burns the fossil fuel and produces greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants, which are spewed out through the exhaust pipe.


    Houston Evacuation – Hurricane Rita

    Step three: Sunlight interacts with greenhouse gases emitted from your car, producing ground-level ozone.


    Only about 12.6 percent of the gas your car consumes is used for driving!


    Step Four: High ozone levels damage crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans, reducing growth rates and crop yields, as well as making the crops less resistant to insects and pests. (In 1995, ground-level ozone caused $2.7 billion in crop damage nationwide, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.) Current estimates for the crop damages caused by ground-level ozone stand at about $3 billion each year in the US alone.

    ozone-plant-damage
    (L) Ozone-damaged plant; (R) normal plant. Photo courtesy of Gene Daniels/U.S. EPA.

    Step Five: To increase growth rates, boost crop yields and fight pests, farmer use increasingly larger amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.


    Applying Chemical Fertilizers. Photo AVRCD. (Image may be subject to copyright!)

    Step Six: Nutrient-rich chemical runoffs (pollution) from agricultural fields are washed by rain into streams, storm sewers and rivers and end up into our oceans, seas and other water bodies.


    Summer rains wash nutrients, dissolved organic matter and sediment out of the mouths of rivers, into the sea, sparking large phytoplankton blooms. South America presents two excellent examples of river outlets where phytoplankton tends to thrive. Along the northern part of the continent the mouth of the Orinoco River opens into the Caribbean. Along the Eastern side of South America, the mighty Amazon exits its thousand mile journey. (Text NASA)

    Step Seven: Dead Zones that cover tens of thousands of square kilometers of waterways are created by pollution-fed algae, which deprive fish and other marine life of oxygen.


    Gulf of Mexico: sediment filled water meets the ocean.

    Step Eight: Deprived of oxygen, fish and other marine life die.


    Dead fish are seen on a basket of a fish farm off a coast of Menidi village in the Amvrakikos Gulf, some 350Km northeast of Athens February 28, 2008. Local marine biologist Vangelis Dimitriou said that up to 800 tonnes of fish including sea bass and sea bream died from a lack of oxygen [hypoxia], after swimming through a large pocket of water where the temperatures suddenly dropped at a drastic rate. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis (GREECE). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

    But it doesn’t have to be that way!

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    Food: Worse times ahead

    Posted by feww on May 4, 2008

    Climate Change + Higher temperatures + Droughts + Floods + Soil erosion + Loss of topsoil + Pollution + Ground-level Ozone = Much Less Food in the Future

    Scientists are warning that global warming would present great challenges on the way to produce more food in the future.

    “There certainly are going to be lots of challenges in the future. Temperature is one of them, water is another,” said Lisa Ainsworth, a molecular biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture.

    “In Northeastern China, low temperatures, a short growing season and lack of water limit production, so rising temperatures in the future may have beneficial impacts there,” said Ainsworth.

    “However, in the southern parts of the country, higher temperatures will likely cause yield losses,” she told the reporters.

    Higher temperatures coupled with ground-level ozone, which is produced as a result of sunlight interacting with greenhouse gases, added to extremes of floods and droughts is a recipe for disaster.

    Ozone is a growing problem in the northern hemisphere and is already costing farmers billion of dollars in crop damage.


    Effect of increasing ozone concentration (left to right: about 15, 80 and 150 ppb) on growth of (A) Pima cotton and nutsedge grown in direct competition with one nutsedge per cotton; (B) tomato and nutsedge
    grown in direct competition with nutsedge (two-to-one); and (C) yellow nutsedge grown in the absence of competition. (Photo and caption: David A. Grantz & Anil Shrestha, UC Kearney Agricultural Center )

    “In the major rice-growing regions, which are India and China, ground-level ozone concentrations even today are very high and certainly exceed the threshold for damage. Ozone is already decreasing yield potential in many areas,” Ainsworth said.

    Significant amounts of rice yield are lost annually due to various abiotic stresses (e.g., salinity, droughts). Rice is the staple diet for about half of the world population, and about 90 percent of the world’s rice is produced in Asia.

    UN experts believe that in low-latitude regions, slightest temperature rises of about 1ºC could affect crop yields.

    The atmospheric CO2 levels have now reached about 388 parts per million from about 280 ppm prior to the Industrial Revolution.

    “There is still a lot of uncertainty in the climate modeling when it comes to the regional level,” said Reiner Wassmann coordinator of the Rice and Climate Change Consortium at IRRI. “But it was clear temperatures would rise.”


    A train travels along the flooded Darbhanga-Sitamadhi railway line in Bihar in this August 2, 2007 file photo. Massive monsoon floods in eastern India damaged vast areas of corn and affected the rice crop, government officials and farm experts said on Tuesday, adding that losses are being assessed. REUTERS/Krishna Murari Kishan (image may be subject to copyright!) See FEWW Fair Use notice.

    “The other mega trend we see is that we will have more climate extremes. In some places there might be more drought, in others it may be submergence, from floods, in some places it might be both,” said Wassmann.


    Lake Hartwell, February 2008, western South Carolina. Photo courtesy South Carolina Department of Natural Resources staff. (Source UNL)

    “That is really a new challenge for development of cropping systems and I don’t want to limit it to only plant breeding. We have to be clear that this is no silver bullet and that if we speed-up plant breeding everything will be fine. Certainly not.

    “We also have to improve crop management and water saving techniques have come into the picture to cope with drought,” he said. (Source)

    High ozone levels can damage leaves on trees and crops (such as corn, wheat, and soybeans), reducing growth rates and crop yields. In 1995, ground-level ozone caused $2.7 billion in crop damage nationwide, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Due to its reactive nature, ozone also can prematurely degrade and wear out rubber, paints and other materials. (Source)

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    -..-

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    Only Zero Emissions Would Avert Dangerous Warming

    Posted by feww on October 15, 2007

    The following is a response to an article in the New Scientist titled Zero emissions needed to avert ‘dangerous’ warming. The response was submitted by The Management School of Restorative Business. The original article is posted below.

    RE: Zero emissions needed to avert ‘dangerous’ warming

    MSRB concurs with the overall conclusion of the University of Victoria report that the only way to stabilize the temperature is by total elimination of industrial emissions.

    However, according to our model, even with the total elimination of industrial emissions effected immediately the temperature would stabilize above 3.2oC probably by 2025.

    Further, their timeline appears to be too optimistic. According to our model the global warming “tipping point” occurred in mid 2006, beyond which all changes are irreversible [in the short run.] We expect to experience catastrophic climatic events starting by 2009-2010. By as early as 2015, we believe dramatic ecosystems collapses including ozone holes, global heating, extreme climatic events, toxic pollution, depletion of food and natural resources, unethical conduct, war and disease pandemics would result in the depopulation of most of our population clusters.

    The world entered a double exponential* phase in 1980, when Earth’s “torching energy,” exceeded 9.51 terawatts {q[torch] > 9.51TW.} According to MSRB model the countdown toward the Earth’s “Terminal Energy” had started. The q[torch] for the first half 2007 averaged at 16.8TW. See http://msrb.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/the-point-of-no-return/ and http://msrb.wordpress.com/stop-burning-earth/

    *[Note: Double exponential functions grow even faster than exponential functions.]

    Apart from the obvious political reasons, most climate models are fundamentally flawed because they (i) use tired old formula to “predict” the future changes based on empirical analysis, (ii) base their calculations on the “official” data, (iii) are “one-dimensional” and therefore unable to model accurately or forecast the behavior of sophisticated, highly interdependent systems such as Earth’s ecosystems.

    The best [and the only intelligent] course of action on global and national levels would be an immediate “powerdown” to the “safe” energy consumption levels of about 60EJ, while allocating most of the resources to creating low-energy communities that provide food, shelter, education and safety for as many people as possible.

    The Management School of
    Restorative Business (MSRB)

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    Original Article:

    http://environment.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn12775&print=true
    Zero emissions needed to avert dangerous warming
    16:56 11 October 2007
    NewScientist.com news service
    Catherine Brahic

    Only the total elimination of industrial emissions will succeed in imiting climate change to a 20C rise in temperatures, according to omputer analysis of climate change. Anything above this target has been identified as “dangerous” by some scientists, and the limit has been adopted by many policymakers.

    The researchers say their study highlights the shortcomings of governmental plans to limit climate change.

    A warming of 20C above pre-industrial temperatures is frequently cited as the limit beyond which the world will face “dangerous” climate change. Beyond this level, analysis suggests the continents will cease to absorb more carbon dioxide than they produce. As the tundra and other regions of permafrost thaw, they will spew more gas into the atmosphere, adding to the warming effect of human emissions.

    The end result will be dramatic ecological changes, including widespread coastal flooding, reduced food production, and widespread species extinction.

    Established model

    In January 2007, the European Commission issued a communication stating that “the European Union’s objective is to limit global average temperature increase to less than 20C compared to pre-industrial levels”.

    Andrew Weaver and colleagues at the University of Victoria in Canada say this means going well beyond the reduction of industrial emissions discussed in international negotiations.

    Weaver’s team used a computer model to determine how much emissions must be limited in order to avoid exceeding a 20C increase. The model is an established tool for analysing future climate change and was used in studies cited in the IPCC’s reports on climate change.

    They modelled the reduction of industrial emissions below 2006 levels by between 20% and 100% by 2050. Only when emissions were entirely eliminated did the temperature increase remain below 20C.

    A 100% reduction of emissions saw temperature change stabilise at 1.50C above the pre-industrial figure. With a 90% reduction by 2050, Weaver’s model predicted that temperature change will eventually exceed 20C compared to pre-industrial temperatures but then plateau.

    Stark contrast

    The researchers conclude that governments should consider reducing emissions to 90% below current levels and remove what is left in the atmosphere by capturing and storing carbon (see Chemical ‘sponge’ could filter CO2 from air).

    There is a stark contrast between this proposal and the measures currently being considered. Under the UN’s Kyoto protocol, most developed nations have agreed to limit their emissions to a minimum of 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. What happens beyond this date is the subject of ongoing debate and negotiation.

    The European Union nations have agreed to limit their emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, and support dropping global emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.

    “There is a disconnect between the European Union arguing for a 20C threshold and calling for 50% cuts at 2050 – you can’t have it both ways,” says Weaver, who adds: “If you’re going to talk about 20C you have got to be talking 90% emissions cuts.”

    Vanishing point

    Tim Lenton, a climatologist at the University of East Anglia in the UK, agrees that even the most ambitious climate change policies so far proposed by governments may not go far enough. “It is overly simplistic assume we can take emissions down to 50% at 2050 and just hold them there. We already know that that’s not going to work,” he says.

    Even with emissions halved, Lenton says carbon dioxide will continue building up in the atmosphere and temperatures will continue to rise. For temperature change to stabilise, he says industrial carbon emissions must not exceed what can be absorbed by Earth’s vegetation, soil and oceans.

    At the moment, about half of industrial emissions are absorbed by ocean and land carbon “sinks”. But simply cutting emissions by half will not solve the problem, Lenton says, because these sinks also grow and shrink as CO2 emissions change.

    “People are easily misled into thinking that 50% by 2050 is all we have to do when in fact have to continue reducing emissions afterwards, all the way down to zero,” Lenton says.

    Journal reference: Geophysical Research Letters ( DOI: 0.1029/2007GL031018 )

    Fair Use Notice: See Article 107, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 17 of U.S. Copyright Code

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