Global warming may be twice as bad as previously expected
Global warming will be twice as severe as
previous estimates indicate, according to a new study published
this month in the Journal of Climate, a publication of the
American Meteorological Society.
The research, conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT), predicts a 90% probability that worldwide
surface temperatures will rise more than 9 degrees (F) by 2100,
compared to a previous 2003 MIT study that forecast a rise of just
over 4 degrees.
Burning rainforests, melting tundra could accelerate global
warming well beyond current projections, 2/16/2009
Projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) likely underestimate the scale and rapidity
of climate change, warned a Stanford University scientist
presenting Saturday at the annual meeting of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago.
Noting that industrial emissions are well out-pacing even the most
aggressive forecasts, Dr. Christopher Field said the IPCC's 2007
climate assessment failed to account for potentially devastating
feedback cycles that could be triggered by rising temperatures,
including large-scale ignition of tropical forests and
catastrophic melting of Arctic tundra, which would greatly
accelerate the release of greenhouse gases.
Global warming increasing death rate of US trees, scientists warn,
"Trees in the western United States are dying
twice as quickly as they did three decades ago and scientists
think global warming is to blame.
In their surveys, ecologists found that a wide range of tree
species were dying including pines, firs and hemlocks and at a
variety of altitudes. The changes can have serious long-term
effects including reducing biodiversity and turning western
forests into a source of carbon dioxide as they die and decompose.
That could lead to a runaway effect that speeds up climate
Arctic Report Card: New Trouble for Ice Sheets, Wildlife,
"Thawing permafrost, melting ice sheets and
threats to Arctic wildlife are just some of the growing concerns
about the effect of global warming at the top of the planet,
according to a new U.S. government report card.
The incredibly rapid rate at which Canada's Arctic ice shelves are
disappearing is an early indicator of the "very substantial
changes" that global warming will impose on all mankind, a top
scientist said on September 3, 2008. The report card notes that
2007 was the warmest year on record in the Arctic region, with
sea-ice cover at record lows, less snow cover and increased
effects on walruses and polar bears.
"These are clearly dynamic and dramatic times in the Arctic," said
report editor Jackie Richter-Menge, a researcher with the Army
Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering
Laboratory in Hanover, N.H.
The massive ice sheet in Greenland underwent "record melting" in
2007, the report said, losing at least 24 cubic miles of ice.
That is about 100 times the amount of ice that the city of Los
Angeles uses in an entire year, according to Eric Rignot, a
scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who was not involved
in the report card."
Representatives Announce Legislative Principles to Save the Planet
from Calamitous Global Warming, 10/2/2008
Today, 152 members of the House of Representatives — over
one-third of all members and nearly two-thirds of all Democrats —
signed and submitted a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
stating their guiding principles for “comprehensive global warming
legislation” to “save the planet from calamitous global warming.”
The letter, led by representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ed Markey
(D-MA), and Jay Inslee (D-WA), was delivered to Pelosi this
The legislators describe four key goals:
Reduce emissions to avoid dangerous global warming;
Transition America to a clean energy economy;
Recognize and minimize any economic impacts from global warming
Aid communities and ecosystems vulnerable to harm from global
These are the necessary principles that should guide any path out
of the climate crisis. What makes this letter significant is the
strong, specific details endorsed by the 152 signatories. These
include the following measures to respect the severity of the
danger of rising greenhouse gas emissions:
– “The United States must do its part to keep global temperatures
from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius)
above pre-industrial levels.”
– “Total U.S. emissions must be capped by a date certain, decline
every year, be reduced to 15% to 20% below current levels in 2020,
and fall to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.”
– “A mechanism for periodic scientific review is necessary, and
EPA, and other agencies as appropriate, must adjust the regulatory
response if the latest science indicates that more reductions are
– “Cost-containment measures must not break the cap on global
– “The United States must reengage in the international
negotiations to establish binding emissions reductions goals under
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change . . .
for the United States and other developed nations to achieve
combined emissions reductions of at least 25% below 1990 levels by
2020, as called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
The letter makes clear that a national cap-and-trade system to
limit carbon emissions is necessary, but not sufficient. The
signatories call for “complementary policies” like “smart growth
measures, green building policies, and electricity sector
efficiency policies.” They also agree that a national system
should not preempt state efforts: “Federal global warming
requirements must be a floor, not a ceiling, on states’ ability to
protect their citizens’ health and state resources.”
The signatories also explain that polluter payments must go into
building a green recovery, by calling for strong limits to free
allowances, if any are made. Instead, the funds derived from
auction pollution permits should go to:
- Clean energy and efficiency measures
– Low and moderate-income households
– Workforce development
– State and local adaptation and response to “more severe
wildfires, intensified droughts, increased water scarcity, sea
level rise, floods, hurricanes, melting permafrost, and
agricultural and public health impacts”
– Assistance for developing countries
– Survival of wildlife and natural ecosystems
The Center for American Progress supports auctioning 100 percent
of the greenhouse gas emission permits from day one under a
cap-and-trade program, and this summer released a comprehensive
report, Investing in a Green Economy, describing a plan for
investing those revenues along the principles of today’s letter.
The signatories represent a diverse cross-section of House
Members, including members of the Blue Dogs Coalition (11), the
Congressional Black Caucus (27), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
(8) and the New Democrat Coalition (30). Download the letter here.
NASA: Danger Point Closer Than Thought From Warming, 5/29/2007
Even "moderate additional" greenhouse emissions
are likely to push Earth past "critical tipping points" with
"dangerous consequences for the planet," according to research
conducted by NASA and the Columbia University Earth Institute.
With just 10 more years of "business
as usual" emissions from the burning of coal, oil and gas, says
the NASA/Columbia paper, "it becomes impractical" to avoid
The study appears in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and
Physics. Its lead author is James Hansen, director of NASA's
Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.
The forecast effects include "increasingly rapid sea-level rise,
increased frequency of droughts and floods, and increased stress
on wildlife and plants due to rapidly shifting climate zones,"
according to the NASA announcement.
Climate Target Is Not Radical Enough - Study, 4/7/2008
One of the world’s leading climate scientists
warns today that the EU and its international partners must
urgently rethink targets for cutting carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere because of fears they have grossly underestimated the
scale of the problem.
In a startling reappraisal of the threat, James Hansen, head of
the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, calls
for a sharp reduction in C02 limits.
Hansen says the EU target of 550 parts per million of C02 - the
most stringent in the world - should be slashed to 350ppm. He
argues the cut is needed if “humanity wishes to preserve a planet
similar to that on which civilisation developed”. A final version
of the paper Hansen co-authored with eight other climate
scientists, is posted today on the Archive website. Instead of
using theoretical models to estimate the sensitivity of the
climate, his team turned to evidence from the Earth’s history,
which they say gives a much more accurate picture
CO2 output must
cease altogether, studies warn: Research points to years of
warming even with ambitious emission cuts, 3/9/2008
"The task of cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough to avert a
dangerous rise in global temperatures may be far more difficult
than previous research suggested, say scientists who have just
published studies indicating that it would require the world to
cease carbon emissions altogether within a matter of decades."
trees at ‘alarming’ rate, experts say Scientists say global
deforestation will feed global warming, 2/3/2008
"ABO EBAM, Nigeria - In the gloomy shade deep in
Africa's rain forest, the noontime silence was pierced by the
whine of a far-off chain saw. It was the sound of destruction,
echoed from wood to wood, continent to continent, in the tropical
belt that circles the globe.
From Brazil to central Africa to once-lush islands in Asia's
archipelagos, human encroachment is shrinking the world's rain
The alarm was sounded decades ago by environmentalists — and was
little heeded. The picture, meanwhile, has changed: Africa is now
a leader in destructiveness. The numbers have changed: U.N.
specialists estimate 60 acres of tropical forest are felled
worldwide every minute, up from 50 a generation back. And the
fears have changed.
Experts still warn of extinction of animal and plant life, of the
loss of forest peoples' livelihoods, of soil erosion and other
damage. But scientists today worry urgently about something else:
the fateful feedback link of trees and climate.
"If we lose forests, we lose the fight against climate change,"
declared more than 300 scientists, conservation groups, religious
leaders and others in an appeal for action at December's climate
conference in Bali, Indonesia.""
Escalating Ice Loss Found in Antarctica
Sheets Melting in an Area Once Thought to Be Unaffected by Global
"Climatic changes appear to be destabilizing vast
ice sheets of western Antarctica that had previously seemed
relatively protected from global warming, researchers reported
yesterday, raising the prospect of faster sea-level rise than
While the overall loss is a tiny fraction of the miles-deep ice
that covers much of Antarctica, scientists said the new finding is
important because the continent holds about 90 percent of Earth's
ice, and until now, large-scale ice loss there had been limited to
the peninsula that juts out toward the tip of South America. In
addition, researchers found that the rate of ice loss in the
affected areas has accelerated over the past 10 years -- as it has
on most glaciers and ice sheets around the world."
"...The new finding comes days after the head of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the group's
next report should look at the "frightening" possibility that ice
sheets in Greenland and Antarctica could melt rapidly at the same
Marc Kaufman, Washington Post, 1/14/2008
The Global Environment
PARIS: The human population is living far beyond
its means and inflicting damage on the environment that could pass
points of no return, according to a major report issued Thursday
by the United Nations.
Climate change, the rate of extinction of species and the
challenge of feeding a growing population are among the threats
putting humanity at risk, the UN Environment Program said in its
fourth Global Environmental Outlook since 1997.
"The human population is now so large that the amount of resources
needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current
consumption patterns," Achim Steiner, the executive director of
the program, said in a telephone interview. Efficient use of
resources and reducing waste now are "among the greatest
challenges at the beginning of 21st century," he said.
The program described its report, which is prepared by 388 experts
and scientists, as the broadest and deepest of those that the UN
issues on the environment and called it "the final wake-up call to
the international community."
Over the past two decades the world population has increased by
almost 34 percent to 6.7 billion from 5 billion; similarly, the
financial wealth of the planet has soared by about a third. But
the land available to each person on earth had shrunk by 2005 to
2.02 hectares, or 5 acres, from 7.91 hectares in 1900 and was
projected to drop to 1.63 hectares for each person by 2050, the
report said. See:
Executive Overview Report, 10/25/2007
U.N. Climate Panel Says Warming Is Man-Made
An international panel of climate scientists
said yesterday that there is an overwhelming probability that
human activities are warming the planet at a dangerous rate, with
consequences that could soon take decades or centuries to reverse.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of hundreds
of scientists from 113 countries, said that based on new research
over the last six years, it is 90 percent certain that
human-generated greenhouse gases account for most of the global
rise in temperatures over the past half-century.
Declaring that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal," the
authors said in their "Summary for Policymakers" that even in the
best-case scenario, temperatures are on track to cross a threshold
to an unsustainable level. A rise of more than 3.6 degrees
Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels would cause global effects
-- such as massive species extinctions and melting of ice sheets
-- that could be irreversible within a human lifetime. Under the
most conservative IPCC scenario, the increase will be 4.5 degrees
Richard Somerville, a distinguished professor at the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography and one of the lead authors, said the
world would have to undertake "a really massive reduction in
emissions," on the scale of 70 to 80 percent, to avert severe
global warming.- 2/3/2007.
for human-caused warming: 1,600-page climate report, out in
February, says evidence is compelling
"WASHINGTON - Human-caused global warming is
here — visible in the air, water and melting ice — and is destined
to get much worse in the future, an authoritative global
scientific report will warn when it's released next month.
“The smoking gun is definitely lying on the table as we speak,”
said top U.S. climate scientist Jerry Mahlman, who reviewed all
1,600 pages of the first segment of a giant four-part report. “The
evidence ... is compelling.”
Andrew Weaver, a Canadian climate scientist and study co-author,
went even further: “This isn’t a smoking gun; climate is a
battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles.”
The first phase of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
is being released in Paris next week. This segment, written by
more than 600 scientists and reviewed by another 600 experts and
edited by bureaucrats from 154 countries, includes “a
significantly expanded discussion of observation on the climate,”
co-chair Susan Solomon a senior scientist for the U.S. National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She and other scientists
held a telephone briefing on the report Monday.
"...The future is bleak, scientists said.
“We have barely started down this path,” said chapter co-author
Richard Alley of Penn State University. - 1/23/2007
Nepal's Farmers on the Front Line of Global Climate Change
Himalayan communities face catastrophic floods as weather patterns
"...Anecdotal observations are backed by
scientists who are recording in Nepal some of the fastest
long-term increases in temperatures and rainfall anywhere in the
world. At least 44 of Nepal's and neighbouring Bhutan's Himalayan
lakes, which collect glacier meltwater, are said by the UN to be
growing so rapidly they they could burst their banks within a
decade. Any climate change in Nepal is reflected throughout the
region. Nearly 400 million people in northern India and Bangladesh
also depend on rainfall and rivers that rise there."- 12/2/2006
Coalition of EPA scientists call for action against warming
"A coalition of environmental scientists from
across the country is petitioning Congress to take action to stem
the human-created causes of global warming, RAW STORY can report.
"We are writing to protest the lack of progress in addressing
global warming," says a letter affixed to the petition. It goes on
to point out that, "the federal government is using primarily
voluntary and incentive-based programs to reduce the bulk of
emissions," in the United States, and that the EPA "could do more"
to stem the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
According to a summary released in conjunction with the petition,
the EPA labor union coalition represents over 10,000 U.S. EPA
environmental scientists and other experts."- 11/29/2006.
Gaia scientist Lovelock predicts planetary wipeout
"LONDON (Reuters) - The earth has a fever that
could boost temperatures by 8 degrees Celsius making large parts
of the surface uninhabitable and threatening billions of peoples'
lives, a controversial climate scientist said on Tuesday.
James Lovelock, who angered climate scientists with his Gaia
theory of a living planet and then alienated environmentalists by
backing nuclear power, said a traumatized earth might only be able
to support less than a tenth of it's 6 billion people.
"We are not all doomed. An awful lot of people will die, but I
don't see the species dying out," he told a news conference. "A
hot earth couldn't support much over 500 million." - 11/28/2006.
The century of drought
"Drought threatening the lives of millions will spread across half
the land surface of the Earth in the coming century because of
global warming, according to new predictions from Britain's
leading climate scientists." -Michael McCarthy, Environmental
Editor, Independent/UK, 10/4/2006.
Study says Earth's temp at 400-year high
It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean
surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the
20th century than during any comparable period during the
preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the
consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically
diverse proxies. · Less confidence can be placed in large-scale
surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900
to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that
temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were
higher during the past 25 years than during any period of
comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties associated
with reconstructing hemispheric mean or global mean temperatures
from these data increase substantially backward in time through
this period and are not yet fully quantified. · Very little
confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the
hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about
A.D. 900 because of sparse data coverage and because the
uncertainties associated with proxy data and the methods used to
analyze and combine them are larger than during more recent time
periods. The main reason that our confidence in large-scale
surface temperature reconstructions is lower before A.D. 1600 and
especially before A.D. 900 is the relative scarcity of precisely
dated proxy evidence.
National Academies of Science, Committee on Surface Temperature
Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years, National Research
An Inconvenient Truth
"Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If
the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have
just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our
entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving
extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves
beyond anything we have ever experienced."-
From the film an AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, Former Vice-President,
Al Gore, 5/24/2006
Earth is at the Tipping Point: The climate is crashing
and global warming is to blame. Why the crisis hit so soon -- and
what we can do about it- Jeffrey Kluger, Time Magazine, 3/27/2006
No one can say exactly what it looks like when a
planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth. Never
mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion
emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and
unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us.
It certainly looked that way last week as the atmospheric bomb
that was Cyclone Larry -- a Category 5 storm with wind bursts that
reached 180 m.p.h. -- exploded through northeastern Australia. It
certainly looked that way last year as curtains of fire and dust
turned the skies of Indonesia orange, thanks to drought-fueled
blazes sweeping the island nation. It certainly looks that way as
sections of ice the size of small states calve from the
disintegrating Arctic and Antarctic. And it certainly looks that
way as the sodden wreckage of New Orleans continues to molder,
while the waters of the Atlantic gather themselves for a new
hurricane season just two months away. Disasters have always been
with us and surely always will be. But when they hit this hard and
come this fast -- when the emergency becomes commonplace --
something has gone grievously wrong. That something is global
by signs of global warming: 'Sentries for the rest of the world'
report massive changes to Arctic life
"...The global warming felt by wildlife and
increasingly documented by scientists is hitting first and hardest
here, in the Arctic where the Inuit people make their home. The
hardy Inuit -- described by one of their leaders as "sentries for
the rest of the world" -- say this winter was the worst in a
series of warm winters, replete with alarms of the quickening
transformation that many scientists believe will spread from the
north to the rest of the globe." - Doug Struck, Washington Post,
Alarm over dramatic weakening of Gulf Stream
The powerful ocean current that bathes Britain
and northern Europe in warm waters from the tropics has weakened
dramatically in recent years, a consequence of global warming that
could trigger more severe winters and cooler summers across the
region, scientists warn today. Researchers on a scientific
expedition in the Atlantic Ocean measured the strength of the
current between Africa and the east coast of America and found
that the circulation has slowed by 30% since a previous expedition
12 years ago.
Impact of Climate Change 'Can be Likened to WMD'
Climate change can be likened in its destructive
scale to the effects of using weapons of mass destruction,
according to Britain's leading scientist.
Lord May of Oxford, the president of the Royal Society, will say
that the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina is an example of
the sort of extreme weather event that climate change can trigger.
The impacts of climate change are many and serious, he contends.
They include rising sea levels, changes in the availability of
drinking water, and an increase in the risk of extreme weather
such as floods, droughts and hurricanes.
Lord May, a former chief scientist for the Government, will say
the seriousness of weather extremes, exemplified by Katrina's
impact on New Orleans, "invite comparison with weapons of mass
Steve Connor, Independent/UK, 11/29/2005
The Big Thaw: Global Disaster Will Follow If the Ice Cap on
Now scientists say it is vanishing far faster than even they
"Greenland's glaciers have begun to race towards
the ocean, leading scientists to predict that the vast island's
ice cap is approaching irreversible meltdown, The Independent on
Sunday can reveal."
"...Research to be published in a few days' time shows how
glaciers that have been stable for centuries have started to
shrink dramatically as temperatures in the Arctic have soared with
global warming. On top of this, record amounts of the ice cap's
surface turned to water this summer.
The two developments - the most alarming manifestations of climate
change to date - suggest that the ice cap is melting far more
rapidly than scientists had thought, with immense consequences for
civilisation and the planet. Its complete disappearance would
raise the levels of the world's seas by 20 feet, spelling
inundation for London and other coastal cities around the globe,
along with much of low-lying countries such as Bangladesh.
More immediately, the vast amount of fresh water
discharged into the ocean as the ice melts threatens to shut down
the Gulf Stream, which protects Britain and the rest of northern
Europe from a freezing climate like that of Labrador.
Ripples of Global Warming Spread Outward
UNITED NATIONS - Human health and the earth's
ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change, warns a
new study jointly released by three leading environmental
organisations here this week.
"Climate Change Futures", by the Centre for Health and the Global
Environment at Harvard Medical School, the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) and Swiss Re, a private health
insurance company based in Switzerland, says that adverse health
impacts are likely to cause severe economic consequences.
"Global climate change and the ripples of that change will affect
every aspect of life, from municipal budgets for snowplowing to
the spread of disease," the report says. For example, the effects
of hurricanes "can extend far beyond coastal properties to the
heartland through their impact on offshore drilling and oil
Barbara Litzlbeck, Inter Press Service, 11/4/2005
World temperatures keep rising: Climate data show 2005 on
track to be hottest on record
"New international climate data show that 2005
is on track to be the hottest year on record, continuing a 25-year
trend of rising global temperatures.
The new analysis comes as government and independent scientists
are reporting other dramatic signs of global warming, such as the
record shrinkage of the Arctic sea ice cover and unprecedented
high ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico."-
Juliet Eiperin, Washington Post, 10/13/2005
Global Warming 'Past the Point of No Return',
Steve Connor, Independent/UK, 9/16/2005
"A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic
this summer has convinced scientists that the northern
hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond
which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that
the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of
warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea
ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for
thousands of years.
They believe global warming is melting Arctic ice so
rapidly that the region is beginning to absorb more heat
from the sun, causing the ice to melt still further and so
reinforcing a vicious cycle of melting and heating."
"The Final Proof: Global Warming is a Man-Made Disaster,"
Steve Connor, Independent/UK, 2/19/05
"Scientists have found the first
unequivocal link between man-made greenhouse gases and a
dramatic heating of the Earth's oceans. The researchers -
many funded by the US government - have seen what they
describe as a "stunning" correlation between a rise in
ocean temperature over the past 40 years and pollution of
The study destroys a central argument of global warming
skeptics within the Bush administration - that climate
change could be a natural phenomenon. It should convince
George Bush to drop his objections to the Kyoto treaty on
climate change, the scientists say." -
Steve Connor, Independent/UK, 2/19/05
Apocalypse Now: How Mankind is Sleepwalking to the End of
"Floods, storms and droughts. Melting Arctic ice,
shrinking glaciers, oceans turning to acid. The world's
top scientists warned last week that dangerous climate
change is taking place today, not the day after
tomorrow."- Geoffrey Lean, Environmental Editor, The
Historic Kyoto Treaty Inked Without the World's Biggest
Polluter the US, 2/16/05
"KYOTO, Japan - The Kyoto Protocol, the landmark treaty
requiring cuts in gas emissions which cause global
warming, is now in effect with the support of 141 nations
but not of the world's biggest polluter the United States.
The 34 industrialized countries which have ratified the
treaty are legally bound to slash output of greenhouse
gases by 5.2 percent before 2012, with targets set for
each nation based on their 1990 levels.
The treaty was reached in this ancient Japanese capital in
1997 amid fear that the rise in global temperatures could
eventually lead to droughts and the extinction of some
Global Warming: Scientists Reveal Timetable, Michael
McCarthy , 2/3/2005
"A detailed timetable of the destruction
and distress that global warming is likely to cause the
world was unveiled yesterday.
It pulls together for the first time the projected impacts
on ecosystems and wildlife, food production, water
resources and economies across the earth, for given rises
in global temperature expected during the next hundred
The resultant picture gives the most wide-ranging
impression yet of the bewildering array of destructive
effects that climate change is expected to exert on
different regions, from the mountains of Europe and the
rainforests of the Amazon to the coral reefs of the
McCarthy, Independent/UK, 2/3/2005
Climate Change: Countdown to Global Catastrophe: Report
warns point of no return may be reached in 10 years,
leading to droughts, agricultural failure and water
warming danger threshold for the world is clearly marked
for the first time in an international report to be
published tomorrow - and the bad news is, the world has
nearly reached it already.
The countdown to climate-change catastrophe is spelt out
by a task force of senior politicians, business leaders
and academics from around the world - and it is remarkably
brief. In as little as 10 years, or even less,
their report indicates, the point of no return with global
warming may have been reached." -Michael
McCarthy, Independent/UK, 1/24/05
Dangerous' Global Warming Possible by 2026 - WWF
"OSLO - World temperatures could
surge in just two decades to a threshold likely to trigger
dangerous disruptions to the earth's climate, the
WWF environmental group said on Sunday.
It said the Arctic region was warming fastest, threatening
the livelihoods of indigenous hunters by thawing the polar
ice-cap and driving species like polar bears toward
extinction by the end of the century.
"If nothing is done, the earth will have warmed by 2.0
Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by
some time between 2026 and 2060," the WWF said in a
Alister Doyle, 1/30/05, Reuters.
Extinction Tied to Global Warming: Greenhouse Effect Cited
in Mass Decline 250 Million Years Ago
"Scientists call it "the Great Dying," a
250 million-year-old catastrophe that wiped out 90 percent
of ocean species and 70 percent of land species in the
biggest mass extinction in Earth's geologic history.
The cause of this cataclysm is a matter of great dispute
among paleontologists, but research released yesterday
offers new evidence that global warming caused by massive
and prolonged volcanic activity may have been the chief
Guy Gugliotta, Washington Post, 1/21/2005.
Climate change 'to reverse human progress'
"Global warming threatens to reverse
human progress and make international targets on halving
world poverty by 2015 unattainable, a study published
The claim comes from charities including Greenpeace, Oxfam
and Action Aid who have joined forces, under the banner of
the Working Group on Climate Change and Development, to
release the report called,
Up In Smoke?- Threats from, and responses to, the impact
of global warming on human development, in London
The group's warning follows a summer in which hurricanes
Jeanne and Ivan wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and
Bangladesh saw its worst flooding for years.
In a world in which global warming is a reality, it says,
such severe weather events are likely to become more
frequent and extreme - and the poor will be hardest hit."
Guardian/UK, Press Association, 10/20/2004
Climate Fear as Carbon Levels Soar: Scientists bewildered
by sharp rise of CO2 in atmosphere for second year
"An unexplained and unprecedented rise in carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere two years running has raised
fears that the world may be on the brink of runaway global
Scientists are baffled why the quantity of the main
greenhouse gas has leapt in a two-year period and are
concerned that the Earth's natural systems are no longer
able to absorb as much as in the past." -
Paul Brown, Guardian/UK
National Geographic- Signs from Earth, 9/2004
"Global warming can seem too remote to
worry about, or too uncertain—something projected by the
same computer techniques that often can't get next week's
Comforting thoughts, perhaps. But turn to
"GeoSigns," the first chapter in our report on the
changing planet. The Earth has some unsettling news.
From Alaska to the snowy peaks of the Andes the world is
heating up right now, and fast. Globally, the temperature
is up 1°F (.5°C) over the past century, but some of the
coldest, most remote spots have warmed much more. The
results aren't pretty. Ice is melting, rivers are running
dry, and coasts are eroding, threatening communities.
Flora and fauna are feeling the heat too, as you'll read
"EcoSigns." These aren't projections; they are facts
on the ground.
The changes are happening largely out of sight. But they
shouldn't be out of mind, because they are omens of what's
in store for the rest of the planet.
Wait a minute, some doubters say. Climate is notoriously
fickle. A thousand years ago Europe was balmy and wine
grapes grew in England; by 400 years ago the climate had
turned chilly and the Thames froze repeatedly. Maybe the
current warming is another natural vagary, just a passing
Don't bet on it, say climate experts. Sure, the natural
rhythms of climate might explain a few of the warming
signs you'll read about in the following pages. But
something else is driving the planet-wide fever.
For centuries we've been clearing forests and burning
coal, oil, and gas, pouring carbon dioxide and other
heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere faster than plants
and oceans can soak them up (see
"The Case of the Missing Carbon," February 2004). The
atmosphere's level of carbon dioxide now is higher than it
has been for hundreds of thousands of years. "We're now
geological agents, capable of affecting the processes that
determine climate," says George Philander, a climate
expert at Princeton University. In effect, we're piling
extra blankets on our planet.
Human activity almost certainly drove most of the past
century's warming, a landmark report from the United
Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
declared in 2001. Global temperatures are shooting up
faster than at any other time in the past thousand years.
And climate models show that natural forces, such as
volcanic eruptions and the slow flickers of the sun, can't
explain all that warming.
As carbon dioxide continues to rise, so will the
mercury—another 3°F to 10°F (1.6°C to 5.5°C) by the end of
the century, the IPCC projects. But the warming may not be
gradual. The records of ancient climate described in
"TimeSigns" suggest that the planet has a sticky
thermostat. Some experts fear today's temperature rise
could accelerate into a devastating climate lurch.
Continuing to fiddle with the global thermostat, says
Philander, "is just not a wise thing to do.""
"‘Climate Witnesses' Testify About Effects Of Global
Warming, 12/11/2004, Kevin Gray, Associated Press"
Warming Trend Will Decimate Arctic Peoples, Report Warns
BROOKLIN, Canada - Climate change will
soon make the Arctic regions of the world nearly
unrecognisable, dramatically disrupting traditional Inuit
and other northern native peoples' way of life, according
to a new report that has yet to be publicly released.
The dire predictions are just some of the findings by the
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), an unprecedented
four-year scientific investigation into the current and
future impact of climate change in the region.-
Stephen Leahy, Inter Press Service, 9/10/2004
Oil chief: my fears for planet: Shell boss's 'confession'
"The head of one of the world's
biggest oil companies has admitted that the threat of
climate change makes him "really very worried for the
In an interview in today's Guardian Life section, Ron
Oxburgh, chairman of Shell, says we urgently need to
capture emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide,
which scientists think contribute to global warming, and
store them underground - a technique called carbon
"Sequestration is difficult, but if we don't have
sequestration then I see very little hope for the world,"
said Lord Oxburgh. "No one can be comfortable at the
prospect of continuing to pump out the amounts of carbon
dioxide that we are pumping out at present ... with
consequences that we really can't predict but are probably
not good." ,
David Adam, Science Correspondent, The Guardian, 6/17/04.
Global Warming Spirals Upwards
Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have jumped
abruptly, raising fears that global warming may be
accelerating out of control.
Measurements by US government scientists show that
concentrations of the gas, the main cause of the climate
exchange, rose by a record amount over the past 12 months.
It is the third successive year in which they have
increased sharply, marking an unprecedented triennial
Geoffrey Lean, Independent/UK, 3/28/04
Damage from Warming Becoming 'Irreversible,' Says New
WASHINGTON -- Ten years after the ratification of a
United Nations treaty on climate change, greenhouse gas
emissions that lead to global warming are still on the
rise, signaling a "collective failure" of the
industrialized world, according to the Washington-based
Resources Institute (WRI), a leading environmental
"We are quickly moving to the point where the damage
will be irreversible," warned Dr. Jonathan Pershing,
director of WRI's Climate, Energy and Pollution Program.
"In fact, the latest scientific reports indicate that
global warming is worsening. Unless we act now, the world
will be locked into temperatures that would cause
irreversible harm." -
Jim Lobe, OneWorld.net, 3/15/04
Insurer Warns of Global Warming Catastrophe
GENEVA - The world's second-largest
reinsurer, Swiss Re, warned on Wednesday that the costs of
natural disasters, aggravated by global warming,
threatened to spiral out of control, forcing the human
race into a catastrophe of its own making.-
Thomas Atkins, Reuters, 3/3/04
Now the Pentagon Tells Bush:
Climate Change Will Destroy Us-
Secret Report Warns of Rioting and Nuclear War; Threat to
the World is Greater than Terrorism
Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a
global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and
A secret report, suppressed by US defense chiefs and
obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities
will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged
into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict,
mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt
across the world.
The document predicts that abrupt climate change could
bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries
develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling
food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global
stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few
experts privy to its contents. -
Mark Townsend and Paul Harris, Observer/UK; 2/22/04
'US Climate Policy Bigger Threat to World than Terrorism'
"Tony Blair's chief scientist has
launched a withering attack on President George Bush for
failing to tackle climate change, which he says is more
serious than terrorism.
Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser,
says in an article today in the journal Science that
America, the world's greatest polluter, must take the
threat of global warming more seriously." -
Steve Conner, Independent UK, 1/9/2004
U.S. Blasts U.N. Kyoto Pact as "Straitjacket"
"MILAN, Italy - The United States
denounced on Monday the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol as an
unrealistic "straitjacket" for curbing global warming as
officials from 180 nations met in Italy to work out
details of the landmark pact.
Washington, which pulled out of Kyoto in 2001, said its
own policy of promoting "breakthrough technologies" for
energy was the "only acceptable cost-effective option" to
limit gases blamed for heating the planet and to raise
Kyoto is "an unrealistic and ever-tightening regulatory
straitjacket, curtailing energy consumption," Paula
Dobriansky, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global
Affairs, wrote in the Financial Times newspaper."
"The White House
delegates are coming to Milan to undermine this treaty
even though President (George W.) Bush pledged not to
block other countries from moving forward," she said.
Christian Plumb, Reuters, 12/1/03
Climate change blamed as largest Arctic ice shelf breaks
in two after 3,000 years
"The largest ice shelf in the Arctic, a
solid feature for at least 3,000 years, has broken in two
and climate change is to blame, say American and Canadian
The Ward Hunt ice shelf, on the north coast of Ellesmere
Island in Canada, has split down the middle, and a
freshwater lake held behind it has drained away, the
"...Much evidence suggests that the sea ice covering the
Arctic Ocean is rapidly thinning and retreating, with
reports two years ago that at one stage the North Pole
itself was actually seawater rather than ice,"
Michael McCarthy Environment Editor, Independent.co.uk,
U.S. EPA says it won't regulate CO2 emissions from autos,
"...The International Center for
Technology Assessment, the Sierra Club, and Greenpeace
filed a lawsuit against EPA in December 2002 to force the
agency to rule on the issue. At least one of the groups
said it will appeal the decision.
Environmental groups called the EPA decision another
attempt by the White House to undermine public health.
"The Bush administration is again ducking its legal
and moral responsibility to address global warming," said
David Bookbinder, a Sierra Club lawyer.
Passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs account for 20
percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, with
coal-burning power plants responsible for 40 percent."
New Research on Long-Term Ocean Cycles Reveals Rapid
Global Warming in Near Future
"Scientists funded by the National
Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography at the University of
California, San Diego, report evidence of pronounced
changes in the earth's climate that can be tracked in
cycles of ocean conditions over thousands of years. These
cycles reveal that Earth is currently in a period in which
a natural rise in global temperatures, combined with
warming from the greenhouse effect, will push the
planet through an era of rapid global warming."
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of
California, San Diego, 3/2000.
Danish Professor Denounced for 'Scientific Dishonesty'
Panel of Scientists Assails Scholarship of Book Praised in
Press -- 'The Skeptical Environmentalist'
"Once hailed as a brilliant iconoclast
who challenged environmentalists' gloom-and-doom prognoses
of global warming, overpopulation and worldwide hunger,
Danish author Bjorn
Lomborg yesterday was denounced by a panel of his
country's top scientists [Danish
Research Agency] for engaging in "scientific
Eric Pianin, Washington Post, 1/8/03;
Scientists Discover Global Warming Linked To Increase In
Tropopause Height Over Past Two Decades
"Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory have discovered another fingerprint of
human effects on global climate. Recent research has shown
that increases in the height of the tropopause over the
past two decades are directly linked to ozone depletion
and increased greenhouse gases." Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory, 1/6/03.
Effects Of Global Warming Already Being Felt On Plants And
warming is having a significant impact on hundreds of
plant and animal species around the world - although the
most dramatic effects may not be felt for decades,
according to a new study in the journal Nature.
"Birds are laying eggs earlier than usual, plants are
flowering earlier and mammals are breaking hibernation
sooner," said Terry L. Root, a senior fellow with Stanford
University's Institute for International Studies (IIS) and
lead author of the Jan. 2 Nature study.
"Clearly, if such ecological changes are now being
detected when the globe has warmed by an estimated average
of only 1 degree F (0.6 C) over the past 100 years, then
many more far-reaching effects on species and ecosystems
will probably occur by 2100, when temperatures could
increase as much as 11 F (6 C)," Root concluded."
Stanford University, 1/1/03
US Groups Sue Government Agency Over Global Warming
Amid growing anger among
environmentalists over the record and intentions of
President George W. Bush, three major U.S. environmental
groups said Thursday they are suing his Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to curb global
The lawsuit by the Sierra Club,
Greenpeace, and the
International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA)
charges the EPA with violating the 1977 Clear Air Act by
failing to limit air pollution caused by automobiles that
''may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health
or welfare''. - Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service.
Climate Change Surprise: High Carbon Dioxide Levels Can
Retard Plant Growth, Study Reveals
"An unprecedented three-year
experiment conducted at Stanford University is raising
questions about that long-held assumption [that higher CO2
levels will stimulate plant growth]. Writing in the
journal Science, researchers concluded that elevated
atmospheric CO2 actually reduces plant growth when
combined with other likely consequences of climate change
– namely, higher temperatures, increased precipitation or
increased nitrogen deposits in the soil."
12/6/02, Stanford University.
International Researchers Propose Advanced Energy
Technologies To Help Quell Global Warming
"The report states that to stabilize
climate, we will need one to three times present world
power consumption to come from energy technologies without
greenhouse emissions. But carbon-emissions-free energy
sources do not exist yet either operationally or as pilot
"...Combating global warming by radical restructuring of
the global energy system could be the technology challenge
of the century.” -
“Advanced Technology Paths to Global Climate Stability:
Energy for a Greenhouse Planet,” Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory, 11/1/02
Study Fuels Worry Over Glacial Melting:
Research Shows Alaskan Ice Mass Vanishing at Twice Rate
"Alaska's glaciers are melting at more than twice the rate
previously thought because of warming temperatures,
dramatically altering the majestic contours of the state
and driving up sea levels, according to a new study.
"...The change we are seeing is more
rapid than any climate change that has happened in the
last 10 to 20 centuries," said Keith A. Echelmeyer, one of
the five researchers who prepared the study." -
Eric Pianin, Washington Post, 7/`8/02
Warmer World Will Be A Sicker World, Say Scientists
"Global warming and changing climatic conditions are
triggering disease epidemics in wildlife around the world,
reports a renowned team of ecologists and epidemiologists
in the Friday June 21st issue of Science. The outbreaks
are occurring in habitats ranging from coral reefs to
Climate Action Report 2002:
The United States of America's Third National
Communication Under the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change
"Philip Clapp, president of the Washington, DC based group
Trust, said today this study "undercuts everything
President Bush has said about global warming since he took
office. He has denied global warming exists, claiming
scientific uncertainty justified doing nothing to stop the
problem. Now a report from his own administration says
global warming is real and will have real impacts on
Environment News Service, 6/3/02. Yet despite the
recognized threat- the administration will not embrace
Kyoto and is failing to take substantive action.
Apparently Bush considers the report (from his own
administration) as nothing more than a "product of
bureaucracy." See: Reuters, 6/8/02:
"Gore Slams Bush for Refusing Global Climate Report."
This typifies public policy at its absolute worst.
Climate Change May Become Major Player In Ozone Loss;
"While industrial products like
chlorofluorocarbons are largely responsible for current
ozone depletion, a NASA study finds that by the 2030s
climate change may surpass chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as
the main driver of overall ozone loss."
Signs of Thaw in a Desert of Snow:
Scientists Begin to Heed Inuit Warnings of Climate Change
"And so it has come
to be, the elders say, a time when icebergs are melting,
tides have changed, polar bears have thinned and there is
no meaning left in a ring around the moon. Scattered
clouds blowing in a wind no longer speak to elders and
hunters. Daily weather markers are becoming less
predictable in the fragile Arctic as its climate
Washington Post 5/27/02 article by DeNeen L. Brown.
Giant Glacier Falls Into Ocean Near Antarctica
"A huge ice shelf 10 times bigger than
Manhattan has plummeted into the sea near Antarctica, U.S.
government scientists said on Thursday, adding urgency to
warnings that global temperatures are rising for the
worse. The news follows the March collapse of the
so-called Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica in the Weddell
Sea near Chile - which was the size of a small European
country. The collapse on the Ross ice shelf - in the Ross
Sea - is about 41 nautical miles long and 4 nautical miles
wide." Reuters, 5/10/02
Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapses In Largest Event Of Last 30
"Scientists attribute the retreats to strong regional
climate warming. Antarctic temperatures have increased
about 2.5 degrees Celsius since the late 1940s. Since 1974
ice shelf extent in the Antarctic Peninsula has declined
by about 13,500 square kilometers, or 5,200 square miles."
3/19/02, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of
Colorado at Boulder.
Antarctica Key To Sudden Sea Level Rise In The Past;
End Of "Free Ride" On Ecosystem CO2 Absorption; 5/19/02
"The precise ecosystem study of the reaction of a Texas
grassland to a range of carbon dioxide levels has shown
that soil nitrogen availability may limit the capacity of
ecosystems to absorb expected increases in atmospheric
CO2. The researchers said their study emphasizes the
urgency with which the U.S. and other nations should adopt
stringent limitations on CO2 emissions, as outlined in the
international Kyoto accord on climate change."