Thursday, August 30, 2007

Global Warming Will Bring Violent Storms And Tornadoes, NASA Predicts

NASA scientists have developed a new climate model that indicates that the most violent severe storms and tornadoes may become more common as Earth's climate warms.

Clouds over North America on August 2,
2000, as measured by GOES-11. (Credit: NASA/NOAA)

Previous climate model studies have shown that heavy rainstorms will be more common in a warmer climate, but few global models have attempted to simulate the strength of updrafts in these storms. The model developed at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies by researchers Tony Del Genio, Mao-Sung Yao, and Jeff Jonas is the first to successfully simulate the observed difference in strength between land and ocean storms and is the first to estimate how the strength will change in a warming climate, including "severe thunderstorms" that also occur with significant wind shear and produce damaging winds at the ground. Read More

Focus on carbon 'missing the point'

The focus on reducing carbon emissions has blinded us to the real problem - unsustainable lifestyles, says Eamon O'Hara. In this week's Green Room, he argues that bigger problems await us unless we shift our efforts.

Is it not time to recognise that climate change is yet another symptom of our unsustainable lifestyles, which must now become the focus our efforts?

Yet governments, and those organisations who have now assumed the role of combating climate change, subscribe to the notion that climate change is our central problem and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is the cause of this problem.

Undeniably, climate change is a serious problem but it is only one of a growing list of problems that arise from a fundamental global issue.

For many decades, the symptoms of unsustainable human exploitation of the natural environment have been mounting: species extinction, the loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, soil erosion, acid rain, destruction of rainforests, ozone depletion - the list goes on.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

A Climate Change Wiki

24 August, 2007

By Bill Henderson

Building a wiki could be the democratic innovation we need to finally adequately address the climate change problem - a wiki could at least put us all on the same page - and may be a very useful tool in managing man so that a sustainable future is possible. Read More

Monday, August 20, 2007

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Hits Record Low

BOULDER, Colorado, August 20, 2007 (ENS) - Arctic sea ice fell below all previous records for the lowest absolute minimum extent ever measured by satellite on Thursday and Friday, said scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice extent has fallen below the 2005 record low absolute minimum and is still melting, said researcher Walt Meier.

A rapid disintegration of Arctic sea ice during July has prompted scientists to warn there is a 92 percent chance that Arctic sea ice extent will hit an annual record low. Sea ice extent, the area of an ocean covered by at least 15 percent of ice, has been shrinking since the late 1970s, when satellite measurements began.

The decline is believed by many researchers to be due to higher temperatures due to global warming from a buildup of greenhouse gas emissions in the Earth's atmosphere.

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South Asia Monsoon Crisis Presents An Opportunity To Learn And Prepare For Future Crisis

By Brian McAfee

15 August, 2007

Is the South Asia monsoon a harbinger of things to come and will we be ready next time around? The perennial monsoon floods that have devastated parts of Bangladesh, India, and Nepal are said to be the worst in 30 years. The death toll has surpassed 2,200, made over twenty million people homeless and resulted in massive crop failure, ensuring hunger, poverty and homelessness for millions of men, women and children in South Asia for some time to come.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Warming Will Exacerbate Global Water Conflicts

By Doug Struck
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 20, 2007; Page A08

FRESNO, Calif. -- Steve Johnson scans the hot, translucent sky. He wants to make rain -- needs to make rain for the parched farms and desperate hydro companies in this California valley. But first, he must have clouds. The listless sky offers no hint of clouds.

Inside a darkened room near the Fresno airport, Johnson's colleagues study an array of radar screens. If a promising thunderstorm appears, Johnson will send his pilots into it in sturdy but ice-battered single-engine planes, burning flares of silver iodide to try to coax rain from the clouds.
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The 11th Hour

Leonardo DiCaprio's "The 11th Hour" is a feature length documentary concerning the environmental crises caused by human actions and their impact on the planet. The 11th Hour documents the cumulative impact of these actions upon the planet's life systems and calls for restorative action through a reshaping of human activity.

The 11th Hour opens in Los Angeles and New York on August 17th, in select markets on August 24th, and nationwide on August 31st.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

First Short-Term Global Warming Forecast: Record Heat

, August 10, 2007 (ENS) - Get ready for the heat. In the world's first near-term global warming forecast, British climate scientists say the planet's temperature will plateau for two years and then rise sharply through 2014.

Using powerful computer models, scientists at the British meteorological service's Hadley Center predict that at least half of the years after 2009 will exceed temperatures during 1998, the warmest year currently on record.

Wildfires will increase as the planet heats up. Here, firefighters battle a blaze in California. 2007. (Photo credit unknown)
The year 2014 is likely to be 0.3°Celsius (.5°Fahrenheit) warmer than 2004, the Met Office scientists predict.

This forecast means that while it has taken a century for the global temperature to rise 0.8°C (1.44°F) it will take only 10 years for the planet to heat up half again as much.

Published in the journal "Science," today, the forecast indicates that a natural cooling trend in the eastern and southern Pacific Ocean has kept global warming in check, but that trend is about to end.

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Friday, August 3, 2007

Developing World Seeks Funds And Technology To Tackle Climate Change

by Gerard AziakouLink
United Nations (AFP) Aug 01, 2007
Rich nations were challenged Wednesday to make deeper cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions and to provide the developing world with funding and technology to help it tackle climate change. Developed countries "have a specific responsibility" to carry out deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emission "in accordance with the commitments made under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol," Pakistani Environment Minister Mukhdoom Faisal Hayat told the General Assembly on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
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