- Catastrophic Climate Change
- Climate Disruption or Catastrophic Climate Change
- Historical Evidence of Climate Change
- Polar Ice Caps
- Global Warming - In Pictures (BBC News)
Provides "While the effect of human activity on the global climate is hotly debated, physical signs of environmental change are all around us." 7-05
- -03-28-09 Vital Signs of a Warming World (MSNBC News)
Provides visual evidence of climate change. 03-09
- The Keeling Curve (SoilCarbonCoalition.org)
Displays the level of monthly average carbon dioxide concentration at Mauna Lao Observatory in Hawaii from 1960 to 2006. The parts per million changed from 315 to 385. 01-09
- Years of Living Dangerously (Showtime)
"The biggest story of our time." Provides a TV show. 04-14
- -011-02-09 Snows of Kilimanjaro Melting Fast (Time.com)
"For the first time in almost 12,000 years, based on ice-core analysis, Africa's highest peak probably will be ice-free as early as 2022 or as late as 2033, says glaciologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University, who led the study." 11-09
- -02-19-10 Study: Soil Emissions Greater Than Previously Thought (Google.com)
"Finnish researchers called for a revision of climate change estimates Monday after their findings showed emissions from soil would contribute more to climate warming than previously thought."
"This showed 'carbon dioxide emissions from the soil will be up to 50 percent higher than those suggested by the present mainstream method,' if the mean global temperature rose by the previously forecasted five degrees Celsius before the end of the century, and if the carbon flow to soil did not increase." 02-10
- -07-25-12 NASA Satellites Spot Sudden Melting Across Greenland (EIN News)
"Scientists say there has been a freak event in Greenland this month: Nearly every part of the massive ice sheet that blankets the island suddenly started melting."
" 'Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time,' says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data. 'But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome.' " 07-12
- -08-22-09 Can the Energy Secretary Get Americans to Care? (Time.com)
" 'In the U.S., rock stars and sports stars are the glamour people. In China, it's scholars,' Chu told me during his trip to Beijing. 'Here, Nobel laureates are the equivalent of Britney Spears."
"That's one reason Chu's message doesn't resonate all that well with Americans. They ranked global warming last in a national survey of 20 top priorities; in a global poll, only 44% of them wanted action to be taken on the issue, vs. 94% of Chinese." 08-09
- -09-16-09 Doctors Urge Action to Avoid Catastrophic Health Consequences (Time.com)
"A weak response to climate change could be catastrophic for international health, leading doctors said in two British medical journals Wednesday."
"In a letter jointly published in The Lancet and BMJ, presidents from 18 medical organizations worldwide called on doctors to pressure politicians meeting in Copenhagen in December to take decisive action on global warming."
"In an accompanying editorial, Lord Michael Jay of the medical charity Merlin and Michael Marmot of University College London wrote that 'a successful outcome at Copenhagen is vital for our future as a species and for our civilization.' " 09-09
- -11-16-09 A Jellyfish Explosion from Warming Oceans (CBS News)
"Hearing fishermen's pleas, Uye, who had been studying zooplankton, became obsessed with the little-studied Nomura's jellyfish, scientifically known as Nemopilema nomurai, which at its biggest looks like a giant mushroom trailing dozens of noodle-like tentacles."
"He concluded China's coastal waters offered a perfect breeding ground: Agricultural and sewage runoff are spurring plankton growth, and fish catches are declining. The waters of the Yellow Sea, meanwhile, have warmed as much as 1.7 degrees C (3 degrees F) over the past quarter-century."
"Scientists believe climate change - the warming of oceans - has allowed some of the almost 2,000 jellyfish species to expand their ranges, appear earlier in the year and increase overall numbers, much as warming has helped ticks, bark beetles and other pests to spread to new latitudes."
"The gelatinous seaborne creatures are blamed for decimating fishing industries in the Bering and Black Seas, forcing the shutdown of seaside power and desalination plants in Japan, the Middle East and Africa, and terrorizing beachgoers worldwide, the U.S. National Science Foundation says. " 11-09
- Climate Change Will Hit the Poor the Hardest (PBS News)
"The negotiations were long, stretching late into the night. This morning, scientists outlined a grim picture at a news conference." 04-07
- Study: Birds Are Declining (Christian Science Monitor)
"New data show the populations of some of America's well-known birds in a tailspin, thanks to the one-two punch of habitat fragmentation and, increasingly, global warming." 06-07
- -001 National Climate Assessment Released (Time.com)
"The White House pulled out all the stops for today’s rollout of the new National Climate Assessment (NCA), including making President Obama available to talk to local and national weatherpeople about global warming. The report itself—download the whole 839 page paper here—is an incredibly impressive piece of work, detailing the current impacts and projected effects of global warming in the U.S. across a range of geographic regions and economic sectors."
"If the U.S. were as good at stopping climate change as we are at studying it, we’d have nothing to fear." 05-14
- -01 Cameras Reveal Methane and Other Gases (EarthWorksAction.org)
"Communities living near oil and gas operations often are exposed to air pollution that can cause serious health problems. However, the energy industry claims there is no proof, and, as a result, the impacts are often discounted as 'anecdotal.' The Citizens Empowerment Project aims to outfit citizens with the tools they need to document the pollution that is occurring in their communities."
"The FLIR camera provides visual evidence of gases leaking during oil and gas activities or being purposefully vented or released into the air as part of an operation. The camera we use is designed to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs)."
"This technology, along with our FLIR trained staff armed with 25 years of experience in the field, is helping communities see what’s in the air they breathe at home, in school and around town."
Editor's Note: This technology could, perhaps, provide early warning for coastal communities that are vulnerable to methane releases from deep ocean warming. 12-15
- -01 Climate Change's Exponential Increase (New York Times)
"More than a 2-degree increase should be unimaginable. Yet to stop at 2 degrees, global emissions have to peak in 2016. The Carbon Tracker organization has examined fossil-fuel investments around the world (including 1,200 new coal plants) and determined that they would lead to a 6-degree world. A recent World Bank report indicates the bank cannot fulfill its development mission in a 4-degree world. Given what we know about planetary biology, 2 degrees seems nightmarish as it is."
"So what to do? The first thing is to recognize both the climate and biodiversity agenda as deadly important, of utmost urgency and fundamental to the future of humanity. The second is to find ways to keep temperature increase below 1.5 degrees." 03-14
- -01 Climate Disruption Dispatches (Truth-out.org)
"In December 2010, the UN Environment Program predicted up to a 5 degrees Celsius increase by 2050. This is a shocking piece of information, because a 3.5 degrees Celsius increase would render the planet uninhabitable for humans due to collapsing the food chain at the level of oceanic plankton and triggering temperature extremes that would severely limit terrestrial vegetation, and hence, our ability to feed ourselves. And even higher temperature increases have been predicted." 03-14
- -Climate Change Adaptation (DesmogBlog.com)
"A new series looking at the likely impacts of climate change could help companies, politicians, financial planners, entrepreneurs, defence analysts and leaders of various industrial sectors learn how to adapt to the increasing pressures of global warming."
Editor's Note: The author does not deal with the largest source of CO2, decaying vegetation. He also does not discuss sequestation of carbon by pyrolyzing decaying vegetation. Although published in September of 2014, it is not very up to date. 09-14
- -Climate Change Is Real (CNN News)
"From the perspective of expected damages, two trends highlight causes for concern. First, economic losses from weather-related disasters have increased over the last several decades. This is mostly because of increases in the value of the assets in harm's way. Second, sea level is rising. Globally, sea level is now about 6 inches higher than in 1900."
"Climate change is occurring now. We see its consequences in hotter temperatures, higher sea levels and shifted storm tracks. In many parts of the world, we are also seeing an increase in the fraction of rainfall that comes in the heaviest events. When it rains, increasingly it pours."
"Climate change over the next couple of decades is already largely baked into the system, but changes beyond that are mostly in our hands. As we learn more about the links between climate change and extreme events, it will benefit all of us to think hard about the opportunities and challenges of getting a handle on climate change, so we control it and not vice versa." 11-12
- -Climate Change: What We Can Do (Evaluation and Development Institute)
"Earth's climate became very stable 10,000 years ago, allowing for agriculture for the first time. Our stable climate arose from a balance of three ingredients:
-Ocean currents and
Greenhouse gases provided a stable temperature to allow ocean currents to mix heat and cold around the globe and to maintain a relatively constant amount of polar ice.
We now have 1/3 more CO2 in the air than we had only 150 years ago--and CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The extra carbon keeps more heat in the air. The extra heat is absorbed by polar ice, soil, and the oceans. The ice over the Arctic Ocean is expected to be gone during summers within 5-10 years. Instead of ice over the Arctic Ocean reflecting heat, the Arctic Ocean will absorb heat. This will slow the ocean currents even more--they already are slowing because of the change in climate.
When the ocean currents stop and the Arctic ice melts, we will have a climate catastrophe that can be expected to last thousands of years. Permafrost in Russia and other regions will melt, releasing gigantic amounts of carbon and methane stored in the soil. The release will trigger even more extreme climate."
"Only one cost-effective solution has been found for quickly reducing the carbon in the air:"
"Each year we must convert enough biomass (organic waste) into biochar (charcoal) to extract at least 7 gigatons of carbon from the air and place it in our soils." 08-09
- -Editorial: Polar Ice Caps Threatened (Awesome Library)
"Our greatest challenge today is to move the fresh, melting water in our polar caps and Greenland to safe land basins and water tables." 06-06
- -Farewell to the Arctic -- As We Know It (Time.com)
"While the world as a whole warmed by about 1°F (.55°C) over the entire 20th century, parts of the Arctic have warmed by 4° to 5°F (2.2° to 2.7°C) just since 1950. The physical changes from global warming are visible in the Arctic almost in real time — and they are a warning for those of us who live in more comfortable latitudes. As the polar expert Walt Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has put it: "What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic."
"That's bad news, since not only is the warming threat in the Arctic bad, it's almost certainly intensifying." 07-12
- -Global Warming and Loss of Natural Wonders (CNN News)
"You've heard the grim timelines: if warming continues, the Great Barrier Reef will be bleached by 2030; glaciers in the Swiss Alps, on Mt. Kilimanjaro, and in Glacier National Park will disappear in under 40 years; and Arctic ice melt will leave the North Pole bare and polar bears extinct.” 05-11
- -How Climate Change Has Disrupted the Polar Vortex (New Zealand Herald)
"When the variable nature of global warming became apparent, scientists started calling it climate change. Now they are starting to call it 'climate weirding', which is an alarming step indeed."
"The ice and snow storms currently affecting half of the US are attributed to the polar vortex, a prevailing wind pattern that circles the Arctic, flowing from west to east all the way around the Earth. It normally keeps extremely cold air bottled up toward the North Pole." 03-14
- -Huge Lake Found Under Greenland (Time.com)
"The volume of the aquifer—which is fed by meltwater that flows through the Greenland ice sheet—is immense, an estimated 154 billion tons of water. That would be enough by itself to raise global sea levels by 0.016 in (.04 cm) were the entire underground lake to flow into the oceans. That may not sound like a whole lot—the seas already rise by more than that amount each year, thanks to melting ice sheets and thermal expansion of warming seawater—but the discovery of the aquifer should help scientists better understand how melt water moves through the Greenland ice sheet."
"That’s important because as the climate has warmed, the pace of ice loss in Greenland has accelerated, from 121 billion tons a year from 1993 to 2005 to 229 billion tons a year between 2005 and 2010. Better understanding of the physics governing the way the ice sheet, snow and meltwater interact could help scientists predict how Greenland will respond to warming in the future. And that matters because—never mind the fraction of an inch of sea level rise the newly discovered lake could cause—there’s enough frozen water locked in Greenland’s ice sheet to raise global sea levels by more than 20 ft. (6 m) were it all to melt. Scientists may like surprises when they’re discovering an underground lake, but when it comes to the threat of climate change, a little certainty would be preferable." 01-14
- -New Hope for the Climate (Al Gore, Rolling Stone)
"In the struggle to solve the climate crisis, a powerful, largely unnoticed shift is taking place. The forward journey for human civilization will be difficult and dangerous, but it is now clear that we will ultimately prevail. The only question is how quickly we can accelerate and complete the transition to a low-carbon civilization. There will be many times in the decades ahead when we will have to take care to guard against despair, lest it become another form of denial, paralyzing action. It is true that we have waited too long to avoid some serious damage to the planetary ecosystem – some of it, unfortunately, irreversible. Yet the truly catastrophic damages that have the potential for ending civilization as we know it can still – almost certainly – be avoided. Moreover, the pace of the changes already set in motion can still be moderated significantly." 06-14
- -Oceans Likely Warming Fastest in 10,000 Years (Science.Time.com)
"Greenhouse gas emissions have been rising, but warming has plateaued in recent years. It turns out the heat is likely being absorbed by the ocean depths."
"The Science study isn’t the first to peg the oceans as a possible reservoir for the missing heat. An August study in Nature found that a cooler Pacific ocean seemed to be offsetting global warming, and other studies have indicated that the oceans began taking on significant heat around the same time that surface warming began to slow down in 1998. That shouldn’t be surprising—the vast oceans carry 93% of the stored energy from climate change, compared to just 1% for the atmosphere, with melting ice and landmasses making up the rest." 11-13
- -Relationship Between Extreme Storms and Climate Change Revised (Time. com)
"The truth is that scientists aren’t really sure why there hasn’t been a hurricane yet this season, nor do they know why an intense hurricane — Category 3, 4, 5 — hasn’t made landfall in the U.S. since Wilma all the way back in 2005. (Sandy, for all the damage it did, was barely a Category 1 storm by the time it made landfall along the East Coast.) And as Andrew Revkin reported in the New York Times, leaked drafts of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seem to reflect a reduced scientific certainty that global warming will make storms stronger and more frequent. In the 2007 report, the IPCC said that it was more likely than not — a greater than 50% certainty in the panel’s terminology — that human activity was contributing to an observed intensification of hurricane activity in some parts of the world. Now the IPCC — or at least the draft — says it has “low confidence” of that relationship, which means it believes that there is only a 2-out-of-10 chance of being correct. The estimated probability that the 21st century will see more intense hurricane activity has fallen as well." 09-13
- -Report: Global Warming May Be Twice as Bad as Expected (USA Today)
"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."
"The projections in the MIT study were done using 400 applications of a computer model, which MIT says is the most comprehensive and sophisticated climate model to date."
Editor's Note: See catastrophic climate change. 05-09
- -San Francisco to Sue Oil Companies for Sea Rise (MotherJones.com)
"Sea level rise could lead to catastrophic flooding, and the city blames ExxonMobile and BP." 10-17
- -Scientist Predicts 2036 May Be Point of No Return for Disaster (MSNBC News)
" 'If the world keeps burning fossil fuels at the current rate, it will cross a threshold into environmental ruin by 2036,' Mann wrote in Scientific American earlier this week." 03-14
- -Scientist: Hot Summers Are Caused By Climate Change (Time.com)
"Hansen and his team looked at the recent past — rather than trying to model the future — to see if they could find the signature of man-made climate change through day-to-day and season-to-season weather. They used the period of 1951–80 as a base because it was a meteorologically stable stretch that also had a wealth of global weather data, unlike earlier periods. During that time period, extremely hot summers — like the one much of the U.S. is experiencing now — occurred only in 0.1% to 0.2% of the globe in a given year. But since 1981, extremely hot summers have baked about 10% of the earth’s land area annually — and in recent years, that percentage has been even higher."
"That means the odds of experiencing an extreme summer have risen from 1 in 300 during the 1951–80 period to nearly 1 in 10 now, according to Hansen’s calculations. “I don’t want people to be confused by natural variability,” he said in a statement. “We now know the chances these extreme weather events would have happened naturally — without climate change — is negligible." 08-12
- -Scientists Mourn Where We Are Headed (Truth-out.org)
"In fact, Joanna Macy believes it is not in the self-perceived interest of multinational corporations, or the government and the media that serve them 'for us to stop and become aware of our profound anguish with the way things are.' "
"Nevertheless, these disturbing trends of widespread denial, disinformation by the corporate media, and the worsening impacts of runaway ACD [anthropogenic climate disruption], which are all increasing, are something she is very mindful of. As she wrote in World as Lover, World as Self, 'The loss of certainty that there will be a future is, I believe, the pivotal psychological reality of our time.' "
"We don't know how long we have left on earth. Five years? 15 years? 30? Beyond the year 2100? But when we allow our hearts to be shattered - broken completely open - by these stark, cold realities, we allow our perspectives to be opened up to vistas we've never known. When we allow ourselves to fully experience the crisis in this way, we are then able to truly see it through new eyes." 01-15
- -Sea Rise Predictions Double (Truth-Out.org)
"In a consistent trend, future projections of an increase in the overall global temperature, as well increases in sea level rise, continue to outpace previous worst-case scenarios."
"This is due to a simple equation: There is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere and heat absorbed into the planet's oceans that even if we stopped emitting carbon completely right now, the planet would continue to experience and display dramatic impacts from anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for thousands of years."
"The second part of that equation is this: There is simply nothing to indicate that national governments around the world are willing to take the immediate, radical steps that would be necessary to begin to seriously mitigate these impacts." 01-18
- -Simulation Results: Temperature Rise Caused a Mass Extinction (BBC News)
"A computer simulation of the Earth's climate 250 million years ago suggests that global warming triggered the so-called 'great dying'."
"A dramatic rise in carbon dioxide caused temperatures to soar to 10 to 30 degrees Celsius higher than today, say US researchers."
"Some 95% of lifeforms in the oceans became extinct, along with about three-quarters of land species." 8-05
- -Study: Climate Trajectory Could Result in Some Lethal Days (Huffington Post)
" 'As temperatures rise, toward the end of the century, less than an hour of activity outdoors in the shade could cause a moderately fit individual to suffer heat stroke,' said climatologist Robert Kopp of Rutgers University, lead scientific author of the report. 'That's something that doesn't exist anywhere in the world today.' "
"If climate change continues on its current trajectory, the report concluded, Midwesterners could see deadly heat-and-humidity pairings (which meteorologists call 'wet-bulb temperature') two days every year by later this century."
During such days, "It will be functionally impossible to be outside, including for things like construction work and farming, as well as recreation," said climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University." 06-14
- -The Methane Time Bomb (University of California TV)
Discusses the danger of runaway temperatures because of runaway emissions of methane buried in the oceans and tundra triggered by global warming. 02-14
- -The New Math on Catastrophic Climate Change (BillMoyers.com)
"We’ve raised the earth’s temperature about one degree since the late 19th century, and that’s capable of causing the sort of short-term chaos we’re seeing around us now, as well as longer term effects: a third of the summer sea ice in the arctic is gone, the ocean is 30 percent more acidic and the atmosphere over the oceans is five percent wetter than usual. That’s what it looks like when you raise the temperature one degree. If we don’t get our act together very quickly, as I explain the Rolling Stone piece, it’s going to be two degrees, and really we’re on a trajectory right now that will take us to more like six degrees."
"The first number is two degrees Celsius (about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) — that’s the temperature increase that scientists and politicians have agreed represents the absolute furthest you’d ever want to go. The scientists have been saying that it’s too high, that we should really be stopping right where we are now. But governments are unwilling to do what that would require, so they’ve agreed in international conferences that two degrees will be the target for the planet. It’s the only thing that the world’s governments have agreed on about climate change."
"The second number is 565 gigatons — that’s about how much carbon dioxide we can put in the atmosphere by midcentury and have any realistic hope of staying below two degrees. We release about 30 gigatons a year."
"The third number — and the newest one in these calculations — is from a group of accountants and environmentalists in the UK who tried to find out how much carbon the world’s fossil fuel companies (and the countries that operate like fossil fuel companies) have in their reserves. That number is about 2,800 gigatons of carbon, or about five times the 565 gigatons we can put into the atmosphere and stay below two degrees."
"There’s a timeline between when you emit the carbon and how quickly the temperature goes up. Of course, if we were going to avert that, we’d need to take incredibly dramatic action right now. If we wait 14 years then it will be much too late." 11-12
- -U.N. Report Warns of Climate Change (Time.com)
"A new report on climate change warns the impact of rising temperatures on crop yields, water supplies and sea levels may push our planet over the edge." 03-14
- -Undersea Methane May Speed Climate Change (USA Today)
"It lurks beneath the sea."
"No, not The Blob, but something perhaps far more sinister: methane, a potent greenhouse gas 30 times better than carbon dioxide at trapping atmospheric heat."
"Research released Thursday finds that underground methane appears to be seeping through the Arctic Ocean floor and into the Earth's atmosphere, thanks to a weakening of the protective layer of permafrost at the bottom of the ocean. Once released into the atmosphere, methane could wreak havoc with the world's climate.” 03-10
- -We Could Be Hitting the Limit of Oceans to Absorb CO2 (Eurekalert.org)
"The smallest of the small seem to be among the winners in the ocean of the future. In a five-week long experiment, an international team of scientists showed that particularly tiny plankton, so-called pico- and nanophytoplankton, grows more strongly under elevated carbon dioxide levels and produces more organic carbon."
"In a system dominated by pico- and nanophytoplankton, less carbon is transported to the deep ocean. 'This may cause the oceans to absorb less CO2 in the future', concludes the GEOMAR biogeochemist. And one more climate-related function may be weakened: the production of dimethyl sulfide (DMS). This gas supports cloud formation over the oceans. Less DMS therefore means that more sunlight reaches the Earth's surface, contributing to the greenhouse effect. 'These important services of the ocean may thus be significantly affected by acidification.' "
- -We Could Be Hitting the Limit of Oceans to Absorb CO2 (Time.com)
"Like the vast forests of the world, which continually suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen, the planet's oceans serve as vital carbon sinks. Last year the oceans absorbed as much as 2.3 billion tons of carbon, or about one-fourth of all manmade carbon emissions. Without the action of the oceans, the CO2 we emit into the atmosphere would have flame-broiled the planet by now."
"But a new paper published in the Nov. 19 issue of Nature demonstrates that the oceans' ability to absorb man-made carbon may be dwindling — and that has worrying ramifications for future climate change. While the ocean is now absorbing more carbon in total than ever before, the waters are sucking up a smaller percentage of the CO2 emitted by humans. That could mean that there's a physical limit to the oceans' capacity — and we could be hitting it." 11-09
- -What We Know about the Impacts of Climate Change (American Association for the Advancement of Science)
"As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do or must believe about the rising threat of climate change. But we consider it to be our responsibility as professionals to ensure, to the best of our ability, that people understand what we know: human-caused climate change is happening, we face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes, and responding now will lower the risk and cost of taking action." 03-14
- Animated Pictures of Ice Flow in Antarctica (GreenhouseNeutralFoundation.org)
Uses colors to show the flow of ice. Pictures were collected and compiled from satellite images. 02-12
- Australia's Losses from Global Warming (ABC News)
"Could what's happening in Australia be the 'canary in the coal mine' for the rest of the world?"
"Yes, in more ways than one. We've got about 95, maybe 98 percent of our population living along the coastline. [With the ice sheets at the poles and Greenland melting] the sea levels will be 100 meters (330 feet) higher than they are today. Forget Venice. I mean we're talking about sharks in the middle of (downtown) Sydney." 02-07
- Big Climate Change Could Be Soon (TG Daily.com)
"New research from NASA into the Earth's paleoclimate history indicates we could be facing rapid climate change this century, including sea level rises of many meters."
According to Goddard Institute for Space Studies director James E Hansen, 'The paleoclimate record reveals a more sensitive climate than thought, even as of a few years ago. Limiting human-caused warming to two degrees is not sufficient,' he says. 'It would be a prescription for disaster.' " 12-11
- Climate Change (UMAC)
Provides a summary of climate and temperature changes in modern times. 3-01
- Climate Change (Wikipedia.org)
Provides dozens of articles on global warming and climate change. 10-04
- Climate Report: Massive Extinctions Expected (MSNBC News)
"A key element of the second major report on climate change being released Friday in Belgium is a chart that maps out the effects of global warming with every degree of temperature rise, most of them bad."
"There’s one bright spot: A minimal heat rise means more food production in northern regions of the world."
"However, the number of species going extinct rises with the heat, as does the number of people who may starve, or face water shortages, or floods, according to the projections in the draft report obtained by The Associated Press."
"The final document will be the product of a United Nations network of 2,000 scientists as authors and reviewers, along with representatives of more than 120 governments as last-minute editors. It will be the second of a four-volume authoritative assessment of Earth’s climate released this year. The last such effort was in 2001." 03-07
- Climbers Witnessing Global Warming (Time Magazine)
"Mountaineers are bringing back firsthand accounts of vanishing glaciers, melting ice routes, crumbling rock formations and flood-prone lakes where glaciers once rose." 04-07
- Consequences of (Truth-Out.org)
"In early May, the White House released the National Climate Assessment, which stated unequivocally that ACD is a clear and present danger, and has moved from a distant threat to a present-day reality, and that no US citizen will remain unscathed. The report, a culmination of five years of work, provides a comprehensive review of both observed and projected impacts of ACD. Key images and graphs can be viewed here." 03-15
- Consequences of Climate Change (NASA.gov)
"For example, at the end of the last ice age, when the Northeast United States was covered by more than 3,000 feet of ice, average temperatures were only 5 to 9 degrees cooler than today." 02-13
- Consequences of Climate Disruption (MSNBC News)
Provides a short list of consequences. 04-14
- Consequences of Global Warming (U.S. News)
Provides a graphic of types of consequences of global warming by location. 07-08
- Coral Reefs Endangered by Global Warming (International Herald Tribune - Richardson)
Discusses the reasons coral reefs are in danger from human activities, including global warming resulting from human activities. Discusses the many values of the reefs, such as protecting over 500 million people from sea surges and storms along coasts. "Fish caught around coral reefs are an important source of food for hundreds of millions of people, especially in the developing world, many of whom have no other source of animal protein." "Reefs are also home to an extraordinary variety of marine plants and animals, including a quarter of all marine fish species" 5-02
- Earth Climate History Through Ice Caps (PBS.org)
Provides graphs and explanations of climate changes, as well as greenhouse gases, radioactivity, and other measures. Shows that climate over the past ten thousand years has been very stable compared to the time before. Uses ice cores from Antarctica to determine past climate. 3-01
- Editorial: Let's Chill About Global Warming (Time.com)
"Danish statistician, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001) and one of the TIME 100 Scientists & Thinkers of 2004, Bjorn Lomborg, 42, sat down with TIME's Laura Blue in London to discuss carbon cuts, his many critics, and his new book, Cool It: the Skeptical Environmentalist's guide to Global Warming, published in the U.S. in September 2007." 05-09
- Europe to Lose Plants to Global Warming (U.S. Politics)
"More than half of Europe's plant species will be at threat or classified as vulnerable by 2080 as a consequence of global warming, a study published on Monday said."
The big losers will be the northern Mediterranean rim, southern Portugal and southwestern Spain and mountain regions, where vegetation will be badly hit by hotter weather and water stress, it warned." 5-05
- Evidence of Accelerated Climate Disruption (Truth-out.org)
"This month's dispatch comes on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) recent report, and the news is not good."
" 'No one on this planet will be untouched by climate change,' IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri announced. The report warned that climate impacts are already 'severe, pervasive, and irreversible.' "
"The IPCC report was one of many released in recent weeks, and all of them bring dire predictions of what is coming. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) issued a report warning that "the rate of climate change now may be as fast as any extended warming period over the past 65 million years, and it is projected to accelerate in the coming decades' "
"The report went on to warn of the risk 'of abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes in the Earth's climate system with massively disruptive impacts' including the possible 'large scale collapse of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, collapse of part of the Gulf Stream, loss of the Amazon rain forest, die-off of coral reefs, and mass extinctions.' " 04-14
- Exactly How Hot Is Too Hot? (New York Times)
"That raised the question of how much warming would be dangerous. In the mid-1990s, the German government picked up on the 2C finding as a way to breathe life into the treaty."
"A decade of subsequent research added scientific support to the notion that 2C was a dangerous threshold. Experts realized, for example, that at some increase in global temperature, the immense Greenland ice sheet would begin an unstoppable melt, raising the sea by as much as 23 feet over an unknown period. Their early calculations suggested that calamity would be unlikely as long as global warming did not exceed about 1.9 degrees Celsius."
"Those ice sheets now appear to be in the early stages of breaking up. For instance, Greenland’s glaciers have lately been spitting icebergs into the sea at an accelerated pace, and scientific papers published this year warned that the melting in parts of Antarctica may already be unstoppable."
" 'The climate is now out of equilibrium with the ice sheets,' said Andrea Dutton, a geochemist at the University of Florida who studies global sea levels. 'They are going to melt.' ” 01-15
- Five Alleged Positive Effects of Global Warming (EnvironmentalGraffiti.com)
"Climate change is a serious issue with potentially disastrous consequences for the entire human race. Before anyone gets all bent out of shape, I’ll mention that EG is still recycling, saving energy, and riding the bus to work. This isn’t an attempt to promote an environmentally unfriendly lifestyle, just a tongue in cheek attempt to escape climate change’s doom and gloom for a few minutes and indulge in a look at the hopeful and misguided side of global warming." 01-09
- Five Deadliest Effects of Global Warming (EnvironmentalGraffiti.com)
"Green house gases stay can stay in the atmosphere for an amount of years ranging from decades to hundreds and thousands of years. No matter what we do, global warming is going to have some effect on Earth. Here are the 5 deadliest effects of global warming." 01-09
- Four Disturbing Climate Facts (Union of Concerned Scientists)
One of the four disturbing facts is this: "Over nine tenths of the excess heat from global warming is going into the ocean: The increase in the amount of heat stored in the ocean over the last 30 years is enormous – it is equivalent to the amount of energy from a bomb the size of the one dropped on Hiroshima being released every second for thirty years. A warmer ocean expands and results in sea level rise. This heat will eventually be released from storage over decades and centuries to further warm the atmosphere." 04-14
- Gauging Climate Change (Time.com)
"There are many units by which to measure the impact of climate change: degrees of increasing temperature, feet of rising sea level, dollars needed to adapt to a warming world. But a group of scientists in California have put forth an intriguing new unit of measurement: kilometers per year." 12-08
- Giant, Mucus-Like Blobs Form in the Oceans (NationalGeographic.com)
"As sea temperatures have risen in recent decades, enormous sheets of a mucus-like material have begun forming more often, oozing into new regions, and lasting longer, a new Mediterranean Sea study says...." 10-09
- Glaciers Are "A Canary in the Coal Mine" (CNN News)
"A 50-year government study found that the world's glaciers are melting at a rapid and alarming rate. The ongoing study is the latest in a series of reports that found glaciers worldwide are melting faster than anyone had predicted they would just a few years ago. It offers a clear indication of an accelerating climate change and warming earth, according to the authors." 08-09
- Glaciers Melting Faster Than Thought (PBS.org)
"Seventy-five percent of the world's fresh water is stored in glaciers, but scientists predict climate change will cause some of the world's largest glaciers to completely melt by 2030. What effect will this have on our daily lives? With global warming falling low on a national list of American concerns, it's time to take a deeper look at what could be a global calamity in the making." 07-09
- Global Warming - Areas of Research (U.S. Global Change Research Group)
Provides areas of study for global change by leading U.S. scientists from government agencies. 6-01
- Global Warming - Consequences (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Summarizes some of the main effects of climate change due to global warming. 6-01
- Global Warming - Early Warning Signs Map (ClimateHotMap.org)
Provides a world map, marking early warning signs of global warming. 6-01
- Global Warming Affecting Species (Scientific American - Graham)
"Says [Terry] Root: 'Clearly, if such ecological changes are now being detected when the globe has warmed by an estimated average of only one degree Fahrenheit over the past 100 years, then many more far-reaching effect on species and ecosystems will probably occur by 2100, when temperatures could increase as much as 11 degrees Fahrenheit.' " 1-03
- Global Warming More Than Most Scientists Expected (NationalGeographic.com)
"The temperature rise has put feathered, furry, and scaly animals alike in a state of flux. Some are seeking higher ground, others are breeding earlier, and many can't find enough to eat."
"But these changes—like the warming itself—are already happening more quickly than most researchers expected."
"In the North Sea, for example, such changes have kinked the entire food chain, according to Euan Dunn, head of marine policy for the U.K.'s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds." 8-05
- Global Warming Twice As Bad As Formerly Believed (BBC News)
Summarizes a report by scientists that the earth is warming by twice as much as the amount expected in 1996. 7-01
- Global Warming and the Threat to Food (U.S. News)
"Historically, the damage to food supplies by bad weather has been regarded as fleeting: catastrophic in the short term but ultimately remitting. Droughts ease, floodwaters recede, and farmers replant their crops. But as a new government report indicates, such views are increasingly narrow and outdated, in that they fail to acknowledge the creeping reach of global climate change." 07-08
- Graphic Depiction of Effects of Global Warming (Time Magazine)
"The latest study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released this month predicts that most regions of the world will witness a variety of negative effects of global warming including increased human mortality, shifts in crops and agriculture production, and further degradation of local ecosystems. Click below to see predicted climate change impacts on the environment and the people living there." 04-07
- Houston Endangered by Global Warming (International Herald Tribune - Knowlton)
Discusses the sinking of the land in Houston and the rising ocean levels. 5-02
- Huge Iceberg Breaks Off (CBS News)
"The new iceberg is 48 miles long and about 24 miles wide and holds roughly the equivalent of a fifth of the world's annual total water usage, Young told The Associated Press."
"Experts are concerned about the effect of the massive displacement of ice on the ice-free water next to the glacier, which is important for ocean currents."
"This area of water had been kept clear because of the glacier, said Steve Rintoul, a leading climate expert. With part of the glacier gone, the area could fill with sea ice, which would disrupt the ability for the dense and cold water to sink."
"This sinking water is what spills into ocean basins and feeds the global ocean currents with oxygen, Rintoul explained." 02-10
- Ice Core Extends Climate Record 650,000 Years (Scientific American)
"Researchers have recovered a nearly two-mile-long cylinder of ice from eastern Antarctica that contains a record of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane--two potent and ubiquitous greenhouse gases--spanning the last two glacial periods. Analysis of this core shows that current atmospheric concentrations of CO2--380 parts per million (ppm)--are 27 percent higher than the highest levels found in the last 650,000 years." 12-05
- Is Miami Doomed? (Weather.com)
"With a population of more than 5.5 million living at an elevation of just 6 feet above sea level, Miami will be one of the nation's first major metropolitan areas to feel the impacts of climate change." 06-13
- Melting Glaciers May Make Billions Thirsty (CNN News)
"The world's glaciers could melt within a century if global warming accelerates, leaving billions of people short of water and some islanders without a home, environmentalists said."
" 'Unless governments take urgent action to prevent global warming, billions of people worldwide may face severe water shortages as a result of the alarming melting rate of glaciers,' the WWF group said in a report Thursday."
"It said human impact on the climate was melting glaciers from the Andes to the Himalayas, bringing longer-term threats of higher sea levels that could swamp island states." 11-03
- Melting Mountains Worldwide (MSNBC News)
Provides charts. 4-05
- Methane Hydrates Catastrophe (Truth-Out.org)
"A study published in the prestigious journal Nature in July 2013 confirmed what Shakhova had been warning us about for years: A 50-gigaton 'burp' of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian sea is highly possible."
"Such a 'burp' would be the equivalent of at least 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide. (For perspective, humans have released approximately 1,475 gigatons in total carbon dioxide since the year 1850.)"
"Scientists have been warning us for a number of years about the dire consequences of methane hydrates in the Arctic, and how the methane being released poses a potentially disastrous threat to the planet." 03-17
- Methane Release from Arctic Ice Melting (Arctic Methane Emergency Group)
"The Arctic summer sea ice is in a rapid, extremely dangerous meltdown process. The Arctic summer ice albedo loss feedback (i.e., open sea absorbs more heat than ice, which reflects much of it) passed its tipping point in 2007 – many decades earlier than models projected, and scientists now agree the Arctic will be ice free during the summer by 2030. However, that is not to say it couldn't happen very much earlier. "
"The retreat of sea ice appears to be leading to the most catastrophic feedback process of all. This is the venting of methane to the atmosphere from frozen methane gas hydrates on the sea floor of the Arctic continental shelf."
"If methane release from Arctic sea floor hydrates happens on a large scale — and this year's reports suggest that it will — then this situation can start an uncontrollable sequence of events that would make world agriculture and civilization unsustainable. It is a responsible alarm, not alarmist, to say that it is a real threat to the survival of humanity and most life on Earth." 01-15
- Methane in Oceans an Emerging Threat (Truth-Out.org)
"The Permian mass extinction that occurred 250 million years ago was related to methane - in fact, the gas is thought to be the key to what caused the extinction of approximately 95 percent of all species on the planet."
"Also known as 'The Great Dying,' it was triggered by a massive lava flow in an area of Siberia that led to an increase in global temperatures of 6 degrees Celsius. That, in turn, caused the melting of frozen methane deposits under the seas. Released into the atmosphere, it caused temperatures to skyrocket further. All of this occurred over a period of approximately 80,000 years."
"We are already in the midst of what scientists consider the sixth mass extinction in planetary history, with between 150 and 200 species going extinct daily, a pace 1,000 times greater than the 'natural' or 'background' extinction rate. This event may already be comparable to, or even exceed, both the speed and intensity of the Permian mass extinction." 01-15
- Ocean Currents Already Changing (New Scientist)
"A paper in this week's issue of Nature reveals that the Gulf Stream current system--a band of water that brings tropical warmth to the North Atlantic, keeping Europe from being as cold as it should be--circulates 30 percent less water than it did in the past." 11-08
- Ocean Currents Already Changing (New Scientist)
"The dramatic finding comes from a study of ocean circulation in the North Atlantic, which found a 30% reduction in the warm currents that carry water north from the Gulf Stream."
"Harry Bryden at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK, whose group carried out the analysis, says he is not yet sure if the change is temporary or signals a long-term trend. 'We don't want to say the circulation will shut down,' he told New Scientist. 'But we are nervous about our findings. They have come as quite a surprise.' " 10-13
- Permafrost Good News--Almost (DiscoverMagazine.com)
"Permafrost—soil that’s below the freezing temperature of water for at least two years—exists at both poles and in other cold regions and contains about 1,400 gigatons of trapped carbon in total. That’s more than there is in the atmosphere now. As global warming melts that permafrost, scientists fear that methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gasses will escape and accelerate massive climate change."
"Specifically, they found that methane spiked when melting began, but that it quickly dropped, apparently thanks to methane-munching soil bacteria that absorbed the potent greenhouse gas.”
"Don’t celebrate yet, though—those bacteria then excrete carbon dioxide, which, though 25 times less harmful as a greenhouse gas than methane, is still not something we’d like more of in the atmosphere." 03-12
- Perth May Be the First Casualty of Global Warming (BBC News)
"The Australian of the year 2007, environmentalist Tim Flannery, once predicted that Perth in Western Australia could become the world's first ghost metropolis, its population forced to abandon the city due to lack of water." 05-07
- Poll: Americans Not Concerned About Climate Change (Grist.org)
"The results of a Gallup survey reveal just how little climate change raises Americans’ anxiety levels. The research firm called 513 Americans last week and asked them how much they worry about 15 problems facing the nation. When it came to climate change, half said 'a little' or 'not at all.' "
"Only a quarter said they worried about climate change “a great deal,” which puts the issue second from the bottom in the list of Americans’ concerns, above only race relations. Even drug use has Americans more worried than climate change."
Editor's Note: Amazing. 03-14
- Report: Conflicts Over Water and Food Could Intensify (Christian Science Monitor)
"For years, the debate over global warming has focused on the three big 'E's': environment, energy, and economic impact. This week it officially entered the realm of national security threats and avoiding wars as well."
"As quoted in the Associated Press, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, who presided over the UN meeting in New York April 17, posed the question 'What makes wars start' The answer:"
" 'Fights over water. Changing patterns of rainfall. Fights over food production, land use. There are few greater potential threats to our economies ... but also to peace and security itself.' " 04-07
- Report: We Are Threatened (BBC News)
"The most comprehensive survey ever into the state of the planet concludes that human activities threaten the Earth's ability to sustain future generations." 7-05
- Research: Amazon Forest Crisis Can Create "Incalculable Consequences" for Earth (The Independent)
"The vast Amazon rainforest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world's climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year."
"Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences, spinning out of control, a process that might end in the world becoming uninhabitable." 07-06
- Scientists: Arctic Ice Loss Triggering Global Warming (BBC News)
" 'September 2005 will set a new record minimum in the amount of Arctic sea ice cover,' said Mark Serreze, of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Boulder, Colorado.' "
"The current rate of shrinkage they calculate at 8% per decade; at this rate there may be no ice at all during the summer of 2060."
" 'These dark areas absorb a lot of the Sun's energy, much more than the ice, and what happens then is that the oceans start to warm up, and it becomes very difficult for ice to form during the following autumn and winter.' "
" 'It looks like this is exactly what we're seeing - a positive feedback effect, a "tipping-point".' "
"The idea behind tipping-points is that at some stage the rate of global warming would accelerate, as rising temperatures break down natural restraints or trigger environmental changes which release further amounts of greenhouse gases."
"The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, a four-year study involving hundreds of scientists, projected an additional temperature rise of 4-7C by 2100." 9-05
- Sea Ice "Recovery" Denied (ClimateCrocks.com)
"The Arctic has lost 75 percent of its summer sea ice volume over the past three decades primarily due to human-caused global warming, but in any given year the weather can act to either preserve more or melt more sea ice." 09-13
- Starfish Killing the Great Coral Reef (CNN News)
“ 'The debate is over. This latest research demonstrates that more decisive action to cut chemical fertilizer is urgently needed to prevent unprecedented and on-going outbreaks of Crown of Thorns starfish, which are in turn converting the Great Barrier Reef into rubble,' WWF-Australia spokesperson Nick Heath said in a statement."
"According to the study, the starfish in its larval stage feeds on plankton, populations of which surge when fertilizer runoff floods the coastal ocean waters with nutrients. So plentiful plankton can lead to swarms of hungry starfish."
"The starfish consume the corals by climbing onto them, thrusting out their stomachs, and bathing the coral in digestive enzymes, which liquefy it for ingestion. Adult crown-of-thorns starfish, ranging in size from 9 to 18 inches in diameter and with up to 21 arms, can eat nearly a square foot of coral each in a day." 10-12
- Surprising Effects of Global Warming (MSNBC News)
"You’ve probably heard about the global warming song and dance: rising temperatures, melting ice caps and rising sea levels in the near future. But Earth’s changing climate is already wreaking havoc in some very weird ways. So gird yourself for such strange effects as savage wildfires, disappearing lakes, and freak allergies." 01-07
- Two Great Lakes at Lowest Recorded Levels (CBS New)
"Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation."
"The low water has caused heavy economic losses by forcing cargo ships to carry lighter loads, leaving boat docks high and dry, and damaging fish-spawning areas. And vegetation has sprung up in newly exposed shoreline bottomlands, a turnoff for hotel customers who prefer sandy beaches."
"The corps' report came as shippers pleaded with Congress for more money to dredge ever-shallower harbors and channels. Shippers are taxed to support a harbor maintenance fund, but only about half of the revenue is spent on dredging. The remainder is diverted to the treasury for other purposes. Legislation to change that policy is pending before Congress." 02-13
- United Nations Climate Change Conference (CBS News)
The United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Copenhagen on December 7 - 18, 2009. 03-09
- Warmest Arctic in 400 Years (ABC News)
"This season has ushered in the warmest Arctic summer in 400 years. A NASA report to be released this week finds the polar ice pack has shrunk by nearly 30 percent since 1978, and new satellite photos show the melting is speeding up." 9-05
- What Happens When the Sea Rises? (NationalGeographic.com)
"In 1985 one captain brought Mol a beautifully preserved human jawbone, complete with worn molars. With his friend, fellow amateur Jan Glimmerveen, Mol had the bone radiocarbon-dated. It turned out to be 9,500 years old, meaning the individual lived during the Mesolithic period, which in northern Europe began at the end of the last ice age some 12,000 years ago and lasted until the advent of farming 6,000 years later. 'We think it comes from a burial,' says Glimmerveen. 'One that has lain undisturbed since that world vanished beneath the waves, about 8,000 years ago.' "
"The story of that vanished land begins with the waning of the ice. Eighteen thousand years ago, the seas around northern Europe were some 400 feet lower than today. Britain was not an island but the uninhabited northwest corner of Europe, and between it and the rest of the continent stretched frozen tundra. As the world warmed and the ice receded, deer, aurochs, and wild boar headed northward and westward. The hunters followed. Coming off the uplands of what is now continental Europe, they found themselves in a vast, low-lying plain."
"Archaeologists call that vanished plain Doggerland, after the North Sea sandbank and occasional shipping hazard Dogger Bank." 12-12
- -Climate Change Quiz (Christian Science Monitor)
"Think you know the odd effects of global climate change? Take our quiz." 05-14