the latest loser – the lesser butterfly orchid

Climate change is likely to produce losers as well as winners in Britain’s native flora – flowers of the mountains and cooler places are expected to decline – but the survey did not pick up as much negative evidence.

More increases that may be consistent with a warming climate have been found in plants that specialise in growing on waste places, such as square-stalked willowherb and prickly lettuce.

However, there is one candidate for global warming victim, and this is once again an orchid: the lesser butterfly orchid. This is a species of northern Europe, which tends to grow on the edges of heaths and moorlands.

The Independent, 24 Apr 2006

will you lead by example?

If it’s so hard to change the climate to suit humans, why not alter humans to suit the changing climate, philosophers from Oxford and New York universities are asking. They suggest humans could be modified to be smaller, to dislike eating meat, have fewer children and be more willing to co-operate with social goals.

Behavioural changes might not be enough, even if they are widely adopted, and international agreements for market solutions such as emissions trading are proving difficult to achieve, say Matthew Liao, of New York University, and Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache, of Oxford University.

They suggest hormone treatments could be used to suppress child growth, or embryos selected for smaller size. They say people who lack the motivation or willpower to give up eating meat could be helped by “meat patches” on their skin, which deliver hormones to stimulate the immune system against common bovine proteins.

“Henceforth eating ‘eco-unfriendly’ food would induce unpleasant experiences,” the authors say. Better-educated women have fewer children, so human engineering to enhance cognition could lead to fertility reduction as “a positive side effect from the point of view of tackling climate change”, the paper also argues.

Sydney Morning Herald, 6 Apr 2012

human development derailed!

Climate change may be the single factor that makes the future very different, impeding the continuing progress in human development that history would lead us to expect.

While international agreements have been difficult to achieve and policy responses have been generally slow, the broad consensus is clear: climate change is happening, and it can derail human development. – United Nations Human Development report The Guardian, 5 Nov 2010

can’t see the wood for…..

If global warming really is the mother of all enveronmental probalems, then perhaps the time has come to bring to an end the clearing and logging of natural forests. This will make a significant and cost-effective contribution to solving the global warming problem.

We must not forget that the laws of science apply universally and do not recognise political boundaries. Whether a natural forest is in Tasmania, Victoria or Papua, it performs the same kind of role in the global carbon cycle and in helping to regulate atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

Brendan Mackey, professor of environmental science at the Australian National University, in The Age, 7 Aug 2007 – screen copy held by this website

heat turned up!

The number of elderly Melburnians dying due to extreme heat is expected to rise dramatically as climate change takes hold this century, research suggests.

Nicole Joffe from consultants Net Balance found the number of days with an average temperature above 30 degrees would double by mid-century – from two to at least four a year – even if governments acted to cut greenhouse emissions. Failure to tackle climate change would trigger a steeper rise.

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 Mar 2007

the private struggles of a climate scientist

For activists like Mike Tidwell — founder of the nonprofit Chesapeake Climate Action Network and author of The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Race to Save America’s Coastal Cities — — part of being on the front lines means being outspoken and passionate about the cause.

But while activism may be a more forgiving platform to express emotional stresses than within the scientific community, the personal toll of the work goes largely undiscussed.

“You don’t just start talking about unbelievably fast sea-level rise at a cocktail party at a friend’s house,” Tidwell says. “So having to deny the emotional need to talk about what’s on your mind all the time … those are some of the burdens that climate aware scientists and activists have to endure.”

“People talk about climate change, openly talk about activism, and people even talk about how scary it is, and about how screwed we are and unbelievable it is that sea level is rising, and world governments still aren’t doing sXXX. But nobody talks about how it makes them feel personally.”

Heat Is Online – originally Grist.org, Oct. 28, 2014 By Madeleine Thomas

no-one spared, not even retrospectively!

A study of woolly mammoths has added to evidence they were wiped out by climate change, scientists say.

British and Swedish researchers sequenced DNA from 88 samples of bone, tooth and tusk, looking for a signature in the genetic code handed down on the maternal line. They used this telltale sign to build a family tree of mammoths spanning 200,000 years.

A warm period 120,000 years ago caused populations to decline and become fragmented. Wrangel Island, in the Siberian Arctic, and the island of St Paul, off Alaska, are believed to have been the mammoths’ last refuge. Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Sep 2013 – screencopy held by this website

giant sunshade

Professor Roger Angel thinks he can diffract the power of the sun by placing trillions of lenses in space and creating a 100,000-square-mile sunshade.

Each lens will have a diffraction pattern etched onto it which will cause the sun’s rays to change direction. He intends to use electromagnetic propulsion to get the lenses into space. If work was started immediately Prof Angel thinks the sunshield could be operation by 2040.

He said: “Things that take a few decades are not that futuristic.”

The Telegraph, 17 Feb 2009

Have you hypermiled lately?

Real men hypermile.

That’s the “attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and one’s driving techniques,” according to the Oxford American Dictionary, which named “hypermiling” the 2008 word of the year.

Hypermiling techniques include keeping tires perfectly inflated, killing engines at stoplights, turning off the air-conditioning and driving at a steady speed, with as little rapid acceleration or deceleration as possible.

Originally coined in 2004 by a driver named Wayne Gerdes, who has earned several gas-mileage records, hypermiling really caught on in 2008 as gas prices passed $4 a gallon in much of the country. Time, 3 Nov 2008

cokcroaches on the march!

Climate change is being blamed for a changing of the guard among Sydney’s cockroach population.

Researchers say the most common sub-species in city households was the german cockroach, until it disappeared about seven years ago. Martyn Robinson from the Australian Museum says the Australian house cockroach, methana marginalus, which likes warmer climates, has begun moving in.

It’s most likely to be the…warmer climate, he said. They certainly have appeared for many many years just on little spot occurrences where somebody will find this funny little cockroach that’s probably come in on their suitcase from a trip up to Queensland.

ABC News, 14 Mar 2007

missing link found!

A Stanford scientist has spelled out for the first time the direct links between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases in human mortality, using a state-of-the-art computer model of the atmosphere that incorporates scores of physical and chemical environmental processes.

The new findings, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, come to light just after the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent ruling against states setting specific emission standards for this greenhouse gas based in part on the lack of data showing the link between carbon dioxide emissions and their health effects.

While it has long been known that carbon dioxide emissions contribute to climate change, the new study details how for each increase of one degree Celsius caused by carbon dioxide, the resulting air pollution would lead annually to about a thousand additional deaths and many more cases of respiratory illness and asthma in the United States, according to the paper by Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford.

Worldwide, upward of 20,000 air-pollution-related deaths per year per degree Celsius may be due to this greenhouse gas.

Eureka Alert, 3/1/08

Dear Earth, are you listening?

Dr. Sarah Perkins, a climate scientist and extreme events specialist with the University of New South Wales, shared both her concern and hope about our Earth.

“For sometime now I’ve been terribly worried. I wish I didn’t have to acknowledge it, but everything I have feared is happening. I used to think I was paranoid, but it’s true. She’s slipping away from us. She’s been showing signs of acute illness for quite a while, but no one has really done anything.

Her increased erratic behavior is something I’ve especially noticed. Certain behaviors that were only rare occurrences are starting to occur more often, and with heightened anger. I’ve tried to highlight these changes time and time again, as well as their speed of increase, but no one has paid attention.

It almost seems everyone has been ignoring me completely, and I’m not sure why. Is it easier to pretend there’s no illness, hoping it will go away? Or because they’ve never had to live without her, so the thought of death is impossible? Perhaps they cannot see they’ve done this to her. We all have. To me this is all false logic. How can you ignore the severe sickness of someone you are so intricately connected to and dependent upon.

How can you let your selfishness and greed take control, and not protect and nurture those who need it most? How can anyone not feel an overwhelming sense of care and responsibility when those so dear to us are so desperately ill? How can you push all this to the back of your mind? This is something I will never understand. Perhaps I’m the odd one out, the anomaly of the human race. The one who cares enough, who has the compassion, to want to help make her better.

The thing is we can make her better!! If we work together, we can cure this terrible illness and restore her to her old self before we exploited her. But we must act quickly, we must act together. Time is ticking, and we need to act now.”

Heat Is Online – originally Dahr Jamail, Truthout.org. Jan. 25, 2015

water shortages

Global warming could bring water shortages to one in six people around the world, scientists have warned. Because higher temperatures would bring less snow and more rain, the ice would soon run out, bringing water shortages. They warn that even developed countries like America could be affected by droughts within 20 years. BBC News, 17 Nov 2005

world trapped in paradigmatic lock!

The UFO phenomenon has become part of the news for many decades. Meanwhile, our planet entered a crucial phase of its history like nobody has known before, when mankind obtained technical means allowing to seriously deteriorate its environment, and beyond, to destroy any life on Earth. Among most visible signs, global warming is obvious.

While our technology sees a spectacular progress, our fundamental knowledge tramples more and more. In our opinion, this is the consequence of immutable dogmatic prejudices, a refusal of any really innovative fundamental scientific idea, in particular any change in our comprehension of the universe which could make interstellar travel possible, therefore incursions of visitors coming from stellar systems located at several tens light-years from ours, or even more.

The systematic brake to engage a true research, focusing on a rational and scientific investigation of the UFO file, is also for us a cloistering of the thought, a paradigmatic lock.

UFO Science, 23 Jun 2007

you’re not paranoid – everyone IS ignoring you

“For sometime now I’ve been terribly worried. I wish I didn’t have to acknowledge it, but everything I have feared is happening. I used to think I was paranoid, but it’s true. She’s slipping away from us.

She’s been showing signs of acute illness for quite a while, but no one has really done anything. Her increased erratic behaviour is something I’ve especially noticed. Certain behaviours that were only rare occurrences are starting to occur more often, and with heightened anger.

I’ve tried to highlight these changes time and time again, as well as their speed of increase, but no one has paid attention. It almost seems everyone has been ignoring me completely, and I’m not sure why.

Is it easier to pretend there’s no illness, hoping it will go away? Or because they’ve never had to live without her, so the thought of death is impossible? perhaps they cannot see they’ve done this to her. We all have.” – Dr Sarah Perkins Climate Scientist, Extreme Events Specialist University of New South Wales.

Is This How You Feel? Website – How scientists feel

doctors to blame!

They’re meant to be the protectors of our health. But it seems that doctors are contributing to making the planet sick.

Unnecessary travel to medical conferences around the world is contributing to global warming, according to an editorial in a top medical journal. Writing in this week’s British Medical Journal, Ian Roberts, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and journal’s editor, Fioa Godlee, say that the threat to human health from climate change is substantial.

Most of the health burden of climate change is borne by children in developing countries.

“It is ironic that doctors, for whom protecting health is a primary responsibility, contribute to global warming through unnecessary attendances at international conferences,” they write; saying that evidence that attending conferences lectures improved practice was “scant”. The Age, 17 Feb 2007 – screen copy held by this website

white bearded monkeys on the move!

The white-bearded De Brazza’s monkeys were found in the Great Rift Valley, a place they had never been spotted before, Richard Leakey, a prominent white Kenyan credited with ending the slaughter of the nation’s elephants, told Reuters in Nairobi.

“That is telling us a lot about the climate change scenarios we are looking at now,” he said. “It puts climate change as the most critical consideration as we plan for the future.”

Leakey, whose palaeontologist father, Louis, caused a radical rethink of human evolution with key fossil finds in east Africa, said African governments lacked funds to do their own climate change studies, and so had to rely on researchers who he said were typically more focused on temperate regions.

Planet Ark, 1 Nov 2007

enlist the deceased!

Instead of the dead pushing up daisies, a Victorian scientist wants them to help in the fight against climate change by fertilising their favourite tree. The University of Melbourne’s Professor Roger Short has called for an end to cremations, declaring the environmental cost of burning a body and a wooden coffin is “enormous”.

The greener option, he said, was to place bodies in a cardboard coffin or a hessian sack, and then bury them upright next to a tree so the remains would help its growth.

“We have earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” he said. “Why not earth to earth, and stop at that?”

The Age (Australia), 19 Apr 2007

if blind lead the blind, both fall in the …

As temperatures rise due to global warming the UK will have to be prepared for ‘monsoon style’ storms by building open drainage ditches beside urban roads, pourous pavements and storing water in reservoirs under car parks.

Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency, said Britain is experiencing a “new kind of rain” in the summer that is putting cities at increasing risk, especially London.

The Telegraph (UK), 14/10/09 “Monsoon style floods to hit Britain

ban dogs!

A group of architects from New Zealand have calculated that a pet dog has an environmental footprint twice that of an SUV.

The calculations are based on how much land is required to grow enough food to feed a dog throughout its lifetime. ‘Time to Eat the Dog’ is the title of a new book by two architects from New Zealand.

Robert and Brenda Vale have calculated that a medium-sized dog has twice the environmental impact of a large four-wheel drive vehicle, when all factors are considered. Digital Journal, 22 Oct 2009

reserve shed

Scientists are beginning to shed their usual reserve in the face of ever-more alarming evidence.

If either the Greenland or the West Antarctic ice sheet were to melt, hundreds of millions of coastal residents would be displaced—effects a thousand times the scale of the New Orleans evacuations.

In the Shanghai metropolitan area alone, 40 million people could lose their homes. Large sections of Florida’s peninsula would simply disappear.

countercurrents.org, 25 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

smaller mountains needed

Goats are shrinking as a result of climate change, researchers have claimed. They say Alpine goats now weigh about 25 per cent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s.

Researchers say it is a stark indication of how quickly climate change can affect animals. They appear to be shrinking in size as they react to changes in climate, according to new research from Durham University.

The researchers studied the impacts of changes in temperature on the body size of Alpine Chamois, a species of mountain goat, over the past 30 years. To their surprise, they discovered that young Chamois now weigh about 25 per cent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s.

Lead author Dr Tom Mason, in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, at Durham University, said: “Body size declines attributed to climate change are widespread in the animal kingdom, with many fish, bird and mammal species getting smaller.” Heat Is Online, 21 Oct 2014 – The Daily Mail (U.K.)

scared witless!

The next United Nations climate report will “scare the wits out of everyone” and should provide the impetus needed for the world to finally sign an agreement to tackle global warming, the former head of the UN negotiations said.

Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks, said his conversations with scientists working on the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the findings would be shocking.

“That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,” Mr de Boer said in the only scheduled interview of his visit to Australia. “I’m confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 7 Nov 2012

invasion – box jellyfish

Deadly box jellyfish and other tropical marine species could invade the Hunter’s coastal waters over the next 20 years due to climate change, a CSIRO marine ecologist has predicted. Marine life changes are also likely to have a major impact on commercial fishing and tourism.

Dr Alistair Hobday said CSIRO data showed water temperatures off the Australian east coast had already increased by two degrees over the past 20 years. A similar increase was likely to occur by 2030. As a result, a number of marine species including box jellyfish typically found in warmer Queensland would migrate south.

Warmer water fish species likely to move south include bigeye tuna, bronze whale sharks, striped marlin and sand flathead, Dr Hobday said. Newcastle Herald, 27 Aug 2007 – screencopy held by this website

worse than we thought – temperature!

If Earth’s past cycles of warming and cooling are any indication, temperatures by the end of the century will be even hotter than current climate models predict, according to a report by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

Thus, while current models predict temperature increases of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit) from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, the natural processes injecting more CO2 into the atmosphere will lead to temperature increases of 1.6 to 6 degrees Celsius (2.9 to 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit), with the higher temperatures more likely, the researchers said.

University of California, Berkeley, brightsurf.com, 25 May 2006 – screencopy held by this website

watch your waste!

“Apartment dwellers are not only the worst recyclers; they also fail to realise that the authorities sometimes go through their rubbish. We have found incriminating stuff before, pictures of people cross-dressing and the like,” the City of Sydney’s waste education co-ordinator, Michael Neville, said yesterday, picking through a bin of compacted waste at Sydney’s biggest apartment block, World Tower.

“You’d be surprised what you can fit down the rubbish chute,” said the building’s cleaning contract manager, John Kouhis. “We have found rice cookers in there.”

World Tower management and the City of Sydney have joined the Department of Environment and Climate Change and the Ethnic Communities Council to develop a pilot program aimed at improving the recycling habits of apartment dwellers.

Sydney Morning Herald, 12 May 2007

travelling trees

In a paper appearing this month in the journal Forest Ecology and Management, the study authors documented the northward march of 40 major tree species over 30 eastern states based on the distribution of seedlings versus mature trees.

The finding confirms a link between global warming and forest migration, said lead study author Chris Woodall, of the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“This is no longer conjecture,” he said. National Geographic News, 9 Feb 2009

drive cars less

………………………………….

We burn fossil fuels such as gasoline, oil, coal, and natural gas to run our vehicle engines and to heat and light our homes. Burning fossil fuels increases the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

CO2 is a major contributor to climate change, or “global warming.” Here are some easy actions you can take to reduce your use of fossil fuels and to help slow climate change. When you can make the choice, choose for climate.

Drive Less: More than half of our CO2 comes from vehicles, so use public transit, carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, or telework from home if possible. You save 1 pound of carbon dioxide for each mile of driving you eliminate.

Dept of Ecology, State of Washington, 10 Jan 2007

don’t drive cars less

Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated. Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance.

The climate could benefit if people avoided exercise, ate less and became couch potatoes. The sums were done by Chris Goodall, campaigning author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, based on the greenhouse gases created by intensive beef production.

“Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles [4.8km] adds about 0.9 kg [2lb] of CO2 to the atmosphere,” he said, a calculation based on the Government’s official fuel emission figures. “If you walked instead, it would use about 180 calories. You’d need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.”

Climate Change Challenge, 3 Aug 2007

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worse than we thought – animal extinctions 2

Life on Earth is facing an extinction crisis that could be far worse than previously thought, according to two leading ecologists who have studied the rate at which animal populations are being lost.

The scientists have found that the geographical ranges of 173 species of mammals have declined, collectively, by more than 50 per cent over several decades, indicating a severe constriction of the animals’ breeding territories.

Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University in California and Gerardo Ceballos of Mexico University believe that the loss of viable breeding populations is a critical factor that has often been overlooked. The loss of species diversity has correctly attracted much attention from the general public and decision makers.

“It is now the job of the community of environmental scientists to give equal prominence to the issue of the loss of population diversity,” Professor Ehrlich said. “We are talking about nothing less than the preservation of human life-support systems. We neglect the issue at our peril.”

Mysterium, 3 May 2002

oceans choked

According to a simulation of planetary warming trends, failure to drastically cut greenhouse gas pollution within the next half century could choke Earth’s oceans for the next 100,000 years.

What mankind does for the next several decades will play a large role in climate on Earth over the next tens of thousands of years, said geochemist Gary Shaffer of the University of Copenhagen. Wired, 26 Jan 2009

The golden winged warbler and the blue winged warbler are an item!

“As we’ve developed genomic methodologies, we’re finding that organisms are exchanging genes with other species,” Michael Arnold, a professor of genetics at the University of Georgia, said. “Genetic exchange due to organisms coming together from climate change is the rule rather than the exception.”

But the rate at which species interbreed is accelerating because of climate change, researchers say. As habitats and animal ranges change and bleed into one another, species that never before would have encountered one another are now mating.

Warmer temperatures have allowed grizzly bears and polar bears to venture to habitats they don’t usually occupy and mate to form a hybrid: the pizzly or grolar bear. Similar trends have been observed between golden-winged warblers and blue-winged warblers.

Heat Is Online, 1 Jun 2015 – Scientific American, June 1, 2015 from ClimateWire, June 1, 2015

worse than we thought – global food production 2

Climate change is set to do far worse damage to global food production than even the gloomiest of previous forecasts, according to studies presented at the Royal Society in London, UK, on Tuesday.

“We need to seriously re-examine our predictions of future global food production,” said Steve Long, a crop scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US. Output is “likely to be far lower than previously estimated”.

New Scientist, 26 Apr 2005

Red squirrels move with the times!

Red squirrels appear to be evolving in response to climate change, scientists report today, the first sign that creatures are undergoing genetic alteration due to rising temperatures.

Canadian scientists studying North American red squirrels – which are related to their British counterparts – say compared with 10 years ago, female squirrels are giving birth about 18 days earlier.

Much of the difference from one generation to the next is due to squirrels’ ability to respond to the rise in their staple food, white spruce cones, as temperatures increase. But a small component is due to natural selection, the basis of evolution.

The research, published by the Royal Society, shows that natural selection is favouring squirrels whose genes tend towards breeding earlier in the season. We show that a small part of these changes can be caused by microevolutionary responses, said Denis Réale, of McGill University in Montreal, who led the study of 325 squirrels near Kluane Lake in the Yukon.

The Guardian, 12 Feb 2003

a whiter shade of …

Hashem Akbari believes that whitening 100 of the world’s largest cities could wipe out the effect of the expected increase in emissions over the next decade.

Dr Akbari, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, also argues that if built-up areas were made white, less heat would accumulate within them, allowing residents and workers to reduce their use of air-conditioning units, which use a large amount of power.

Dr Akbari has calculated that making 100 of the largest cities white would increase the amount of sunlight reflected by Earth by 0.03 per cent. He believes it would cancel out the warming caused by 44 billion tonnes of carbon emissions.

“We can give the atmosphere time to breathe,” he said. “I just don’t see a downside to this idea. It benefits everybody and you don’t have to have hard negotiations to make it happen.”

The Telegraph, 16 Jan 2009

flowers and stones uncovered!

Hundreds of people posed naked on Switzerland’s shrinking Aletsch glacier today for US photographer Spencer Tunick as part of a Greenpeace campaign to raise awareness of global warming.

Tunick, perched on a ladder and using a megaphone, directed nearly 600 volunteers from all over Europe and photographed them on a rocky outcrop overlooking the glacier, which is the largest in the Alps.

Speaking to Geneva’s Le Temps newspaper in an interview published before the shoot today, Tunick said his photographs were both works of art and political statements.

“I will try to treat the body on two levels. On an abstract level, as if they were flowers or stones. And on a more social level, to represent their vulnerability and humanity with regard to nature and the city and to remind people where we come from.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Aug 2007

the great survivors

If warming resulted in pollen and nectar sources then drones would be tolerated longer. Honey Bees are highly adaptable and flexible survivors. They exist just about from one Pole to another and every where in-between.

If it is warmer or colder in your area they will respond accordingly without fore thought because their species have been through other “Global” warming and cooling periods as this happens regularly according to the record regardless of what the media says.

“They will be here long after we are gone,” said G. W. Hayes, Assistant Chief, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection.

Global Warming and Bee Behavior, 8 Mar 2007

worse than we thought – oysters affected!

Sydney oyster lovers are in for an unpalatable surprise. A global conference in Monaco next week on the rising acidity of the world’s oceans will hear research that shows a detrimental effect on local oyster species.

A Sydney marine biologist, Laura Parker, will tell the conference that the Sydney rock oyster will be especially vulnerable to the rise in seawater acidity that is expected to take place over the next few decades.

“I thought they would have an impact but not as badly as the results showed,” Ms Parker told the Herald yesterday just before leaving for the world conference, which is supported by UNESCO.

Scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division and the University of Hobart who have led efforts at investigating acidification in the Southern Ocean will also be attending.

Scientists say the problem comes on top of global warming, which is also caused by rising emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Sydney Morning Herald, 4 Oct 2008

canary in the coal mine – gray wolves


Gray wolves could emerge as a “canary in the coal mine” of global warming by suggesting how climate change will affect species around the world, researchers say.

“We’re not so much looking at wolves as a predator but as an indicator,” says environmental scientist Christopher Wilmers of the University of California-Berkeley. Shorter winters without wolves mean about 66% fewer elk deaths every April, which threatens starvation for scavengers.

With wolves preying on elk, however, the drop in carrion is only about 11%, a much less dire situation.

“Because gray wolves are so intensively studied, they may give us very good data on the effects of climate change,” says ecologist Mike Phillips, executive director of the Turner Endangered Species Fund in Bozeman, Mont. “More specialized species, such as snowshoe hares, could show such effects even sooner,” he says, “but they receive less study.”

USA Today, 30 May 2005

worse than we thought – time running out!

Australia may need to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90% by 2050 as part of a massive global effort to avert the most devastating effects of climate change, the Rudd Government has been warned.

In an alarmingly pessimistic assessment of what is happening to the world, Canberra’s chief adviser on climate change, Ross Garnaut, has declared that time is running out faster than almost anyone predicted.

Releasing his interim report, Professor Garnaut said existing targets for reducing greenhouse emissions may not be enough to save the situation.

The Age (Australia), 22 Feb 2008

one man’s ….

People should eat less meat to help combat the effects of climate change, the world’s leading expert on global warming has claimed.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said people should aim for one meat-free day a week, before scaling down their consumption even further.

Dr Pachauri, whose panel won a Nobel Peace Prize last year, said: “Give up meat for one day a week initially, and decrease it from there. In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity.”

The Telegraph, 8 Sep 2008

killer cornflakes

Climate change could lead to “killer cornflakes” with the cereal carrying the most potent liver toxin ever recorded, an environmental health conference has been told.

The effects of the toxins, known as mycotoxins, have been known since the Middle Ages, when rye bread contaminated with ergot fungus was a staple part of the European diet, environmental health researcher Lisa Bricknell from Central Queensland University, said.

Ms Bricknell said there had been outbreaks of high levels of aflatoxins in Australian crops in recent years and global warming was providing a new threat to food safety, with temperatures expected to rise in inland areas of the eastern states while rainfall was tipped to fall.

Sydney Morning Herald, 13/5/08

ways to save the planet

As further evidence emerges of the threat of climate change, scientists around the world are developing tools to try to stop the temperatures rising.

A new series on Discovery Channel from this Sunday looks at some of the methods being proposed by scientists around the world.

Iain Riddick, series producer, said the scientists may have outlandish ideas but they are all respected in their field.

Ways to save the planet:

  1. Wrapping Greenland. Dr Jason Box, a glaciologist from Ohio State University, proposes wrapping Greenland in a blanket. By covering the valleys that form darker areas, therefore attracting the sun’s heat, he hopes to significantly slow the melting of the glacier.
  2. Hungry ocean. Dr Brian von Herzen of the The Climate Foundation and marine biologists at the University of Hawaii and Oregon State University believe that the ocean could absorb much more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by creating plankton blooms. This is done by mixing the nutrient rich water in the colder depths of the ocean with the warmer surface water by placing huge wave-powered pumps on the swells of the North Pacific.
  3. Space sun shield. Professor Roger Angel, who helped create the world’s largest telescope, believes the power of the sun could be reduced by placing a giant sun shield in space. The 100,000 square mile sunshade would be made up of trillions of lenses that reduce the sun’s power by two per cent.
  4. Raining forests. Consultant environmental engineer Mark Hodges believes forests could be generated by dropping “tree bombs” from a plane. The seedlings are dropped in a wax canister full of fertiliser that explodes when it hits the ground and grows into a tree. The method has already been used to regenerate mangrove forest in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.
  5. Infinite Winds. Fred Ferguson, a Canadian engineer specialising in airships, has designed a wind turbine that will use the constant winds that exist at 1,000 feet to produce renewable energy.
  6. Brighter World. Stephen Salter, an Edinburgh University engineer, believes that clouds can be created to protect the world from the power of the sun. He proposes forming clouds above the ocean by sending salt into the atmosphere.
  7. Orbital power plant. Former Nasa physicist John Mankins believes the world could have a never-ending source of power and reduce carbon emissions by sending thousands of satellites into space to gather the sun’s power and then beam them down to earth as a microwave.
  8. Fixing carbon. David Keith, 2006 Canadian Geographic Environmental Scientist of the Year, believes he can create a machine that sucks in ambient air and sprays it with sodium hydroxide and then expels it as clean air. The carbon from the air will be captured and stored underground.

The Telegraph, 13 Feb 2009

life boat Britain

If the world warms by an average of 4 degrees Celsius in the next 100 years, the worse case scenario suggested in certain climate change models, it is expected many areas in the south of the world will become too dry to support human life.

James Lovelock, who developed the “Gaia” theory which sees the Earth as a self-regulating “superorganism”, said people from these countries will come to countries like Britain as “climate change refugees”.

He said infrastructure will have to be built to support the increase in population including more housing, hospitals and schools. Because we will be one of the life boat nations we should be preparing for a flood of people who will be refugees from climate change even from Europe, he said.

The Telegraph (UK), 26 Feb 2009

look out for falling aspens!

From the hillsides of extinct volcanoes in Arizona to the jagged peaks of Idaho, aspen trees are falling by the tens of thousands, the latest example of how climate change is dramatically altering the American West.

Starting seven years ago, foresters noticed massive aspen die-offs caused by parasitical insects, one of them so rare it is hardly even written about in scientific literature. But with warming temperatures and the effects of a brutal drought still lingering, the parasites are flourishing at the expense of the tree, beloved for its slender branches and heart-shaped leaves that turn a brilliant yellow in autumn.

Noting the number of other changes to Western vegetation due to warmer, drier temperatures, Wayne Shepperd, an aspen specialist at Colorado State University said: “Everything’s happening all at once. We’re living in interesting times here.”

Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct 2009

bankrupt world

The sixth largest insurance company has warned that damage to property due to global warming could bankrupt the world by 2065.

Dr. Andrew Dlugolecki, director of general insurance development at CGNU, a top five European life insurer and the United Kingdom’s largest insurance group, told delegates attending the international climate change summit in The Hague that the rate of damage caused by changing weather will exceed the world’s wealth. Sentienttimes.com dec-jan 2001 – screencopy held by this website

worse than we thought – sea ice melt, glacier retreat!

Every few years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of the world’s leading climate scientists, is tasked with explaining the causes and effects of climate change in a comprehensive report. Yet the science of climate change is evolving more rapidly than the reports can be published.

Since the IPCC’s latest assessment was released a mere 14 months ago, in November 2007, studies suggest that sea-ice melt, glacier retreat, and food insecurity are all more dire than the IPCC predicted.

W.L. Hare, a lead author of the 2007 IPCC report, considers the “master risk” of climate change to be sea-level rise, caused by the melting of land-based ice (such as the Greenland ice cap) and the thermal expansion of sea water.

We will be lucky to keep sea-level rise below one meter rise within this century, and two meters rise can’t be ruled out, said Hare, an environmental scientist with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a contributing author of the new Worldwatch Institute report State of the World 2009: Into A Warming World.

Worldwatch Institute, January 2009

American mosquitos stay up late

Many recent changes in organisms have been chalked up to climate change. A North American mosquito species has evolved to wait longer before going dormant for the winter. Mosquitoes with genes that cause them to go dormant later were probably favored because it allows the insects to gather more resources during our new, extra-long summers.

University of California, Berkely, Understanding Evolution, Coping with climate change, May 2009

warning! Don’t question a scientist!

What’s even more deflating for a climate scientist is when sounding the alarm on climatic catastrophes seems to fall on deaf ears.

“How would that make you feel? You take this information to someone and they say they don’t believe you, as if it’s a question of beliefs,” says Jeffrey Kiehl, senior scientist for climate change research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.

“I’m not talking about religion here, I’m talking about facts. It’s equivalent to a doctor doing extremely detailed observations on someone and concluding that someone needed to have an operation, and the person looks at the doctor and says, ‘I don’t believe you.’ ”

“How would a doctor feel in that moment, not think, but feel in that moment?”

Heat Is Online – originally Grist.org, Oct. 28, 2014 By Madeleine Thomas

wait…there is good news!

We all know about the threat to the Great Barrier Reef from extreme climate change, but the Australian Conservation Foundation wants to ram home to Victorians that the effects of a hotter world will hit much closer to home, according to executive director Don Henry, and the report, Saving Australia’s Special Places

  • 1. Wine drinkers will see the regions that produce their favourite tipple, such as Victoria’s Yarra Valley, suffering from less water and more bushfire, weeds, pests and plant diseases. Australia’s grape-growing areas will decline by 44% by the middle of the century, and grape quality will nose-dive.
  • 2. Skiers will face the gradual disappearance of snow. By the end of the century, the winter sports industry, which employs 17,000 people and adds $1.3 billion to the economy, will have disappeared as the snow simply fails to fall.
  • 3. Beaches, near which Australians tend to cluster their housing, and on which we rely heavily for recreation, will suffer erosion and flooding.
  • 4. The report predicts that “$50 billion to 150 billion worth of houses, property, businesses, and public infrastructure are under threat from flooding due to sea level rises”.
  • 5. The Kakadu wetlands are in danger of inundation by salt water, with a 59-centimetre sea level rise to hit about 90% of the national park and up to 88% of species in the bush facing extinction.
  • 6. Increasingly fierce and frequent bushfires will sweep areas that were hitherto immune.
  • 7. The Murray Darling Basin, already suffering an extended drought and over-allocation of water licences, will lose 92% of its agricultural production by the end of the century.
  • 8. Under these nightmare scenarios, according to Mr Henry, the hundreds of thousands of tourism-related jobs, and $37 billion in exports from tourism could collapse, not to mention the damage to agriculture.

The good news, he says, is that the situation can be redeemed with strong global action, and Australia can, and should, lead the way.

The Age (Australia), 2 Nov 2008

worse than we thought – global water cycle!

It is difficult, though not impossible, to say how individual events are influenced by climate change. It is simpler to tell whether the overall numbers are increasing.

Even at the time of the last IPCC report in 2007, the trends for extreme heat, droughts and intense rainfall were already clearly upward. Not only are these trends continuing, but the weather is also becoming even more extreme than was predicted.

For instance, a study this year of ocean-salinity data from between 1950 and 2000 by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) found that the global water cycle – the rate at which water evaporates and falls as rain – has increased at double the pace projected by models that aim to simulate the global climate.

New Scientist, 14 Nov 2012

latest tongue twister: – no quick fix for fish

Rising carbon dioxide levels in oceans adversely change the behavior of fish through generations, raising the possibility that marine species may never fully adapt to their changed environment, research has found.

The research was conducted by the ARC center of excellence for coral reef studies, based at James Cook University in Queensland. Professor Philip Munday, a co-author of the study, told Guardian Australia the research suggested fish would not be able to adapt to climate change in the short term.

“How quickly that adaptation will take, we don’t quite know,” he said. “But we do know that projected future CO2 levels will seriously affect the behavior of fish in ways that won’t be good for populations. It will take longer than a few generations for fish to genetically adapt and we don’t know if they can keep pace with the change.”

“If they can’t keep pace, it will have a significant effect on the population sustainability in some species of fish. We worked on reef fish, but there’s nothing to say that whole ranges of other species won’t be affected.”

“This is certainly a warning that there is no quick fix for fish. We need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and we need to do more to understand whether genetic adaptation can kick in over time.”

Heat Is Online, 11 Oct 2014 – The Guardian (U.K.)

worse than we thought – temperature increase!

World will warm faster than predicted in next five years, study warns. The world faces record-breaking temperatures as the sun’s activity increases, leading the planet to heat up significantly faster than scientists had predicted for the next five years, according to a study.

The research, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, was carried out by Judith Lean, of the US Naval Research Laboratory, and David Rind, of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

The Guardian, 28 Jul 2009

green or white?

Environmentalists, urban planners and politicians all agree the city’s roofs need to change so that less heat is absorbed and less electricity used for cooling offices and apartments within. But unanimity on the best way of doing this is more elusive, with green roofs and white roofs being spruiked from different corners.

In September, Victorian Environment Minister Gavin Jennings declared himself “a fan” of green roofs – a concept well advanced in American cities such as Chicago and Portland – where beds of vegetation adorn building tops.

Citing overseas research, Jennings said a green roof was capable of reducing local temperatures by about four degrees. The State Government has helped fund a study into adapting green roof technology to local conditions, while the Wonthaggi desalination plant will boast one of the biggest green roofs in Australia.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, meanwhile, declared himself a fan of white roofs this month; another method for tackling the heat island effect by spraying rooftops with a white, rubbery layer that reflects the sun’s rays. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is another fan of the concept.

Sydney Morning Herald, 16 Jan 2010

mind your step!

An invasion of jellyfish plaguing holiday-makers in the Mediterranean has been put down to global warming, with the hot dry weather bringing the creatures closer to the shore.

But this summer’s dry, hot weather experienced throughout Europe increased the salinity of coastal waters as well as its temperature, scientists from the marine conservation NGO Oceana said.

With low-flowing rivers bringing in less freshwater, the natural barrier that keeps jellyfish at bay broke down, they said.

edie.net, 11 Aug 2006

another secret report!

A secret report, suppressed by US defence 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.

Climate change ‘should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern’, say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

The Guardian, 22/2/04

the vanishing cow!

Is Global Warming Leading To Cow Infertility? Reproductive efficiency has suffered a dramatic decrease since the mid-1980s despite rapid worldwide progress in genetics and management of high producing dairy herds.

Researchers from the University of Barcelona propose that summer heat stress is likely to be a major factor related to low fertility in high producing dairy herds, especially in countries with warm weather. Scientific Blogging, 5 Sep 2007

worse than we thought – melting polar ice caps!

Climate scientists are saying that global warming, as evidenced by melting polar ice caps, is worse than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and that global emissions must peak by 2015 if climate chaos, and resulting human social chaos is to be avoided.

Green-labour alliances can inspire the broad-based community campaigns needed to make a just transition to renewable energy and new green jobs.

Geoff Evans is an environmental scientist and social ecologist, researching transitions to sustainability. He is a former Director of the Mineral Policy Institute, now working with Greenpeace on their Climate and Energy campaign.

A Just Transition to a clean, renewable energy economy is urgent – and possible, 1 Nov 2008

reservations about climate models!

Climate scientists have created an index of the year when the average climate of any given region on earth will likely push outside the extreme records experienced in the past 150 years should greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated.

Research leader Camilo Mora, from the University of Hawaii, said while scientists had repeatedly warned about climate change and its likely effects on biodiversity and people, their study showed change was already upon us.

“Within my generation, whatever climate we were used to will be a thing of the past,” said Dr Mora.

Australian climate scientist Sarah Perkins, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, said the study’s results were in line with the latest global projections.But she expressed reservations about the study’s time frames, saying climate models were not designed to provide projections for such precise times and locations such as a year or a city.

The Age, 9 Oct 2013

standing room only!

Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked, the Government’s chief scientist, Professor Sir David King, said last week.

He said the Earth was entering the “first hot period” for 60 million years, when there was no ice on the planet and “the rest of the globe could not sustain human life”.

The warning – one of the starkest delivered by a top scientist – comes as ministers decide next week whether to weaken measures to cut the pollution that causes climate change, even though Tony Blair last week described the situation as “very, very critical indeed.”

The Independent, 2 May 2004

gentoo leads chinstraps!

Heather Lynch of Stony Brook University studied breeding patterns of three species of Antarctic penguins: the Adélie, chinstrap, and gentoo.

While the Adélie and chinstrap migrate to the Western Antarctic Peninsula to breed every year, the gentoos are year-round residents. Because the Antarctic is one of the world’s most rapidly warming regions, Lynch hypothesized that these environmental changes would affect penguins’ reproduction.

She was right: Warmer temperatures have resulted in dwindling Adélie and chinstrap populations. The gentoos, however, are able to adapt to increased temperatures better since they live in the Peninsula year-round.

They’re doing it and doing it and doing it well — because they’ve been able to shift their breeding cycle earlier, their populations are actually growing.

Grist, 22 Mar 2012

no link too tenuous!

Well, new scientific research is mounting that could prove to be the tipping point. It just got way too personal.

Yes, early data suggests that global warming makes you fat. If anything could tip the scales, this could be it. Admittedly, the research is early and thin. But here’s how it goes.

Danish researchers were mapping the lifestyles of thousands of Danes in the MONICA studies related to cardiovascular health and obesity.

Lars-Georg Hersoug stumbled on a weird anomaly. Over a 22-year period, both thin and fat people put on weight, and the increase was proportionally the same. CO2 appears to make our blood more acidic, which influences our brain to want to eat more.

Hersoug surmised that excess CO2 in the atmosphere might be affecting hormones in the brain known as orexin neurons. Orexins stimulate eating, wakefulness and energy expenditure.

Huffington Post, 20 Nov 2014

if only they’d known about climate change in 1787!

Who (you might ask) is David Brearley?

Brearley plays a critical, and entirely accidental, role in climate change because of his position as the chair of the Committee on Postponed Parts within the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

The committee opted for a middle ground solution – an electoral college that would vote on behalf of the citizens, but which would be populated based on the number of congressional seats assigned to each State in the Union.

It is this solution, brilliant at the time, that leads us to Brearley’s legacy on climate change. Because over the course of the last 200 plus years, the electoral college, which provides for stronger voting power per person in more rural and less populated states, has elected four U.S. presidents who clearly lost the popular vote (1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016).

Two of those elections have occurred during the period in which we have known about the causes and impacts of carbon dioxide emissions and climate change and in both cases, the impacts of those elections have very likely had profound impacts on our actions to address the challenge.

Washington Post, 19 Dec 2016

thanks to ddh

Flagship calls for planned retreat

The top government scientist leading Australia’s efforts to adapt to climate change has warned that some coastal communities will have to be abandoned in a “planned retreat” because of global warming.

Dr Andrew Ash, who directs the CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship program, said while some vulnerable coastal communities coud be protected by sea walls and levees, “there are going to be areas where that is not physically possible or it’s not cost effective to introduce any engineering solution and planned retreat becomes the only option.”

The Age (Australia), 23 Mar 2009 – screen copy held by this website

worse than we thought – global warming effects!

One of those trying to give the polar bears a break and settle the argument is James McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography and an internationally known authority on climate change.

McCarthy was among a handful of top scientists who coordinated a remarkable report by the world scientific community this year that said global warming is real, it’s here, and it’s going to be worse than we thought.

“We already see effects that [indicate] the change in climate has occurred, And the projection of some of those [effects] into the future are not a pretty scene.”

Harvard University Gazette, 22 Mar 2001

fuzzy maths

The thawing of permafrost in one region of the Arctic will cause damage worth $65 trillion, or 80 per cent of the entire global economy last year, new research suggests.

According to a UN report released last year, Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost, large-scale and irreversible thawing is already under way.

Under business-as-usual scenarios, in which nations continue to emit greenhouse gases at present rates, the total damage bill would be the equivalent of about $65 trillion, the paper said. This is about 80 per cent of the entire 2012 global economy.

If the world switched to a low-emissions path, the cost would be delayed somewhat and would end up being about $40 trillion.

Sydney Morning Herald, 25 Jul 2013

the incredible shrinking winter!

Peter Atkinson, professor of geography at the University of Southampton, examined satellite images of vegetation across the northern hemisphere from the past 25 years and found signs winter was being shrunk.

Earlier this month, supermarkets Waitrose and Tesco both announced that English strawberries were ripening early and hitting the shelves a week earlier than last year.

“There is much speculation about whether our seasons are changing and if so, whether this is linked to climate change. Our study is another significant piece of the puzzle, which may ultimately answer this question,” Prof Atkinson said.

Illawarra Mercury 29 Mar 2014 – screencopy held by this website

we’re the problem!

People are doing this. Let’s be clear about it. It’s not some natural phenomenon, like an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. It’s the actions of Homo sapiens.

What we are witnessing is a fundamental clash between the species, and the planet on which he lives, which is going to worsen steadily, and the more closely you observe it – or at least, the more closely I have observed it, over the past 15 years – the more I have thought that there is something fundamentally wrong with Homo sapiens himself.

Man seems to be Earth’s problem child.

Michel Mccarthy resigning as environmental editor of The Independent 29 Mar 2013