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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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?”
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.”
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
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.
Many recent changes in organisms have been chalked up to climate change.
Most butterfly species in central California have been taking flight about 24 days sooner in comparison to 30 years ago. When butterfly species mature is closely related to temperature, so climate change is the likely cause of this shift. University of California, Berkeley, Understanding Evolution, Coping with climate change, May 2009
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.
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.
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.
thanks to ddh
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
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.
Victorian bushwalkers have warned that climate change will discourage walkers from venturing out and make things more difficult and hazardous for those who do.
In a submission to the Senate inquiry on extreme weather events, Bushwalking Victoria says it has “serious concerns about the effects of climate change on bushwalking”. The Age (Australia), 22 Jan 2013
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
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.
In the mid-1980s, more than 4,000 moose roamed the forests and bogs of northwestern Minnesota. Today, there are probably fewer than 100.
Mike Schrage, a wildlife biologist with the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe, says researchers believe a warming climate might be causing moose to get sick.
“I do think global warming is having an impact on our moose,” said Schrage.
“I think it gets complicated between climate change and a dead moose. Because I don’t think I’m ever going to walk up to a moose carcass and be able to say, oh, it died of climate change. I think there’s a lot that happens in between.”
So why don’t we see advanced civilizations swarming across the Universe? One problem may be climate change. It is not that advanced civilizations always destroy themselves by over-heating their biospheres (although that is a possibility).
Instead, because stars become brighter as they age, most planets with an initially life-friendly climate will become uninhabitably hot long before intelligent life emerges. Other inhabited planets in the Universe must also have found ways to prevent global warming.
Watery worlds suitable for life will have climates that, like the Earth, are highly sensitive to changing circumstances.
The repeated canceling of star-induced warming by “geobiological” cooling, required to keep such planets habitable, will have needed many coincidences, and the vast majority of such planets will have run out of luck long before sentient beings evolved. However, the Universe is immense, and a few rare worlds will have had the necessary good fortune.
It may just be that Earth is one of those lucky planets—a precious, fragile jewel in space. So, perhaps inevitably, climate change will remain a bane of the continued existence of life on such planets. ars technica, 10 Jun 2014
This month scientists will publish research that links a decline in the nutritional quality of leaves eaten by colobus monkeys in Uganda to changes in climate over the past 30 years.
“We know if we go out and measure leaves and find patches that have a lot of protein to fibre, that’s good territory for monkeys,” said Professor Raubenheimer, from the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney.
“There are a number of experiments on plants showing that an increase in temperature and moisture has an impact on the fibre concentration. Females deprived of a balanced diet are less fertile and give birth to smaller young. The population birth rate is slowed, so you get a decline in population,” he said.
There have been seven shark attacks in North Carolina since June 11. This is already more than last year, when the state saw four attacks.
Although Frank J. Schwartz, a shark biologist with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, says there’s too much natural variability in weather cycles to blame the recent shark attacks on global warming, George H. Burgess, the director of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History. says the link is plausible.
“Clearly global climate change is a reality and it has resulted in warmer temperatures in certain places at certain times,” says Burgess. “As warming is expected to increase, it will likely bring more sharks farther north and entice more people to get into the water, which will lead to more bites.”
Any number of people offer views on the politics of climate change. Few cut to the heart of the issue like Harvard don Daniel Gilbert.
“Scientists lament the fact that global warming is happening so fast. The fact is, it’s not happening fast enough,” he said in a speeech last year.
Gilbert does not believe climate change is slow, nor does he want to see the world slide quickly into environmental catastrophe.
But he has some understanding of why people with the capacity to act, including leaders in Canberra and elsewhere, appear hamstrung when faced with the enormity of the threat of climatic disaster.
A respected psychologist, he says part of the reason most people fail to get worked up about climte change is our sensitivity to change; if something moves dramatically overnight we are alert and possibly alarmed, but if it is a gradual shift averaged across the globe over decades, it is much harder to get angry.
The Age (Australia), 9 Mar 2009 – screen copy held by this website
At this week’s launch of a major report scrutinising the impact of corporate sustainability on a company’s earnings IAG chief executive Michael Hawker set out in no uncertain terms how small changes in the weather directly affect the cost of insurance premiums.
Over the past 140 years, the cost and frequency of insurance claims have been steadily rising in line with global temperatures, Mr Hawker said.
A 1 to 2.2 degrees celsius rise in temperatures can have a significant impact on the ferocity of natural disasters. There is a pattern; they are weather related, they are expensive and we pay for that in our [insurance] premiums, he said.
White ash has been the tree of choice for baseball bat manufacturers for decades, due to having the specific balance of weight and strength that you can’t get without resorting to aluminum bats.
Anyway, thanks to changing climates, ash forests are now facing not just a change in temperature which can affect the quality and flexibility of the wood, making them less ideal for bats, but also the ash borer beetle, a little son-of-a-bitch bug that really likes to eat trees.
The beetles are originally for Asia, but some say changing climate has allowed them to adapt nicely to North America, where in five years they managed to destroy 25 million trees.
Cracked, 17 Jan 2010
Global warming has been under way for at least 25 years, and there is strong evidence that it is largely man-made and is continuing.
In recent years, temperature and mortality data from several countries shows that cold-related deaths in each age group are falling in most countries. Much of that was due to rising climatic temperature and better home heating.
A surprising finding is that the heat-related mortality rate has stabilized or fallen, despite rising temperatures. Air conditioning has been a major factor in the United States.
Heat-related deaths there are lower among people with air conditioning. An extension of air conditioning was accompanied by the virtual disappearance of heat-related death in North Carolina, despite summers becoming hotter.
Britain may be in the grip of the coldest winter for 30 years and grappling with up to a foot of snow in some places but the extreme weather is entirely consistent with global warming, claim scientists.
“Even though this is quite a cold winter by recent standards it is still perfectly consistent with predictions for global warming,” said Dr Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics group at Department of Physics, University of Oxford.
“If it wasn’t for global warming this cold snap would happen much more regularly. What is interesting is that we are now surprised by this kind of weather. I doubt we would have been in the 1950s because it was much more common.”
A major new report on global warming slated to be released Friday raises new fears that the earth’s climate is changing faster than anyone thought possible.
Today, 500 of the world’s top scientists are meeting behind closed doors to finish a landmark report on global warming, and the picture they paint is not pretty.
They say significant changes in the climate could start happening within the next 10 years.
“We’re hoping that it will convince people, you know, that climate change is real,” said Kenneth Denman, co-author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
The report predicts an increase in heat waves, intense tropical storms and hurricanes, a sharp rise in sea level and continued melting of the world’s snow and glaciers.
Scientists on the US Pacific coast are increasingly observing emaciated gray whales in what they fear is a sign that global warming is wreaking havoc in the whales’ Bering Sea summer feeding grounds.
The gray whales are migrating later, not going as far north, and are producing fewer calves, Steven Swartz, head researcher with the National Marine Fisheries Service told AFP.
Swartz, who with his team meticulously photograph and identify the migrating whales, estimates that at least ten percent of the population is seriously skinny.
Instead of looking plump coming off the summer months, they have noticeable depressions behind the head, with scapulas visible through the skin, and concave sections above the tail, he added. “This is enough to cause alarm.”
Humans may evolve bizarre features such as webbed feet and eyes like cats in response to changing environments, a scientist claims today.
Experts calculated how our physical appearance could change under a number of scenarios, including a ‘water world’ if melting ice caps cause rising sea levels.
To adapt to a ‘water world’, Dr Matthew Skinner, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Kent, expects humans would develop webbed hands and eyes like those of cats to help us see in the poor lighting conditions underwater.
We would also retain a layer of baby fat into adulthood as an insulator for spending long periods submerged. Regular foraging in shallow waters could lead us to develop artificial ‘gills’ to help us breathe, extracting oxygen from the water and delivering it to the bloodstream.
This would also lead to our lung capacity becoming greatly reduced, and our rib cages shrinking.
New research from the University of British Columbia suggests evolution is a driving mechanism behind plant migration, and that scientists may be underestimating how quickly species can move.
The study, published today in the journal Science, builds on previous research that has shown some plants and animals are moving farther north or to higher altitudes in an effort to escape rising global average temperatures due to climate change.
We know from previous research that evolution might play a role in how fast a species can move across a region or continent, said Jennifer Williams, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor in UBC’s department of geography.
“But what our study suggests is that evolution is not only a factor in movement, but that it can, in fact, accelerate the spread, and can do so predictably.”
For the study, researchers used a small flowering plant (Arabidopsis thaliana), a common model organism in plant biology, to test the role of evolution in plant migration. The findings suggest that evolution accelerates the speed of migration, said Williams.
Amazon could shrink by 85% due to climate change, scientists say. Global warming will wreck attempts to save the Amazon rainforest, according to a devastating new study which predicts that one-third of its trees will be killed by even modest temperature rises.
Tim Lenton, a climate expert at the University of East Anglia, called the study, presented at a global warming conference in Copenhagen today , a “bombshell”.
He said: “When I was young I thought chopping down the trees would destroy the forest but now it seems that climate change will deliver the killer blow.”
“How climate change makes me feel. I feel a maelstrom of emotions. I am exasperated. Exasperated no one is listening. I am frustrated. Frustrated we are not solving the problem. I am anxious.
Anxious that we start acting now. I am perplexed. Perplexed that the urgency is not appreciated. I am dumbfounded. Dumbfounded by our inaction. I am distressed. Distressed we are changing our planet.
I am upset. Upset for what our inaction will mean for all life. I am annoyed. Annoyed with the media’s portrayal of the science.
I am angry. Angry that vested interests bias the debate. I am infuriated. Infuriated we are destroying our planet. But most of all I am apprehensive. Apprehensive about our children’s future.”
– Associate Professor Anthony J. Richardson Climate Change Ecologist The University of Queensland –
“How far can it go? The last time the world was three degrees warmer than today – which is what we expect later this century – sea levels were 25m higher.
So that is what we can look forward to if we don’t act soon. None of the current climate and ice models predict this.
But I prefer the evidence from the Earth’s history and my own eyes. I think sea-level rise is going to be the big issue soon, more even than warming itself.” – Jim Hansen –
“We’re seeing the early signs of climate warming here,” said climatologist Dan Cayan of the Scripps Institution in San Diego, assessing California’s vulnerability. “We’re very worried about climate warming.”
“The warming attacks in different ways. Blossoms may open weeks too soon, before insects arrive to pollinate them, and fruit trees may produce weaker crops because there are fewer cool nights, which the trees need for recovering between harvests.”
Are Australian magpies warbling and swooping earlier than ever before? Probably.
Is the invasive Asian house gecko making its way south from Darwin? Possibly.
Is Nemo, the clown fish, partying off the coast of Sydney all year round instead of returning to tropical waters in winter? Scientists think so.
More than 60,000 observations made by Australian citizen scientists are feeding answers to these questions and hundreds more into a database run by ClimateWatch, which is run by the Smithsonian Institution’s Earthwatch Institute.
Since 2009, 13,000 citizen scientists have registered to make observations on ClimateWatch’s app and website. Their records of 185 species of plants and animals are starting to flower and bear fruit, albeit unripened.
ClimateWatch’s program manager Linden Ashcroft said the species were chosen for their susceptibility to changes in rain and temperature. They may flower or start breeding earlier, change migrating patterns or move to different habitats to seek the right temperatures and conditions for their species. They are also common and easy to identify.
“People notice this stuff in their day-to-day life,” Dr Ashcroft said. “They think, ‘That tree flowered earlier’ or, ‘That bird I haven’t seen it before’, but now they are realising how important that information is,” she said.
We often hear about all of the different creatures out there negatively affected by climate change and global warming.
However, there are actually some including the squid which seem to benefit from it. For example their bodies are able to process food easier when the water is warmer.
As a result the squid will grow to be larger than otherwise.
This is going to be significant in their ability to survive overall out there against predators. The smaller a squid is the more likely it will be consumed. This can lead to more squid due to them becoming mature and having offspring before they become food for something else.
A world people’s referendum on climate change will be held in April 2011 for the earth’s peoples to decide how to address this global problem.
Although it is hoped that some states will cooperate, the participation of governments will not be essential to the referendum, as civil society organizations are to plan it according to their own lights and the traditions and customs of each local area.
This was one of the final resolutions Thursday at the close of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba.