250 feet (76 metres)

According to Dr.Joe Romm, climatologist, author and Climate Progress blogger, in the not so distant future we can expect sea level rise around 3-6 feet, but it doesn’t stop there. “It’s not like sea levels are going to rise 4 feet and stop,” Romm says. “What we are headed toward is an ice-free planet with sea level rise of 250 feet; all but 40 or 50 feet is unstoppable.”
Clean Houston, “Top Climate Scientists Warn Adaptation to Climate Change Can’t Wait” by Vicki Wolf, November 2011

invasion – fatter marmots

A team led by Daniel Blumstein of the University of California, Los Angeles, have been monitoring the yellow-bellied marmots of Colorado’s Upper East river for over three decades. Blumstein recently realised the population had exploded. “It’s boom time in this region,” he says.

So what caused them to put on weight? Blumstein and Ozgul suspect it was the gradual warming of the region linked to climate change. The warming means spring starts earlier, so marmots come out of hibernation earlier, giving them more time to fatten up before the next winter.
New Scientist, 21/7/10

vegetation invasion

Vegetation around the world is on the move, and climate change is the culprit, according to a new analysis of global vegetation shifts led by a University of California, Berkeley, ecologist in collaboration with researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

In a paper published today in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, researchers present evidence that over the past century, vegetation has been gradually moving toward the poles and up mountain slopes, where temperatures are cooler, as well as toward the equator, where rainfall is greater.

“Approximately one billion people now live in areas that are highly to very highly vulnerable to future vegetation shifts,” said Gonzalez. “Ecosystems provide important services to people, so we must reduce the emissions that cause climate change, then adapt to major changes that might occur.”
News Center, Berkeley University, 4/6/10

that seems clear enough

This strange state of affairs may be rooted in human psychology. As the Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert put it in a 2006 op-ed article in The Los Angeles Times, “Global warming is bad, but it doesn’t make us feel nauseated or angry or disgraced, and thus we don’t feel compelled to rail against it as we do against other momentous threats to our species, such as flag burning.”

People tend to have strong emotions about topics like food and sex, and to create their own moral rules around these emotions, he says. “Moral emotions are the brain’s call to action,” he wrote. “If climate change were caused by gay sex, or by the practice of eating kittens, millions of protesters would be massing in the streets.”
New York Times, 20/2/10

lives saved?

In April last year a group of environmentalists shut down E.ON’s coalfired power station in Ratcliffe-on-Soar. The goal: to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and, in their words, “save lives”. Yesterday judge Morris Cooper presented a 20-page judgment accepting there was an “urgent need for drastic action”, but convicted them of aggravated trespass, saying their defence, that their crime was necessary to save lives, could not be substantiated.
The Guardian, 26/2/08

no fragrance in short rice

An experiment by Indian agriculture scientists points to the enormous effect global warming could have on the fragrant basmati rice. Basmati, Sanskrit for the fragrant one, may lose not just its aroma, the famous long grains may get shorter, say scientists.

H Pathak, principal investigator of Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s Climate Change Challenge Programme, told TOI the Tarawari basmati grown in research fields in Delhi did not grow long enough and wasn’t as fragrant as it should have been when cooked.
Times of India, 30/1/11

that explains it!

New computer models that look at ocean temperatures instead of the atmosphere show the clearest signal yet that global warming is well underway, said Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Speaking at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Barnett said climate models based on air temperatures are weak because most of the evidence for global warming is not even there. “The real place to look is in the ocean,” Barnett told a news conference.

Wired.com, 18 Feb 2005

2050

Perhaps as early as 2050 human habitation will be becoming difficult across central America, southern Europe, north Africa, southern Asia and Japan as well as southern Africa, the Pacific islands, and most of Australia and Chile. Only the far north and south of the planet will remain wet enough to allow large scale human settlement and agriculture.
The Telegraph (UK), 26/2/09

work opportunities for climate scientists

So worried are some fashion houses about the impact climate change is having on the way we dress and shop they are calling in the climate experts. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that American retail giant Liz Claibourne Inc enlisted a New York climatologist to speak to 30 of its executives on topics ranging from the types of fabrics they should be using to the timing of retail deliveries and seasonal markdowns.
The Age, 6 Oct 2006

21 feet (6.4 metres)

Global warming is causing the Greenland ice cap to disintegrate far faster than anyone predicted. A study of the region’s massive ice sheet warns that sea levels may – as a consequence – rise more dramatically than expected.

The implications of the research are dramatic given that Greenland holds enough ice to raise global sea levels by up to 21ft, a disaster scenario that would result in the flooding of some of the world’s major population centres, including all of Britain’s city ports.
The Independent, 17 Feb 2006

invasion – kissing bugs

But could those more-dangerous kissing bug species move north as the climate warms? (members of Reduviid family of insects — the so-called kissing bugs because of their habit of biting people around the mouth while they sleep)

“Absolutely,” says Patricia Dorn, an expert on Chagas disease at Loyola University. “We know the bugs are already across the bottom two-thirds of the U.S., so the bugs are here, the parasites are here. Very likely with climate change they will shift further north and the range of some species will extend,” she says.
University of Vermont, 14/3/12

invasion – tigers

In the past few years man and tiger have been confronting each other more and more in the Sunderbans, and for once, it seems that tigers are getting the upper hand. Climate change is a reality in the Sunderbans. Rising sea levels, constant erosion and increasingly salty waters make life in the tangle of islands and mangrove forests harder for animals.
The Guardian, 25 September 2008

birdwatchers excited

A number of southern Europe’s heron species have suddenly arrived in Britain, in an exotic influx which is exciting birdwatchers.

Mark Grantham, a migration expert at the British Trust for Ornithology thought an anticyclone over southern Europe may have influenced the arrival by pushing birds migrating from Africa too far north, but Britain’s milder weather, perhaps influenced by climate change, was probably another factor.
The Independent, 6/6/07

invasion – the agrostis stolonifera threat

But animals aren’t the only threat to the Antarctic ecosystem. Scientists fear that if global warming causes the continent’s climate to thaw out, introduced plant species could take over. One species of grass, agrostis stolonifera, is a particular threat.

Dana Bergstrom, part of the Australian Antarctic Division and head of a research project on alien species in Antarctica, said: “It’s a species that gets everywhere, it’s already on most of the Antarctic islands.” She said that if the species gets a toehold on the continent “it would just create lawns.”

Scribol, Global Warming causes alien invasion in Antarctica

where’s my haggis?

Global warming could pose a threat to a key ingredient used in one of Scotland’s most famous dishes. An increase in lungworm infections in sheep has been identified by the Scottish Agricultural College Veterinary Investigation Centre. The parasite renders sheep lung – used to make haggis – unfit for consumption.
BBC News, 2 Oct 2008

islands sinking

………………………………….
The analysis clearly indicates that sea-level in this region (tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans) is rising. We expect that the continued and increasing rate of sea-level rise and any resulting increase in the frequency or intensity of extreme sea-level events will cause serious problems for the inhabitants of some of these islands during the 21st century.
John A. Church and others, Global and Planetary Change, Vol 53, Issue 3, September 2006, pages 155-168

islands not sinking

Using historical aerial photography and satellite images this study presents the first quantitive analysis of physical changes in 27 atoll island in the central Pacific over a 19 to 61 yr period….Results show 43% of islands remained stable on increased in area (43%) over the time frame of the analysis…Only 14% of study islands exhibited a net reduction in island area.
Arthur P. Webb and Paul S. Kench, Global and Planetary Change, Vol 72, Issue 3, 3 Jun 2010, pages 234-246.
………………………………….

plain leaves

Every fall, Marilyn Krom tries to make a trip to Vermont to see its famously beautiful fall foliage. This year, she noticed something different about the autumn leaves. “They’re duller, not as sparkly, if you know what I mean,” Krom, 62, a registered nurse from Eastford, Conn., said during a recent visit. “They’re less vivid.” Other “leaf peepers” are noticing, too, and some believe climate change could be the reason.
Fox News, 22 Oct 2007

fifty shades of turtles

Even though sea turtles tend to live in warmer waters, the climate changes do affect their natural habitat. The climate is also believed to affect the sex of the younglings.

So if they temperatures continue to significantly increase it is believed that there will be many more females than males in the world. Yet these males likely won’t be able to keep up with the need of the females when it comes to reproduction.
Sea Turtle World, undated

everybody lean this way

Warming oceans could cause Earth’s axis to tilt in the coming century, a new study suggests. It calculates that oceans warmed by the rise in greenhouse gases can also cause the Earth to tilt – a conclusion that runs counter to older models, which suggested that ocean expansion would not create a large shift in the distribution of the Earth’s mass, according to Felix Landerer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
New Scientist, 20 Aug 2009

feeling under the weather?

Patients who came to him with depression or anxiety were increasingly citing climate change news as something they were having trouble coping with.

“These people tend to have a low threshold to taking on worries. When they pick up the paper and see a small part of Antarctica disintegrating, they take it on board,” said Dr Blashki, a senior research fellow in the University of Melbourne’s Primary Care Research Unit. “They pick up on the negative things going on in the world.”

“It comes down to maintaining hope, to get people motivated, not despairing. Action is a great stress reliever,” he said.

The Age, 6 Apr 2008

is your crabgrass watching you?

Crabgrass will get a strong assist from global warming in its campaign to take over your lawn.

That’s the unexpected finding of a study investigating a very different aspect of lawn biology: Neeta S. Bijoor, her graduate advisor Diane E. Pataki of the University of California, Irvine, and two colleagues set out to determine how warming affects lawns’ emission of nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

In contrast to fescue and most other crop plants, crabgrass and many other weeds photosynthesize with greater efficiency the warmer it gets, so they have been predicted to proliferate as temperatures rise.

Live Science, 3 Dec 2008

reptiles head for the hills

Global warming is forcing 30 species of reptiles and amphibians to move uphill as habitats shift upward, but they may soon run out of room to run.

Among 30 species of geckos, skinks, chameleons and frogs, an average shift uphill of 62 to 167 feet (19 to 51 meters) was observed over the decade.

When these results were compared with meteorological records and climate change simulations, the movement of animals could be linked to temperature increases of 0.18°F to 0.67°F (0.1°C to 0.37°C) over the same decade, which corresponds to an expected upslope movement of 59 to 243 feet (17 to 74 meters).

Livescience.com 12 Jun 2008

bury that chocolate

“One of climate change’s potential victims is chocolate. Will the prospect of losing their favorite dessert finally get people to wake up? Some experts are predicting that in a matter of decades a drop in production due to changing weather and agriculture incentives may make chocolate ‘as expensive as gold’. In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar.”
Alternet.org, 12 Nov 2010, “Global Warming could lead to vast chocolate shortage”

work opportunities for psychologists

For people who feel an acute unease about the future of the planet, a small but growing number of psychotherapists now offer a treatment designed to reduce worries as well as carbon footprints: ecopsychology. “Global warming has added an extra layer of anxiety to what people are already feeling,” said Sandy Shulmire of Portland, Ore., a psychologist and practitioner of ecopsychology.

New York Times, 16 Feb 2008