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

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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