keep off the grass!

In Australia, where 11 million cattle range in Queensland alone, this call for livestock reform has been a whisper on the edges of the greenhouse debate. I became interested after reading a letter by animal rights activist Geoff Russell to climate-change campaigner Tim Flannery.

In his letter, Russell quotes climate scientist James Hansen, who says meat reduction is the second-most important thing one can do to combat climate change (the most important is to elect a government committed to action). Russell then quotes the CSIRO, who “have tested Australian cattle on grass and grain – those on grass produce about three times more methane”.

Could this be true? Could a fat corn-fed cow be better for the environment than one allowed to range over grass?

Sydney Morning Herald, 17 Feb 2009

a socially isolated cow

cow

CSIRO research shows methane is more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide in causing global warming.

Each year, cattle generate about 100 million tonnes of the gas, which is generated by micro-organisms in the cow’s stomach. NSW Agriculture’s research at Tocal Agricultural College showed one cow produced about 100 grams of methane a day, or about 10 to 15 per cent of the energy they digested, and that most was expelled from the cow’s mouth rather than its rear.

“Genetic variations enable some animals to better convert feed to body weight,” Dr Autin said. “More efficient feeding produces less methane.”

Newscastle Herald, 7 Jan 2006 – screen copy held by this website

Ban plants!

The surprising discovery that plants may be responsible for up to 30 per cent of the world’s methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is no reason to stop planting forests, a scientist has warned.

A team led by Frank Keppler, of Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Germany, found that living plants emit 10 to 1000 times more of the gas than decaying matter. And plants increase their methane emissions when warmed by the sun, it was found.

Plants have long been seen as weapons against global warming because they absorb another greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.

It’s a surprise, said David Etheridge of the CSIRO’s Marine and Atmospheric Research division. “You think you know everything.”

Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Jan 2006

straight from the ……

small_horse

After they first appeared in the fossil record, horses got smaller as a result of a warming planet, says a study just published in Science.

“Horses started out small, about the size of a small dog like a miniature schnauzer,” said co-author Jonathan Bloch, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus.

“What’s surprising is that after they first appeared, they then became even smaller and then dramatically increased in size, and that exactly corresponds to the global warming event, followed by cooling.”

“It had been known that mammals were small during that time and that it was warm, but we hadn’t understood that temperature specifically was driving the evolution of body size.”

Grist, 23 Feb 2012

wine growing pushed uphill

Some of the country’s best wine comes from the high-quality grapes grown in California, but warming projections for the area could cut wine production in half within 30 years, according to Diffenbaugh’s research, as well as another study published in the Proceedings of the National Academics of Sciences.

“The temperatures won’t be suitable,” he says, adding that farmers will have to adapt to try and overcome excessive heat conditions. In fact, prime wine production could wind up in Oregon, New Jersey, or even mountainous regions of China in the coming years.

Prevention, 12 Apr 2013

hay fever

Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from hay fever, while 16 million adults endure asthma.

Although genetics play an important role in these conditions, recent research is finding that higher temperatures and more carbon dioxide are making allergy seasons worse, stimulating plants to produce more pollen and increasing fungi growth.

There have been significant increases in allergies and asthma in recent decades, which obviously cannot be explained by any change in genetics, said Christine Rogers, a research associate in Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University.

Live Science, 22 Nov 2005

moths miss the beat

………………………………….

For the winter moth (Operophtera brumata), timing is everything.

If it hatches too early, there are no oak leaves to eat. Too late, and the leaves are tough and indigestible. Now this delicate rhythm has become a casualty of climate change, a new study finds.

Similar effects on finely tuned ecological relationships — such as that between bees and flowers — will be a major consequence of global warming, believes Marcel Visser, of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, co-author of the study.

“If people look for these effects, I think they’ll find them everywhere,” he says.

nature, 7 Feb 2001

moths don’t miss the beat

Winter moths are able to adjust to the changing temperatures of our changing climate.

The temperature determines the day winter moths hatch out and that temperature sensitivity is hereditary.

Through selection only the most adjusted eggs remain, meaning those that nowadays hatch at the same time as the oak buds burst – as young oak leaves are their food source.

Such research should be undertaken for more species to improve the predictions of climate-change consequences.

Science Daily, 21 Jun 2007

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see also – having it both ways

opening the vent

The Pacific Ocean may open a “heat vent” above it that releases enough energy into space to reduce projected climate warming caused by the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

High clouds over the western tropical Pacific Ocean seem to decrease when sea surface temperatures are higher, said Arthur Hou of the American space agency, Nasa.

The mechanism allows the heat to escape, keeping the oceans cool.

The newly discovered vent, if confirmed, could significantly reduce estimates of future global warming now being put forward by computer models of the Earth’s climate.

BBC News, 5 Mar 2001

save the planet with fake trees!

Professor Klaus Lackner (Geophysics, Columbia University Earth Institute): Just like the leaves of a tree have air blowing over them, and they manage to extract some of the CO2 as it floats over the leaf’s surface, this device has surfaces over which the wind blows, and it gives up a fraction of its CO2 as it goes through. So the idea of this device is to capture carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Yes, it doesn’t look like a tree, because it’s just has functionally this one part in common. It doesn’t, like a normal tree, try to convert this with sunshine into starches. So the leaves of this tree do not have to be exposed to the sunshine, so they are stacked much more tightly. And, consequently, this synthetic tree is capable of collecting much more CO2 out of the wind than an ordinary tree would.

npr.org, 3 Dec 2007

play misty for me

Enter “marine cloud brightening,” a geoengineering scheme that would increase cloud reflectivity over the ocean by spraying them with an ultrafine saltwater mist from ships.

The clouds, containing more particles, would cast enough sunlight back into space to at least partially offset the warming effects of all that CO2 from burning fossil fuels.

Stephen Salter, an emeritus professor of engineering design at the University of Edinburgh is the lead and was for many years the only engineer working on a proposal to accomplish marine cloud brightening by populating the world’s oceans with up to 1,500 ships of a somewhat exotic design—sometimes known as “albedo yachts”.

Each vessel would be remote-controlled, wind-powered, and capable of generating (via turbines dragged through the water) the electricity required to create a mist of seawater and loft it 1,000 meters into the atmosphere.

Scientific American, 21 Oct 2009

giant gun to solve global warming!

Scientists claim they can fight global warming by firing trillions of mirrors into space to deflect the sun’s rays forming a 100,000 square mile “sun shade”.

According to astronomer Dr Roger Angel, at the University of Arizona, the trillions of mirrors would have to be fired one million miles above the earth using a huge cannon with a barrel of 0.6 miles across. The gun would pack 100 times the power of conventional weapons and need an exclusion zone of several miles before being fired.

Dr Angel has already secured NASA funding for a pilot project and British inventor Tod Todeschini, 38, was commissioned to build a scaled-down version of the gun. He constructed the four-metre long cannon in his workshop in Sandlake, Oxfordshire, for a TV documentary investigating the sun shield theory.

He said: “The gun was horrendously dangerous. This was the first gun I’d ever built.”

The Telegraph, 26 Feb 2009

sneezes

Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from hay fever, while 16 million adults endure asthma.

Although genetics play an important role in these conditions, recent research is finding that higher temperatures and more carbon dioxide are making allergy seasons worse, stimulating plants to produce more pollen and increasing fungi growth.

There have been significant increases in allergies and asthma in recent decades, which obviously cannot be explained by any change in genetics, said Christine Rogers, a research associate in Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University.

Live Science, 22 Nov 2005

we must act now

Australia’s world heritage properties, including the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, are at risk from climate change, according to new research from the Australian National University.

There is currently a lack of data available about the potential impacts of climate change upon built heritage but higher sea and land surface temperatures, more severe storm events, ocean acidification and rising sea levels could damage heritage properties, the research predicts.

Commissioned by the government, the report is being used by environment minister Peter Garrett, to push for an agreement on emissions cuts before an international conference in December.

“The disintegration of our World Heritage areas would be an irreparable loss,” he said in a statement. “We must act now.”

Architecture and Design, 5 Aug 2009

wolves not at the door any more

Now it appears that the white wolves at the White Wolf Sanctuary near Tidewater are also responding to the incremental climate shift scientists say is being caused by man-made carbon dioxide pollution of the atmosphere.

The female wolves at the sanctuary usually go into estrus “right about Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th,” sanctuary manager and owner Lois Tulleners said this week. “But they’re ahead of schedule this year.”

Tulleners has six arctic wolves in her sanctuary in the Coast Range, up the Alsea River from Waldport.

One of the female wolves, 4-year old Ventana, “started into heat this Sunday,” said Tulleners. “Kyenne, the old female, is 8 years old. She and Journey, a 2-year old, look like they’ll be into it any day now.

You can tell by the way the males are acting – sniffing at them more and more. That started going on really heavily this Sunday, too.”

The males respond to the hormonal and chemical changes that occur in the females, she said. “It happens every year, of course, and this year, they’re about three weeks early,” Tulleners said.

Twin Timber Wolf Information Network

last-ditch effort to halt global warming!

The US government wants the world’s scientists to develop technology to block sunlight as a last-ditch way to halt global warming, the Guardian has learned.

It says research into techniques such as giant mirrors in space or reflective dust pumped into the atmosphere would be “important insurance” against rising emissions, and has lobbied for such a strategy to be recommended by a major UN report on climate change, the first part of which will be published on Friday.

Scientists have previously estimated that reflecting less than 1% of sunlight back into space could compensate for the warming generated by all greenhouse gases emitted since the industrial revolution.

Possible techniques include putting a giant screen into orbit, thousands of tiny, shiny balloons, or microscopic sulphate droplets pumped into the high atmosphere to mimic the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption.

The Guardian, 27 Jan 2007

Saturn’s rings to solve global warming!

A wild idea to combat global warming suggests creating an artificial ring of small particles or spacecrafts around Earth to shade the tropics and moderate climate extremes.

There would be side effects, proponents admit. An effective sunlight-scattering particle ring would illuminate our night sky as much as the full Moon, for example.

But the idea, detailed today in the online version of the journal Acta Astronautica, illustrates that climate change can be battled with new technologies, according to one scientist not involved in the new work.

To keep the particles in place, gravitationally significant shepherding spacecraft might be employed. They would herd the particles much like small moons keep Saturn’s rings in place. LiveScience, 27 Jun 2005

all in a good cause

Sports fields, car parks and parklands will be important assets; houses will have walls that open, and some people might need to lose their water views to prepare for bigger, more frequent floods due to global warming, according to experts contacted by the Herald.

There is consensus in the scientific literature that “the flooding that happens on small urban type of catchments, which is a result of short rainfall bursts, is going up, because convection is intensifying”, Professor Ashish Sharma, an Australian Research Council future fellow in the school of civil and environmental engineering at the University of NSW, said.

Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Mar 2012

the scheme that launched a thousand (and a half) ships

It should be possible to counteract the global warming associated with a doubling of carbon dioxide levels by enhancing the reflectivity of low-lying clouds above the oceans, according to researchers in the US and UK.

John Latham of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, US, and colleagues say that this can be done using a worldwide fleet of autonomous ships spraying salt water into the air.

Latham and colleagues calculate that, depending on exactly what fraction of low-level maritime clouds are targeted (with some regions, notably the sea off the west coasts of Africa and North and South America, more susceptible to this technique than others), around 1500 ships would be needed altogether to counteract a carbon doubling, at a cost of some £1m to £2m each.

This would involve an initial fleet expanding by some 50 ships a year if the scheme is to keep in step with the current rate of increase in atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels.

PhysicsWorld, 4 Sep 2008

oysters

Thinking about a romantic seafood dinner for two? Often touted as an aphrodisiac food, oysters may not be on the menu for much longer.

According to a recent Grist article, the acidification of the ocean is threatening the Pacific Northwest’s famed oyster industry.

Since the Industrial Revolution, ocean acidity has increased 30%, and projections are saying it could be 150% more acidic by the end of the century.

Prevention, 12 Apr 2013

cookies

Some must-have ingredients for cookies and other baked goods are already feeling the climate change pinch.

Peanut butter prices are spiking after the southern US saw one of the worst harvests in decades, thanks to out-of-the-ordinary extreme heat over the summer.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the peanut harvest is down nearly 15% compared to last year.

Likewise, extreme temperatures in Texas have hampered pecan production, while a recent study published in the journal Science found that yields of wheat are down about 5% since the 1980s.

Prevention, 12 Apr 2013

methane on the rebound

The melting of glaciers driven by global warming portends a seismically turbulent future.

When glaciers melt, the massive weight on the Earth’s crust is reduced, and the crust “bounces” back in what scientists call an “isostatic rebound.”

This process can reactivate faults, increase seismic activity, and lift pressure on magma chambers that feed volcanoes.

This has happened several times throughout Earth’s history, and the evidence suggests that it is starting to happen again. Of course, not every volcanic eruption and earthquake in the years to come will have a climate-change link.

“A particular worry,” writes Bill McGuire in New Scientist, is that such seafloor landslides could “contribute to large-scale releases of methane gas from the solid gas hydrate deposits that are trapped in marine sediments.

Gas hydrates have been identified around the margins of all the ocean basins, and outbursts of gas may occur as sea temperatures climb or as rising sea levels trigger underwater quakes in the vicinity.”

World Watch Institute, 31 July 2006

Another Paris agreement needed!

Global warming is the cause of a number of damaging effects to the earth and its inhabitants, such as climate change, glacier retreat, rising sea levels, and now we may have a new threat on the horizon… world war!

According to the 2007 CNA Corporation report, there is clear indication that as the tensions of global warming continue to heat up, so may the possibilities of war… a Hot War! The first thing we need to do as a nation is concentrate on reducing our own pollution levels.

Each country has the most control over itself and its citizens and should therefore be held accountable for its own actions.

Beyond that, each government needs to open communications with each other in order to help incorporate pollution reduction programs and technologies into every nations lifestyle around the world.

Such a plan would help make current efforts more effective by not only producing awareness on a global level, but providing a consistent plan for all to follow.

Tree Hugger, 4 Jan 2009

can’t see this idea catching on

But when American utilities and other major emitters are simply given free permits to emit greenhouse gases, the effect of the carbon cap is dulled.

That’s why the first carbon auction in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — a pact by 10 northeastern states to cut carbon emissions jointly — was so important.

Utilities in the region bid $38.5 million for the right for emit 12.5 million tons of CO2, generating revenue that the states will be able to put toward climate change action.

More important, by forcing utilities to buy emission allowances, the government sends a signal that their carbon caps will have teeth — something to consider when Obama takes his run at national cap-and-trade legislation in 2009.

Time, 3 Nov 2008

new field of study provides solution to climate change!

Simply stated Exopolitics is a new and emerging field of study that examines the implications of possible contact between humans and extraterrestrial civilizations.

Exopolitics also attempts to provide a political framework in which human beings and extraterrestrials could interact. Exopolitics also seeks to examine the disclosure process that governments may be required to use to inform citizens of the authentic nature of an extraterrestrial presence.

It must be assumed that any civilization that has mastered interstellar voyages has somehow mastered light speed travel or a form of interstellar or inter-dimensional travel we as yet do not comprehend.

These civilizations must have developed technologies that utilize arcane energy sources that our scientists and physics cannot explain. Could contact with off-world civilizations be the answer?

If the use of fossil fuels were to stop today and be replaced by energy sources obtained from a developing contact and relationship with off-world civilizations, would the planet enter a new era of environmental design?

The Exopolitical Disclosure Movement provides a unique forum of enquiry that may address and possibly answer the multiplicity of questions presented here.

The only missing piece of the puzzle is the cultural and political will to examine the extraterrestrial phenomenon with the vigor the media examines issues such as child and spousal abuse, political patronage, corporate fraud and who the Canadian Idol is this month.

Exopolitics and Global Warming, 12 May 2006

worst case scenario

The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday.

Such a rise – which would be much higher nearer the poles – would have cataclysmic and irreversible consequences for the Earth, making large parts of the planet uninhabitable and threatening the basis of human civilisation.

Professor Le Quéré, of the University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey, said that Copenhagen was the last chance of coming to a global agreement that would curb carbon-dioxide emissions on a time-course that would hopefully stabilise temperature rises to within the danger threshold.

“The Copenhagen conference next month is in my opinion the last chance to stabilise climate at C above pre-industrial levels in a smooth and organised way,” she said.

Independent, 18 Nov 2009

see also – just plain scary

greatest long term threat

Climate change is the “greatest long-term threat” to achieving global equality, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband has told the United Nations.

Mr Miliband said although all countries were affected by climate change, the poorest people within the poorest countries would suffer the most. He called on the richest countries to take the greatest action to combat climate change.

He made the comments in his first speech to the UN as foreign secretary.

BBC News, 28 Sep 2007

autumn leaves

It turns out that climate change is substantially altering the timetable for those famously colorful changing autumn leaves in New England, according to a study released this week by the University of Connecticut.

“Many other studies have shown that autumn could come later each year based on rising temperatures,” says Yingying Xie, a researcher on the study. “But this is the first study to show the interactions of a range of different climate variables on regional ecosystems.”

“Oaks are more drought-tolerant, which may explain why southern New England shows less phonological sensitivity to drought variation than, say, regions dominated by maples or birches,” said John Silander, a researcher on the study. “Species composition makes a difference.”

Yahoo News, 24 Oct 2015