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Accelerating Global Climate Change III

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Sore Throat





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Arctic ozone loss at record level PostSun Oct 02, 2011 11:04 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15105747

Arctic ozone loss at record level

By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News

Ozone loss over the Arctic this year was so severe that for the first time it could be called an "ozone hole" like the Antarctic one, scientists report.

About 20km (13 miles) above the ground, 80% of the ozone was lost, they say.

The cause was an unusually long spell of cold weather at altitude. In cold conditions, the chlorine chemicals that destroy ozone are at their most active.

It is currently impossible to predict if such losses will occur again, the team writes in the journal Nature.

Early data on the scale of Arctic ozone destruction were released in April, but the Nature paper is the first that has fully analysed the data.

"Winter in the Arctic stratosphere is highly variable - some are warm, some are cold," said Michelle Santee from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

"But over the last few decades, the winters that are cold have been getting colder.

"So given that trend and the high variability, we'd anticipate that we'll have other cold ones, and if that happens while chlorine levels are high, we'd anticipate that we'd have severe ozone loss."

Ozone-destroying chemicals originate in substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that came into use late last century in appliances including refrigerators and fire extinguishers.

Their destructive effects were first documented in the Antarctic, which now sees severe ozone depletion in each of its winters.

Their use was progressively restricted and then eliminated by the 1987 Montreal Protocol and its successors.

The ozone layer blocks ultraviolet-B rays from the Sun, which can cause skin cancer and other medical conditions.

Longer, not colder

Winter temperatures in the Arctic stratosphere do not generally fall as low as at the southern end of the world.

No records for low temperature were set this year, but the air remained at its coldest for an unusually long period of time, and covered an unusually large area.

In addition, the polar vortex was stronger than usual. Here, winds circulate around the edge of the Arctic region, somewhat isolating it from the main world weather systems.

"Why [all this] occurred will take years of detailed study," said Dr Santee.

"It was continuously cold from December through April, and that has never happened before in the Arctic in the instrumental record."

The size and position of the ozone hole changed over time, as the vortex moved northwards or southwards over different regions.

Some monitoring stations in northern Europe and Russia recorded enhanced levels of ultraviolet-B penetration, though it is not clear that this posed any risk to human health.

While the Arctic was setting records, the Antarctic ozone hole is relatively stable from year to year.

This year has seen ozone-depleting conditions extending a little later into the southern hemisphere spring than usual - again, as a result of unusual weather conditions.

Chlorine compounds persist for decades in the upper atmosphere, meaning that it will probably be mid-century before the ozone layer is restored to its pre-industrial health.

see:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7365793.stm

Climate 'fix' could deplete ozone
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New climate study deals blow to skeptics PostSun Oct 23, 2011 5:28 pm  Reply with quote  

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/21/world/americas/climate-study-warming-real/?hpt=T2


New climate study deals blow to skeptics

By Matthew Knight, CNN

London (CNN) -- An independent study of global temperature records has reaffirmed previous conclusions by climate scientists that global warming is real.

The new analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project examined 1.6 billion temperature reports from 15 data archives stretching back over 200 years in an effort to address scientific concerns raised by climate skeptics about the data used to inform reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Researchers found "reliable evidence" of a rise in average world land temperatures of one degrees Celsius -- or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit -- since the mid-1950s.

"Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the United States and the UK," professor Richard A. Muller, Berkeley Earth's scientific director said in a statement.

"This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions," Muller added.

Climate skeptics have consistently challenged the findings of studies by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the UK's University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, whose research is used by the IPCC.

Many skeptics argue that the urban heat island effect may be distorting temperature rises and too much data gathered from weather stations is of poor quality.

They also contend that data selection has been biased -- a charge which gained credence during the so-called "Climategate" scandal in 2009, when thousands of private emails from the UK's University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) were published on the Internet.

'Climategate' explained

The charge that CRU scientists and other climate scientists had manipulated data was rejected by an independent review in July 2010.

But doubts persisted in many climate skeptic's minds.

Addressing these concerns directly, the new study has concluded that while the urban heat island effect is "locally large and real" it "does not contribute significantly to the average land temperature rise."

This is because urban regions amount to less than 1% of total land area, according to the study.

On the issue of data from poor stations the study found that they showed "the same pattern of global warming as stations ranked 'ok'" and "that there is not any undue bias from including poor stations in the survey."

Learn more about the study

Lead scientist at Berkeley Earth, Robert Rohde said that the study was the first to address issues concerning data bias and used nearly all available data, which amounted to five times more station locations (39,000 compared to 7,280) than reviewed by prior groups.

In total, around one third of temperature sites around the world reported global cooling since the 1950s but the remaining two thirds showed warming, according to the study.

It is extremely difficult to measure weather consistently over decades and centuries, but the presence of sites reporting cooling is a symptom of the local variations that can creep in, according to researchers.

The study has now been submitted for peer review.

Professor Phil Jones, the director of research at CRU who considered suicide during the furore over the "Climategate" scandal, said he looked forward to reading the finalized paper when it is published.

"These initial findings are very encouraging and echo our own results and our conclusion that the impact of urban heat islands on the overall global temperature is minimal," Jones said in a statement.

Muller conceded that the study's remit did not extend to questions about how much warming has been influenced by human activity.

"It's a very interesting piece of research," said David Whitehouse, science advisor to the Global Warming Policy Foundation -- a charity set up by former UK government finance minister and vocal critic of climate change policy, Nigel Lawson.

"But it's not the main question that skeptics are talking about. The important question is what is the mixture of natural and human-induced effects that contribute to that warming?" Whitehouse said.

The IPCC's most recent assessment maintains that humans are "very likely" responsible for recent global warming.

Berkeley Earth plan to address ocean temperatures (which the IPCC state has not warmed as much as land) in their next study, with a view to gaining a more accurate view of the total amount of observable global warming.
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Skeptic’s own study finds climate change real PostMon Oct 31, 2011 12:23 am  Reply with quote  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/skeptics-own-study-finds-climate-change-real-but-says-scientists-should-be-more-critical/2011/10/30/gIQAphNkVM_story.html


Skeptic’s own study finds climate change real, but says scientists should be more critical

WASHINGTON — A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures really are rising rapidly.

The study of the world’s surface temperatures by Richard Muller was partially bankrolled by a foundation connected to global warming deniers. He pursued long-held skeptic theories in analyzing the data. He was spurred to action because of “Climategate,” a British scandal involving hacked emails of scientists.

Yet he found that the land is 1.6 degrees warmer than in the 1950s. Those numbers from Muller, who works at the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, match those by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

He said he went even further back, studying readings from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. His ultimate finding of a warming world, to be presented at a conference Monday, is no different from what mainstream climate scientists have been saying for decades.

What’s different, and why everyone from opinion columnists to “The Daily Show” is paying attention is who is behind the study.

One-quarter of the $600,000 to do the research came from the Charles Koch Foundation, whose founder is a major funder of skeptic groups and the tea party. The Koch brothers, Charles and David, run a large privately held company involved in oil and other industries, producing sizable greenhouse gas emissions.

Muller’s research team carefully examined two chief criticisms by skeptics. One is that weather stations are unreliable; the other is that cities, which create heat islands, were skewing the temperature analysis.

“The skeptics raised valid points and everybody should have been a skeptic two years ago,” Muller said in a telephone interview. “And now we have confidence that the temperature rise that had previously been reported had been done without bias.”

Muller said that he came into the study “with a proper skepticism,” something scientists “should always have. I was somewhat bothered by the fact that there was not enough skepticism” before.

There is no reason now to be a skeptic about steadily increasing temperatures, Muller wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages, a place friendly to skeptics. Muller did not address in his research the cause of global warming. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists say it’s man-made from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Nor did his study look at ocean warming, future warming and how much of a threat to mankind climate change might be.

Still, Muller said it makes sense to reduce the carbon dioxide created by fossil fuels.

“Greenhouse gases could have a disastrous impact on the world,” he said. Still, he contends that threat is not as proven as the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it is.

On Monday, Muller was taking his results — four separate papers that are not yet published or peer-reviewed, but will be, he says — to a conference in Santa Fe, N.M., expected to include many prominent skeptics as well as mainstream scientists.
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Antarctic Ozone Shows no sign of recovery PostMon Oct 31, 2011 12:30 am  Reply with quote  

http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Antarctic Ozone Shows No Sign of Recovery



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Weather extremes to worsen, climate study says PostWed Nov 23, 2011 12:07 am  Reply with quote  

http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-11-02/news/30353333_1_climate-change-climate-scientists-climate-study

Weather extremes to worsen, climate study says

November 02, 2011|Seth Borenstein, Associated Press

For a world already weary of weather catastrophes, the latest warning from top climate scientists paints a grim future: More floods, more heat waves, more droughts and greater costs to deal with them.

A draft summary of an international scientific report says the extremes caused by global warming could eventually grow so severe that some locations become "increasingly marginal as places to live."

The report from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change marks a change in climate science, from focusing on subtle shifts in average temperatures to concentrating on the harder-to-analyze freak events that grab headlines, hurt economies and kill people.

"The extremes are a really noticeable aspect of climate change," said Jerry Meehl, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "I think people realize that the extremes are where we are going to see a lot of the impacts of climate change."

The final version of the report from a panel of leading climate scientists will be issued in a few weeks, after a meeting in Uganda. The draft says there is at least a 2-in-3 probability that climate extremes have already worsened because of man-made greenhouse gases.

By the end of the century, the intense, single-day rainstorms that typically happen once every 20 years will probably happen about twice a decade, the report said.

The opposite type of disaster - a drought such as the stubbornly long dry spell gripping Texas and parts of the Southwest - could also happen more often as the world warms, said Meehl, who reviewed part of the climate panel report.

Researchers have also predicted more intense monsoons with climate change. Warmer air can hold more water and impart more energy to weather systems, changing the dynamics of storms and where and how they hit.

The panel was formed by the United Nations and World Meteorological Organization.
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Ozone-Safe Refrigerant Chemicals Add to Climate Danger PostWed Nov 23, 2011 12:25 am  Reply with quote  

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/nov2011/2011-11-21-02.html


Ozone-Safe Refrigerant Chemicals Add to Climate Danger

BALI, Indonesia, November 21, 2011 (ENS) - By 2050, a family of chemicals used for cooling, firefighting and insulation could be responsible for greenhouse gas emissions equal to all today's global emissions from transportion, unless quick action is taken, according to a new report from the UN Environment Programme released today.

Based on the report, UNEP is warning that the two degree Celsius climate target set by governments at last year's climate summit in Cancun, Mexico is at risk from the rising use of ozone-friendly chemicals that also are potent greenhouse gases.





The chemicals, known as hydroflurocarbons, or HFCs, are now used as replacements for two other families of chemicals that have already been phased out or are now being phased out to protect the ozone layer. This layer of the atmosphere filters out the Sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.

HFCs do not deplete the ozone layer but they are potent greenhouse gases. HFCs are increasingly being used as substitutes for chloroflurocarbons, or CFCs, which were phased out as of 2010, and also for the first set of replacement chemicals called hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs.

The new report, "HFCs: A Critical Link in Protecting Climate and the Ozone Layer," was launched today in Bali at a meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that governs the emission of ozone-destroying chemicals.

The report is the first of three that UNEP is releasing this week in advance of the two-week UN climate convention summit in Durban, South Africa from November 28.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, "The more than 20 year-old international effort to save the ozone layer ranks among the most successful examples of cooperation and collaboration among nations. The original chemicals, known as CFCs, were phased-out globally in 2010 and countries are freezing and then phasing-out the replacements, HCFCs."

"However a new challenge is rapidly emerging as countries move ahead on HCFCs and that is HFCs," said Steiner. "While these replacements for the replacement chemicals cause near zero damage to the ozone layer, they are powerful greenhouse gases in their own right."

Indonesian Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya opened today's meeting of the parties by introducing a draft Bali Declaration that focuses on the way forward for the transition towards low global warming potential alternatives to ozone-depleting substances, and encouraged parties to support it.

HFCs are "excellent substitutes for use in refrigerators and industrial air conditioners," the UNEP report states, adding that the contribution of HFCs to climate forcing is currently less than one percent of all greenhouse gases.

But levels of HFCs are rising as they replace HCFCs.

HFC 134a, the most popular type of HFC, has increased in the atmosphere by about 10 percent per year since 2006.

Due to rising demand for cooling, firefighting and insulation in emerging economies and a global population now above seven billion, the UNEP report projects that by 2050 the consumption of HFCs will exceed the peak consumption level of CFCs in the 1980s.

"The good news is that alternatives exist alongside technological solutions according to this international study," said Steiner. "While assessing the absolute benefits from switching needs further scientific refinement there is enough compelling evidence to begin moving away from the most powerful HFCs today.�

Commercially available alternatives do exist, such as ammonia and dimethyl ether for use in foams, refrigeration and fire protection systems

There are climate-friendly HFCs that have short lifetimes in the atmosphere - lasting months rather than years. Some of these are being introduced, such as HFC 1234ze in foams and HFC-1234yf for mobile air-conditioners.

Alternative methods and processes range from improved building design that reduces or avoids the need for air conditioners to fiber rather than foam insulation materials.

The report points out that the introduction of alternatives to climate-damaging HFCs could be accelerated and fast-tracked with further technical developments backed by standards, investment incentives and training for technicians and workers.

Another possibility for protecting the climate and the ozone layer lies in coordination of two international treaties.

HFCs are, along with carbon dioxide, methane and other gases, controlled under the UN's Framework Convention for Combating Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol.

Measures to protect the ozone layer are carried out under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Steiner said, "Cooperative action between these treaties may be the key to fast action on HFCs, assisting to maintain momentum on recovering the ozone layer while simultaneously reducing risks of accelerated climate change."



While there is some concern that replacing HFCs may lead to lower energy efficiency, recent studies have shown that a nunber of systems using substances with low global warming potential have equal or better energy efficiency than systems using HFCs with their high global warming potential.

Concerns that the Earth's stratospheric ozone layer could be at risk from CFCs and other chemicals used in human activities were first raised in the early 1970s. Scientists warned that the release of these substances into the atmosphere could deplete the ozone layer, hindering its ability to prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth.

They warned that a thinning ozone layer would negatively affect ocean ecosystems, agricultural productivity and animal populations, and harm humans through higher rates of skin cancers, cataracts and weakened immune systems.

In May 1981, the UNEP Governing Council launched negotiations on an international agreement to protect the ozone layer and, in March 1985, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted. The Convention called for cooperation on monitoring, research and data exchange, but did not impose obligations to reduce the use of ozone-depleting substances. The Convention now has 196 parties.

In September 1987, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted. The protocol introduced control measures for some CFCs and halons for developed countries. Developing countries were granted a grace period allowing them to increase their use of ozone-depleting substances before taking on commitments. As of September 16, 2009, all countries in the United Nations ratified the original Montreal Protocol, and the Protocol currently has 196 parties.
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More diseases as ozone diminishes PostWed Nov 23, 2011 12:29 am  Reply with quote  

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/11/22/more-diseases-ozone-diminishes.html


More diseases as ozone diminishes

Tifa Asrianti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

As the ozone layer thins, medical experts have warned people to be aware of sun exposure to avoid health problems such as skin cancer and cataracts.

During the last two decades, the stratosphere has thinned by 3 percent, causing the sun’s exposure to the earth to increase by 12 percent, adding to the prevalence of skin cancer and cataracts.

There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), which is the most common and curable type, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which is also common but can undergo a small metastasis in small percentage of patients, and melanoma maligna, the most rare and dangerous type.

The world has seen an increasing number of skin cancer cases, with the US experiencing a 69 percent increase between 1950 and 2001.

Research conducted in 2004 by the University of Glasgow showed that Europe saw 99 cases of BCC per 100,000 people, 15 cases of SCC per 100,000 and 10 cases of melanoma per 100,000. The World Cancer Day campaign set 2011 as the year to raise awareness of skin cancer.

In Indonesia, the prevalence of skin cancer is still relatively low compared to other types of cancer, such as cervical cancer, lung cancer or breast cancer. According to the 2008 Globocan data, the estimation of skin cancer cases was still under 5,000.

However, instances of skin cancer have been on the increase. Bali-based dermatologist Laksmi Duarsa said that skin cancer cases ranked third in 13 hospitals in 1984. She also found skin cancer cases were in the top three most common health problems in Yogyakarta in 1995.

She said that in Sanglah Hospital, the number of skin cancer cases had been increasing since 2007, with the percentage of melanoma cases having increased from 2 percent in 2007 to 4 percent in 2008.

“To protect the skin from cancer risks, people should avoid doing activity under direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.,” she said.

“If people must do activity outdoors during this time period, they should take protective measures, such as using umbrellas, wearing hats or using sun screen cream. People who are at risk of skin cancer are those who work outdoors, like fishermen and farmers.”

Besides skin cancer, another disease caused by the thinning ozone layer is cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye. An eye survey conducted in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara showed that 70 percent. Indonesia has the highest prevalence rate of blindness among other Southeast Asia countries, with a 1.5 percent prevalence rate.

Nila Djuwita Moeloek, an ophthalmologist from the University of Indonesia and special envoy on Millenium Development Goals to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said that if the government could decrease the number of cataract cases or carry out cataract operations, it would reduce the burden of cost to between US$5 and $32.

“If a person becomes visually impaired due to a cataract, he or she cannot work and will need an escort, which has financial implications. If we operate on people with cataracts, not only will these people remain independent, but they will also become productive,” she said.

According to Nila, 410 patients had received radical surgery between 1980 and June 2010. She estimated that there was between 13 and 14 patients receiving radical surgery per year.

Seen as a global threat, countries have committed to reducing the use of substances that potentially deplete the ozone layer, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbons).

As part of the Montreal Protocol, adopted in 2007, signatories committed to quickening the eradication of HCFCs due to the propensity of these substances to deplete the ozone layer and foster global warming. HCFCs, which are commonly used substances, are 2,000 times stronger than carbon dioxide (CO2) in terms of increasing global warming.

A protocol signatory, Indonesia is planning to gradually halt the consumption of HCFCs by reducing the consumption of products containing these substances by 10 percent by 2015.

In December 2007, Indonesia claimed success in halting the consumption of ozone depleting substances such as CFC, methyl bromide, halon, carbon tetrachloride (CTC) and methyl chloroform (also known as trichloroethane/TCA).
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Melting permafrost called ticking time bomb PostFri Dec 09, 2011 4:08 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1095832--melting-permafrost-called-ticking-time-bomb?bn=1


Melting permafrost called ticking time bomb

Niamh Scallan
Staff Reporter

To build a home in Inuvik in the 1950s, construction workers had to drive wooden piles about seven metres deep into the permafrost to account for naturally shifting land.

Today, homebuilders in the Northwest Territories town must hammer those piles nearly 20 metres into the ever-softening Arctic ground.

“It’s probably the most telling tale of what’s happening,” said Mayor Denny Rodgers. “There are areas in town . . . that are being washed away.”

As the world continues to warm, so too does the northern hemisphere’s permafrost — located mostly in Canada, Alaska, Russia and parts of Scandinavia. By the middle of the century, an estimated 20 per cent of permafrost in the north is likely to disappear, a 2007 International Council on Climate Change report says.

Beyond Inuvik and other northern communities, where the continued thaw poses a significant environmental threat, the impact of melting permafrost is predicted to be widespread.

Scientists with the Permafrost Carbon Network warned in a Nature article released Thursday that melting permafrost, loaded with enormous amounts of toxic gasses, is a ticking time bomb that could intensify global warming.

The group of scientists predicts that about 45 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gasses trapped in frozen ground will slowly leech into the air by 2040 as permafrost continues to melt.

By 2100, an estimated 300 billion tonnes of carbon from carbon dioxide and methane are expected to disperse into the atmosphere.

The pollution from permafrost carbon will never outpace factories, cars and other human fossil fuels, said Edward Schuur, a University of Florida scientist and lead author of the study in Nature. But it will accelerate the pace of global warming, he said.

“Unmanaged parts of the earth, arctic systems, are going to have a major role in the pace of climate change in the future,” he said.

Carbon, naturally accumulated in the soil as plants and animals decay, has been locked in the frozen ground for thousands of years. The trouble comes when soil begins to thaw. As it unfreezes, bacteria attack the carbon and release carbon dioxide and methane into the air.

While previous permafrost studies tested the top metre of soil that thawed in summer months, scientists say carbon found several metres below the surface now pose a threat due to rising temperatures.

That carbon will reach the surface as soil thaws in the summer months and transform into toxic gasses over the next few decades if global warming continues on par, the study said.

Little is known about how quickly carbon will be emitted from permafrost when it melts and how it will affect the atmosphere.

But the physical changes already seen in northern landscape is telling, said Dr. Merritt Turetsky, a University of Guelph ecologist who participated in the permafrost study.

“The (International Panel on Climate Change) outlined several scenarios and we are exceeding the worst case scenario,” she said.

Turetsky began her research on Canadian permafrost in the late 1990s. Over the last decade, she travelled to a number of permafrost sites in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories — and she’s seen the melting permafrost drastically change the landscape.

“In that short time, the transformations are quite drastic,” she said. “It literally turns a forest into a semi-aquatic pool . . . vegetation starts to slump, thaw and sink into the ground. Trees start to pitch. This is causing the landscape to change in ways that most of the community hasn’t quite recognized yet.”

She said “collapse scars,” where trees and other types of vegetation slump over and sink into ponds, are becoming an increasingly common sight across the Canadian North.

In Inuvik, Rodgers said the town has experienced “permafrost stumpage” over the last several years — eroding roadsides and ditches dug in the permafrost that quickly transform into large, gaping holes.

Turetsky said the risks posed by permafrost remain high if human-made greenhouse gases remain on pace.

With nearly half of the country covered by permafrost, the impact will reach beyond already affected northern communities in the coming decades if scientists’ predictions are accurate.

Turetsky said a limit on human-made emissions could help keep some carbon frozen in the permafrost, but added that she fears an enormous amount of damage has already been done.

“The analogy is that it’s a big train about to derail,” she said. “Once it begins, permafrost thaw occurs slowly but you can’t stop it. That lack of control makes anybody feel nervous.”
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CO2 Emissions in 2010 Show Biggest Increase Ever Recorded PostFri Dec 09, 2011 4:26 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/06/idUS400236546120111206

CO2 Emissions in 2010 Show Biggest Increase Ever Recorded

By Yale Environment 360

Global carbon emissions soared 5.9 percent in 2010, the largest increase ever recorded, according to the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists that tracks carbon emissions.


The increase comes after a short-lived decline in emissions in 2008 and 2009 and is a sign that global CO2 emissions are once again on the rise as world economies bounce back from recession. The overall jump of more than 500,000 million tons of CO2 emissions from 2009 to 2010 was likely the largest absolute increase since the Industrial Revolution, according to the Global Carbon Project.

Emissions in China, the world's largest source of CO2 releases, rose by 10.4 percent to 2.2 billion tons of carbon injected into the atmosphere. Emissions in the U.S., after dropping 7 percent in 2009, rose by 4 percent last year, according to the report. On average, fossil fuel emissions increased about 3.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, about three times the rate of increase during the 1990s. The combustion of coal represented more than half of the growth in emissions, the report said.

Glen Peters, a researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo and a leader of the Global Carbon Project, said the steep rise in emissions is evidence of a trend that portends severe climate change in the future. "Each year the emissions go up, there's another year of negotiations, another year of indecision," said Peters.
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Greenland faces land crisis as global warming heats up PostSun Dec 11, 2011 6:50 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.thestatecolumn.com/science/greenland-facing-crisis/


Study: Greenland faces land crisis as global warming heats up

A new study released Friday finds that Greenland has risen in recent years as the rate of ice melting has increased, a startling revelation that scientists attribute to global warming.

Speaking at a conference on Friday, a team of scientists from Ohio State University said a network of 50 GPS stations measured the uplift as the ice loss, noting that the rate of ice loss has accelerated in southern Greenland by 100 billion tons. The study was lead by Ohio State University researcher Michael Bevis.

Mr. Bevis noted that an unusually hot melting season in 2010 accelerated ice loss in southern Greenland by 100 billion tons, which led to large portions of the island’s bedrock rising an additional quarter of an inch. The discovery was noted by the team in a paper released ahead of the conclusion of a key global climate change conference in Durban, South Africa.

“Pulses of extra melting and uplift imply that we’ll experience pulses of extra sea level rise,” said Mr. Bevis. “The process is not really a steady process.”

Mr. Belvis said the only explanation for the strange uplift is the rate of ice melt caused, in part, by global warming. The melting and the resulting rise in sea level is one of the hallmarks of global warming, which has force researchers to resort to using some novel methods to overcome different seasonal and regional signals that obstruct their ability to measure the effect of rising temperatures.

“Really, there is no other explanation. The uplift anomaly correlates with maps of the 2010 melting day anomaly,” Mr. Bevis said. “In locations where there were many extra days of melting in 2010, the uplift anomaly is highest.”

The team of scientists noted that a melting day “anomaly” refers to the number of extra melting days – that is, days that were warm enough to melt ice – relative to the average number of melting days per year over several decades. The occurrence of “melting day anomalies” have increased in recent years as global emissions continue to increase.

Speaking on Friday, Mr. Bevis noted that in 2010, the southern half of Greenland lost an extra 100 billion tons of ice under conditions that scientists would consider anomalously warm.

Previous studies have recorded measurements indicating that as that ice melted away, the bedrock beneath it rose. The amount of uplift differed from station to station, depending on how close the station was to regions where ice loss was greatest. Southern Greenland stations that were very close to zones of heavy ice loss rose one inch every five months. Stations that were located far away typically rose at least less than half and inch during the course of the 2010 melting season. The weight of ice sheets push down on the bedrock it rests on, scientists noted, and as the ice sheets lose mass, the bedrock rises. Scientists said the process is known as Glacial Isostatic Adjustment, adding that it has been happening since the planet came out of an ice age around 17,000 years ago.

The team that led the study said that is was conducted by using high-precision global positioning system (GPS) data that measure the vertical motion of the rocky margins around Greenland, Iceland and other regions of the island.

The study comes just two weeks after a series of global climate change meetings in Durban, South Africa. The meeting was set to concluded on Friday. The meetings have pitted the U.S. against emerging powers China and India over whether to hold each other accountable for greenhouse-gas emissions. The European Union has indicated that the world’s three biggest polluters, China, India and the United States, have been slowing down the pace of negotiations on a roadmap to a future agreement.
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Warming Raising Sea Level, Says New Climate Change Report PostSun Dec 11, 2011 6:59 pm  Reply with quote  

Warming Raising Sea Level, Says New Climate Change Report

By Dan Vergano USA Today

Ice-age geologic records suggest Earth's climate will warm faster than expected, pushing the global sea level perhaps more than 3 feet higher within this century, a panel of scientists warned Tuesday.

Speaking at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting here, federal and academic scientists said they reviewed ice core measures spanning more than 500,000 years of Ice Ages and subsequent warming periods to warn that ice sheets in the past had quickly melted once temperatures reached tipping points.

"It's like the ice on your windshield suddenly starting to melt all at once," says Eelco Rohling of the United Kingdom's University of Southampton. "The ice takes a little kicking and then it melts."

Sea-level rise has long been a point of contention among climate scientists, who overwhelmingly agree that humanity adding greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere has raised global average temperatures about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit worldwide in the last century, according to a 2010 National Academy of Sciences report.

Exactly how much hotter it will get by 2100 if humanity doubles the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide — projected to happen by 2060 at present rates by the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — remains to be seen. Estimates range from roughly 4 to 9 degrees warmer.

Carbon dioxide concentrations in the air are 39% higher now than pre-industrial levels.


That number grows every year because the greenhouse gas remains for centuries in the sky. Each degree of warming added to the atmosphere by the increase, the panel members warned, raises the risk of more sea-level rise from melting ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica.

"We cannot double carbon dioxide," said NASA climate scientist James Hansen, who has been a central figure among climate scientists calling for actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. "We will be sending the climate back to a state very different from what humanity is used to."

In particular, Hansen and climate scientist Ken Caldeira of Stanford University pointed to an era 55 million years ago when the globe was ice-cap free and temperatures reached heights far above today's.

"The difference was that took millennia to happen. We're doing it on a much shorter time scale,"
Caldeira said.

The panel of scientists took issue with a recent Science magazine report led by Andreas Schmittner of Oregon State University that looked at pollen and seafloor records of the last Ice Age that was more than 19,000 years ago.

That study concluded that doubling carbon dioxide was very unlikely to increase global average surface temperatures more than 4.7 degrees. "Virtually impossible to go higher," Schmittner said. Rohling says other estimates see it climbing 8.6 degrees or more.

The 2007 IPCC projected less than 2 feet of sea-level rise from warming in this century, partly because the report called such sudden ice sheet melts too hard to project for reliable estimates.

All of the studies of carbon dioxide doubling effects show temperatures increasing, regardless, Caldeira says.

Because carbon dioxide mostly remains in the atmosphere for centuries, the current high level of carbon dioxide means that a millennia from now there will be a sea-level rise of about 80 feet hitting coasts worldwide, "at some point."
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NASA: Climate Change May Flip 40% of Earth’s Major Ecosystem PostTue Dec 27, 2011 11:26 pm  Reply with quote  

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/12/26/394489/nasa-climate-change-may-flip-40-of-earths-major-ecosystems-this-century/

NASA: Climate Change May Flip 40% of Earth’s Major Ecosystems This Century

By Climate Guest Blogger



by Rolf Schuttenhelm, cross-posted from Bits of Science

The results of studies that try to quantify the effects of climate change on biodiversity loss — which include damage to the micro scale level of subspecies and genetic variation — are perhaps most shocking.

When, however, you focus on the response to climate change at the macro level, the ecosystem level, you get a better understanding of what is one of the major drivers of that biodiversity loss: forced migrations. And even here, the numbers may be larger than one would expect, as a new assessment by NASA and Caltech published in the journal Climatic Change shows that by 2100 some 40 percent of “major ecological community types” – that is biomes like forest, grassland, tundra – will have switched to a different such state.

According to the same study most of the land on Earth that is not currently desert or under an icecap will undergo at least a 30 percent change in vegetation cover.

Ecological damage is the real climate problem

Based on IPCC temperature projections for 2100 [which are probably on the conservative side] of 2-4 degrees Celsius warming scientists of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology ran special computer models to calculate the most probable ecosystem responses across the planet. This average temperature rise is of similar magnitude to the warming that occurred between the Last Glacial Maximum and the onset of the (milder) Holocene – with the big exception that the current warming is happening about 100 times faster – and for ecology that makes a huge difference, the authors stress.



“While warnings of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and other environmental changes are illustrative and important, ultimately, it’s the ecological consequences that matter most,” says John Bergengren from Caltech, who led the study.

It is not just species that have slowly evolved around specific climatic values, the same goes for ecosystems. As another study, recently published in Science, shows tropical biomes like rainforest, savanna and desert are tied to specific climate tipping points. When certain climatic thresholds are crossed the one ecosystem can suddenly switch to the other, as intermediate states somehow prove to be non-existent.

Migrations will crisscross

As ecosystems shift on a timescale of centuries or less, species cannot adapt [because the required structural evolution takes millions of years] so they have to start moving to find other suited habitat, resembling their original climate and vegetation zones. For most species this requires migration towards the poles – but of course our planet’s many features, from mountain ranges, rivers and coastlines, to areas with high human population density and anything from agricultural plains to highways, industries and parking lots, greatly increases the extinction risk for individual species.

Perhaps somewhat harder to envision for us is that [as other new research shows] under continued climate change marine species face similar migratory distances – as the complexity of that blue world below the waterline is not limited to the presence of salty water, and finding replacement ecosystems may be equally challenging for a coral fish as it is for an orangutan.

The fact that some species are much better capable of migrating than others will likely only increase ecological imbalances and the risk of dangerous ecosystem plague damage.

Most sensitive climate hotspots

The new study by NASA and Caltech defines as ecologically sensitive hotspots – areas projected to undergo the greatest degree of species turnover – regions in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau [as this ‘third pole’ is in fact to be considered a climatic island], eastern equatorial Africa [which has an unstable drought-sensitive climate], Madagascar, the Mediterranean region, southern South America, and North America’s Great Lakes and Great Plains areas. The largest areas of ecological sensitivity and biome changes predicted for this century are found in areas with the most dramatic climate change: in the Northern Hemisphere high latitudes, particularly along the northern and southern boundaries of taiga or boreal forests.

– Rolf Schuttenhelm is a climate analyst at MeteoVista and a Science Writer for Bits of Science, where this piece was originally published.

Related Posts:

•Royal Society: “There are very strong indications that the current rate of species extinctions far exceeds anything in the fossil record.”

•Study finds “mass biodiversity collapse” at 900 ppm, and possibly a “threshold response … to relatively minor increases in CO2 concentration and/or global temperature.”

•Global Warming May Cause Far Higher Extinction of Biodiversity Than Previously Thought

Nature Geoscience study: Oceans are acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred

•Global warming may create “dead zones” in the ocean that would be devoid of fish and seafood and endure for up to two millennia
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NASA: Climate Change May Flip 40% of Earth’s Major Ecosystem PostTue Dec 27, 2011 11:41 pm  Reply with quote  

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/12/26/394489/nasa-climate-change-may-flip-40-of-earths-major-ecosystems-this-century/

NASA: Climate Change May Flip 40% of Earth’s Major Ecosystems This Century

By Climate Guest Blogger



by Rolf Schuttenhelm, cross-posted from Bits of Science

The results of studies that try to quantify the effects of climate change on biodiversity loss — which include damage to the micro scale level of subspecies and genetic variation — are perhaps most shocking.

When, however, you focus on the response to climate change at the macro level, the ecosystem level, you get a better understanding of what is one of the major drivers of that biodiversity loss: forced migrations. And even here, the numbers may be larger than one would expect, as a new assessment by NASA and Caltech published in the journal Climatic Change shows that by 2100 some 40 percent of “major ecological community types” – that is biomes like forest, grassland, tundra – will have switched to a different such state.

According to the same study most of the land on Earth that is not currently desert or under an icecap will undergo at least a 30 percent change in vegetation cover.

Ecological damage is the real climate problem

Based on IPCC temperature projections for 2100 [which are probably on the conservative side] of 2-4 degrees Celsius warming scientists of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology ran special computer models to calculate the most probable ecosystem responses across the planet. This average temperature rise is of similar magnitude to the warming that occurred between the Last Glacial Maximum and the onset of the (milder) Holocene – with the big exception that the current warming is happening about 100 times faster – and for ecology that makes a huge difference, the authors stress.



“While warnings of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and other environmental changes are illustrative and important, ultimately, it’s the ecological consequences that matter most,” says John Bergengren from Caltech, who led the study.

It is not just species that have slowly evolved around specific climatic values, the same goes for ecosystems. As another study, recently published in Science, shows tropical biomes like rainforest, savanna and desert are tied to specific climate tipping points. When certain climatic thresholds are crossed the one ecosystem can suddenly switch to the other, as intermediate states somehow prove to be non-existent.

Migrations will crisscross

As ecosystems shift on a timescale of centuries or less, species cannot adapt [because the required structural evolution takes millions of years] so they have to start moving to find other suited habitat, resembling their original climate and vegetation zones. For most species this requires migration towards the poles – but of course our planet’s many features, from mountain ranges, rivers and coastlines, to areas with high human population density and anything from agricultural plains to highways, industries and parking lots, greatly increases the extinction risk for individual species.

Perhaps somewhat harder to envision for us is that [as other new research shows] under continued climate change marine species face similar migratory distances – as the complexity of that blue world below the waterline is not limited to the presence of salty water, and finding replacement ecosystems may be equally challenging for a coral fish as it is for an orangutan.

The fact that some species are much better capable of migrating than others will likely only increase ecological imbalances and the risk of dangerous ecosystem plague damage.

Most sensitive climate hotspots

The new study by NASA and Caltech defines as ecologically sensitive hotspots – areas projected to undergo the greatest degree of species turnover – regions in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau [as this ‘third pole’ is in fact to be considered a climatic island], eastern equatorial Africa [which has an unstable drought-sensitive climate], Madagascar, the Mediterranean region, southern South America, and North America’s Great Lakes and Great Plains areas. The largest areas of ecological sensitivity and biome changes predicted for this century are found in areas with the most dramatic climate change: in the Northern Hemisphere high latitudes, particularly along the northern and southern boundaries of taiga or boreal forests.

– Rolf Schuttenhelm is a climate analyst at MeteoVista and a Science Writer for Bits of Science, where this piece was originally published.

Related Posts:

•Royal Society: “There are very strong indications that the current rate of species extinctions far exceeds anything in the fossil record.”

•Study finds “mass biodiversity collapse” at 900 ppm, and possibly a “threshold response … to relatively minor increases in CO2 concentration and/or global temperature.”

•Global Warming May Cause Far Higher Extinction of Biodiversity Than Previously Thought

Nature Geoscience study: Oceans are acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred

•Global warming may create “dead zones” in the ocean that would be devoid of fish and seafood and endure for up to two millennia
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Ocean Acidification to Hit 300 Million Year Max PostFri Mar 02, 2012 4:28 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/ocean-acidification-peak/


Ocean Acidification to Hit 300 Million Year Max

By Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica

Some like to point to cycles when dismissing climate change, brushing off warming as simply being the thing that happens right before cooling. In this view, concern about climate change is akin to the naïve worry that half of schools are performing below average. This is why we need context. We need to know whether an observed change is more like a world premiere or a familiar re-run.

A new paper in Science examines the geologic record for context relating to ocean acidification, a lowering of the pH driven by the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The research group (twenty-one scientists from nearly as many different universities) reviewed the evidence from past known or suspected intervals of ocean acidification. The work provides perspective on the current trend as well as the potential consequences. They find that the current rate of ocean acidification puts us on a track that, if continued, would likely be unprecedented in last 300 million years.

There are several ways acidification events leave their signature in the rock record. The isotopic composition of carbon changes with shifts in the carbon cycle, such as the movement of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Isotopes of boron present in marine shells track ocean water pH. The ratios of other trace elements in marine shells (such as uranium or zinc) to calcium indicate the availability of carbonate ions. (Ocean acidification is not just about pH, but the reduction of carbonate mineral saturation that makes it more difficult for calcifiers to build their shells.) In addition to all this, the fossil record records the extinctions and morphological changes in marine species that occur around catastrophic events in Earth history.

Reconstructing the past

The paper covers the last 300 million years. That’s not just a round number—it’s about as far back as we can confidently go. Because plate tectonics drives oceanic plates back down into the mantle at subduction zones, there is no oceanic crust or sediment older than 180 million years for us to examine.

To look back farther than that, you’ve got to rely on the limited supply of marine rocks that shifted onto continental plates. That makes it harder to construct a global picture, as some regions become over-represented. Also, as these records extend deeper and deeper into the past, uncertainty in ages and calcifier physiology reduces confidence in the results of these analyses. Beyond 300 million years ago, the unknowns for some of these measures are just too large.

The first period the researchers looked at was the end of the last ice age, starting around 18,000 years ago. Over a period of about 6,000 years, atmospheric CO2 levels increased by 30 percent, a change of roughly 75 ppm. (For reference, atmospheric CO2 has gone up by about the same amount over the past 50 years.) Over that 6,000 year time period, surface ocean pH dropped by approximately 0.15 units. That comes out to about 0.002 units per century. Our current rate is over 0.1 units per century—two orders of magnitude greater, which lines up well with a model estimate we covered recently.

The last deglaciation did not trigger a mass extinction, but it did cause changes in some species. The shells of planktic foraminfera decreased by 40-50 percent, while those of coccolithophores went down 25 percent.

During the Pliocene warm period, about 3 million years ago, atmospheric CO2 was about the same as today, but pH was only 0.06 to 0.11 units lower than preindustrial conditions. This is because the event played out over 320,000 years or so. We see species migration in the fossil record in response to the warming planet, but not ill effects on calcifiers. This is because ocean acidification depends primarily on the rate of atmospheric CO2 increases, not the absolute concentration.

Next, the researchers turned their focus to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (or PETM), which occurred 56 million years ago. Global temperature increased about 6°C over 20,000 years due to an abrupt release of carbon to the atmosphere (though this was not as abrupt as current emissions). The PETM saw the largest extinction of deep-sea foraminifera of the last 75 million years, and was one of the four biggest coral reef disasters of the last 300 million years.

We don’t have good records of pH over this period, so it’s difficult to tell how much of the extinctions were caused by ocean acidification as opposed to the temperature change or decrease in dissolved oxygen that results from warming ocean water.

The group also examined the several mass extinctions that defined the Mesozoic—the age of dinosaurs. The boundary between the Triassic and Jurassic included a large increase in atmospheric CO2 (adding as much as 1,300 to 2,400 ppm) over a relatively short period of time, perhaps just 20,000 years. The authors write, “A calcification crisis amongst hypercalcifying taxa is inferred for this period, with reefs and scleractinian corals experiencing a near-total collapse.” Again, though, it’s unclear how much of the catastrophe can be blamed on acidification rather than warming.

Finally, we come the big one—The Great Dying. The Permian-Triassic mass extinction (about 252 million years ago) wiped out around 96 percent of marine species. Still, the rate of CO2 released to the atmosphere that drove the dangerous climate change was 10-100 times slower than current emissions.

Matching the modern to history

In the end, the researchers conclude that the PETM, Triassic-Jurassic boundary, and Permian-Triassic boundary are the closest analogs to the modern day, at least as far as acidification is concerned. Due to the poor ocean chemistry data for the latter two, the PETM is the best event for us to compare current conditions. It’s still not perfect—the rate of CO2 increase was slower than today.

Perhaps more significantly, the ocean chemistry was actually less sensitive to change then. The ratio of magnesium to calcium in ocean water changes over time due to differences in volcanic activity along the mid-ocean ridges, among other things. When magnesium is high (as it is today), a form of calcium carbonate called aragonite becomes dominant. Aragonite is more soluble than calcite, so “aragonite seas” are more susceptible to the effects of acidification. Even though the PETM did not feature aragonite seas, it was a tumultuous time for many marine species.

While the authors frequently point out the difficulty in teasing apart the effects of ocean acidification and climate change, they argue that this is really an academic exercise. It’s more useful to consider the witches’ brew with all the ingredients—acidification, temperature change, and changes in dissolved oxygen—since, historically, those have come together. That combination produces unequivocally bad news.

The authors conclude, “[T]he current rate of (mainly fossil fuel) CO2 release stands out as capable of driving a combination and magnitude of ocean geochemical changes potentially unparalleled in at least the last ~300 [million years] of Earth history, raising the possibility that we are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change.”

Image: NOAA

Citation: “The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification.” By Bärbel Hönisch et al. Science, Vol. 335, No. 6072, Pg. 1058-1063. March 2, 2012. DOI: 10.1126/science.1208277
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Greenland glaciers speed up, swelling rising seas: reports PostThu May 03, 2012 8:08 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/03/us-climate-glaciers-sealevel-idUSBRE84214K20120503


Greenland glaciers speed up, swelling rising seas: reports

By Deborah Zabarenko

(Reuters) - Some of Greenland's glaciers are moving about 30 percent faster than they did 10 years ago, contributing to rising global sea levels, but that still may not be enough to reach the most extreme projections for 2100, scientists reported on Thursday.

Researchers have been monitoring the big ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica for decades as one indication of the impact of human-spurred climate change.

Made of compacted snow, these glaciers can move toward the sea, and when they get there, they dump water into the oceans around them. The faster they move, the more water they add, and the higher the oceans get.

Not all glaciers move at the same pace, according to Twila Moon and her co-authors at the University of Washington and Ohio State University, whose research is published in the current issue of the journal Science.

Inland glaciers with no outlet to the sea poke along at top speeds of 30 to 325 feet a year, the researchers found, while those that end at the ocean can travel 7 miles a year.

The glaciers that flow to the sea around Greenland are the ones to watch, Moon said in a telephone interview, because that is where four-fifths of the loss of ice in Greenland occurs.

Satellite surveys of more than 200 glaciers showed that these comparatively fast-movers in the east, southeast and northwest areas of Greenland increased their speed by an average of 30 percent from 2000 to 2011.

The researchers found that the glaciers heading for the water were not accelerating as much as had been speculated in earlier projections of the worst that could happen. Based on those projections, there was a previous forecast of sea level rise of about 6 feet by century's end.

NOT WORST CASE, BUT STILL RISKY

That would be enough to inundate parts of the U.S. Gulf coast, Alaska, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Denmark, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Japan, the Korean peninsula, Southeast Asia and Australia, according to maps of sea level rise at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets ( here ).

The latest research indicates this is unlikely by 2100.

"Two meters is really kind of a worst case," Moon said. "Now we have the luxury of a little bit more time and being able to actually look at the observations from the last 10 years. At this point it doesn't look like there's any evidence for the worst-case scenario."

A low projection of 8 inches is within reach, the researchers found, and even a small rise in sea level can add to the risks of storm surges and floods. As Moon put it, "If you raise the floor of a basketball court, you're going to have a lot more slam-dunks."

Because multiple factors contribute to sea level rise, it is difficult to determine the exact impact of Greenland's melting glaciers. Global seas have been rising by a bit more than 1 inch (about 30 millimeters) a year.

Just knowing how much ice is going into the ocean around Greenland does not give the complete picture, according to a related article in Science. Projections of regional sea level rise are complicated, but they are needed, said co-author Joshua Willis of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"What people really need to know is, how is sea level going to change in my backyard?" Willis said in a telephone interview. To figure that out, he said, scientists must not only figure out the glacier melt situation on a global scale but also add factors like wind, geology, water temperature and even gravity that can have powerful impacts in specific areas.

In southern Louisiana, for example, the land is sinking as the seas are rising, creating a potential double-whammy there. In Greenland, by contrast, the land may actually rise as the weight of heavy ice slides off, like a couch cushion rebounding after a person gets up after a long sit.

(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
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