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Accelerating Global Climate Change II

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Sore Throat





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A local view on global warming: Watch the tulips PostSun May 02, 2010 5:55 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.hollandsentinel.com/opinions/x359581263/MY-TAKE-A-local-view-on-global-warming-Watch-the-tulips

A local view on global warming: Watch the tulips

By GRAHAM PEASLEE
Reader contributor



Holland, MI — As teachers of environmental science and ecology, one of the topics in our courses that garners quite a bit of attention these days is global warming. We show all the obligatory graphs to our students: the global rise in greenhouse gas concentrations, the historical correlation between carbon dioxide and planetary temperature, and then finally the array of measurements that suggest that current temperatures are rising significantly. Then we ask them to think critically about the correlations.

While very few scientists dispute either the evidence of increased carbon dioxide levels due to fossil fuel burning or the long-term planetary correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature, there is still lots of debate in the media about the role of human activity on climate change. According to the climate scientists from the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, the human consumption of fossil fuels will alter our atmosphere sufficiently to increase global temperatures, with fairly disastrous results in most scenarios.

In our classes, the students usually arrive at the consensus that we are doing a global experiment to test this hypothesis right now. It is a scary conclusion, because if global warming is caused by the greenhouse gas emissions we are producing, our inability to limit these emissions will have significant impacts on our children.

Still, it is a distant problem for most of the 20-year-olds in our classes. It will affect places far away first, and it will happen on a time scale much longer than our political leaders’ time scale. It is easy to dismiss talk of global warming in Holland, Mich., in the middle of February most years. However, as this year’s Tulip Time has begun and downtown Holland looks as inviting as we’ve ever seen it, the warm spring has us once again hoping that we get another week of cold weather so that the tulip blooms will last through the festival. We would like to avoid the dreaded “stem festival” that occurs when the blooms come too early. It has a serious economic effect on the ability of the festival to attract tourists in subsequent years.

However, this provides an important local lesson about global warming. Using Google news archives, we looked up newspaper reports about the start of the Tulip Time festival between 1930 and 2010. Each of these reports comes with a starting date of the festival in downtown Holland, with the exception of the three war years when the festival was cancelled (1942-1944). The accompanying graph shows the starting date of Tulip Time as a function of year for the past 80 years. The starting date is recorded as day of the year on the y-axis. Often the date shifts arbitrarily from year to year (to start on the same day of the week, perhaps), but economic pressures to have the tulip festival coincide with tulip bloom have driven the start date from the typical mid-May date between 1930 and 1975 to this year’s May 1. Most of this two-week shift in start date has occurred in the last 25 years.

A simple linear extrapolation of the most recent 25 years of data suggests that our third-graders will be taking their children to the start of the Tulip Time festival around mid-April in 2050. A more drastic prediction that includes a non-linear fit to these data suggests that in 2050, the start of Tulip Festival might coincide with the college’s spring break in the middle of March. This trend towards earlier germination, bud burst and flowering dates due to increased temperatures in the mid-latitudes has been reported with hundreds of other plant species in the scientific literature, but on a pleasant week in Tulip City we thought it would be interesting to report on the tulip flowering date.

This trend in temperatures may not be caused entirely by human activities, but it is a big gamble to bet against it. The warming trends people are reporting globally will have a profound effect, even in Holland, Mich., while our children are alive to see it.

— This article was prepared by Graham F. Peaslee, T.J. Sullivan, K. Greg Murray and Thomas L. Bultman, residents of Holland and research scientists who teach environmental science and ecology at Hope College.
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Sore Throat





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Leading scientists condemn 'political assaults' on climate r PostFri May 07, 2010 7:17 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/06/climate-science-open-letter-nas

Leading scientists condemn 'political assaults' on climate researchers

Open letter defends the integrity of climate science and hits out at recent attacks driven by 'special interests or dogma'


Celia Cole
guardian.co.uk,

A group of 255 of the world's top scientists today wrote an open letter aimed at restoring public faith in the integrity of climate science.

In a strongly worded condemnation of the recent escalation of political assaults on climatologists, the letter, published in the US Journal Science and signed by 11 Nobel laureates, attacks critics driven by "special interests or dogma" and "McCarthy-like" threats against researchers. It also attempts to set the record straight on the process of rigorous scientific research.

The letter is a response to negative publicity following the release of thousands of hacked emails from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and two mistakes makes by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN climate body.

The letter sets out some basic features of the scientific method. "Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of 'well-established theories' and are often spoken of as 'facts'," it says.

The document, citing theories including the age and origin of the Earth, the Big Bang and Darwin's evolution by natural selection, says that anthropogenic climate change is now so well-supported by evidence that it has achieved the same status. It adds that owing to science's adversarial nature, "fame" awaits any scientists who can prove the theory wrong.

"There is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change," the letter says.

The authors – who are all members of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the country's premier scientific institution – include some of the academic community's most distinguished climate researchers. But the list also includes top anthropologists, biochemists and physicists who have felt the need to defend climate science in the wake of what they regard as politically motivated attacks. Three senior scientists from the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Manchester have also added their endorsement. All of the scientists signed up in a personal capacity, not on behalf of the National Academy or on behalf of their institution.

"Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence," the letter says.

Its call for an end to "McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association" appears to be jibe at Republican senator, James Inhofe, who has called for a criminal investigation into US and British climatologists whose email exchanges were stolen from UEA. The letter also condemns the "harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them."

The letter's co-ordinator, Peter Gleick, of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security in Oakland, California, said: "[It] originated with a number of NAS members who were frustrated at the misinformation being spread by climate deniers and the assaults on scientists by some policy-makers who hope to delay or avoid making policy decisions and are hiding behind the recent controversy around emails and minor errors in the IPCC."

According to one of the signees, Professor Anthony Bebbington at the Institute for Development Policy and Management at Manchester University, the individual signatories have come together to collectively endorse the quality of work being conducted within the scientific community, particularly on climate science.

Despite two highly-publicised errors found within the scientific assessment of climate change produced by the IPCC over the timing of glacier melt in the Himalayas and sea level in the Netherlands, Professor Beddington warned against 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'.
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Sore Throat





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Earth may be too hot for humans by 2300: study PostWed May 12, 2010 6:25 pm  Reply with quote  

http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0511/earth-hot-humans-2300-study/


Earth may be too hot for humans by 2300: study

SYDNEY (AFP) – Climate change could make much of the world too hot for human habitation within just three centuries, research released Tuesday showed.

Scientists from Australia's University of New South Wales and Purdue University in the United States found that rising temperatures in some places could mean humans would be unable to adapt or survive.

"It would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about seven degrees Celsius (13 Fahrenheit), calling the habitability of some regions into question," the researchers said in a paper.

"With 11-12 degrees Celsius warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed."


Researcher Professor Steven Sherwood said there was no chance of the earth heating up to seven degrees this century, but there was a serious risk that the continued burning of fossil fuels could create the problem by 2300.

"There's something like a 50/50 chance of that over the long term," he said.

The study -- which examined climate change over a longer period than most other research -- looked at the "heat stress" produced by combining the impact of rising temperatures and increased humidity.

Sherwood said climate change research had been "short-sighted" not to probe the long-term consequences of the impact of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

"It needs to be looked at," he told AFP. "There's not much we can do about climate change over the next two decades but there's still a lot we can do about the longer term changes."

In a commentary on the paper, published in the US-based Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Australian National University academics said climate change would not stop in 2100.

"And under realistic scenarios out to 2300, we may be faced with temperature increases of 12 degrees (Celsius) or even more," Professor Tony McMichael said.

"If this happens, our current worries about sea level rise, occasional heatwaves and bushfires, biodiversity loss and agricultural difficulties will pale into insignificance beside a major threat -- as much as half the currently inhabited globe may simply become too hot for people to live there."
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Georgie





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Posts: 42
PostThu May 13, 2010 8:22 pm  Reply with quote  


quote:
"There is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change," the letter says.

Oh really...? You don't say....


quote:
Despite two highly-publicised errors found within the scientific assessment of climate change produced by the IPCC over the timing of glacier melt in the Himalayas and sea level in the Netherlands, Professor Beddington warned against 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'.



Please..., Oh please..., Don't bawl them anymore...!
Please, they were a couple of 15year old kids who were JUST PLAYING glacie... er..., sorry, snowball games with a ...Planet!
If you really want to blame somebody, blame the other few ...thousands
of 15year-olds ...er... sorry again, I mean "authors" of the IPCC that slipped this
-Oh myGod- "highly publicised errors" for three years...!!!!!!
Please, ...poor little kids...

_________________
Georgie
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Sore Throat





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Global warming is the biggest threat to human health PostThu May 13, 2010 9:03 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20100513/DC5/5130337


Global warming is the biggest threat to human health

We have spent the past year discussing health care,
yet for all the talk of pre-existing conditions and
insurance reform, we managed to make it through
the entire debate without discussing one of the
biggest threats to human health: global warming.

The prestigious British medical journal The Lancet
has identified global warming as the leading health
threat facing us in the 21st century.
And this is not
looking into a crystal ball.

Global warming is already causing health problems
to spread across every region of the world. As
professionals focused on human and environmental
health, we want to voice our support for
comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation
that will create thousands of new jobs in Montana
and, just as importantly, have a positive impact on
public health.

Global warming pollution impacts human health in
numerous ways. Rising temperatures exacerbate the
health effects of ground-level ozone, a serious
pollutant produced by vehicle emissions and other
sources.

Drought can drive air pollution. Global warming
aggravates heart disease and lung conditions such
as asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive
disease. Extreme weather events can lead to mental
health problems including depression and post-
traumatic stress disorder.


Global warming increases the prevalence of
allergens in the environment and expands the range
of serious diseases. In the United States, mosquitoes
capable of carrying dengue fever, the painful and
sometimes fatal tropical disease, have already
spread to 28 states. The Wildlife Conservation
Society lists 12 diseases whose prevalence is
increased by global warming, including avian
influenza, plague, and internal and external
parasites.

Hantavirus, spread by deer mice and other carriers,
and virtually unknown in the U.S. before 1993, has
affected hundreds in far-flung states, including
causing some fatalities in young, healthy people.
Scientists suspect a global warming link to the
outbreak.

Considering all this, it is not surprising that in
2007 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse
gases are a pollutant as defined under the Clean Air
Act and directed the EPA to reconsider its refusal to
regulate global warming pollution. Under the Obama
administration, the EPA recently issued an
endangerment finding declaring that greenhouse
gases are a threat to public health and welfare.


On top of the health impacts of global warming, it is
important to bear in mind the staggering toll on
human health caused by refining and burning fossil
fuels such as cancer, respiratory diseases, and
neurological disorders.


The development of a clean energy system would
save enormous amounts of money in avoided health
care costs and, of course, dramatically reduce much
human suffering.

One of the most profound global warming impacts
observed here in Montana, reported by scientists in
2006, is the link between rising temperatures and
increased wildfire frequency and severity.

Anyone who has lived through a big fire season in
Montana understands the impact of poor air quality
on our way of life during the summer. And living in
a semiarid state requires us to be ever-vigilant
about the vulnerability of our water supplies to
human-induced climate change.

As Montanans are rightfully concerned about global
warming, they see our politics in Washington as
frozen as the polar ice caps once were.

Yet one measure that consistently shows majority
support among voters across the political spectrum
is the need to pass federal clean energy and climate
legislation.

We call on Sen. Max Baucus and Sen. Jon Tester to
support passage of comprehensive legislation —
including a strong cap on greenhouse gas pollution
— that will spur development of a clean energy
economy in Montana that will protect the
environment, create jobs and enhance public health.

This column was written by Benjamin Schmidt, air
quality specialist, and Dr. Paul Loehnen, pulmonary a
nd internal medicine (retired), both of Missoula;
Dr. Larry McEvoy, internal medicine (retired), of
Clancy; and Lindsey Brooks, R.N., Whitefish.
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Sore Throat





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Warmest April, Ever - NOAA Releases New Global Temperature D PostFri May 21, 2010 6:14 am  Reply with quote  

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/warmest-april-ever-noaa-global-temperature-data.php


Warmest April, Ever - NOAA Releases New Global Temperature Data



Oh, and the warmest January-April on record too. That's the word from NOAA and refers to the combined global land and ocean surface temperatures, which at 14.5°C (58.1°F) was 0.76°C (1.37°F) above the average for the 20th century.

Before we go into the other NOAA bullet points, it's very worthwhile passing on a bit of caption clarification. You'll notice that the image above has the word 'anomalies' in it. Climate Progress points out that perhaps another word should be used:


An emeritus physics professor writes me cautioning against the use of the word 'anomaly' since, "In many people's mind, the word 'anomaly' means something unusual that is a temporary phenomenon." He suggests "change," which is probably better.

Certainly for those who are communicating to the general public, like NOAA and NASA, 'anomaly' is a confusing word as used in these charts. And that is especially true because the recent temperature trend is anything but an anomaly -- it is in fact a prediction of basic climate science.


The NOAA data shows that the January-April time period was 0.69°C above the 20th century average for combined global and sea surface temps.

Taken alone, the global ocean surface temperature for April was 0.57°C above average, setting a new record, with the most warming occurring in the equatorial regions.

The global land surface temperature showed more than double that amount of warming, running 1.28°C above the 20th century average, and was the third warmest April on record.


Warmer-than-normal conditions dominated the globe, with the most prominent warmth in Canada, Alaska, the eastern United States, Australia, South Asia, northern Africa and northern Russia. Cooler-than-normal places included Mongolia, Argentina, far eastern Russia, the western contiguous United States and most of China.
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Sore Throat





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As oceans get warmer, Congress is facing heat PostFri May 21, 2010 6:26 am  Reply with quote  

As oceans get warmer, Congress is facing heat

David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

On the same day that climate researchers reported strong new evidence that the temperatures of the world's oceans are on the rise, teams of America's leading scientists Wednesday called on Congress to face the urgent problem of global warming by raising the cost of greenhouse gas emissions to U.S. industry.

The reality of the planet's changing climate was underscored by a new report on ocean temperatures that combined years of conflicting data into what researchers say is a realistic picture of ocean warming and the National Academy of Sciences, which released three major reports on the science behind the climate problem and the urgency with which it must be faced.

There is no longer any doubt that global warming is real, said Pamela A. Matson, dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford, who led one of five panels organized at Congress' request to assess the reality and urgency of global warming and propose measures to cope with it.

"Climate change is occurring," Matson said. "The Earth is warming, concentrations of carbon dioxide are increasing, and there are clear fingerprints that link these warming effects to human activity."

End business as usual

The three academy reports issued Wednesday totaled more than 860 pages and represent a dramatic shift from the organization's cautious approach to climate change in the past. The academy scientists warned that "business as usual" is no longer possible for American industry and called on Congress to quickly enact a "carbon pricing system" to curb the rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2008, American industries emitted the equivalent of 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide, the academy experts noted. They suggested that the nation adopt a "greenhouse budget" of permitted carbon emissions that would range from 170 billion to 200 billion tons of carbon dioxide for the period from 2012 to 2050, saying it is a "reasonable goal." If greenhouse gas emissions continue at the 2008 level, the scientists warned, the budget would be exceeded well before 2050.

"We focused primarily on carbon dioxide because it is responsible for so much of the problem," said Robert W. Fri, an energy expert and academy member from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Resources for the Future.

To reach even part of the goal recommended by the academy, either a "cap-and-trade" system or a tax on carbon emissions or a combination of both are needed, the scientists said.

They gave a special nod to the cap-and-trade concept. That system would set limits on how much carbon-containing gases could be emitted by industries as a whole, and then allow companies that emit little or none of the gases to sell "carbon credits" to the big polluters.

The issue of cap-and-trade is a thorny political one; the Obama administration supports such a system and Congress is wrestling with it. The House passed a bill last year, but it stalled in the Senate, which deferred it while the health care bill was debated.

Rising sea levels

In a separate report published today, but released Wednesday, in the journal Nature, scientists from the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan said they have found "robust" evidence that sea levels have risen over the past 16 years as the upper layers of the world's oceans have warmed and caused water expansion. They looked to the ocean for signals of climate change because the oceans absorb up to 90 percent of the heat that reaches Earth from the sun.

The oceans have warmed by at least three-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit since 1993, and where sea levels were rising by only 1 millimeter a year 100 years ago, the rate is now 3 millimeters a year, said John Lyman, an oceanographer with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The effects may seem small, but they are highly significant, he said.

The scientists in the Nature study deployed a global network of more than 3,200 free-floating sensors across all the oceans, and the sensors broadcast their readings on temperature, salinity and currents to satellites overhead.

More accuracy

The results, they said, are far more accurate than earlier ocean studies, which resulted in a wide range of estimates because temperatures were recorded by ships towing instruments called XBTs - for expendable bathythermographs - and they covered only part of the world.

"If you want to know how the world has warmed, you've got to look at the upper layers of the ocean," Lyman said. "And it continues to warm."

Academy of Sciences reports
The reports can be found at www.nationalacademies.org.

E-mail David Perlman at dperlman@sfchronicle.com.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/20/MNPS1DGRNN.DTL

This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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Sore Throat





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The Unambiguous Warming of the Planet PostFri May 21, 2010 6:33 am  Reply with quote  

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/the-graph-that-should-be_b_582434.html

The Graph That Should Be on the Front Page of Every Newspaper: The Unambiguous Warming of the Planet

Peter H. Gleick
Co-founder/President, Pacific Institute

The following graph should be on the front page of every single newspaper in the country. It shows, clearly and unambiguously, that the Earth has been heating up over the past 130 years (through the end of 2009), and especially over the past 30 years. And it's getting worse: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just announced that the first four months of 2010 were the hottest in the entire 130-year record for the planet.

Climate change deniers have been trying hard to confuse the public and policy makers about climate change. But their claims about climate science and what we see in the world around us are based on ideology and bad science, not reality. The graph below is reality.

http://www.chemtrailcentral.com/forum/album_picm.php?pic_id=1643

If your body temperature looked like this, you'd be calling your doctor.
If your taxes looked like this (...they don't), you'd be calling your Senator.
If your cell phone bill looked like this, you'd be calling the phone company for a new plan.

Don't be fooled when climate change deniers tell you that place A or place B was cold, or that day 1 or week 2 here or there was cold. The planet as a whole is heating up. A cold winter in Washington doesn't change that.

And don't be fooled when the climate change deniers pretend that the data are no good. They are.

And don't be fooled when they cherry-pick from these data and show you only a few years, or a partial record. That's misleading science.

And don't be fooled when the climate change deniers say this is all natural. It isn't: no natural mechanisms can explain this.

It's time to call our elected leaders and get a new plan.[url][/url]
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Sore Throat





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Posts: 1923
Location: x
Re: The Unambiguous Warming of the Planet PostFri May 21, 2010 5:21 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/the-graph-that-should-be_b_582434.html

The Graph That Should Be on the Front Page of Every Newspaper: The Unambiguous Warming of the Planet

Peter H. Gleick
Co-founder/President, Pacific Institute

The following graph should be on the front page of every single newspaper in the country. It shows, clearly and unambiguously, that the Earth has been heating up over the past 130 years (through the end of 2009), and especially over the past 30 years. And it's getting worse: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just announced that the first four months of 2010 were the hottest in the entire 130-year record for the planet.

Climate change deniers have been trying hard to confuse the public and policy makers about climate change. But their claims about climate science and what we see in the world around us are based on ideology and bad science, not reality. The graph below is reality.

http://www.chemtrailcentral.com/forum/album_picm.php?pic_id=1643

If your body temperature looked like this, you'd be calling your doctor.
If your taxes looked like this (...they don't), you'd be calling your Senator.
If your cell phone bill looked like this, you'd be calling the phone company for a new plan.

Don't be fooled when climate change deniers tell you that place A or place B was cold, or that day 1 or week 2 here or there was cold. The planet as a whole is heating up. A cold winter in Washington doesn't change that.

And don't be fooled when the climate change deniers pretend that the data are no good. They are.

And don't be fooled when they cherry-pick from these data and show you only a few years, or a partial record. That's misleading science.

And don't be fooled when the climate change deniers say this is all natural. It isn't: no natural mechanisms can explain this.

It's time to call our elected leaders and get a new plan.
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Sore Throat





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Posts: 1923
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Nasa analysis showing record global warming undermines the s PostFri Jun 04, 2010 8:32 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7142976.ece


Nasa analysis showing record global warming undermines the sceptics

Ben Webster, Environment Editor

The global temperature has risen to a record for a 12-month period, according to Nasa.

The analysis undermines the case made by climate sceptics, who have used the slight cooling trend in recent years to argue that man-made emissions are not causing global warming.

The average surface temperature for the year to the end of April was about 0.65 of a degree Celsius (1.17 degree Fahrenheit) higher than the 1951 to 1980 average, according to Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. That makes it a fraction warmer than the previous peak detected by Nasa in 2005.

The Nasa study said: “We conclude that there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s.”

The Met Office said its own analysis of temperature records suggested that the global temperature remained just below the 12-month record achieved in 1998. However, Vicky Pope, head of climate advice, said it was possible that Nasa was correct because the Met Office had underestimated recent warming detected in the Arctic.

There are very few weather stations in the Arctic and the Met Office, unlike Nasa, does not extrapolate where there are no actual temperature readings.

Ms Pope said that other information, including that from satellites, indicated that the Arctic was warming more rapidly than other parts of the world. She said this evidence supported Nasa’s results but neither it nor the Met Office had taken it into account in their assessments of global temperatures.

“Nasa may be correct that we have just seen a new 12-month record in global average temperature. The Met Office continues to predict that 2010 is more likely than not to be the warmest calendar year on record, beating the 1998 record.”

She added that Met Office analysis showed that the four months to the end of April were probably the third warmest for that time of year.

Nasa and the Met Office both interpret information from 6,300 monitoring stations around the world and their results are used by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to compile its advice to governments.
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Global warming concerns rising in U.S. PostWed Jun 09, 2010 5:18 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/06/09/globalwarming-americans.html


Global warming concerns rising in U.S.


Global warming is once again becoming a hot topic for Americans, new data suggests.

A U.S. national survey released Tuesday finds that public concern about global warming is increasing, with public belief that it is occurring rising to 61 per cent, up from 57 per cent since January. And 50 per cent of Americans believe the phenomenon is caused by people — an increase of three points.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents now worry about the impact global warming will have (an increase of three points) and 63 per cent believe it will affect them personally (an increase of five points).

Researchers believe that with a pickup in the economy and renewed consumer confidence, Americans' thoughts are returning to environmental issues. "The BP oil disaster is also reminding the public of the dark side of dependence on fossil fuels, which may be increasing support for clean energy policies," said Anthony Leisorowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, in a release.

The survey was conducted by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities.

The survey also found that 77 per cent of respondents support the regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant; 87 per cent want more funding for research into renewable energy sources and 83 per cent support tax rebates for consumers who purchase fuel-efficient vehicles and solar panels.

The survey was conducted using an online panel of 1,024 American adults aged 18 and older between May 14 and June 1, 2010. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.



Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/06/09/globalwarming-americans.html#ixzz0qNRvTkqS
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The Public Believes Global Warming Is Happening and Is Ready PostMon Jun 14, 2010 5:58 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/06/public_and_warming.html

Public Opinion Snapshot: The Public Believes Global Warming Is Happening and Is Ready for Action

By Ruy Teixeira

Conservatives have done their best to promote the idea that global warming is not happening. And recently they have been pointing to some polls that purport to show increasing public skepticism about global warming. But new Roper data released by Stanford University show that the public, when asked a straightforward question about whether global warming "has probably been happening," endorses the idea that global warming is real by an overwhelming 74-24 margin.



Nor is the public shy about the need for action on this front. In the same poll, a query about whether the government should "limit the amount of greenhouse gases that U.S. businesses put out" yielded a thumping 76-20 majority in favor of such limits.



Finally, the public is not buying the conservative argument that action on global warming will cost jobs. Just 18 percent accept that argument, while 50 percent think such action will actually produce more jobs (another 31 percent say no effect).



The public's view is clear. Now it’s up to policymakers to get things going.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.
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Preparing for Global Warming's Rising Tides PostWed Jun 16, 2010 2:15 am  Reply with quote  

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brenda-ekwurzel-phd/preparing-for-global-warm_b_613180.html

Preparing for Global Warming's Rising Tides

Brenda Ekwurzel, Ph.D..Climate
scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists

People who live near the coast know a thing or two about environmental hazards. They know, for instance, the risks of hurricanes and those of storm-surge damage from other powerful storms. But now, coastal communities are at growing risk from the effects of climate change, most notably the accelerated rise in sea levels.

Scientists' measurements show that sea levels around the globe have risen by about 1.3 inches per decade since 1990. Precise measurements from satellites as well as tide gauges indicate that this rise has accelerated over the past 20 years, up from the previous rate of 0.7 inch per decade in the last half of the twentieth century. New research suggests that if we continue pumping carbon dioxide into our atmosphere at a high rate globally, the water level along the coasts could rise another 2.6 to 5.3 feet in the next 100 years.

Rising Waters

Dr. Michael Kearney, a coastal scientist at the University of Maryland who studies climate change and coastal processes, points out that more than 100 million people around the world live within a mile of the sea. "The increased likelihood and extent of flooded areas, particularly from tropical storms, has a big impact on their livelihoods and the things they care about," he said. "Sea level has, since the middle of the nineteenth century, been rising. Anthropogenic [man-made] warming has accelerated it." Even at the current rate of increase, Kearney expects 40 to 60 centimeters (1.3 to 2 feet) of sea-level rise by 2030 to 2040."

Kearney said that wise planning based on climate research can help coastal communities adapt to rising waters. Sea levels will continue to rise no matter what, he said, but the extent of the rise will ultimately depend in large part on the emissions choices we make today. Planning for sea-level rise of 2 feet is far different from and less costly than planning for 5 feet of additional rise. Nonetheless, Kearney said, coastal communities can begin to make plans without spending very much, especially if they do so sooner rather than later. "2030 isn't that far from now," he said, adding that some leaders in coastal communities are looking at a host of responses, including steps to reduce emissions to reduce impacts and thereby the costs for detailed plans for community evacuation, and well-orchestrated plans for returning residents to their homes.

A number of government agencies, organizations, and businesses are studying and carrying out climate-related decisions. State and local governments are surveying the risks from future sea-level rise and determining the most likely types of damage to local infrastructure. They are recognizing, too, that some changes to roads and buildings can wait for a future renovation, and they may prohibit building new roads or homes close to the water because rebuilding after future storm damage will be prohibitively expensive.

Climate-change research has helped communities take steps now to prevent disasters in vulnerable coastal regions from being even worse: for example, removing large buildings that could topple during a storm surge or light poles that could block interstate traffic, one of the post-Katrina lessons learned in New Orleans.

Sea-level rise is caused by two main processes: thermal expansion of the oceans (the water expands as it heats up) and the shrinking of ice sheets and glaciers. About 80 percent of the global warming associated with carbon dioxide emissions has gone into raising the temperature of the oceans. Scientists know the oceans will continue to expand -- and rise -- because heat-trapping gases already in the atmosphere will continue to raise the temperature of the oceans. Ice sheets and glaciers also contribute to sea-level rise when they melt or chunks of ice break off into the sea. Recent research has shown that the major ice sheets (those of Greenland and Antarctica, which contain 23 feet and 197 feet of sea-level rise, respectively) are shrinking at a faster rate than they were a decade ago.

With tides and storms riding in on higher seas, there will be more tidal flooding and larger storm surges. Storms have already become more intense because of global warming, leading to heavier rain. All of these factors add up to increased coastal erosion.

Sea-level rise is "going to happen to every coastal area around the world, not just here and there," Kearney said. "Some communities are drawing up plans to move forward." These plans don't have to cost much, he adds. Having long-range plans in place will help decision makers develop better ways to build more resilient infrastructure and help ecosystems that are vulnerable to rising water levels and more intense coastal storms. Economists say making such investments now is less costly than responding after the fact to storm damage made worse by inadequate building codes and out-of-date flood projection maps.

"You don't need a Ouija board to predict that sea-level rise is going to continue," Kearney said. "But the window of response is rapidly narrowing. As long as we do nothing, the worse and more costly it is going to get. It is not as if sea-level rise is going to sneak up on us, unless we allow it to."
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Global Heat Is On in 2010 So Far PostWed Jun 16, 2010 2:21 am  Reply with quote  

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/global-heat-is-on-in-2010-so-far/

Global Heat Is On in 2010 So Far

By ANDREW C. REVKIN

The National Climatic Data Center has released its summary of global climate conditions so far this year and finds that the month of May, as well as the period from January through May, were the warmest since thorough record keeping began in 1880.

It’s important to note that a substantial short-term influence on the globe’s average temperature, the cycle of El Niño warmth and La Niña cooling in the tropical Pacific Ocean, was in the warm phase until May but a La Niña cooling is forecast later this year, according to the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Here’s the May report for the United States, where conditions averaged about normal, with cool conditions in the West counterbalancing unusual heat in the East.

The data center also released an update on extreme weather events around the world, including the record flooding in Tennessee.

Jeff Masters, the meteorologist and weather blogger over at Wunderground, has posted a helpful look at the extraordinary downpours that have ravaged various places this year, most recently Oklahoma City. He provides a solid examination of a possible role of human-driven warming — through the buildup of water vapor in the air that accompanies warm temperatures.

Here’s the way he summarizes the warming-downpour connection:

We cannot say that any of this year’s flooding disasters were definitely due to global warming, and part of the reason for this year’s numerous U.S. flooding disasters is simply bad luck. However, higher temperatures do cause an increased chance of heavy precipitation events, and it is likely that the flooding in some of this year’s U.S. flooding disasters were significantly enhanced by the presence of more water vapor in the air due to global warming. We can expect a large increase in flooding disasters in the U.S. and worldwide if the climate continues to warm as expected.

I think that’s a far better approach than labeling every account of an extreme rain or snowfall a “global warming type” event, as some bloggers insist. That might be appropriate if this were in fact the “ dawn of the superflood,” but history shows that’s not remotely close to being right. Just ask anyone old enough to recall the great Vermont flood of 1927, for instance. And that storm, according to studies of lake-bed sediments laid down by such rare “scouring” floods around the Northeast, was modest in comparison to some past gully washers.

The bottom line? Extraordinary deluges happen. More storms will generate such deluges in a warming world with moister air, according to solid basic science. Slapping a label on such storms is unnecessary.

3:28 p.m. | Updated I contacted Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research who was just interviewed by Joe Romm on extreme precipitation and warming, to see if he thinks it’s appropriate to call such storms “global warming type” events. Here’s Trenberth’s reply, which lies somewhat in a middle ground:

I agree that not all should be so labeled. The way I think about is that for precipitation there is a shift in distribution caused by increased water vapor. So everything we see has an element of global warming but is dominated by weather/natural variability. At the low or middle range, a small shift still makes everything well within the normal distribution from the past but at the top end, the shift pushed events into new records and extremes. Even in cases where it is cold or where SSTs [sea surface temperatures] are cold, or where water vapor is low, they are still warmer/moister than they would have been without the global warming. The climate change acts in
background in all these cases and is a pervasive influence.
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]Why Won't the Media Report the Link Between Global Warming PostWed Jun 16, 2010 2:29 am  Reply with quote  

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/06/media-report-link-global-warming-extreme-storms.php

Why Won't the Media Report the Link Between Global Warming and Extreme Storms?

Brian Merchant


A flooded neighborhood in Nashville, TN. Photo via Gulf News

A surprising number of regions in the US have been struck by extreme deluges this year: among them, Tennessee, Oklahoma, New England, Georgia. The events have been tragic, with lives lost and cities paralyzed. And if it weren't for a certain oily catastrophe, we'd probably be hearing a lot more about them. But we still likely wouldn't be hearing about the connection between such weather events and global warming.

Much of the reason for that is the media is especially wary of overstepping any boundaries, of making apocalyptic-seeming pronouncements, at a time when much of the public is confused and cautious about climate change. And since, of course, no one storm is proof of global warming, there's no easy way to cover that angle of the story. So it most often gets left out altogether.

Joe Romm has a must-read interview with Dr. Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research over at Climate Progress, in which they tackle this exact topic, and explore what the link between such extreme weather events and global warming really is. I hope reporters are paying attention -- here's a particularly illuminating exchange:

Joe Romm: It seems to me the media hasn't figured out a way to talk about this so they often just don't talk about it at all.

Dr. Kevin Trenberth: That's correct.

JR: And as a result the public never learns the connection to climate change ...

KT: I find it systematically tends to get underplayed and it often gets underplayed by my fellow scientists. Because one of the opening statements, which I'm sure you've probably heard is "Well you can't attribute a single event to climate change." But there is a systematic influence on all of these weather events now-a-days because of the fact that there is this extra water vapor lurking around in the atmosphere than there used to be say 30 years ago. It's about a 4% extra amount, it invigorates the storms, it provides plenty of moisture for these storms and it's unfortunate that the public is not associating these with the fact that this is one manifestation of climate change. And the prospects are that these kinds of things will only get bigger and worse in the future.

The entire discussion is extremely illuminating, on both the consequences of climate change, and on the media's difficulty in grappling with the story. Both seem to agree that the best way to conceive of climate change's role in such severe storms is as an "enhancement" or an invigorating factor: "where there's an enhancement, there's a global warming component. You can argue that it's not the dominant component, especially on an individual storm like Katrina." But it should be viewed as "the straw that breaks the camel's back."

Thanks to warmer oceans, and increased water vapor in the atmosphere, climate change is pushing storms from bad to worse -- and as both men agree, the trend is only slated to continue.
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