This information is compiled from many different sources, and updated (almost) daily. No doubt this web site will continue to grow in size as more data and features are added. I hope you find it useful. Please send questions / comments / and suggestions to me by email and/or signing my guest-book (see below). thanks, Dan
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the shape of things to come North Sea Facing Collapse Of Its Ecosystem The Independent (UK) 10-19-3 The North Sea is undergoing "ecological meltdown" as a result of global warming, according to startling new research. Scientists say that they are witnessing "a collapse in the system", with devastating implications for fisheries and wildlife. Record sea temperatures are killing off the plankton on which all life in the sea depends, because they underpin the entire marine food chain. Fish stocks and sea bird populations have slumped. This year stocks of young cod were at their lowest for 20 years. The numbers of wild salmon have almost halved over the past two decades and this year the numbers returning to British rivers to spawn fell to a record low. Meanwhile, warm-water fish such as red mullet, horse mackerel, pilchards and squid are becoming increasingly common. Warmest September on record, worldwide 10-17-03 WASHINGTON (AP) Last month was the warmest September on record, federal climate experts said Friday. Worldwide, the average temperature for the month was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), according to the National Climate Data Center. That's 1.0 degree Fahrenheit above average on records going back to 1880. The second and third warmest Septembers on record occurred in 1997 and 1998, respectively. In the U.S., Virginia had its wettest October-September on record, with rainfall exceeding the next wettest October-September by 10 inches. More than 65 inches of rain fell in Virginia from October 2002 to September 2003, more than twice the amount that fell during the previous 12-month period. Three other states had their wettest 12 months on record Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina and the Southeast as a whole was the wettest in 108 years of record keeping for that 12-month period. ... Warmer and wetter - wish I could have seen that one coming - oh wait, I did, SIX YEARS AGO... Dan. Primate expert calls Bu$h's record ``terrifying'' 10-12-03 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Primatologist Jane Goodall criticized President Bu$h's environmental policies Sunday, charging the White Hou$e with leading an "onslaught" against the Endangered Species Act that could lead to more African animals being killed or captured for profit. Goodall, famed worldwide for her life's work studying and protecting chimpanzees in Tanzania, said her beloved apes and other species face a threat from the Bu$h Administration that could undo decades of conservation efforts. Europe Had Hottest Summer In 500 Years 9-24-03 GENEVA (AFP) Europe this year experienced its hottest summer for at least 500 years, providing further evidence of man-made global warming, Swiss university researchers said on Tuesday. During the crushing heat wave between June and August this year, average temperatures eclipsed the previous record set in 1757, according to a study by the University of Bern's geography department. The overall rise in summer temperatures in Europe has picked up over the last 26 years, with an average rise of 2.8 degrees Celsius(~5F) between 1998 and 2003. The last decade was the hottest of all, the study said. ... 5 Degrees in 5 Years !! This is bad folks, very - very BAD... Dan Arctic ice shelf splits 9-23-03 (BBC) The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf is located on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory. The huge mass of floating ice, which has been in place for at least 3,000 years, is now in two major pieces. The immediate consequence of the rupture has been the loss of almost all of the freshwater from the Northern Hemisphere's largest epishelf lake (a body of mostly freshwater trapped behind an ice shelf). Baked Alaska on the Menu? AKTOVIK, Alaska (NY Times 9-17-03) Skeptics of global warming should come to this Eskimo village on the Arctic Ocean, roughly 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It's hard to be complacent about climate change when you're in an area that normally is home to animals like polar bears and wolverines, but is now attracting robins. A robin even built its nest in town this year (there is no word in the local Inupiat Eskimo language for robins). And last year a porcupine arrived. Alaska has warmed by eight degrees, on average, in the winter, over the last three decades, according to meteorological records. The U.S. Arctic Research Commission says that today's Arctic temperatures are the highest in the last 400 years, and perhaps much longer. For hundreds of years, the Eskimos here used ice cellars in the permafrost. But now the permafrost is melting, and these ice cellars are filling with water and becoming useless. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reflecting a consensus of scientists, concluded that human activity had probably caused most global warming in recent decades. It predicted that in this century, the seas will rise 4 to 35 inches. Some 14,000 years ago, a warming trend apparently raised the sea level by 70 feet in just a few hundred years. Unless we act soon, we may find waves lapping the beaches of Ohio. Not just warmer: it's the hottest for 2,000 years September 1, 2003 The Guardian The earth is warmer now than it has been at any time in the past 2,000 years, the most comprehensive study of climatic history has revealed. Confirming the worst fears of environmental scientists, the newly published findings are a blow to sceptics who maintain that global warming is part of the natural climatic cycle rather than a consequence of human industrial activity. Scientists looked at tree trunks, which keep a record of the local climate: the rings spreading out from the centre grow to different thicknesses according to the climate a tree grows in. The scientists looked at sections taken from trees that had lived for hundreds and even thousands of years from different regions and used them to piece together a picture of the planet's climatic history. The scientists also studied cores of ice drilled from the icy stretches of Greenland and Antarctica. As the ice forms, sometimes over hundreds of thousands of years, it traps air, which holds vital clues to the local climate at the time. "What we found was that at no point during those two millennia had it been any warmer than it is now. From 1980 onwards is clearly the warmest period of the last 2,000 years," said Prof Jones. 2003 Ozone Hole May Be Record Size 22 August 2003 (Reuters) The ozone hole over the Antarctic is growing at a rate that suggests it could be headed for a record size this year, scientists said on Friday. A study by Australian Antarctic bases attributed the development to colder temperatures in the stratosphere where the ozone hole forms. The ozone hole in 2003 presently covers all of the Antarctic. The 1997 Kyoto treaty set in place a global process to reduce greenhouse gases which deplete the ozone layer, but the world's biggest polluter the United $tates has yet to sign. The full extent of the 2003 ozone hole will not be known until the end of September. Heatwave A Sign Of Times Ahead 8-16-03 LONDON Europe's worst heatwave in decades has left a trail of death, destruction and dehydration in its wake, raising urgent questions about the impact of global warming and how prepared even developed countries are to deal with extreme heat. Climate experts say the heatwave, which eased yesterday after setting record highs in Britain, France, Germany and Italy, is one of the clearest indications that the planet is not only warming but probably at a far faster rate than previously thought. In Britain, four of the five hottest years since daily recordkeeping started more than 300 years ago have come in the past 10 years, and climatologists believe 2003 may surpass 1998 as the hottest year. Worldwide, nine of the warmest years on record have happened in the 1990s and 2000s. Unless humans change the way they use the planet and adapt to high- temperature living, experts fear that the fatalities, water shortages, power cuts and devastating forest fires experienced across Europe may well be the shape of things to come. ... now - where have I heard that before ... United Nations-sanctioned predictions are for an average 1.5- to 5.8- degree increase in global temperatures this century because of greenhouse emissions, with most climatologists erring on the low side. But with recent events, the higher figure looks closer to the mark. It pains me that these issues are still being 'debated', while humanity suffers. It will only get WORSE... Dan London Temps Hit 100 for First Time 8-10-03 PARIS - Melting Alpine glaciers unleashed a cascade of rocks, London choked in a record 100-degree temperatures and with wildfires raging in seven countries, and there was no immediate relief in sight for much of the continent. The German weather service reported Sunday it had registered a new countrywide temperature record in the Bavarian city of Roth, which hit nearly 105 degrees on Saturday. Britons also gasped through a record- breaking day, watching thermometers climb above 100 for the first time in Britain since temperatures have been recorded. Germany is expected to swelter until midweek; France is counting on at least another week of abnormally high temperatures; and weather experts in Italy expect the country to be steamy until September. Atlantic's Sudden Temperature Dive A Midsummer Mystery 8-7-03 Surfers, lifeguards, anglers and others who regularly dip a toe into the Atlantic have noticed this summer that water that is typically bathwater-warm has occasionally become fjord-cold. Beachgoers from as far afield as Virginia Beach, Nags Head, N.C., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Daytona Beach, Fla., have been curious about the precipitous drop. So many people have contacted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that William Tseng, an oceanographer at NOAA's Silver Spring headquarters, is investigating the phenomenon. He's examining three possible causes: increased river runoff from this spring's frequent rains; a current of cold seawater snaking down from the North Atlantic; and an event known as "coastal upwelling." ... I would like more info on this, from either side of the pond... Dan. TEMP RECORDS SMASHED ACROSS EU 8-5-03 Forecasters said thermometers in Paris could break through the symbolic 40 degrees Celsius mark (104 Fahrenheit) which has happened only once before in the 130 years of modern-day record-keeping. Forecasters said there were no signs of the weather breaking and the heat was set to continue at least to the start of next week. The punishing temperatures have sparked a spate of forest fires in Portugal, and there have also been major blazes in Spain, Croatia and Italy. Polish fire crews battled 35 forest blazes on Monday and about a quarter of its woodlands were at serious risk of fire, authorities said. Workers at the Fessenheim nuclear plant near the German border were dousing the outside of the reactor with water to keep it within regulation temperatures, prompting outrage from environmentalists who said it should be simply shut down till the heat subsides. In Britain many trains were running at half speed because of fears the rails could buckle in the heat. The Czech Republic also ordered speed restictions after some track was seen to have twisted out of shape. A mile-long island of sand has appeared in the North Sea off the German coast as a result of low water-levels. Geyser closed due to geothermal activity 7-30-03 (MSNBC) At Norris Geyser Basin, new steam vents and mud pots are popping up, some geysers are draining themselves and Porkchop geyser has erupted for the first time since 1989. All that, and the ground temperature has risen to 200 degrees Fahrenheit in places, hot enough to boil water at Yellowstone's altitude. Things are changing rapidly enough that the National Park Service has closed about half of the famous geyser basin to visitors due to safety concerns. The increased activity was first noticed July 11 and Porkchop geyser erupted July 16, the first time it's blown in 14 years. Global warming - a weapon of mass destruction London (AFP) Human induced global climate change is a weapon of mass destruction at least as dangerous as nuclear, chemical or biological arms, a leading British climate scientist warned John Houghton, a former key member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said Monday that the impacts of global warming are such that "I have no hesitation in describing it as a weapon of mass destruction." "Like terrorism, this weapon knows no boundaries," Houghton said. "It can strike anywhere, in any form -- a heatwave in one place, a drought or a flood or a storm surge in another" The US mainland was struck by 562 tornados in May, killing 41 people, and pre-monsoon temperatures this year in India reached a blistering 49C (120F), 5C (9F) above normal. "But the U$ government, in an abdication of leadership of epic proportions, is refusing to take the problem seriously". Experts Say Bu$h's Global Warming Position 'Ludicrous' 7-26-3 RENO(AP) International experts at a gathering of more than 1,000 scientists studying climate change and the future of mankind said the threat of global warming is real and growing worse. Bu$h and his advisers maintain reducing emissions through costly near-term measures is unjustified. The White Hou$e argues forecasting climate change is too imprecise to agree to long-term, international, mandatory cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions. Violent Storms, Thousands Without Electricity 7-23-03 MEMPHIS, Tenn. Storms packing wind of up to 100 mph! tore across parts of the East, killing at least six people and knocking out electricity for hundreds of thousands of customers. Memphis was among the hardest hit, with hundreds of trees down, homes and businesses damaged and entertainment landmarks endangered. More storms rippled across the region Wednesday, soaking parts of the South, the East Coast and the Ohio Valley. Up to 70 percent of the 450,000 homes and businesses served by Memphis Light, Gas & Water were without electricity after the storm. The power outages virtually shut down Memphis International Airport, and Northwest Airlines, which uses the airport as a hub, diverted flights to other cities. In nearby northern Mississippi, more than 22,000 customers lost power, along with 18,000 in eastern Arkansas, utilities said. Most electrical service had been restored in New Jersey, where 18,000 customers were blacked out, but meteorologists warned of a threat of flooding as more rain fell Wednesday. Utilities in New York state tallied more than 128,000 customers blacked out during storms late Monday and on Tuesday. Swiss Alps Crumbling in Heat Wave July 15 (Bloomberg) A heat wave in Europe is melting Switzerland's glaciers and causing chunks of the Swiss Alps to break off, prompting the evacuation of climbers and hikers. Daytime temperatures in most of Switzerland have stayed above 30 degrees centigrade (86 F) for most of the past five weeks and June was the hottest month on record since weather observations began in 1864. ... hottest month in a hundred and forty years? - time for a debate! ... Dan. European Heat Wave Jul 14, 2003 (AFP) The Italian government on Monday considered whether to declare a state of emergency in the drought-stricken north of the country as other parts of Europe continued to swelter and watch the skies for rain. Italians in the affected areas have been asked to reduce consumption of water and electricity. The Po, which drains most of northern Italy, fell to a record 7.58 metres (over 24 feet) below its normal level at the weekend. The region accounts for some 35 percent of Italy's agricultural production. The river normally carries up to 1,200 cubic meters of water a second but has been seen to swell up to 3,000 cubic meters. On Sunday it carried no more than 350 cubic meters of water a second. Ostiglia power station, also in northern Italy, has been forced to shut down due to a lack of water to cool its turbines. In Britain - bookmakers said there was a chance temperatures would hit a symbolic 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius) this week for the first time since records began. In Germany, the Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper warned that if Europe continues to experience hotter, drier weather, Berlin and the surrounding Brandenburg region could become a desert by the middle of this century. "Already parts of Brandenburg have become Steppe-like," it said in a report on global warming. A heat wave hit record levels in June in Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and some parts of the Balkans. Severe Weather Prompts Unprecedented Global Warming Alert 7-3-3 In an astonishing announcement on global warming and extreme weather, the World Meteorological Organisation signalled last night that the world's weather is going haywire. In a startling report, the WMO, which normally produces detailed scientific reports and staid statistics at the year's end, highlighted record extremes in weather and climate occurring all over the world in recent weeks, from Switzerland's hottest-ever June to a record month for tornadoes in the United States - and linked them to climate change. ... entire article on SpotLite page ... Dan Global Warming Removed from EPA Report ! 6/20/03 The White Hou$e has removed references to problems caused by global warming from next week's Environmental Protection Agency report on the state of the environment. The report was commissioned in 2001 by EPA head Christie Whitman, who is leaving her federal job this month. The original climate information, along with the changes ordered by the White House, were slipped to the New York Times by a former EPA official. The eliminated material refers to many studies that conclude that warming is at least partly caused by rising concentrations of smokestack and tail-pipe emissions and can threaten health and ecosystems. A 2001 climate report by the National Research Council about the human contribution to global warming was removed, as well as references to a 1999 study showing that global temperatures have risen sharply in the last 10 years, compared with the last 1,000 years. In place of this, the admini$tration added information from a study $ponsored by the American Petroleum In$titute that questions global warming. An April 29 memorandum circulated among EPA staff members says that after the changes by White Hou$e officials, the section on climate "no longer accurately represents scientific consensus on climate change." ... Unbelievable, simply unbelievable... Dan. Global Warming 'Threatens Mass Extinction' 6-20-3 Global warming over the next century could trigger a catastrophe to rival the worst mass extinction in the history of the planet, scientists have warned. Researchers at Bristol University have discovered that a mere 6 degrees of global warming was enough to wipe out up to 95 per cent of the species which were alive on earth at the end of the Permian period, 250 million years ago. Global warming author Mark Lynas, who recently travelled around the world witnessing the impact of climate change, said the findings must be a wake up call for politicians and citizens alike. He said: "This is a global emergency. ... entire article on SpotLite page... Dan. New Climate Model Predicts Greater Warming Ahead 5-20-03 Washington - For the first time, scientists have incorporated multiple human and natural factors into a climate projection model. They predict that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, due to changes in the carbon cycle, combined with a decrease in human-produced sulphates, may cause accelerated global warming during the 21st century, as compared with simulations without these feedback effects The model predicts that the resultant warming will enhance soil respiration, meaning that the increased amounts of carbon stored in the soil during the 20th century will be released into the atmosphere, causing a faster rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. By the end of the 21st century, the authors state, the increase in carbon dioxide and decrease of sulphates will cause a substantially higher global warming of 5.5 degrees Celsius [9.9 degrees Fahrenheit] compared with 4 degrees Celsius [7 degrees Fahrenheit] when these interactions are neglected. ... Entire article on the SpotLite Page... Dan. Only 10% Of All Big Ocean Fish Left ! 5-16-03 LONDON (Reuters) - Large predatory fish - marlin, tuna and swordfish - are disappearing from the world's oceans, with their numbers down by 90 percent in the past 50 years, Canadian scientists said on Wednesday. Estimates are that compared with when industrial fishing began in the 1950s, less than 10 percent of large predatory fish species have survived. The great fish are not only dwindling in numbers, they are also getting smaller Top predator fish are about one fifth to one half the size they used to be. Many fish never get the chance to reproduce, according to the researchers. As well as the big predators, there are also fewer large ground fish such as cod, halibut, skate and flounder. ... oh man, this ain't good news .... Dan. Worst week of tornadoes on Record 5-11-03 Oklahoma (CNN) -- More tornado warnings were issued Saturday as the United States nears the end of the most active week of tornadoes on record. Nearly 300 tornadoes have occurred during the past week in the United States, according to the National Weather Service. States from Kansas to Georgia have suffered storm damage, injuries and deaths. That total is about 100 more than the most recent comparable rash of storms, in 1999. The 1999 barrage had held the record for any 10-day period since record-keeping began in the 1950s. ... see my note below ... Dan Large Storms... expected part of Earth Changes 5-9-03 (MSNBC) At least 104 people were injured, and 2,000 homes destroyed or damaged, by several twisters during the Thursday evening rush hour. Forecasters said the severe weather would taper off over the weekend but that by midweek conditions would worsen again. What looked like one tornado was actually a series of twisters spawned by the same storm, the National Weather Service said. The twisters raced across a 35-mile stretch in an undulating fashion, one rising into the clouds as another dropped from the sky. In the South, the most recent severe weather has come in the form of flooding. Since last weekend, more than a foot of rain has fallen on the region. ... allow me a moment to Re-Repeat myself, as the Earth warms - more water vapor is pumped into the atmosphere, changing weather patterns, and resulting in Larger and More Frequent Storms... Dan. Mankind's Final Century ? U.K. Astronomer Royal Martin Rees says the human race has only a 50/50 chance of surviving another century. In his new book "Our Final Century," he says this will be caused by a combination of natural events, such as global warming and asteroid impacts, and man-made disasters, like engineered viruses and nuclear terrorism. He says, "I think the odds are no better than 50/50 that our present civilization will survive to the end of the present century." He thinks scientists shouldn't do certain types of scientific research, such as cloning and genetic modification, that could eventually lead to our destruction. Other people have voiced such ideas, but Rees' position as a leading cosmologist that makes his statements especially important. World's wettest area dries up 4-28-03 (BBC) The Khasi Hills, in a remote part of north-east India, usually experience torrential rains. Famously, the area once recorded more than 1,000 inches (2,540 centimetres) of rain in just one year - a global record - but now the annual rainfall there has sharply fallen to less than a third of that. But villagers in the region, which was named after the rain-filled clouds that supplied the waterfalls and streams, now have to bring water from other areas. Increases in pollution and deforestation have been blamed for the environmental changes. World warming in 2002 'near record' 4-12-03 (BBC) It continued a warming trend that has set records for the last five years. Only 1998 was warmer. The planet is now 0.6 Celsius warmer than in 1900, an increase that scientists attribute to human activity. The findings appear in The State Of The Climate, an annual report from the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), based on research from eight countries. Researchers say even a fractional boost in average temperatures has significant consequences for the health of the planet. ... well - took nearly a decade but now the 'experts' agree with me... Dan. Andean Glacier Threatens Flooding in Peru 3-22-03 LIMA, Peru - A chunk of glacier was threatening to fall into an Andean lake and cause major flooding in a Peruvian city of 60,000, officials said Saturday. A fissure has appeared in the glacier that feeds Lake Palcacocha near the city of Huaraz, 170 miles north of Lima. If the piece breaks off, experts calculate ensuing floods would take roughly 12 minutes to reach the city. In 1941, the lake overflowed and caused massive flooding in the city, killing 7,000 people. 7 Feet of Snow In CO DENVER (AP) - Denver's worst blizzard in 90 years shut down the city for a second day and closed one of the nation's busiest airports, stranding thousands of passengers and ripping the terminal's tent-like roof. Even letter carriers stayed home. The storm dumped up to 7 feet of wet, heavy snow in the mountains and paralyzed a large swath of Colorado and Wyoming that is home to more than 3.5 million people. It forced officials to close parts of Interstates 70, 80 and 25, and National Guard troops were sent to rescue stranded motorists. Water 'flows' on Mars 3-13-03 New images and analysis suggest the slopes around the Red Planet's largest extinct volcano, Olympus Mons, contain dark stains caused by brine flowing down hill. The discovery indicates that the substantial underground ice deposits on Mars can sometimes melt and flow across the surface. It is bound to increase speculation that life may exist near to the surface of the planet. Turtle Die-Off In Tenn 3-12-03 Biologists in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have a mystery on their hands. Something is killing snapping turtles at Cades Cove, and 44 turtles have turned up dead in the past 2 months. Biologists are looking closely at a microscopic organism previously unknown in reptiles The dead turtles in the Smokies have been both male and female and all sizes. Park staff members captured one dying turtle and have sent the carcass to the National Wildlife Health Center. The turtle apparently did not have elevated bacteria or evidence of viruses in it. Other tests, especially toxins are pending, but they did isolate a microscopic pathogen called a Rickettsia that is known in birds, but has never been reported from reptiles before. Fla. Officials Warn of Bacteria Outbreak 3-7-03 (AP) Health official warned of extensive bacteria outbreaks at five South Florida beaches popular with spring break crowds. The bacteria can increase the risk to swimmers of developing gastrointestinal diseases, such as hepatitis A, shigellosis and cholera, which can cause severe diarrhea and intestinal pain. High levels of enterococci bacteria were detected Thursday in the water off two Fort Lauderdale beaches, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Pompano Beach and Gulf Stream. Health officials also found high levels of fecal coliform bacteria off Hollywood and Hallandale Beach. Health advisories were also posted for nine miles of beach in Volusia County, about 200 miles north of Fort Lauderdale. Health officials said they didn't know if the outbreaks were related. Mars to Get Closer than Ever in Recorded History 3-5-03(space.com) Mars recently emerged into the morning sky and has begun an orbital dance with Earth that will, over the next several months, lead to the best viewing opportunity since Neanderthals looked skyward. The Red Planet is getting progressively closer to Earth with each passing night, and consequently it will slowly appear to grow larger and brighter. By late August 2003, when it will be about 191 million miles closer, the reddish point of light in our night sky will appear more than six times larger and shine some 85 times brighter than it appears now. On Aug. 27, 2003, Mars will be within 34,646,418 miles (55,758,006 kilometers) of Earth. This will be the closest that Mars has come to our planet in about 73,000 years. Drug resistant bacteria seen in LA, SF - now in Boston 3-2-03 Five men in Boston have been infected with a powerful, drug-resistant bacteria, strikingly similar to larger outbreaks in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The germ, known as MRSA, can elude a whole class of antibiotics, making the illness significantly more difficult to treat. Its appearance in the general community has alarmed health authorities. The threat is not limited to the patient with the original infection. That resistant bug can spread to other people, which can ignite a cascade of illness only treatable by more powerful pills or even antibiotics given intravenously. Denver Drinking Water Low 2-20-03 Denver Water reservoir levels could fall to 20 percent of normal by April 2004 unless the region's residents step up conservation efforts this summer. Last spring, Denver's reservoirs stood at 79 percent full. They're expected to drop to 40 percent by April 1 of this year. In the midst of the worst drought of the past 100 years, cities are going through stored water supplies at record rates. Aurora's reservoirs, to cite one dramatic example, are already nearing that 20 percent mark. Blizzard conditions in eastern U.S. The snow was part of a huge system that had charged in from the Plains and up the Ohio valley during the weekend. It also produced rain, mudslides and floods in the South and Appalachians, and ice that snapped trees and power lines, leaving more than 230,000 customers without electricity. The heaviest snow was in the high country of the central Appalachians: 49 inches in western Maryland’s Garrett County and 27 in West Virginia’s Berkeley County, the National Weather Service and local officials said. The Seven Springs ski resort area near Champion in western Pennsylvania recorded 40 inches. Philadelphia had 17 inches with a forecast of 18 to 25. Eighteen to 22 inches was expected in New York City, where the 11 inches of dense, fine snow already on the sidewalks made walking feel like a workout on a Stairmaster. Up to 22 inches had fallen in New Jersey. To the west, parts of Ohio reported ice 8 inches thick. ... perfectly normal and expected part of GLOBAL WARMING: More and Bigger Storms... Dan Glacier Turns into Lake 11-Feb-2003 A new lake has been born in Nepal, that's half a mile long and over 300 feet deep. It's also 4 miles above sea level, because twenty-five years ago it was a glacier. "It's an important piece of evidence that the climate is actually warming," says Chris Folland of the U.K. Hadley Center for Climate Research . Right now, the lake in Nepal is held together by a wall of frozen rock, but that’s melting too and soon this natural dam will burst, releasing a massive wall of water into the valley below, the most densely populated Sherpa valley in Nepal. The only way to get there is on foot and everything is carried in and out on paths. When the dam breaks, it will be a local disaster. Greenhouse gases 'at record levels' 2-11-03 (BBC) British scientists say greenhouse gases are at the highest background levels ever recorded in the atmosphere. They say stabilising the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) will be harder, because a warming world will trigger feedback mechanisms. The report's key findings include: - Atmospheric concentrations of many greenhouse gases reached their highest- ever levels in 2001. - The three hottest years on record were 1998, 2001 and 2002. - Positive carbon cycle feedbacks from forests and vegetation could sharply speed up future warming. A positive feedback occurs when warming sets off a further warming trend - when thawing permafrost, for example, releases a greenhouse gas. Global Warming and Mercury Pollution 10-Feb-2003 The UN Environment Program (UNEP) says pollution from everything from gold mining to burning coal in power stations has tripled mercury levels in the air. Mercury gets into the food chain, and can cause brain and nerve damage resulting in impaired coordination, blurred vision, tremors, irritability and memory loss. Klaus Toepfer of UNEP says, "Things could get worse in the coming years, as increases in temperature also appear to help the spread of the mercury." ... and .... Global Warming And Hay Fever 10-Feb-2003 Global warming is making the hay fever season last longer, because trees and grasses are sprouting earlier than normal. "Higher temperatures and climate change is adding to people's woes still further. This really is the first time there has been a medical, or consumer angle, to the climate change story," says a spokesman for the Woodland Trust. "We've all heard about its impact on species but this is the first time that we will actually see an impact on people as well." 18,000 Woodland Trust volunteers in the U.K. write down the first signs of spring every year, such as the flowering of grasses, blooming of flowers and trees and arrival of certain birds and butterflies, in order to build a database about seasonal changes. "What we are seeing is a trend to a much earlier spring. Basically what is happening is that winter is being squeezed in the middle. Autumns are lasting for much longer and springs are arriving earlier," the spokesman says. Beijing DustBowl 2-7-03 There's a dust bowl growing in China that's far bigger than the one that hit the U.S. in the 1930s. It's so big it was being studied from space - how dust affects global warming was one of the science projects on board the shuttle Columbia. China fought hard to have the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, but now they're worried that the city will be a desert by the time the athletes arrive. 40% of China may soon become a desert and it's affecting other countries as well. Chinese dust clouds regularly make it all the way across the Pacific to the U.S. Dust has shut down schools and airports in South Korea and Japan, and one Korean car factory has started shrink wrapping its cars as they come off the assembly line. The cause is the same for China as it was for the U.S. dust bowl: bad farming techniques and overgrazing. But in China, there are too many people to feed who have nowhere to migrate. Soon they're going to have to start importing most of their food. Animal Habits Changed by Global Warming 03-Jan-2003 Some species of birds have been flying in the same migration patterns for hundreds of thousands of years. Some fish and butterflies follow ancient migratory paths. Now biologists are finding changes in these ancient routes and resting places, due to warmer temperatures on Earth. And many animals are migrating earlier than they did a few decades ago. The University of Texas analyzed more than 1,700 species and found "significant" changes in range towards the poles of almost 4 miles per decade. Spring events, such as the arrival of migrant species and the laying of eggs, are happening almost 3 days earlier each decade. Hurricane Winds, Floods Wreak Havoc Across Europe 1-3-03 BERLIN (Reuters) - Hurricane force winds and torrential rains battered Europe on Friday, killing at least six people, flooding tens of thousands of homes and hampering rail, road and waterway traffic. Winds of nearly 125 mph and flooding caused chaos in Germany, France, Britain, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic with barge traffic halted on key rivers and toppled trees blocking roads and rail lines. There were also widespread power outages from the storms, which refocused attention on the odd weather in Europe this winter that has left parts of the Alps without snow because of unseasonably warm temperatures while leaving northern Europe shivering from a cold snap not experienced for decades. Two Pacific islands 'lost' after cyclone December 31, 2002 Fears are growing for the safety of the 3,000 residents of two of the most remote inhabited islands in the South Pacific. Tikopia and Anuta, in the Solomon Islands, are believed to have been devastated by hurricane-force winds. Radio contact was lost after cyclone Zoe reached the maximum category five as it swept across the region, generating 200mph winds and 30ft waves. U.S. Moving Backwards on Environment 26-Dec-2002 Conservation and environmental groups think there will be an unprecedented assault on environmental laws in the congress, now that they have a Republican majority. Greg Wetstone, of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), says, "In the absence of any clear, aggressive Congressional oversight we will see a more vigorous, escalated attack that includes new efforts to promote more air pollution, more water pollution, more clear cutting in the forests and more drilling, mining and logging on public lands. These actions are broadly out of step with the overwhelming consensus of the American public, and it is quite evident that this administration is fully aware of that." Instead of fighting for increased environmental protection, environmentalists are going to have to fight hard to keep existing programs. Wetstone says, "We will be using all our resources to keep from moving backwards and that is a tragedy." Ancient Frozen Bacteria Thawed 12-20-02 Scientists are investigating Lake Vida, a 3-mile-long saltwater lake in Antarctica topped with ice that's been frozen for 2,800 years. They're especially interested in the microbes in the lake, which are in liquid water under 62 feet of ice, and could be a type of bacteria completely unknown in our modern world. The water where they live has remained liquid because it is seven times saltier than seawater and doesn't freeze at Antarctic temperatures. They took samples of the ice and using radiocarbon dating, dated the sediments found in the ice cores back 2,800 years. When the sediments were thawed, they discovered microorganisms which they successfully revived. UK 'close to record warmth' 12-17-02 (BBC) This year will come within a whisker of being the warmest recorded in the UK for 350 years, according to weather experts. The evidence that the UK has had another warm year comes from the Central England Temperature (CET) series, which stretches back to 1659. Globally, they think it is going to be the second warmest year recorded since 1860. Nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 1990, including 1999, 2000 and 2001; the only year warmer than 2002 was 1998. ... sigh ... Bolivian glaciers shrinking fast 12-10-02 Data collected from tropical ice fields near the world's highest capital, La Paz, show mass loss in the 1990s at rates 10 times greater than previous decades. If rising temperatures and low precipitation continue, many smaller glaciers will vanish in a decade, the researchers believe. Further ahead, the consequence could be water and power shortages for millions of Bolivians. Record ice loss in Arctic 12-9-02 Greenland's unusual summer slush was part of a record-breaking year of northern polar ice loss, reported at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference in San Francisco. According to scientists, surface melt on Greenland was the highest in recorded history - and extended to elevations previously untouched by melt - while the amount of Arctic sea ice also reached a record low. Measurements of the Greenland ice sheet taken from passive microwave satellite sensors show 685,000 square kilometres of melt, an area more than double that of 1992. Sparks, Ash Rain Down on Sydney SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Sparks and ash rained down on Australia's most populous city Friday after waves of flame jumped a river and roads and raced toward its suburbs. Some 79 fires burned across New South Wales state, blackening about 173,000 acres of forest and scrubland, the worst on the outskirts of Sydney. Firefighters have been warning for months that Sydney faced a devastating wildfire season over the hot Southern Hemisphere summer. Almost 90 percent of Australia has been declared drought-stricken, and some parts of the country are facing their driest conditions in a century. Study: Warming Will Depleat Water 12-5-02 LOS ANGELES (AP) - Global warming will have a devastating effect on water availability in the western United States, a new climate forecast predicts. The report, released Thursday, involved more than two dozen scientists and engineers from around the country who undertook the study as a test of a national climate forecasting effort. What they found doesn't bode well for the West. Even the report's best-case scenario predicted water supplies would fall far short of future demands by cities, farms and wildlife, generating critical water-rights' issues that have already surfaced during the West's current drought. Arctic to lose all summer ice by 2100 4 December 02 The Arctic Ocean will be completely devoid of summer ice before the 21st century has ended, a NASA study predicts. The new work shows that the permanent ice cap over the ocean - the cover that survives through the warm summer months - is disappearing far faster than previously thought. Between 1978 and 2000, 1.2 million square kilometres of apparently permanent ice melted away. That is an area five times the size of Britain and represents a loss of nine per cent per decade. "At this rate, permanent ice will have disappeared before the end of this century," says NASA ice physicist Josefino Comiso. As the ice disappears, it will speed up the warming of Arctic waters. This is because ice reflects most of the Sun's rays back into space, while the dark-blue oceans absorb much more heat. Study Finds Routine Fish Eaters Poisoned With Mercury Nov. 5 2002 - A study involving 116 middle- to high-income men and women in a San Francisco medical practice shows nearly 90 percent had blood levels of mercury surpassing EPA’s safe levels – some by more than 17- fold. The patients tested – who included surgeons and CEOs, psychiatrists and wine-makers, geophysicists and internet executives, and their children were chosen based on their levels of fish consumption, or symptoms consistent with mercury poisoning, including depression, memory loss, confusion, tremors, metallic tastes, and hair loss. U.N. Says Environmental Disasters Cost $70 Billion NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Crippling droughts, torrential floods and other environmental disasters will cost the world more than $70 billion in 2002, the United Nations Environment Programe said Wednesday. Devastating floods ripped through parts of Europe, China, India, Nepal and Bangladesh this year, killing thousands of people and leaving millions more homeless. Of the estimated 526 natural disasters in the first nine months, 195 were in Asia -- home to almost half the world's people -- 149 in the Americas, 99 in Europe, 45 in Australasia and 38 in Africa, the U.N. said. Recent climate disasters around the world -- from droughts in India, Australia and the United States to floods in Europe -- are graphic harbingers of some of the expected consequences of global warming. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol on global warming aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, from the developed world to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. But the United $tates, the world's biggest air polluter, has refused to ratify the protocol, arguing that it will hit its economy and does not apply to developing countries. 80% Of US Sewage Plants Exceed EPA Pollution Maximums WASHINGTON (10/21/02) Four of five wastewater treatment plants and chemical and industrial facilities in the United States pollute waterways beyond what their federal permits allow, according to government data compiled by an environmental group. More than 90 percent of the plants and facilities in Ohio, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Iowa, Puerto Rico, Maine, West Virginia, Delaware, New York, and Connecticut exceeded permit limits between 1999 and 2001, said Thursday's report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The average excess was 10 times what the permit called for, according to the report in which U.S. PIRG analyzed Environmental Protection Agency records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Releases of the worst toxic chemicals, those known or suspected to cause cancer and other serious health effects, averaged eight times more than is permitted under the Clean Water Act, the report said. For those chemicals, the states or territories with the highest percentage of facilities in violation — each with more than one-third out of compliance — are Puerto Rico, Ohio, Rhode Island, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, New York, Arizona, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Indiana. ... whats in your water? Kilimanjaro's Glaciers Almost All Melted WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Kilimanjaro's already skimpy glaciers are melting so quickly that they will be gone by 2020, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday. Writing in the journal Science, the researchers said the glaciers measured 4.8 square miles in 1912 but had shrunk to 1 square mile by 2000. Land Changes Worse Than Greenhouse Gases 14-Oct-02 The way humans alter the Earth's surface may be a major cause of climate change. NASA scientists say the way land is used is probably just as important as greenhouse gas emissions, and changes in the surface of the land in the tropics may have a greater influence on climate than El Nino. Urban sprawl, the destruction and planting of forests, farming and irrigation all have a big effect on regional surface temperatures and the amount of rain. Land use changes alter the climate because different types of surface affect the distribution of the Sun's energy. Continuing Climate Change LONDON (Reuters) -- More frequent and more devastating storms caused by climate change could cost $150 billion a year within the next ten years, possibly bankrupting financial services firms, a United Nations-backed report warned this week. The report said a political framework for action on climate stability is essential, but said the Kyoto Protocol, under which many industrial nations except the United $tates committed to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 does not go far enough. Worldwide economic losses from natural disasters appear to be doubling every ten years, the report said, and called for action to decrease the emission of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon. Endangered list now 11,000 species 10/8/02 Extinction is a real possibility for 11,167 species of plants and animals, according to the World Conservation Union’s new Red List of Threatened Species. Central Asia’s Saiga antelope could soon take its last leap, and China’s Bactrian camel its last drink, the conservationists said Tuesday. The freshwater gastropod mollusk has already become extinct in the last two years, joining the long-departed Dodo bird among the ranks of vanished creatures. Since 2000, 121 species have been added to the threatened species list, and five have been added to the extinct list over the last two years. The primary reason: human activity. Everything from expanding cities to deforestation, agriculture and fishing pose a significant threat to the planet’s biodiversity, the group said. Record warm start to 2002 UK scientists say the last three months were globally the warmest January, February and March since records began. They are also the second-warmest consecutive three months ever recorded. The scientists say it is significant that the record was broken in the absence of any warming influence from El Nino, (duh) the climate disturbance that originates in the Pacific. Rats And Mosquitoes Sweep Europe After Floods The Telegraph (UK) 9-16-2 The floods that swept across central Europe last month have devastated wildlife and plants to such an extent that they will take decades to recover, according to reports published last week. A plague of mosquitoes, rats and cockroaches has also been unleashed by the flood waters. Large areas of countryside are either still underwater or coated in layers of mud and debris. Vienna University produced a report last week which showed that the flooding was the worst in central Europe for more than 2,000 years, or as far as records go back. 2002 Summer Hottest Since 1930s Dust Bowl WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With nearly half the country reeling from a blistering drought, this summer is the hottest since the depression-stricken "Dust Bowl" era of the 1930s, U.S. government weather experts said on Friday. The summer's scorching temperatures have sparked raging forest fires in the West, wilted crops in the Midwest and parched pastures in the Plains. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the average temperature for the contiguous United States from June through August was 73.9 degrees, the third hottest summer since records began in 1895. Six states -- North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada -- are suffering their worst drought on record, NOAA said. South Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, Delaware and Wyoming are also near unprecedented dry levels. Global Warming Blamed for Floods 09-Sep-2002 The recent flooding of European cities has made scientists wonder if the weather is permanently changing. There is growing evidence of a link between global warming and the floods and droughts that have devastated parts of Asia and Europe this year. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says there is undeniable proof that the Earth is warming. The IPCC predicts the Earth's surface temperature will increase by 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, compared with 1990 levels. Sea levels will rise from 3.6 to 35 inches, which will threaten small island states and low- lying areas. ... A Three Foot sea rise will threaten MUCH more than 'low-lying areas'. Dan ... Satellites Reveal Rapid Polar Melting 06-Sep-2002 Recent NASA satellite images and space-based measurements of the thickness of Earth's polar ice sheets show they are melting much more rapidly than we thought. Large areas of ice in southeast Greenland, West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula are changing rapidly and scientists don't understand why this is happening so fast. The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets together hold enough ice to raise sea level by ~230 feet. Nearly Half Of U.S. Suffers Drought WASHINGTON (AP) - Persistent and worsening drought has spread to nearly half the contiguous United States, the government reported Wednesday. The National Climatic Data Center said that as of the end of July, 49 percent of the 48 contiguous states were affected by moderate to extreme drought. Areas of extreme drought stretched from the Southwest to Montana and Nebraska and from Georgia to Virginia, the center reported. The past 12 months were the driest August through July on record in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and Wyoming. They were the second driest in Arizona, Nevada and Delaware. Parts of the Southeast and West have been in various stages of drought since 1998. A mysterious shift in Earth’s gravity 8-6-02 (MSNBC) Something strange has been going on under our feet for the past four years. Earth’s gravity field suddenly shifted gears and began getting flatter, reversing a course of centuries during which the planet and its gravity field grew rounder each year. “Sometime around 1998, something began to make the Earth’s gravity field flatter,” says Christopher Cox of Raytheon Information Technology and Scientific Services. “The result is it looks as if post-glacial rebound has reversed itself. But we do not have any reason to think that post-glacial rebound has in any way stopped or changed. The shift is significant. “The effect is twice as large as post- glacial rebound in terms of effect on the gravity field, and it’s in the opposite direction,” Cox said. “Whatever it is, it’s big.” Record warmth intensified drought Aug 5th, 2002 Experts say record warmth between November 2001 and January 2002 is at least partly to blame for the moderate to extreme drought plaguing 15 states from Georgia to Maine and 14 states in the Plains and West. The January global temperature was the warmest in the 123-year surface record. ... much more than 123 years really. Dan Earth Heading For Warmest Year Ever Recorded LONDON (Reuters) - The first six months of the year have been the second-warmest ever and average global temperatures in 2002 could be the highest ever recorded, British weather experts said Thursday. Global temperatures were 1.03 Fahrenheit higher than the long-term average of about 59 Fahrenheit in the period from January to June. In the nearly 150 years since recording began, only in 1998 has the difference been higher, 1.08 Fahrenheit, and that was caused by the influence of the El Nino weather phenomenon. The figures also showed that the northern hemisphere had its warmest ever half year, with temperatures 1.31 Fahrenheit above the long-term average. "The actual rise prior to 1970 was partly man-made and partly due to natural effects. But since 1970 scientists are in fairly general agreement that warming can be attributed to man's polluting activities." ... now - where have I heard that before ? ... Dan. Warmest seas on record stress Barrier Reef SYDNEY, Australia, July 27 - Sea temperatures around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef early this year were the warmest on record, scientists reported Thursday. Bleaching in early 2002 covered 60 percent of the reef, even more than the 1998 event that made headlines worldwide. The bleaching in early 2002 was not during an El Nino year, making the high temperatures even more unusual. Drought, abnormally dry weather hits 49 states 7/21/02 (CNN) -- Abnormally dry or drought conditions affect all or part of 49 U.S. states and could worsen over the Northeast, government scientists reported Friday. Roughly 36 percent of the country is covered by one of four drought categories, which range from "moderate" to "exceptional," A large area of "extreme" drought -- the second-worst category -- extends from northern Montana to the Mexican border, and from western Nebraska to El Paso and San Diego. A smaller area of "exceptional" drought -- the worst conditions measured -- stretches southward from southern Wyoming to near the cities of Phoenix and Albuquerque. The bad news will get worse, NOAA predicted. The Ohio River Valley and much of Upstate New York can expect drought conditions to develop, with several dry months on the horizon. Alaska glaciers’ meltdown measured WASHINGTON, July 18 (AP) An estimated 24 cubic miles of ice are disappearing annually from Alaskan glaciers, turning some imposing ice mountains into minor hills and adding to the steady rise in global sea level, a study shows. From the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s, the glaciers lost about 52 cubic kilometers (13 cubic miles) a year, in the last five years that rate has almost doubled. Disease 'genie out of bottle' 7-14-02 Medical experts say staphylococcus aureus, cause of some of the most troublesome infections to afflict man, has become resistant to the antibiotic of last resort, vancomycin. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced the first confirmed case of vancomycin-resistant staph aureus -- known in the medical world as VRSA -- found last month in Michigan. "The genie is out of the bottle," Dr. Donald Low, microbiologist-in-chief at Mount Sinai Hospital, "It's ominous." The experts know the Michigan case is solid proof they will soon have to deal with their nightmare scenario -- common staph aureus infections untreatable with any antibiotics. Earth 'Will Expire By 2050' Says Report A study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), warns that the human race is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life. The report, based on scientific data from across the world, reveals that more than a third of the natural world has been destroyed by humans over the past three decades. The report offers a vivid warning that either people curb their extravagant lifestyles or risk leaving the onus on scientists to locate another planet that can sustain human life. Since this is unlikely to happen, the only option is to cut consumption now. ... entire article on the 'SpotLight' page ... Dan. Rising Temperatures Could Ravage Alaska New York Times 7-4-02 In Alaska, rising temperatures, whether caused by greenhouse gas emissions or nature in a prolonged mood swing, are not a topic of debate or an abstraction. Mean temperatures have risen by 5 degrees in summer and 10 degrees in winter since the 1970s, federal officials say. While President Bu$h was dismissive of a report the government recently released on how global warming will affect the nation, the leading Republican in this state, Senator Ted Stevens, says that no place is experiencing more startling change from rising temperatures than Alaska. Among the consequences, Senator Stevens says, are sagging roads, crumbling villages, dead forests, catastrophic fires and possible disruption of marine wildlife. 28 Percent Of All US Lakes Have Contaminated Fish Washington (Reuters) More than one-fourth of the nation's lakes have advisories warning consumers that fresh-caught fish may be contaminated with mercury, dioxins or other chemicals, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday. The EPA said state regulators issued 2,618 fishing advisories or bans in 2001 because of contaminants. Some 14 percent of U.S. rivers were covered by advisories in 2001, up from 10.5 percent in the previous year. States that had the most fishing advisories include Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nebraska and New Jersey. Some of the affected waterways include Lake Champlain, Florida's Sarasota Bay, Washington's Puget Sound, and the Potomac River which feeds into Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. Himalayan Ice Reveals Climate Warming Jun 26th, 2002 Ice cores drilled through a glacier more than four miles up in the Himalayan Mountains have yielded a highly detailed record of the last 1,000 years of earth's climate in the high Tibetan Plateau. Based on an analysis of the ice, both the last decade and the last 50 years were the warmest in 1,000 years. The core also showed a clear record of at least eight major droughts caused by a failure of the South Asian Monsoon, the worst of these a catastrophic seven-year-long dry spell that cost the lives of more than 600,000 people. ... uhm, HELLO - is anybody paying attention? ... Dan. A Warmer Planet is a Sicker Planet Scientists warn that infectious diseases will rise as the world gets warmer. Human malaria, butterflies with parasites, diseased corals, and trees overgrown with fungus are some of the things awaiting us as the Earth warms up. Entire species of animals could be wiped out. Human tropical diseases will become more common as tropical weather spreads. Dr. Richard Ostfeld of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies says, "Disease now has to be considered another main player on the climate warming stage. The rise in infectious diseases will be caused by changes in temperature, rainfall, and humidity, all of which encourage the growth of insects and bacteria. Climate differences will also stress plants and animals, making them more susceptible to infection. Record Kansas Drought Devastates Wheat Crop 6-23-02 (AP) It's been nearly a year since much of western Kansas has gotten substantial rain. The drought has devastated the wheat crop now being harvested and spurred widespread selling off of cattle herds, as farmers become increasingly desperate to find enough feed and water to carry them through the summer grazing season. Weather records dating back to 1913 show that never has there been less precipitation here than now. Even the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s logged more rain than this year! More on Antarctic Warming Washington, June 13 The Antarctic ice sheet holds enough frozen water to be a major player in the climate change game if it melts. Concerned about a range of possibilities, from rising sea level to upsets in the oceans’ circulation patterns, scientists have been scrutinizing the continent for signs of change. A new report in the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, suggests that the ice sheet’s edges are most vulnerable to climate warming, and are melting faster than scientists had realized. On average the ice near the grounding lines was melting away twice as fast as the rate scientists had previously predicted for the ice shelves overall. ... well, they're catching on, slowly... Dan. Greenland's warming ice flows faster Jun 7th, 2002 New measurements by US scientists show that since 1996 the Greenland ice sheet has been moving faster during the summer melting season. The rate is accelerating because more melted water is trickling down from the surface of the sheet to the bedrock. There it lubricates the sheet, which moves faster towards the coast. The scientists say this suggests the ice may be responding more quickly than thought to a warming climate. Global water "crisis" high on Earth Summit agenda Jun 7th, 2002 BALI, Indonesia - Of the myriad issues on the table for a U.N. summit in August that aims to cut world poverty and save the environment, few are as critical as getting safe drinking water to the 1.1 billion people who go without it. The European Union has warned the world was in a global water crisis, and made the issue a priority for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and also at final preparatory talks here on Indonesia's resort island of Bali. Global Warming Blamed For Melting Everest Glacier GENEVA (Reuters) - A glacier from which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay set out to conquer Mount Everest nearly 50 years ago has retreated three miles up the mountain due to global warming, a U.N. body says. UNEP recently warned that more than 40 Himalayan glacial lakes were dangerously close to bursting, threatening the lives of thousands of people, because of ice melt caused by global warming. California Warming 06-Jun-2002 At the University of California, said Lisa Sloan, an associate professor of Earth sciences, has figured out how global warming will effect the climate of California. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air has doubled since preindustrial days and Sloan found out it will double again by 2050. Their model also showed a future in which higher average temperatures will occur every month in every part of the state. The warming will vary, however, with the greatest increases in temperature occurring at high elevations in the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range. The model showed increased rainfall in northern California but rain staying the same in southern California, while snow accumulation in the mountains decreases dramatically. "With less precipitation falling as snow and more as rain, plus higher temperatures creating increased demand for water, the impacts on our water storage system will be enormous". U.S. sees big impacts from warming June 3 — The Bu$h administration for the first time has issued a report that says manmade emissions are tied to global warming and predicts that changes in temperature will deeply affect the United States. Environmentalists said Monday the predictions warrant stronger action by President Bu$h. The administration stood by its existing $trategy, saying it protects the economy while protecting Earth. ... my views on this should be obvious. Dan Signs of Thaw in a Desert of Snow May 28, 2002 IQALUIT, Nunavut -- And so it has come to be, the elders say, a time when icebergs are melting, tides have changed, polar bears have thinned and there is no meaning left in a ring around the moon. Scattered clouds blowing in a wind no longer speak to elders and hunters. Daily weather markers are becoming less predictable in the fragile Arctic as its climate changes. There is increasing evidence that the Arctic, this desert of snow, ice and killing cold wind, one of the most hostile and fragile places on Earth, is thawing. Glaciers are receding. Coastlines are eroding. Lakes are disappearing. Fall freezes are coming later. The winters are not as cold. Mosquitoes and beetles never seen before are appearing. While scientists debate the causes of climate change and politicians debate whether to ratify the Kyoto accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists believe cause global warming, the Inuit who live in Canada's Far North say they are watching their world melt before their eyes. ... nothing I need to add ... Dan Earth Warming Faster Than Expected 21-May-2002 Planet earth is warming up faster than previously expected, according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research. Dying forests, expanding deserts and rising sea levels will wreak havoc on human and animal lives sooner than anticipated as global warming accelerates. A 2001 United Nations report on climate change forecast that global temperatures will rise two to five degrees Celsius by the end of the century, but recent data suggest temperatures could rise even higher as a worst case scenario shows four times as much emitted CO2 in the atmosphere from today's levels which is significantly higher than previously expected. ... no surprises here ... Dan Antarctic ice melt poses worldwide threat REUTERS May 15, 2002 - The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves are cracking up and, on the face of things, it is the most serious thaw since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago. The break-up of the ice shelves in itself is a natural process of renewal, but the size and rate of production of icebergs, is alarming scientists, who blame global warming. The fear is that a snowball effect will lead to disintegration of the vast West Antarctic ice shelf, kilometres thick in parts. A longer-term effect would be if the disintegration led to a meltdown of the grounded West Antarctic ice sheet, which would cause the world's oceans to rise by up to five metres (~17 feet). ... beach front property anyone ? ... TWO LARGE ICEBERGS BREAK OFF ROSS ICE SHELF The National Ice Center reports a two new icebergs (C-18 and C-19) have broken off of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The iceberg C-19 is 108 nautical miles long and 17 nautical miles wide and is located 77.23 South 173.30 East. C-18 is 41 nautical miles long by 4 nautical miles wide and is located at 77.78 South 178.78 East. The iceberg C-18 was spotted by NIC analyst Judy Shaffer on May 5 using satellite images from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. The iceberg C-19 was discovered on May 11. The icebergs are named for the Antarctic quadrant in which they were discovered. Giant iceberg spells disaster 4-27-02 Auckland - A giant Antarctic iceberg is causing devastating damage to the world food chain and already millions of penguins have fallen victim to it, polar experts warned on Thursday. The B15 iceberg, the size of Jamaica, calved off the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000 and has blocked the Ross Sea. Nasa's satellite Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor has revealed B15 has cut sea phytoplankton, the foundation of the food chain, by 40 percent, and the small fish krill has gone. 2002 'warmest for 1,000 years' THE first three months of this year were the warmest globally since records began in 1860 and probably for 1,000 years, scientists said yesterday. The three months were about 0.71C warmer than the average for 1961 to 1990, itself the warmest period for 1,000 years according to ice- core analysis. The global record comes in the wake of observed changes in the British climate since 1900: a lengthening of the growing season for plants by one month in central England, a temperature increase of 1C, and a 10cm sea level rise. Scientists Firm Up Global Climate Forecasts Apr 20th, 2002 LONDON (Reuters) - While some meteorologists have difficulty getting the five-day forecast right, climatologists have firmed up their predictions of how much warmer the climate will be over the next 20 to 30 years. New research by two teams of scientists using different climate models predicts the global mean temperature will be between 0.3 and 1.3 degrees Centigrade (about 0.5-2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer by 2020-2030 than it was in 1990-2000. Later in the century, if greenhouse gas emissions are at the high end of predictions, they could force up temperatures by 0.3 to seven degrees C (0.5-13 degrees F). GLOBAL TEMPERATURE FOR MARCH WARMEST ON RECORD 4-16-02 Arctic air brought in by the jet stream in March kept temperatures relatively low throughout the United States, making it the first cooler-than-average month since March 2001. However, it was the warmest March for the globe since reliable records began in 1880, according to NOAA scientists. Ocean surface temperatures were also warmer than average in the eastern equatorial Pacific as the evolution of oceanic conditions continued to indicate a developing El Niño episode, and the global sea surface temperature was the second warmest on record. The average global temperature for land and ocean surfaces combined (based on preliminary data) was 1.39 F (0.77 C) above the 1880-2001 long-term mean, 0.16 F (0.09 C) higher than the previous record warm March, which occurred in 1998 during the latter stages of the last El Niño episode. Global temperatures have increased approximately 1 F (0.6 C) since 1900, but the rate of warming during the past 25 years is almost three times higher, according to NOAA's Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Global Warming Accelerates China's Sea Level Rise Apr 14th, 2002 Large sections of Chinese coastal regions gradually disappear under rising sea levels because of global warming, severely impairing the country's social and economic progress. According to the latest observations from domestic tide stations, the sea level along China's coastline has maintained a rapidly rising speed over the past five decades. The elevation even accelerated in recent years with an annual increase of 2.6 millimeters. Meteorologists predict that in the next 30 years, the sea level will continue to rise by one to 16 centimeters. By 2050, it will be six to 26 centimeters(10.2 in) higher. The increase will probably reach 30 to 70 centimeters(27.6 in) by the end of the 21st century. China's long coastline is the base for about 70 percent of the large cities, over a half of the domestic population and nearly 60 percent of the national economy. Scientist predicts climate change of 10 degrees 4-9-02 Jonathan Overpeck, a climate researcher at the University of Arizona, says new computer simulations suggest that global warming this century will be about four times greater than what the planet experienced in the 1900s. Scientists gathered at the college, 40 miles east of Syracuse, for their first meeting since Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf disintegrated in only 35 days ending March 7. It probably had existed since the last Ice Age, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. According to a new study by Overpeck and his team of scientists, the Earth's average temperature will rise about 10 degrees before the year 2100. Unless the amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere declines sharply, he said, the consequences could extend worldwide. "I think it is going to be pretty hard to avoid the sixth mass extinction in Earth's history," Overpeck told The Post-Standard of Syracuse. "Countries are going to be put out of business. Cultures are going to be put out of business." ANTARCTIC MELTING IDENTIFIED IN THE PAST 4-9-02 Researchers from the University of Oregon published a study that determined that a very large and unusually abrupt rise in sea levels 14,200 years ago was caused by the partial collapse of ice sheets in Antarctica. The period exhibited conditions similar to today with increased temperatures, sea levels and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Using shoreline fossil deposits scientists were able to develop a method of identifying each possible melting scenario from ice sheets that existed at that time. The OSU report states, "What is very clear, however, is the importance of Antarctica's huge ice sheets remaining stable. The West Antarctic ice sheet is thought to be potentially unstable, and if it collapsed sea levels around the world would rise almost 20 feet. The melting of the larger and more stable East Antarctic ice sheet would raise Earth's sea levels another 200 feet! Arctic Ice and Way of Life Melting Away for Eskimos Apr 1st, 02 YANRAKYNNOT, Russia -- The native elders have no explanation. Scientists are perplexed as well. The icy realm of the Eskimo--the tundra and ice of Russia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland--has started to thaw. Strange portents are everywhere. Thunder and lightning, once rare, have become commonplace. An eerie warm wind now blows in from the south. Hunters who prided themselves on their ability to read the sky say they no longer can predict the sudden blizzards. "The Earth," one hunter concluded, "is turning faster." The elders, who keep thousands of years of history and legend without ever writing it down, have long told children this story: If the ice that freezes thick over the sea each winter breaks up before summer, the entire village could perish. What the residents of the Arctic are reporting fits convincingly with powerful computer models, satellite images and recently declassified ice measurements taken by Russian submarines. In the last century, parts of the Arctic have warmed by 10 degrees Fahrenheit--10 times the global average. Sea ice covers 15% less of the Arctic Ocean than it did 20 years ago, and that ice has thinned from an average of 10 feet to less than 6. Drought Leaves Rivers At All-Time Lows 3-28-02 A USA TODAY analysis found that scores of the nation's rivers fell to historic low levels during the past four months. Using U.S. Geological Survey data that track the flow of rivers nationwide, the analysis identified 59 points on 57 rivers that reached record low levels in March. The analysis showed that 40 of those points also had reached a record low in one of the months of December, January or February. Less water flowed down these rivers than at any comparable time in at least 30 years and, in many cases, as long as 80 years. Using temperature and precipitation data, federal scientists calculate that severe or extreme drought has spread over 21% of the country. Global Warming is shrinking Ireland Mar 27th, 2002 Northern Ireland (AP) — Ireland is shrinking, a scientist warned Monday at a conference on the deterioration of coastlines worldwide. Andrew Cooper, director of the Coastal Research Group at the University of Ulster, said the sea was swallowing up about 750 acres of Ireland each year, and warned that the process would quicken. He said global warming was likely to subject Ireland's shores, particularly along the northern and western Atlantic coasts, to more frequent and powerful storms, but the governments of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic were doing little to erect sensible coastline defenses. More of Antarctica faces breakup with Climate Change Mar 27th, 2002 New Zealand - The Antarctic's huge ice shelves may break up as ice floes across the frozen continent slow or even stop and the global climate warms, a New Zealand climate researcher warned. The collapse reported last week of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica was "a wakeup call to expect more collapses," said Tim Naish, a senior researcher at the government-owned Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences. Such collapses would have "a dramatic effect on global climate" by disrupting ocean currents, he said. Worldwide Drought by 2025 27-Mar-02 (BBC) More than 2.7 billion people will face severe water shortages by the year 2025 if the world continues consuming water at the same rate, the United Nations warns. A new report says that another 2.5 billion people will live in areas where it will be difficult to find enough water to meet their needs. The crisis is being blamed on mismanagement of existing water resources, population growth and changing weather patterns. Less than 3% of the Earth's water is fresh and most of it is in the form of polar ice or too deep underground to reach. The amount of fresh water that is accessible in lakes, rivers and reservoirs is less than a quarter of 1% of the total. The UN says the water crisis will limit the ability to grow crops, which poor people need to survive. Agriculture consumes about 70% of the world’s available water, and small farmers are the first to lose their supply. ... it won't be that long. Dan Drought Emergency For New York 3-27-02 NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared a drought emergency for the city and four upstate counties Tuesday in response to the worst drought to hit the eastern United States in nearly 70 years. Restrictions on water use will affect more than 8 million residents of New York and about 1 million in Westchester, Putnam, Ulster and Orange counties, which contain the reservoir systems that provide the city's water supply. The city's reservoirs are at 52 percent capacity. Normal for this time of year would be 92.5 percent, officials said. Water restrictions are in place in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Maine and New Hampshire, and several other states are urging voluntary conservation. The U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors national water levels, said last week that conditions were commensurate with those during the drought of 1930. Massive Antarctic ice shelf collapses March 24,2002 (AP) Scientists say that an enormous floating ice shelf in Antarctica that has existed since the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago collapsed this month with staggering speed during one of the warmest summers on record there. "We're seeing a very rapid and profound response by the ice sheet to a warming that's been around for just a few decades," said Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado. The entire Larsen Ice Shelf now is about 40 percent of its original size. "We knew what was left would collapse eventually, but the speed of it is staggering," said David Vaughan, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey. "Hard to believe that 500 million billion tons of ice sheet has disintegrated in less than a month." Scientists believe the shelf was at least 400 years old and may have been around as long as the last glaciation 12,000 years ago. Over the last 5 years the shelf has lost 2,200 square miles of area and 5,200 square miles have been lost since 1974. Global warming is higher than average in the region with temperature increasing 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1940's. Drought Emergency Throughout U.S. States from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific are experiencing severe drought conditions. This nationwide drought is more serious than the usual dry spell. The entire state of Wyoming has been declared a drought disaster area, and large areas of the Southeast and the West are in danger of wildfires. In New York City, reservoir levels are at 50 percent below normal. In some Southern states, there are areas that have had moisture deficits of more than 30 inches. Navy Report - Polar Ice Shrinking Fast 3-12-02 The polar ice cap has been shrinking so fast that regular ships may be steaming through the Northwest Passage each summer by 2015, and along northern Russia even sooner, according to a new U.S. Navy report. Global warming will open the Arctic Ocean to unprecedented commercial activity. The seasonal expansion of open water may draw commercial fishing fleets into the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska within a few decades. The summer ice cover could even disappear entirely by 2050 -- or be concentrated around northern Greenland and Ellesmere Island. Though the 72-page report primarily addressed naval issues, it offered a vivid update on how recent warming has been consuming the polar cap. Submarine data has found a 40 percent decrease in the volume of the Arctic ice. Global Warming Creates Grim Future for Forests Mar 6th, 2002 WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Global warming is becoming an increasing threat to forests in much of the world, paving the way for fires, droughts and pest infestations, officials told an environmental conference on Tuesday. The World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development said the latest evidence indicates that over half the world's boreal forest could disappear due to the effect of climate change as conditions shift. Boreal, or northern, forests are a belt of mostly coniferous trees running through much of Canada, the United States, Russia, Scandinavia and parts of Mongolia and China. January Warmest On Record 3-5-02 (NOAA) November 2001-January 2002 warmest winter period ever recorded in United States since 1895. The second warmest November-January occurred in 1999-2000. The third warmest was the drought decade of 1933-1934. The combination of record warm land temperatures and near-record sea surface temperatures led to the warmest January on record for both land and ocean surfaces combined, which was 1.24 F (0.69 C) above average and 0.09 F (0.05 C) warmer than January 1998. Last Three Months Warmest Ever Recorded 2-22-02 (Reuters) - The last three months were the warmest on U.S. record books, and January was the balmiest in the 123 years temperatures for the month have been recorded globally, government scientists said on Thursday. A preliminary average of the nation's temperature measured from November 2001 to January 2002 was 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit above average temperatures gathered between 1895 and 2001, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA). The same monthly period in 1999-2000 held the previous record. Oceans Could Rise Higher Than Predicted 2-21-02 Global sea level rise in the 21st century could be significantly higher than previously estimated, according to the most comprehensive glacier dataset ever compiled. The missing factor is the melting of the world's largest temperate glaciers in Alaska and Canada, say Mark Meier and Mark Dyurgerov at the University of Colorado at Boulder. New data from the University of Alaska show this has been underplayed in earlier calculations, they say. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2001 that the expected rise in sea level by 2100 due to glacier melting alone was between 1 and 23 centimetres. The estimate represents the consensus of many of the world's scientists. Meier and Dyurgerov's new range is much higher, at between 20 and 46 cm (18 in.), and they say it could be even greater. Combined with the IPCC's estimate for sea level rise caused by other processes, such as ocean warming, of 11 to 43 cm, the total 21st century rise could be as much as 89 cm(35 in.). "These estimates in sea-level rise may seem small, but a 30 cm rise in sea level will typically cause a retreat of shoreline of 30 metres (~98 ft.). This would have substantial social and economic impacts," Meier says. The new data from the University of Alaska shows that the long term contribution to sea level rise from the wastage of the Alaskan and Canadian glaciers is 0.12 millimetres per year, but that this has more than doubled to 0.32 mm in the last decade. The present rate of wastage in some glaciers is greater that it has been for 5000 years, says Meier. ... I supplied the converted numbers for my US readers - Dan. Collapse Of North Atlantic Fishing Predicted The entire North Atlantic is being so severely overfished that it may completely collapse by 2010, reveals the first comprehensive survey of the entire ocean's fishery. North Atlantic catches have fallen by half since 1950, despite a tripling of the effort put into catching them. The total number of fish in the ocean has fallen even further, they say, with just one sixth as many high-quality "table fish" like cod and tuna as there were in 1900. Fish prices have risen six fold in real terms in 50 years. Half Of Amazon Rain Forest Being 'Profoundly' Damaged Half of the Amazon rain forest is being damaged by the pollution caused by forest burning, a new study has revealed. Previous concerns about the world's largest rain forest have focused on the burning itself, which has now destroyed 14 percent of the forest's five million square kilometres. But the new research shows that half of the remaining pristine forest is being degraded by the gases and particulates released by the burning. The pollution caused by burning will also impact on the Amazon forest's critical role in the global climate, affecting the production of water vapour in the tropics. Dire Warning For Planet Earth OSLO, Norway - At the Nobel Peace Prize Centennial Symposium here yesterday (12-7-01) celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prize, 100 Nobel laureates have issued a brief but dire warning of the 'profound dangers' facing the world. Their statement predicts that our security depends on immediate environmental and social reform. ... entire text on SpotLight page. Dan North America Biodiversity Shrinking MONTREAL (Reuters) - Some 235 North American animal species such as the Monarch butterfly and northern codfish are threatened by pollution, human encroachment on their natural habitats and aggressive harvesting practices, says an environmental agency set up under the continental free -trade pact. A broad study by the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a Montreal-based agency created under the North American Free Trade Agreement comprising the United States, Canada and Mexico, says the continent faces a ''biodiversity crisis'' in which threatened species could disappear. That harms evolution and depletes the natural environment humans depend on to survive. The report notes that some experts believe humans are ''fishing down the food chain'' in over-harvested stocks such as salmon, cod, halibut and swordfish. That means catching fish that are needed to rebuild depleted species. The current report raises alarm bells on a number of fronts, including the effect of modern transportation systems on the environment, the over -use of water resources and rising threat of drought, and bio-invasion, the spread of nonnative species imported into North America. Environmentalists blast plan for Florida Everglades WASHINGTON (December 30, 2001) - Claiming the Bu$h administration's draft of rules for the restoration of the Florida Everglades is "a recipe for inaction," environmental groups say the plan will endanger the shrinking wetlands because it contains no deadlines. With some environmental scientists warning that the Everglades would be destroyed by 2015 without immediate action, advocates of stronger environmental regulation criticized the draft, especially the lack of deadlines or timelines. They feared pressure from agricultural and other interests would make state officials reticent to push ahead quickly. Florida's $ugar farmers and urban water utilities have resisted conservation measures they believe would harm their interests. Scientists estimate about half of the subtropical forests along the state's coasts has been forever lost because of agriculture and urban development. Also lost: about 90 percent of the unique birds found in the Everglades endangered grassy wetlands. Antarctic Experts Warn Of Global Warming LONDON - There is a one in 20 chance of a dramatic rise in world sea levels over the next century due to global warning, according to a new risk assessment published on Friday. The survey -- by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Norwegian environmental safety organization, Det Norske Veritas -- said there was a five percent chance of the giant West Antarctic Ice Sheet disintegrating due to climate change and raising sea levels by one meter (~yard) in the next 100 years. ''You have to balance the likelihood against the severity of the impacts, and in this case even a five percent chance of this happening is really damn serious,'' said scientist David Vaughan of BAS, responsible for British scientific research in Antarctica. Scientists have already predicted a rise in sea levels of 50 cm (20 ins) over the next century due to a combination of climate change and increased extraction of ground water, even with no contribution from melting Antarctic ice. Not only would there be flooding on a potentially vast scale, but changes in ocean currents could also have untold consequences on weather patterns, he added. World Temperature Second Highest On Record GENEVA (Reuters) - This year has been the second warmest on record and the trend toward higher mean global temperatures looks set to continue, World Meteorological Organization officials said Tuesday. Compared with the 1961-1990 average used as the basis for comparison, officials said the global temperature in 2001 rose a fraction of a degree Fahrenheit to 57.2 F. The 2001 average temperature was second only to 1998 when temperatures rose under the impact of La Nina, the sister phenomenon to El Nino, both of which are caused by abnormal warming of surface water in the Pacific Ocean. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of international scientists, has warned that rising emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide as a result of human activities are at least partially responsible for the temperature trend. Another Island Group Sinking into the Pacific Dec 17th, 2001 While diplomats debate environmental protocols and scientists question whether the Pacific is rising, families on a forgotten atoll are homeless as an otherwise beautiful piece of the Pacific puts on a dress rehearsal for global warming. The weekly Independent newspaper in Port Moresby says in its latest issue that Papua New Guinea is faced with no alternative but to move the 1,500 people of the Carteret or Kilinailau Island as the sea relentlessly moves in on them. The sinking islands there have seen gardens destroyed and a growing threat of starvation for a people who have seldom needed imported food until now. Scientists warn of severe climate change over next century WASHINGTON (December 12, 2001) - Scientists said Tuesday the earth's gradual warming from pollutants in the atmosphere could someday trigger abrupt climate changes that people and ecosystems would have trouble adapting to. A report by the National Research Council likened the climatic effect of global warming to increasing pressure from a finger flipping on a light switch. Over time, regional climates have changed by as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 years, researchers said. Carbon dioxide produced from burning fossil fuels is the most prevalent of the so-called greenhouse gases, whose growing concentration in the atmosphere is thought to be warming the earth. Many scientists have said they believe the warming, if not stopped, will cause severe climate changes over the next century. Nature reveals evidence of a warming world Dec 3, 2001 Hard evidence of global warming is showing up not in climate scientists' charts and figures but in nature: on an ice- covered river in Alaska and in the annual growth cycles of plants and animals. And the proof points to a shrinking cold weather season. For example: In Mediterranean ecosystems, the leaves of deciduous trees unfold on average 16 days earlier and fall off 13 days later each season than they did 50 years ago. Satellite imaging of vegetation shows that the growing season across Europe and western Asia during the past two decades has increased by 18 days; it's 12 days longer in North America. Animal and insect life cycles also are affected by our changing climate, reaching specific stages in their development more quickly. Butterflies now appear 11 days earlier than in 1952 in northeast Spain, while frog calling in New York is occurring 10 days sooner each spring between 1990 and 1999 than between 1900 and 1912. Whether it's melting ice, accelerated tree and insect growth, or a longer growing season, mounting evidence of a changing climate has formed a natural link to global warming that's more real than ever. Scientist warns of sixth great extinction of wildlife Nov 29th, 2001 Humankind is presiding over an extinction of plant and animal species that matches the catastrophe of the dinosaurs 65m years ago, a British scientist warned last night. Lord May - until last year the government's chief scientist, and now president of the Royal Society - calculated that the extinction of birds and mammals was probably 100 to 1,000 times faster than the average through many millions of years of history. Studies of fossils had pointed to five great extinctions in the past. Crop hotspots spell hunger, UN says Nov 14th, 2001 Scientists say some agricultural harvests could fall by about one-third as global temperatures increase. They believe crops like rice and wheat will find it harder in a warmer world to flower and to set seed. Two scientists who analysed the IPCC data said last July they thought the likeliest increase, with a 50% probability, would lie between 2.4 and 3.8 degrees Celsius. World's Freshwater Lakes Face Death 11-12-1 TOKYO (Reuters) - Many of the world's freshwater lakes face death by pollution, resulting in catastrophe for the human populations that depend on them, an environmental expert warned on Monday. ``There is not a lake left on the planet that is not already being affected by human activities,'' said William Cosgrove, vice president of the World Water Council, an international organization that deals with ecological problems involving water. ``We're killing the lakes, and that could be disaster to the human communities that depend on them.'' ... full article on SpotLight Page. Global warming affects evolution WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 — Researchers have identified for the first time a creature that is evolving in response to global warming. It’s a tiny mosquito that lives in the pitcher plant. Researchers at the University of Oregon in Eugene found that the pitcher plant mosquito, a tiny, fragile species that seldom bothers people, is starting to delay when it breeds and develops. The study suggests it is possible that other species may also be in the process of genetically adapting to longer growing seasons. Animals with the greatest genetic variability will be the most successful in the face of global climate changes. Warmest British Autumn In Memory The Observer - London 11-4-1 As Britons bask in the warmest autumn in living memory, conservationists are warning that winter as it has been known throughout history will soon vanish, as the distinction between the seasons becomes blurred. Frost and snow - once prevalent across Britain - are retreating to northern areas. Many species are so confused, their life-cycle has been thrown into disarray. Birds which should be nesting in the spring are nesting in autumn, and flowers that should bloom once are blooming twice. The extended growing season - four weeks longer than a few decades ago - means farmers are producing bumper crops. Last month was the warmest October since records began in 1659, and climatologists reckon it was probably the warmest for at least 1,000 years. This year as a whole, although cooler than the all-time record set in 1999, is still expected to be in the top 10 warmest ever recorded. Plants Could Be Harmed by Warmer Climate -Study Oct 7th, 2001 (Reuters) - Several species of plants in the U.S. Midwest could become extinct within 30 years if climate conditions continue to become drier and warmer as many experts predict, researchers said on Thursday. The researches believe within 35 years, temperatures and soil moisture content in Minnesota will be similar to what Kansas is experiencing today. Under extreme conditions, Minnesota's temperature and precipitation levels could mirror current data in Oklahoma. Panel takes stock of Alaska's ocean health 9/29/01 ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Environmental strains ripple on the oceans that border Alaska. In rural stretches of the state, global warming has thinned Arctic pack ice, making travel dangerous for Native hunters. Traces of industrial pollution from distant continents are showing up in the fat of Alaska's marine wildlife and in the breast milk of Native mothers who eat a traditional diet that includes seal and walrus meat. Human Resistance to Antibiotics Worries WHO WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Humans are building up dangerous levels of resistance to modern antibiotics that could leave them vulnerable to killer diseases, the U.N. World Health Organization said on Tuesday. Farmers who use antibiotics* to fatten up livestock and poultry are aggravating the problem because microbes on animals build up defenses against the drugs, then jump across the food chain and attack human immune systems, WHO said. ... *this is why I stopped eating beef a year before the 'mad cow' issue surfaced. Dan Coral Reefs 'Face Total Destruction' Most of the coral reefs of the world's oceans will disappear within 30 to 50 years, a marine biologist warned yesterday. Rupert Ormond, director of the university marine biological station at Millport in Scotland, told the British Association science festival in Glasgow that global warming would raise ocean temperatures to levels that would bleach the great reefs of the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Caribbean and the Red Sea. Global Warming Increasing Spread Of Infectious Diseases ( 9-5-01) NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Climate change associated with global warming is already increasing the spread of infectious diseases, researchers at the New York University School of Medicine maintain. They predict that worldwide climate shifts will create growing threats to public health if not reversed. ``Warming will change the distribution of disease-carrying agents, which will in turn bring the specter of diseases wiped out decades ago to possible prominence,'' Dr. William N. Rom told Reuters Health. Rom and Dr. Dushana Yoganathan, writing in the August issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, note that extreme weather events lead to increases in populations of microbes such as bacteria, while atmospheric ozone depletion has been linked to an increased susceptibility among hosts to these microbes. They point to increases in mosquito-borne infections like malaria and dengue fever, as well as certain rodent-borne viruses, as possible risks the world faces. Leakey Warns Of Mass Extinctions CAPE TOWN, South Africa (ENS) - The world is losing between 50,000 and 100,000 plant, insect and animal species a year, Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey said Wednesday at a lecture. This is much higher than a similar estimate Leakey gave in 1997. "Human activities are causing between 10,000 and 40,000 species to become extinct each year," Leakey said then. Leakey said preserving land and conserving its wildlife are an "absolute necessity" and people have to decide exactly how much land should be allocated to conservation. Only the previous five periods in history of mass extinction - the last being the death of the dinosaurs - showed the same rate of loss. "At that rate we are probably approaching a point similar to mass extinction," he said. "It is the acceleration of species loss through human activities today that is significant and unless the present trend is reversed, the planet could lose approximately 55 percent of today's species over the next 50 to 100 years. Such rapid catastrophic losses to biodiversity have happened before, and these catastrophes have always had far reaching consequences for the surviving species," Leakey warned. Russian Ecologist Says Global Warming Can't Be Stopped (8-24-01) The process of global warming cannot be stopped, people can only diminish climatic changes caused by civilization's negative effect, the leader of the Russian Ecological Union, Viktor Danilov- Danilyan, told a press conference in Moscow on Thursday. He said "it is too late to speak of preventing antropogenic climatic changes." He noted, however, that it is necessary to reduce civilization's effect on climate-forming factors, above all, to stop the destruction of ecological systems and cut the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. He said the climatic changes will hit hard all countries. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the air temperature on the Earth may increase by two to six degrees by the end of the century, which Danilov-Danilyan said may have catastrophic consequences. World Water Shortage May Cause Global Crisis A worldwide water shortage is likely to worsen severely over the next 25 years, affecting billions of people in an unprecedented global crisis involving the earth's most precious natural resource, reports the UK's Independent. This and other international news reports were summarized in the World Bank's Development News Digest. ... more on SpotLight Page. Drought Beginning To Affect Wildlife In 'Driest Year Ever' SASKATOON, SASK. - A huge swath of land from Hudson Bay, Sask., in the northeast, to Pincher Creek Alta., in the southwest is suffering through what's being called the driest year ever. The last 18 months in many parts of Western Canada have been the driest anyone can remember. Between the heat, the sun and the wind, soil moisture is almost nil. The results are devastating. Most crops in the area have been written off or cut for cattle feed. Researchers Forecast Rapid, Irreversible Climate Warming (7-26-1) There's a nine out of ten chance that global average temperatures will rise between three and nine degrees Fahrenheit over the coming century, with a four to seven degree increase most likely, according to a new probability analysis by scientists in the United States and England. The most likely projected increase is five times greater than the one degree temperature rise observed over the past century. ... full article on SpotLite page. Dan Global Warming Much Worse Than Predicted (7-12-01) Global warming is happening now, caused by human actions, and threatens the Earth with disaster, the world's leading atmospheric scientists insisted yesterday as politicians struggled to repair the Kyoto treaty on climate change which the United States torpedoed in March. A 2,000-page UN report on the science and potential impacts of climate change gave the most authoritative statement yet that the Earth is warming rapidly, that the main cause is industrial pollution, and that the consequences for human society are likely to be catastrophic. ... long story on Spotlite page... Dan Global Warming Will Devastate Agriculture (7-11-01) Global warming will turn frozen tundra into wheatfields, significantly reduce crops in Britain, France and other parts of Northern Europe, and will devastate agriculture across much of the developing world, a major scientific report claims today. ... full article on SpotLite page ... Dan Human Sperm In Dramatic Decline 7-3-01 Scientists from around the world are alarmed by a dramatic increase in genetically damaged human sperm - a trend that is not only causing infertility in men, but also childhood cancers in the offspring of those who can reproduce. It's now estimated that up to 85 per cent of the sperm produced by a healthy male is DNA-damaged, a leading authority on the subject revealed yesterday at an international conference being held in Montreal. ... article on SpotLite page. Dan Warm Poles Could Mean Cold Europe 6-12-01 (Reuters) Global warming shrinking the Arctic icecap is making life harsher for Inuit and polar bears, but paradoxically it might chill Europe by shutting off a warm ocean current. Inhabitants of the Arctic say higher temperatures, which scientists say are rising faster than anywhere else on Earth, are adding to the stresses of life near the Pole rather than giving a slight relief from the bone-chilling cold. But for northwest Europe, one of the biggest fears of global warming is that it could spell the reverse: a shift to colder temperatures by disrupting the Gulf Stream that brings warm waters northeast across the Atlantic. Near the Poles, the rays of the sun strike the Earth from a low angle, passing through a thicker layer of atmosphere than at the Equator. As the world heats, any faint heat the rays bring to Earth near the Poles is more likely to get trapped by greenhouse gases than to bounce back into space. Temperatures may be rising as fast in Antarctica but there are too few measurements to tell. Scientists agree warming is real June 7 — Global warming is real and the United States should support the U.N.-led scientific effort to deal with the problem, a review commissioned by the White House concludes. Citing concerns about the science and economics of solutions, President Bu$h had said earlier he would no longer work with a U.N.-led treaty process. The scientists began their report by stating that “greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. ... well, here's a bulletin ... Glaciers all over the world are shrinking Most of the world's glaciers are shrinking, a new satellite survey of over 2000 glaciers has revealed. Concerns have been raised about melting glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro in the Tanzanian Himalayas and in the Glacier National Park in Montana (New Scientist, 13 May 2000, p 28). Now infrared and visible photographs taken by a Japanese instrument on board NASA's Terra spacecraft show the shrinkage is happening on a global scale. Images of mountain lakes at the base of melting glaciers show many had grown over the last 10 years, and showed up dark blue instead of light blue, indicating higher levels of sediments. This suggests there has been increased erosion of the mountain by the glacier, indicating higher flow rates of the ice - and higher temperatures. Scientists say Great Barrier Reef choking to death BRISBANE, (Reuters) - Australia's Great Barrier Reef risks choking to death on fertiliser-soaked silt thanks to the clearance of wetlands and rainforests along the neighbouring Queensland coast, scientists said on Wednesday. The Australian Institute of Marine Science said research from 30 scientists around the world showed the World Heritage listed reef needed urgent help to survive the impact of farming and other human activities. ... so sad. Warmer oceans drive climate change WASHINGTON, April 6 — Major climate changes seen in the Northern Hemisphere over the past half century have been driven by a progressive warming of tropical oceans, probably sparked by the human-caused buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, scientists say. Many scientists believe emissions of certain pollutants from industry, power plants and vehicles threaten to disrupt global climate and ecosystems by causing the Earth’s atmosphere to trap more of the sun’s energy, triggering global warming. Studies examining the likely early effects of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have pointed to a warming trend in the tropical oceans, and observations have demonstrated such a trend beginning around 1950, the researchers said. Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures have displayed a warming trend over the past several decades the likes of which have not been seen in the past thousand years, they added, noting that the NAO(North Atlantic Oscillation) change has greatly influenced this. ... allow me to repeat myself, Global Warming is REAL. The Earth has been both warmer and colder in the past - this is Normal. Manmade pollutants ARE having an effect - this is Not Normal. The debate has shifted during the past decade from 'is it real'? to 'whats the cause'? - and while the 'experts' debate and the politicians cover their eyes, we lose shorelines and coral reefs and watch as the weather patterns continue to Change ... Dan Scientists warn of climate devastation GENEVA, Switzerland -- The full extent of the potentially devastating effects of global warming has been spelled out in a U.N. report. Climate change could wipe out tropical islands and Alpine skiing retreats, while melting ice caps could unleash changes that would continue for centuries, according to the report published Monday. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said poor countries would bear the brunt of the devastating changes. But it warned that the rich would not be immune, with southern Europe subjected to harsher droughts and higher temperatures and U.S. coastal regions vulnerable to rising sea levels and more severe storms. The final message said the effects of man-made climate change will lead to more "freak" weather conditions like cyclones, floods and droughts and massive displacement of populations in the worst-affected areas. There was also the potential for enormous loss of both human and animal life due to the greater risk from diseases like malaria as the mosquito widenes its reach and the habitat of entire animal species is wiped out. ... sometimes I really hate to be right ... Dan Rethink on ice shelf melting NEW scientific evidence reveals that the Antarctic ice shelf is at more risk of melting than previously calculated. Rising summer temperatures rather than overall mean annual temperatures are exposed as the biggest threat to the polar ice. Scientists warn that the vast ice shelves are "just a few degrees" away from a potentially catastrophic meltdown. If the ice melts, the rush of billions of gallons of water into the oceans will lead to rising sea levels, affect global weather systems and, ultimately, adversely impact on wildlife and mankind. ... entire article on the SpotLight page. Dan The world in 2015: it's looking bleak A sweeping projection of what the world will look like in 2015 has concluded that the availability of water and food, changes in population, and the spread of information and disease will become increasingly important to international security. The report concludes that the population of the world will grow from the current 6.1 billion to 7.2 billion by 2015, with 95 per cent of that growth occurring in the developing world, and nearly all of it in urban areas. ... more on the SpotLight page. Dan Global Warming Wreaking Havoc Around The World The movie horror-fantasy of the sea engulfing east coast cities could become reality this century if nothing is done to halt global warming, scientists believe. Take, as they project, temperatures increasing by between 1.5C and 6C (2.7F and 11F!!), causing the sea to expand and rise by as much as 60cm (2ft); add stronger storms and greater precipitation causing more extreme downpours and cities such as New York and Boston might be in jeopardy. ... Detailed article on Spotlight page. Dan Scientists Claim Nothing Will Stop Climate Change 11-13-00 (UK Sunday Times) Scientists have warned thousands of government officials and politicians gathering for international climate talks in the Hague that the rise in global temperatures is irreversible, and that the best they can hope for is to slow it down by a fraction of a degree. The rise in temperatures has led to increasingly unpredictable weather. Last Christmas Eve a storm hit northern France, killing scores of people and ripping up more than 400,000 trees. Recently towns and cities across Britain have been hit by flooding. ... Entire article on SpotLight page. Dan Study: Global warming worse than thought; man to blame WASHINGTON (October 25, 2000) - Man-made pollutants have "contributed substantially" to global warming and the earth is likely to get much warmer than previously believed, a United Nations-sponsored panel of hundreds of scientists finds. And the scientists, in revised estimates, conclude that if greenhouse emissions are not curtailed the earth's average surface temperatures could be expected to increase from 2.7 to nearly 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century, substantially more than estimated in its report five years ago. Among the findings that suggest climate change already is under way, according to the summary: - Warming over the last 100 years "is likely to be the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years" when fully analyzed. The 1990s are likely to be the warmest decade with 1998 the warmest year of the 20th century. - There has been "a widespread retreat of mountain glaciers in nonpolar regions" and a decline in sea ice and snow-covered areas during the past 50 years. - Sea level rise has been 10 times greater in the last 100 years than the average rate over the last 3,000 years. The oceans have become warmer over the last 50 years. ... sigh ... is this where I say Told Ya So? ... Dan Report warns of water degradation, shortages EAST LANSING, Mich. (October 21, 2000) - Freshwater systems around the world are so damaged that their ability to support human, animal and plant life is seriously diminished, according to a report released Saturday. The report is part of a comprehensive study by the institute on how human activity is changing the world's ecosystems. ... entire article on SpotLight page. Dan Extreme Weather On The Rise BOULDER -- Expect hotter days, warmer nights, heavier rain and snowfall events, and more floods over the next century, says a new study published September 22 in the journal Science. The article reviews observations, impacts, and results from some 20 global climate models currently in use worldwide. ... longer article on the SpotLight Page. Dan
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