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 Only seven years left to avoid global climate catastrophe 08/29/2008 The Washington Post - The world may have only seven years to start reducing the annual buildup in greenhouse gas emissions that otherwise threatens global catastrophe within several decades. Reflecting a consensus of hundreds of scientists around the world, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has affirmed that greenhouse gas emissions are raising the Earth's temperature. The Earth is on a trajectory to warm more than 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit by around mid-century. Exceeding that threshold could trigger a series of phenomena: Arable land will turn into desert, higher sea levels will flood coastal areas, and changes in the convection of the oceans will alter currents, such as the Gulf Stream, that determine regional weather patterns. Manhattan and Florida would be under water, while Nevada would have no water at all. Global Catastrophe by 2040 - and there's NOTHING we can do about it 3/22/08 (dailymail.co.uk) - According to the climate change scientist James Lovelock, this is the beginning of the end of a peaceful phase in evolution. By 2040, the world population of more than six billion will have been culled by floods, drought and famine. He has been proclaiming his Gaia Theory for a generation. This states that the Earth is a living, self-regulating system and that by filling its atmosphere with CO2 (carbon dioxide emissions) we have destroyed the balance and overheated the planet. We are in the phase when the thermometer suddenly shoots up. Lovelock believes it is too late to repair the damage. Government targets are "futile". Britain contributes such a tiny amount of emissions compared with countries such as China that our self- regulatory measures are pathetic. longer article on the Spotlight page. Dan. LONGEST, HOTTEST SUMMER (UK) 10/15/06 (mirror.co.uk) - It was the longest, hottest summer ever - and that's official. The Met Office says the five months from May to September were the warmest since records began in 1659. ...the average temperature from May to September was 16.2C, two degrees higher than average. The last time it got even close (15.9C) was 1947. David Parker, of the Met Office, said: "This is a dramatic confirmation that we are now experiencing significant levels of global warming." 9/6/06 (Washington Post) - The End of Eden "It's going too fast," he says softly. "We will burn." Sulfurous musings are not James Lovelock's characteristic style; he's no Book of Revelation apocalyptic. In his 88th year, he remains one of the world's most inventive scientists... Four decades ago, his discovery that ozone-destroying chemicals were piling up in the atmosphere started the world's governments down a path toward repair. Not long after that, Lovelock proposed the theory known as Gaia, which holds that Earth acts like a living organism, a self-regulating system balanced to allow life to flourish. Biologists dismissed this as heresy, running counter to Darwin's theory of evolution. Today one could reasonably argue that Gaia theory has transformed scientific understanding of the Earth. Within the next decade or two, Lovelock forecasts, Gaia will hike her thermostat by at least 10 degrees. Earth, he predicts, will be hotter than at any time since the Eocene Age 55 million years ago, when crocodiles swam in the Arctic Ocean. "There's no realization of how quickly and irreversibly the planet is changing," Lovelock says. "Maybe 200 million people will migrate close to the Arctic and survive this. Even if we took extraordinary steps, it would take the world 1,000 years to recover." Amazon rainforest 'could become a desert' and Then it gets BAD! 7/23/06 (the Independent) - The vast Amazon rainforest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world's climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year. Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences, spinning out of control, a process that might end in the world becoming uninhabitable. ... entire article on Spotlite page. Dan. Earth-solar cycle spurs greenhouse gases 5/22/06 (Reuters) - Greenhouse gases are known to spur global warming, but scientists said on Monday that global warming in turn spurs greenhouse gas emissions -- which means Earth could get hotter faster than climate models predict. Two scientific teams, one in Europe and another in California, reached the same basic conclusion: when Earth has warmed up in the past, due to the sun's natural cycles, more greenhouse gases have been spewed into the atmosphere. As greenhouse gas levels rose, so did Earth's temperature, the scientists reported. Earth has not endlessly warmed up, though, because these natural solar cycles ended, letting the planet cool down and prompting a corresponding drop in greenhouse gas emissions, the scientists reported. But these previous periods of heating and cooling were not influenced by the burning of fossil fuels, and the current resulting trend toward higher global average temperatures, according to Margaret Torn of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "It means the warming is happening faster, each decade is actually warming faster than it would have," Torn said in a telephone interview. "It's the pace of change that will be one of the big problems. It's how humans adapt and the cost that will depend on the rate of change of climate." ... funny thing, this is EXACTLY what I've been saying for TEN years... Dan. Melting Ice Threatens Sea-Level Rise • At the current warming rate, Earth's temperature by 2100 will probably be at least 4 degrees warmer than now, with the Arctic at least as warm as it was 130,000 years ago, reports a research group led by Jonathan T. Overpeck of the University of Arizona. • Computer models indicate that warming could raise the average temperature in parts of Greenland above freezing for multiple months and could have a substantial impact on melting of the polar ice sheets, says a second paper by researchers led by Bette Otto- Bliesner of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Melting could raise sea level one to three feet over the next 100 to 150 years, she said. • And a team led by Goeran Ekstroem of Harvard University reported an increase in "glacial earthquakes," which occur when giant rivers of ice — some as big as Manhattan — move suddenly as melt water eases their path. That sudden movement causes the ground to tremble. According to the studies, increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the next century could raise Arctic temperatures as much as 5 to 8 degrees. The warming could raise global sea levels by up to three feet this century through a combination of thermal expansion of the water and melting of polar ice. ...blah blah blah - ain't news to us is it? Dan. APOCALYPSE NOW? 1-17-06 (timesofindia) Global warming is with us. Canada's Inuit see it in disappearing Arctic ice and permafrost, Europeans and Australians see it in forest fires and searing heatwaves, the Americans see it in deadlier hurricanes. And we see it in hotter summers, colder winters, early springs and ever-changing monsoon patterns. A child born some years from now may not know what a polar bear or penguin is... The three warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998; 19 of the warmest 20 since 1980. According to projections by the UK's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction, before the end of the century a warming of at least 3°C would probably eventually trigger the melting of the entire Greenland ice sheet. The glacial collapse would take years but could raise sea levels by six metres. Alarmist? No, say experts who agree that global warming is happening now, not day after tomorrow. Some nations are in a near panic, some are spending fortunes on preparing, meanwhile the U$ won't even (officially) admit anything is wrong... Dan Global warming to speed up as carbon levels show sharp rise 1-15-06 (news.independent.co.uk) Global warming is set to accelerate alarmingly because of a sharp jump in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Preliminary figures, exclusively obtained by The Independent on Sunday, show that levels of the gas - the main cause of climate change - have risen abruptly in the past four years. Scientists fear that warming is entering a new phase, and may accelerate further. Through most of the past half-century, levels of the gas rose by an average of 1.3 parts per million a year; in the late 1990s,this figure rose to 1.6 ppm, and again to 2 ppm in 2002 and 2003. But unpublished figures for the first 10 months of thisyear show a rise of 2.2 ppm. Scientists believe this may be the first evidence that climate change is starting to produce itself, as rising temperatures so alter natural systems that the Earth itself releases more gas, driving the thermometer ever higher. Global Warming Can Cause Extreme Climate Change 1-6-06 Research funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) shows that global climate change quickly may have disrupted ancient ocean processes and could lead to drastic shifts in environments around the world. Researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California say the events -- which unfolded millions of years ago and spanned thousands of years -- historically are similar to current warming-induced changes in large-scale sea circulation and may help illuminate potential long-term effects of today's climate warming. read entire article on Spotlight page... Dan World is at its hottest since prehistory 12-18-05(independent.co.uk) The world is now hotter than at any stage since prehistoric times, a top climatologist announced last week. Scientists in Bern, Switzerland, and Oregon in the United States analysed levels of the gas in tiny air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice during the past 650,000 years. They found current levels were 27 per cent greater than the highest level over that period. Meanwhile, top climatological bodies around the world report that 2005 is vying with 1998 as the warmest year on record. Nasa says it just beats it, while the Met Office says it is just behind it, and the US government's National Climatic Data Centre says the two years are statistically indistinguishable. Whichever is right, 2005 has been a remarkable year, for 1998 was made much hotter by a strong El Niño, the warm Pacific current that strongly affects weather around the globe. This year Arctic sea ice dropped to its smallest ever extent, the Atlantic suffered a record hurricane season and an unprecedented drought reduced the flow of the Amazon to its lowest ever level. Canada and Australia had their hottest ever weather this year, while India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria suffered heatwaves touching 50C. MORE EXTREME WEATHER AHEAD 10-17-05 Purdue University scientists say extreme weather events,such as floods and heat waves, may increase in frequency and severity during the next century. The most comprehensive climate model to date of the continental United States predicts more extreme temperatures throughout the country and more extreme precipitation along the Gulf Coast, in the Pacific Northwest and east of the Mississippi. The climate model, run on supercomputers at Purdue University, takes into account a large number of factors that have been incompletely incorporated in past studies, such as the effects of snow reflecting solar energy back into space and of high mountain ranges blocking weather fronts from traveling across them, said Noah S. Diffenbaugh, the team's lead scientist. Diffenbaugh said a better understanding of these factors – coupled with a more powerful computer system on which to run the analysis – allowed the team to generate a far more coherent image of what weather we can expect to encounter in the continental United States for the next century. Those expectations, he said, paint a very different climate picture for most parts of the country. "... the changes our model predicts are large enough to substantially disrupt our economy and infrastructure." GREENLAND...CANARY IN A MINE SHAFT 9-10-05 ILULISSAT, Greenland (AP) -- The gargantuan chunks of ice breaking off the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier and thundering into an Arctic fjord make a spectacular sight. But to Greenlanders it is also deeply worrisome. The frequency and size of the icefalls are a powerful reminder that the frozen sheet covering the world's largest island is thinning - a glaring sign of global warming, scientists say. "In the past we could walk on the ice in the fjord between the icebergs for a six-month period during the winter, drill holes and fish," said Joern Kristensen, a fisherman and one of the indigenous Inuit who are most of Greenland's population of 56,000. "We can only do that for a month or two now. It has become more difficult to drive dog sleds because the ice between the icebergs isn't solid anymore." Hottest June-July-August period in Buffalo's 135 years of recorded weather 9-4-05 (buffalonews.com) For the three-month period, the average temperature was 73.2 degrees, easily beating the previous high of 72.7 degrees, set in 1949. It's not that any one of the months was a record- setter, but each of the months was among the warmest the area had seen in a long time. "For example, we had our warmest June in 39 years, our warmest July in 50 years and our warmest August in 46 years. It's not unusual for one such month in a summer, but all three in one summer? Amazing." Some highlights: • Seventy-seven of the 92 days recorded above-average temperatures; • Ten days recorded high temperatures above 90, when the normal number is three. • Twenty-one days recorded a low temperature of 70 degrees or higher, when the normal number is six days. T-shirts on for an Arctic heatwave 7-17-2005 (The Observer) These are unusual times for Ny-Alesund, the world's most northerly community. Perched high above the Arctic Circle, on Svalbard, normally a place gripped by shrieking winds and blizzards, it was caught in a heatwave a few days ago. Temperatures soared to the highest ever recorded here, an extraordinary 19.6C, a full degree-and-a-half above the previous record. Researchers lolled in T-shirts and soaked up the sun: a high life in the high Arctic. Carbon dioxide, produced by cars and factories across the globe, is the real interest here. Over the past 15 years, not only have levels continued to rise from around 350 to 380 parts per million (ppm), but this rise is now accelerating. In 1990 this key cause of global warming was rising at a rate of 1 ppm; by 1998 it was increasing by 2ppm; and by 2003 instruments at Mount Zeppelin showed it was growing by 3ppm. 125 LARGE NORTHERN LAKES DISAPPEAR 03 June 2005 (LiveScience) A new study finds 125 large lakes in the Arctic have vanished as temperatures rose over the past two decades. Many other lakes have shrunk. The lakes once sat atop permanently frozen soil called permafrost. Other studies have shown permafrost is melting around the world, causing low-lying ground to slump and rock to fall from mountains. "We think that climate warming is thawing the permafrost," said lead researcher Laurence Smith of the University of California, Los Angeles. "It's like pulling the plug out of a bathtub. There's nothing to prevent lake water from percolating through the soil to aquifers below." Changes seem to come abruptly. The sudden draining could alter entire continental ecosystems, affecting birds and other wildlife that depend on the waterways, Smith and his colleagues say. Migratory birds count on the lakes during summer to feed their young. The research is reported today in the journal Science. Worst Drought in Century... again CANBERRA, May 20 (Reuters) - Prime Minister John Howard toured the country's drought-stricken areas on Friday to lend an ear to farmers struggling against one of the worst droughts in a century. With dams dried up, paddocks turned to dust and cattle and sheep starving, Howard travelled up to 800 km (500 miles) west of Sydney to the towns of Wentworth, West Wyalong and Lake Cargelligo ahead of a cabinet meeting on Monday to discuss further drought help. The National Farmers' Federation told a gathering of 1,000 farm industry leaders on Tuesday that the present drought could could cause as much damage as the country's worst drought in a century in 2002, which wiped one percentage point off GDP growth. Greenland Sea Cold Water Re-Cycling Has Nearly Stopped May 11, 2005 Cambridge, England - Normally in the Atlantic Ocean, warm water moves from the Equator up to the British Isles, keeping England and parts of Europe warmer than Labrador which is at the same northern latitude. The warming is caused by a huge convection process called the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation, or North Atlantic Drift. Equatorial warm water is circulated to the Labrador Sea and Greenland Sea, cools off, and then sea ice forms. The ice does not take up the sea salt which is left behind in the ocean and makes the water denser and it sinks. For more than a century, at least a dozen cylinder-shaped columns of cold water have been sinking into the deep ocean and heading back south toward the Equator which has kept the big conveyor belt of warm-to-cold-to-warm water going in the Atlantic Ocean. But now for the first time, Cambridge University Physicist, Peter Wadhams, has discovered that those dozen cold water columns in the Greenland Sea have nearly disappeared. He reported last week in Vienna at the European Geosciences Union meeting about his field research in the Greenland Sea. With a changing, slowing thermohaline circulation, Great Britain and parts of Europe will become colder over this century as the rest of the planet gets warmer. Undersea, Space Data Back Global Warming 4-27-05 (FoxNews) NEW YORK — Climate scientists armed with new data from the ocean depths and from space satellites have found that Earth is absorbing much more heat than it is giving off, which they say validates computer projections of global warming... Average atmospheric temperatures rose about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the 20th century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N.- organized network of scientists, says computer modeling predicts temperatures rising between 2.5 degrees and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. Besides raising ocean levels, global warming is expected to intensify storms, spread disease to new areas, and shift climate zones, possibly making farmlands drier and deserts wetter. World On Brink Of Disaster 3-31-05 (The Independent - UK) Planet Earth stands on the cusp of disaster and people should no longer take it for granted that their children and grandchildren will survive in the environmentally degraded world of the 21st century. This is not the doom-laden talk of green activists but the considered opinion of 1,300 leading scientists from 95 countries who will today publish a detailed assessment of the state of the world at the start of the new millennium. The report does not make jolly reading. The academics found that two-thirds of the delicately-balanced ecosystems they studied have suffered badly at the hands of man over the past 50 years. ... Longer article on the SpotLite page. Dan. ... Another Quake still to come ? 3-28-05 (theScottsman.com) Professor John McCloskey predicted in the wake of the Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami that there was a likelihood of two more quakes in the region. The University of Ulster based Geophysics expert, who studies earthquake dynamics said: "The location of the latest quake is exactly were we warned it would be. "We were concerned about two events and it looks like this is one of them." "It seems to me that this earthquake will also increase the stresses on the other site and make another quake more likely." The fault line for the other site "runs right through the city of Banda Aceh" on the northern tip of Sumatra, he said. ... I'll post more info ASAP. Dan... Seafloor earthquakes signal eruption off Vancouver Island 3-5-05 (seattletimes) Mount St. Helens may not be the only Northwest volcano spitting out lava these days. A scientific SWAT team from Seattle is sailing this afternoon for a spot off the coast of Vancouver Island, where they suspect an underwater eruption is under way. "We really don't know what to expect," said Edward Baker, an oceanographer at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Their observations will help improve understanding of the Juan de Fuca plate, a tectonic time bomb capable of producing earthquakes and tsunamis on par with the disaster that struck the Indian Ocean in December. Baker is co-leader of the 20-person team, which has been scrambling since Sunday, when swarms of earthquakes started rattling the ocean bottom 200 miles offshore. In the past six days, the area has been rocked by nearly 4,000 temblors, most tiny, but some exceeding magnitude 4. Scientists Baffled As Bird Numbers Plummet 2-28-05 (The Independent - UK) It has hardly been noticed, but it is another sinister warning sign of a world going badly wrong. Populations of some of Britain's most attractive woodland birds are plummeting at a rate that threatens them with extinction, and nobody knows why. Precipitous declines in the numbers of some species, of up to four- fifths, have been registered over the past 30 years, but scientists are just realising what is happening, and they have no simple explanation. In its scale and its range, the phenomenon is one of the most ominous events in the natural history of Britain over the past half-century. In southern England, where the situation is worst, some of these species have virtually disappeared. "These birds are falling off the radar in a quite catastrophic way and we have no real idea why," said Graham Appleton of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Britain's leading bird research organisation. ... yep, scientists are 'Baffled' again... Dan. 2005 TO BE HOTTEST ON RECORD 2-25-05 (MSNBC) Last year was the fourth warmest since recordkeeping began in the 1880s and 2005 could go down as the warmest ever recorded, NASA scientists reported in a new analysis of temperature data. "There has been a strong warming trend over the past 30 years, a trend that has been shown to be due primarily to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," said James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, based in New York. The most common greenhouse gas emitted by human activity is carbon dioxide. The burning of fossil fuels and trees, both of which store carbon, have added CO2 emissions to Earth's natural levels. Hansen and NASA colleague Makiko Sato noted that two additional factors are expected to play into 2005 temperatures. One is the presence of El Nino, when warm water spreads over much of the tropical Pacific Ocean. The other, they said, is that the Earth's surface now absorbs more of the sun's energy than gets reflected back to space. "The Earth is now out of energy balance," Hansen and Sato wrote. "One result of this imbalance is that it makes it likely that global temperature in 2005, aided also by a weak El Nino, will exceed those of 2003 and 2004 and perhaps even the temperature of 1998, which had stood out far above the temperature of any year in the preceding century." Last year was the the fourth-warmest on record, with a global mean temperature of 57 degrees Fahrenheit. That's about 1.5 degrees warmer than the middle of the century. Spring has sprung (and it's only February) 2-14-05 (timesonline.co.uk) Scotland's seasons are changing beyond all recognition as a result of global warming. Nature watchers have compiled a list of astonishing sightings the last few years. Spring arrives in Scotland two weeks earlier than it did 30 years ago and is now a full month earlier than it was in 1920. The trend is accelerating and 2005 may be the earliest ever. It is not just spring that is changing. Summers are hotter and drier. Autumn is taking a long time to arrive and lasts longer. Leaves are still on many trees in November and winter is being squeezed. Climate change is touching all parts of the globe, but the effect is more pronounced in northern latitudes. Global temperatures have increased by 0.6C since the start of the 20th century whereas Scotland saw a 1C rise between the 1860s and the 1990s. In recent years, alarm bells have been ringing louder. In Scotland six of the 10 warmest years since 1857 have occurred since 1989. Rivers of change 1-20-05 (metoffice.gov.uk) New research by Met Office scientists shows that man-made greenhouse gases are probably causing increasing river flows into the Arctic Ocean, and this could be evidence of changing rainfall patterns on a global scale. Water exchanges between the ocean, atmosphere and land are called the global hydrological cycle. As the earth's climate warms up, the rate of these exchanges is expected to increase. As part of this process, amplified high-latitude rain and snowfall will result in increased river run-offs. This could change the distribution of water on the earth's surface with important social and economical impacts. It could also have implications for the circulation of the Atlantic, which is important for European climate. "This is evidence that changes in the global water cycle, predicted to follow global warming, are already happening. Our model predicts that these changes will intensify in the coming decades, with implications for water supply and risks of flooding." Record warm winter stirs sleepy bears 1-14-05 Estonia(Reuters) Estonia's warmest winter for two centuries has woken some of its 600 bears several months early from hibernation, wildlife experts said on Friday. Temperatures have stayed above freezing, compared with the average temperature of minus 5 Celsius (23.00F) for January. Neighboring Russia's normally ferocious winter has also been mild. Interfax news agency reported this week that a bear in a zoo awoke from hibernation two months early, while another did not go to sleep at all. Upgraded To 9.2 - Largest Earthquake Known to Modern Civilization 12-28-04 (indiadaily) It is one of largest earthquakes known to modern civilization with a reading of close to 9.2 in Richter scale. It started with a precursor near the coastline of Sumatra, a series of shocks happened one after the other and before all was done, 625 miles (1000 Kilometers) of Andaman thrust or fault line broke. The result was devastation never seen before in modern times. 45 feet tall Tsunamis (coastal tidal waves) originating from the epicenter of the earthquakes, crushed onto the shores of Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and other countries in the region. According to reports we are receiving, this is not a simple earthquake, it is the mega quake that happens once every thousand years. No one knows how much after shock will devastate the area. Quake, Tsunami Devastate Asia 12-26-04 Sri Lanka (Reuters) - One of the most powerful earthquakes in history hit southern Asia Sunday, unleashing a tsunami on Sri Lanka and India and swamping tourist isles in Thailand and the Maldives. The tsunami - a menacing wall of water - caused death, chaos and devastation across southern Asia. The tsunami, up to 30 feet high, was triggered by an 8.9 magnitude underwater earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The earthquake was the world's biggest since 1964, said Julie Martinez, geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado. "It is multiple earthquakes along the same faultline." It was the fifth-largest earthquake since 1900, she said. Bizarre Weather Slams Japan Yet Again 6-Dec-2004 TOKYO (AFP) Seventeen typhoons in one season followed by earthquake after earthquake has caused frightened Japanese to drive up the price of gold because they are buying it against hard times ahead. Now more extreme weather has struck the island nation, bringing gale force winds and a sudden extreme temperature increase that is unprecedented in the climatic history of the country. At 11:29 AM yesterday, the temperature in Tokyo rose to 77 degrees Fahrenheit breaking a record for temperature in the city set in 1923. 90 MPH gales were registered in central Tokyo earlier in the morning, marking the highest wind speeds ever recorded there. Air and rail transport were paralyzed. Drivers were urged to stay off roadways, and there were widespread power outages. Citizens in northern areas were warned to expect extreme weather as the unseasonably powerful warm front causing the havoc continued to race northeast. Fierce Storm Whips Across Europe 11-21-04 BERLIN (AFP) As predicted by global warming models, Europe continues to bear the brunt of unusually ferocious seasonal storms. The latest devastation took place over the past 48 hours when a winter storm generated sustained winds of over a hundred miles an hour in many areas, leading to extensive damage and at least fifteen deaths, mostly in road accidents associated with the extreme weather. In Bavaria, wind gusts in excess of 112 mph were recorded, and heavy snow fell on lower Saxony. Road traffic was seriously disrupted, and there were incidents of heavy trucks being blown over by wind gusts, including fire trucks attempting to respond to emergency calls. REPORT: GLOBAL WARMING NOW INEVITABLE Oct. 30 (UPI) The Arctic Council, an international group of northern nations, says global warming will be both a blessing and a curse. Nearly 300 scientists contributed to the analysis of the Arctic, which finds heat-trapping gases from tailpipes and smokestacks around the world are causing sharp retreats of glaciers and sea ice, thawing of permafrost and shifts in the weather, the oceans and the atmosphere. The study, commissioned by eight nations that share Arctic territory, also stresses that -- even with public policy adoptions to the phenomenon -- further warming and melting are unavoidable, given the century-long buildup of the gases, mainly carbon dioxide. Council members are the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. ... its been "inevitable" for some years now... Dan. Ireland Battered by Year's Worst Storm 10-27-04 DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) The city of Cork and several towns were severely flooded Wednesday as the year's strongest Atlantic storm arrived with heavy rain and wind gusts of more than 70 mph. The River Lee, which runs through Cork, burst its banks and flooded the southwestern city's main roads with up to 9.5 feet of water. Records indicated it was the worst such flood since 1962. The surging tide caught shop workers in Ireland's second-largest city and homeward-bound commuters by surprise. Scores of cars, with water lapping at their windows, were abandoned on roads. The Irish Coast Guard advised people to avoid harbors, piers, cliffs, coastal walkways and other exposed seaside spots because of the risk of being blown or swept into the ocean. Amphibians in Dramatic Decline October 14, 2004 (Gland, Switzerland) ï¿½ The world's amphibian species are under unprecedented assault and are experiencing tens of thousands of years worth of extinctions in just a century, according to the most comprehensive study ever conducted. More than 500 scientists from over 60 nations contributed to the Global Amphibian Assessment, the key findings of which were published on-line by Science Express this afternoon, and will appear within the next few weeks in the journal Science. Over the past three years, scientists analyzed the distribution and conservation status of all 5,743 known amphibian species ï¿½ which include frogs and toads, salamanders, and caecilians. Of these, 1,856 ï¿½ or 32 percent ï¿½ are now considered threatened with extinction. In addition, sufficient data are lacking to accurately assess the status of nearly 1,300 other species, most of which scientists believe are also threatened. Amphibians are widely regarded as "canaries in the coal mine," since their highly permeable skin is more immediately sensitive to changes in the environment, including changes to freshwater and air quality. "Amphibians are one of nature's best indicators of overall environmental health," said Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International (CI). "Their catastrophic decline serves as a warning that we are in a period of significant environmental degradation." ... Sooo Not Good... Dan. Climate fear as carbon levels soar 10-11-04 (The Guardian) An unexplained and unprecedented rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere two years running has raised fears that the world may be on the brink of runaway global warming. Scientists are baffled why the quantity of the main greenhouse gas has leapt in a two-year period and are concerned that the Earth's natural systems are no longer able to absorb as much as in the past. Measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere have been continuous for almost 50 years at Mauna Loa Observatory, 12,000ft up a mountain in Hawaii, regarded as far enough away from any carbon dioxide source to be a reliable measuring point. ... entire article on Spotlite page... Dan. Global Warming Puts Chinaï¿½s Yulong Glacier in Peril 9-25-04 China (abcnews) It is one of China's scenic wonders: the Yulong, or Jade Dragon Mountain. But, if one of China's leading environmental scientists is correct, future generations will only be able to experience the Yulong glacier through their history books. "This glacier is melting," said He Yuanqing. "And it is melting very fast." ABC News joined He and his scientific team recently on their annual visit to the glacier to measure and analyze its height and length and depth. The team doesn't like what it sees. According to He, the icy tongue of the glacier has shrunk by 800 feet in the past 20 years. ... longer article on the Spotlite page... Dan. Antarctic Glaciers Melting Faster 9-22-04 WASHINGTON (Reuters) Glaciers once held up by a floating ice shelf off Antarctica are now sliding off into the sea -- and they are going fast, scientists said on Tuesday. Two separate studies from climate researchers and the space agency NASA show the glaciers are flowing into Antarctica's Weddell Sea, freed by the 2002 breakup of the Larsen B ice shelf. Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers said their satellite measurements suggest climate warming can lead to rapid sea level rise. ... more info on the Spotlite page... Dan.. Strange twist to stormy weather 9-19-04 (news.com.au) A Severe storm system caused bizarre weather along New South Wales' east and central coasts, the Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains yesterday, spawning hailstorms, a waterspout, high winds and heavy rain. Hailstones about the size of a 10c coin fell in southwestern Sydney - at Razorback, between Camden and Picton - at 3.30pm as wild weather hit for the second time in two weeks. The Bureau of Meteorology's severe weather specialist Andrew Haigh said the rain storm then moved across parts of Liverpool and Blacktown towards northwest Sydney. A spectacular water spout erupted at Newcastle, alarming hundreds of people out on a Sunday stroll on the foreshore. A separate storm in southern NSW forced flights heading from Sydney and Melbourne to Canberra to turn back and grounded outbound flights for almost two hours. Other storms also developed to the west of Sydney, in the Richmond area, and were forecast to move on towards Sydney's northwest later in the night. Mussels Found Near N.Pole in Global Warming Sign 9-18-04 OSLO (Reuters) Mussels have been found growing on the seabed just 800 miles from the North Pole in a likely sign of global warming, scientists said on Friday. The blue mussels, which normally favor warmer waters like off France or the eastern United States, were discovered last month off Norway's Svalbard archipelago in waters that are covered with ice most of the year. "The climate is changing fast," said Geir Johnsen, a professor at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology who was among experts who found the bivalves. Molluscs were a "very good indicator that the climate is warming," he said. ... entire article on Spotlite page... Dan. Natural disasters 'on the rise' 9-17-04 (BBC) The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction said the increase in numbers vulnerable to natural shocks was due partly to global warming. It said 254 million people were affected by natural hazards last year - nearly three times as many as in 1990. The assessment comes as the Caribbean and the US are being hit by a series of devastating hurricanes. Releasing its statistics jointly with the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (Cred) at the University of Louvain in Belgium, it said there was a consistent trend over the last decade of an increasing number of people affected by disasters. There were 337 natural disasters reported in 2003, up from 261 in 1990. The problems, it said, are exacerbated because more and more people are living in concentrated urban areas and in slums with poor building standards and a lack of facilities. "Not only is the world globally facing more potential disasters but increasing numbers of people are becoming vulnerable to hazards," the ISDR said. ... amazingly some folks still don't think Global Warming is real... Dan. Ivan May Just Be a Messenger 9-15-04 (wired news) Hurricane Ivan is among the most powerful Atlantic storms in recent history, and more such storms are likely in the future due to global warming, say climate experts. The extra energy from this "greenhouse effect" has already warmed the Earth by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, according to the 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report is based on evidence and research from more than 2,500 scientists from about 100 countries. ... longer article on the Spotlite page... Dan. Sea engulfing Alaskan village 9-11-04 (BBC) The village of Shishmaref lies on a tiny island on the edge of the arctic circle - and it is literally being swallowed by the sea. Houses the Eskimos have occupied for generations are now wilting and buckled. Some have fallen into the sea. Not only is the earth crumbling underfoot, but the waves are rising ominously all around. Because temperatures in Alaska have increased by as much as 4.4C over the last 30 years, glaciers are starting to melt, causing the sea levels to rise. The increased temperature is also thawing the frozen ground, which is known as permafrost, on which the arctic communities such as Shishmaref were built. Soon this entire village will be relocating to the mainland - making the people of Shishmaref the first refugees of global warming. Warnings from the Wild 9-11-04 (CBC.CA) In the Arctic, climate changes are tangible. As the Earth warms, the ice caps melt. Polar bears depend on the ice to hunt. If the ice breaks up in early spring, the bears go hungry and scientists have noticed a change in the bears' weight and survival rate of cubs. At the other end of the world in the Antarctic, the pattern is repeated, only it's penguins that depend on the ice. In the more temperate zones of Europe and the United States, scientists are using the long-term records of amateur naturalists to show how trees are leafing and birds are migrating a full two weeks earlier. ... longer article on the Spotlite page... Dan. "Extreme Weather Will Kill Millions" 9-7-04 (Reuters) Millions of people across the globe are set to die early due to extreme weather events such as floods and heat waves caused by climate change, a British scientist said Tuesday. Professor Mike Pilling cited the heatwave in Europe last year that killed thousands of people from a combination of heat exhaustion and an increase in atmospheric pollution. "We will experience an increase in extreme weather events," he told reporters at the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. "There are predictions of a 10-fold increase in heat waves. Pilling, professor of Physical Chemistry at Leeds University in northern England, said atmospheric pollution was like a plague stretching across the planet -- although far worse in the industrialized northern hemisphere than the southern -- as pollutants drifted from Asia to the United States to Europe and back to Asia. Manitoba has Worst Summer Ever 8-31-04 The entire globe was a fraction of a degree colder than normal in July. But Manitoba dropped about three degrees below normal from May to August, tied with Siberia for the worst summer in the hemisphere. Winnipegs mean temperature was the chilliest since records started being kept in 1873. Even excluding May, the three summer months will add up to one of the two coldest summers on record -- and the only competitor is 1992, when a Philippine volcano caused a worldwide chill. ... entire article on Spotlite page... Dan. Mercury in many lakes, rivers 8-26-04 (usatoday) One third of the nation's lake waters and one-quarter of its riverways are contaminated with mercury and other pollutants that could cause health problems for children and pregnant women who eat too much fish, the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday. States issued warnings for mercury and other pollutants in 2003 for nearly 850,000 miles of U.S. rivers a 65% increase over 2002 and 14 million acres of lakes. The warning level is the highest ever reported by the EPA. California Steamin 8-25-04 The forecast for America's most populous state is for dangerous heat and shortages of water. That's according to a study of California's climate published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A just-published study on the impact of global warming on California says even if fossil fuel use is curtailed, residents there should, by the end of the century, expect "heat-related mortality increases 2-3 times" over today's rate, but that the rate could be "increasing 5-7 times" if fossil fuel use continues like today. Under the second scenario the one with higher emissions the report says that by 2100, "heatwaves in Los Angeles are 6-8 times more frequent, with heat-related excess mortality increasing 5-7 times; alpine/subalpine forests are reduced by 75-90%; and snowpack declines 73-90%." The report goes on to say such a decline "could fundamentally disrupt California's water system." ... won't be that long ... Dan. Close-to-Shore Quakes Baffle Scientists 8-21-04 Researchers at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center are somewhat perplexed after a close-to-shore earthquake rumbled across Lincoln County for the second time in two months. Seismologists for marine science center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - called Wednesday night's 4.7-magnitude quake "very odd." It followed in the wake of a 4.9-magnitude earthquake that briefly shook things up July 12. Off-shore earthquakes are extremely common, but those with magnitudes higher than 4.0 are - "extraordinarily rare" so close to shore (within 20 to 35 miles). In fact, there is no record of any earthquake of similar magnitude that close to the Oregon shoreline in the past 30 years. Now two have occurred within five weeks of each other, and researchers can't say why... Summer storms lash Europe August 18, 2004 (news.com.au) FREAK storms packing howling winds and heavy rain that lashed Britain and France this week were set to continue today, after already causing significant destruction and the deaths of at least four people. Rescuers in southern France resumed searches for at least five swimmers caught by surprise by the sudden change in the weather yesterday, roiling waters into huge waves and pushing out powerful wind gusts of up to 80km/h. In Britain, residents of Boscastle, a coastal village in north Cornwall, were bracing for more rain two days after flash floods sent a wall of water tearing through the village, collapsing buildings and sweeping more than 50 cars into the sea. Record Alaskan Temps! 8-17-04 (the Anchorage Daily News) Acrid smoke from Interior wildfires drifted into Anchorage, the Mat-Su and other areas of Alaska on Monday, irritating eyes and throats, prompting health warnings and disappointing visitors who expected Alaska's legendary clear skies and long-distance vistas. And the haze won't disappear soon, the National Weather Service says. The atmospheric conditions that drew the smoke 250 miles or more should linger at least several more days. The pall, which helped boost the temperature to a record-shattering 84 degrees, is giving Anchorage a taste of the worst wildfire season in Alaska history. Nearly 5 million acres have burned, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center in Fairbanks on Monday afternoon. 'Dead Zone' Found off Oregon Coast 8-10-04 CORVALLIS, Ore. For the second time in three years, a hypoxic "dead zone" has formed off the central Oregon Coast. It's killing fish, crabs and other marine life and leading researchers to believe that a fundamental change may be taking place in ocean conditions in the northern Pacific Ocean. In 2002, the dead zone appeared to be a one-time anomaly, an odd combination of climate, winds and upwelling patterns that led to a hypoxic event ï¿½ a situation in which the oxygen level was so low it could not support most marine life ï¿½ which had not been seen in the region's recent history. But continued research has shown that the same thing almost occurred last year and is now happening in full force again this year. Dissolved oxygen levels are a great deal lower than those seen in the past 40 years. This is a disturbing trend with an unknown cause that scientists now say may reflect a major change in ocean circulation patterns, with serious impacts on marine biology. ... just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak... Dan. 'Dead Zone' Spreads Across Gulf Of Mexico 8-4-04 HOUSTON (Reuters) A huge "dead zone" of water so devoid of oxygen that sea life cannot live in it has spread across 5,800 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico this summer in what has become an annual occurrence caused by pollution. In the last 30 years, the dead zone has become an annual summer phenomenon, fed by rising use of nitrate-based fertilizers by farmers in the Mississippi watershed. The nitrates, carried into the gulf's warm summer waters by the river, feed algae blooms that use up oxygen and make the water uninhabitable. Virtually nothing is being done to stop the flow of nitrates into the river, meaning the dead zone will reappear every year. Beaches Awash With Dead Fish 8-3-04 OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) A surge of cold water generated from an offshore current killed nearly a million adult Atlantic croaker, leaving maintenance crews at local resorts with their hands full of carcasses to clean up. ``They were probably swimming in water temperature around the 60 degrees, ``Then it got down to the 40s. Just like humans, some of us suffer heatstroke or suffer frostbite at different temperatures. Same thing with fish. They couldnï¿½t handle the rapid temperature drop. ... *more* signs of a problem in the Atlantic current! ...Dan 1,500 Homing Pigeons Get Lost During Race July 22, 2004 (Sweden) Organizers of a race for homing pigeons were still scratching their heads in wonder Thursday after about 1,500 of the birds, famous for their ability to find their way home, went missing during the contest. Of the 2,000 pigeons let loose last week, only about 500 have returned to their lofts after the 150-kilometer (93 mile) flight between the cities of Ljungby and Malmoe in southern Sweden, said Lars-Aake Nilsson of the Malmoe Homing Pigeon Club. "The weather was perfect - no rain, no thunder and no strong winds," he said. "I have worked with pigeons since 1960 and have never experienced anything like this," adding that the birds might have been thrown off course by subtle changes in the earth's magnetic field. The pigeons have a natural homing instinct and are believed to navigate by the sun and the magnetic waves of the earth, Nilsson said. ... NOT Good... 4th article in the past few months of missing birds... Dan. Record High Temps in Tokyo 7-21-04 TOKYO (AFP) The temperature in central Tokyo hit a record 39.5 degrees Celsius (103.1 Fahrenheit) as a heat wave continued to scorch many parts of Japan, the Meteorological Agency said. The mercury reading was the highest in the capital since the agency began recording data in 1923, surpassing the previous record of 39.1 Celsius reached on August 3, 1994. ... and ... Extreme Peru Cold Snap July 19, 2004 ï¿½ LIMA, Peru (Reuters) Extreme cold in Peru's high Andes as temperatures have plunged as low as minus 13 Fahrenheit (minus 25 C), government and U.N. officials said on Monday. Even though it is the Southern Hemisphere's winter, the temperatures have been as much as five times lower than normal. The conditions have been caused by a cold front over the Pacific Ocean that has sparked intense snowfall when it meets an area of humidity, meteorologists said. ... also ... Australians amazed by snowfalls Surprise snowfalls prompted people in Sydney, Australia, to flock to the mountains today to catch a glimpse of what for them is a rare winter phenomenon. The unexpected wintry weather brought a warning from traffic officials to stay at home. Snowfall is rare in the region and officials trying to deal with icy roads in the mountains advised curious sightseers to stay away. Alaska Natives Say Warming Imperils Villages 7-16-04 (Anchorage, Alaska) A warming climate is bringing expensive and potentially dangerous erosion and floods to Native Alaskan villages. Storms tear off chunks of beach once shielded by permafrost or Arctic pack ice. Buildings are in danger of toppling into the sea, and many have already been moved, at great expense. Of the 213 Native Alaskan villages, 184 face flooding and erosion problems, with very serious problems in about 20. Residents have already moved 18 homes and two National Guard buildings. The Inupiat village of Point Hope, established 2,600 years ago on the northwestern Alaska coast. Flooding problems will likely force the village of 725 people to move, QUARTER MILE LONG FISSURE OPENS UP 7-15-04 (Arizona Daily Star) Authorities today are investigating the cause of a fissure north of Willcox that spans a quarter mile and is up to five feet wide at some points. Authorities do not know how deep the fissure is but a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department said it's too deep to see the bottom. Officials with various utility companies have been called to the site along with officials from the University of Arizona to help determine what caused the fissure and how to deal with it. ... important - see the 7-2-04 post below ... Dan. Extreme temperatures continue to plague Europe 7-12-04 Bucharest (AFP) In Romania fierce winds damaged 400 houses, mainly in the north, ripped up trees and cut power supplies to 300 areas, while hailstorms destroyed 4,600 hectares (11,360 acres) of crops. Storms that had provoked floods and power cuts in Britain and Germany during the week turned to snow in the Bavarian mountains on Sunday. Northeast Italy was hit by unseasonally chilly weather over the weekend and snow in the Italian Alps. In France, where nearly 15,000 people died in an extended heatwave last year, summer 2004 continued to be a rain-drenched washout. The authorities in Athens, which hosts the Olympic Games next month, advised people with respiratory or heart problems to stay out of the sun, which sent temperatures up to over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of the city. ... and ... Cold weather in Argentina ,Chile and Peru BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Winter storms have violently struck several South American countries in recent days in Argentina and Chile and record below freezing temperatures in southern Brazil. In Argentina, temperatures reached minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 degrees F)in Tierra del Fuego over the weekend. Heavy snow and rain in southern Peru left 53 people homeless and damaged thousands of houses. Sunspots reaching 1,000-year high 7 -5 -04 (BBC) A new analysis shows that the Sun is more active now than it has been at anytime in the previous 1,000 years. Scientists based at the Institute for Astronomy in Zurich used ice cores from Greenland to construct a picture of our star's activity in the past. They say that over the last century the number of sunspots rose at the same time that the Earth's climate became steadily warmer. This trend is being amplified by gases from fossil fuel burning, they argue. Looking at the past 1,150 years the Sun has never been as active as it has been during the past 60 years. Over the past 20 years, however, the number of sunspots has remained roughly constant, yet the average temperature of the Earth has continued to increase. This is put down to a human-produced greenhouse effect caused by the combustion of fossil fuels. Mile Long Crevasse opens along Fault in Mexico 7-2-04 Mexico City (AP) A gaping, mile-long crevasse opened early Tuesday along what officials described as a geological fault line in western Mexico. The crevasse reportedly opened without warning early Wednesday. It stretches about one mile (2 kms) across farm fields in a sparsely populated area in Zapopan, a suburb of the western city of Guadalajara. It is as much as 15 feet (5 meters) wide in some places. Experts say dearth of rain in Western states 'historic' 6-30-04 (Union-Tribune) Lakes are drying up, water districts are ramping up conservation efforts and farmers are searching the skies in vain for drops of rain. As the official rain season ends today, San Diego County is in the grip of a drought that is being felt throughout the Western United States. "The bottom line is we are dry and it is a historic drought," said Douglas Le Comte, a senior meteorologist and drought specialist for the federal Climate Prediction Center. Some experts are saying this could be the worst drought in 500 years. Western Drought Now Beats 1930s Dust Bowl 6-17-04 LAS VEGAS (AP) The drought gripping the West could be the biggest in 500 years, with effects in the Colorado River basin considerably worse than during the Dust Bowl years, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey said Thursday. The report said the drought has produced the lowest flow in the Colorado River on record, with an adjusted annual average flow of only 5.4 million acre-feet at Lees Ferry, Ariz., during the period 2001-2003. By comparison, during the Dust Bowl years, between 1930 and 1937, the annual flow averaged about 10.2 million acre-feet, the report said. Scientists use tree-ring reconstructions of Colorado River flows to estimate what conditions were like before record-keeping began in 1895. Using that method, the lowest five-year average of water flow was 8.84 million acre-feet in the years 1590-1594. From 1999 through last year, water flow has been 7.11 million acre-feet. "These comparisons suggest that the current drought may be comparable to or more severe than the largest-known drought in 500 years," the report said. N.D. Probes Disappearance of Pelicans 5-31-04 MEDINA, N.D. (AP) Wildlife officials estimate nearly 27,000 American white pelicans have abandoned their summer nesting grounds at the Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The question is why - and where they went. The birds were noticed missing about two weeks ago. Left behind were thousands of eggs, which are unlikely to hatch. ... more .... June 17, 2004 Another 2,000 American White Pelicans have disappeared from the Chase Lake Wildlife Refuge, leaving behind hundreds of chick carcasses and eggs on an island. There are only about 300 adult pelicans left on the entire island. Pelicans have nested at Chase Lake for more than a hundred years without such baffling disappearances. So far, none of the 29,000 pelicans have showed up anywhere else and no one yet has an answer to the mystery. ... more ... 7-1-04 Four of approximately 30,000 white pelicans that left the Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge in south central North Dakota have been tracked, but they took different paths, federal officials say. The pelicans still are not giving clues to wildlife officials about why they abandoned the refuge last month. Fast Arctic Thaw Portends Global Warming 5-26-04 (OSLO) Global warming is hitting the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet in what may be a portent of wider, catastrophic changes, the chairman of an eight-nation study said on Monday. Inuit hunters are falling more frequently through the thinning ice with habitats for plants and animals also disrupted. The icy Hudson Bay in Canada could be uninhabitable for polar bears within just 20 years. The melting is also destabilizing buildings on permafrost and threatening an oil pipeline laid across Alaska. Benefits, for human commerce, might accrue from the opening up of a now largely icebound short-cut sea route from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Russia might also win easier access to oil and gas as the icecap shrinks and permafrost retreats. The broader consequences are however disturbing. "There is dramatic climate change happening in the Arctic right now...about 2-3 times the pace of the whole globe," said Robert Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessement (ACIA). "If you want to know what the rest of the planet is going to see in next generation, watch out for the Arctic in the next 5-10 years," he told Reuters. The report combines input from scientists, indigenous peoples and eight Arctic rim nations. The Arctic reacts most to global warming, blamed largely on emissions of gases like carbon dioxide from fossil fuels in cars and factories, partly because dark-colored water or earth, once exposed, soaks up heat far faster than white ice or snow. Some parts of Alaska have heated up 10 times more than the global average, said Corell, a senior fellow at the American Meteorological Society. Future temperature rises in the Arctic were likely to be twice the 1.4-5.8 Celsius (3-11 F) gain by 2100 forecast by a U.N.-led panel of scientists, he said. ... the Day After Tomorrow ? - probably Not, the end of this Century ? probably Sooner... Dan Arctic temperatures warming rapidly 19/05/2004 (ABC News) Summer temperatures in the Arctic have risen at an incredible rate over the past three years and large patches of what should be ice are now open water, a British polar explorer said. Ben Saunders, forced by the warm weather to abandon an attempt to ski solo from northern Russia across the North Pole to Canada, said he had been amazed at how much of the ice had melted. "It's obvious to me that things are changing a lot and changing very quickly," a sunburnt Saunders told Reuters less than two days after being rescued from the thinning ice sheet close to the North Pole. "I do know it's happening because that was my third time in the Arctic (in the last three years)," said Saunders, who explored the region in 2001 and 2003. "The temperatures were incredibly warm ... I had days when I could ski with no gloves and no hat at all, just in bare hands, because I was too hot," said Saunders. "I saw open water every single day of the expedition, which is not what I was expecting," said Saunders, who had to don a special thermal suit and drag his sled across open patches of water nine times during the 71 days he spent alone. Canada May Face Worst Drought in Years May 13, 2004 (AP) VANCOUVER, BC With dry weather predicted for a third summer in a row, British Columbia may experience its worst drought since the Great Depression, water experts warned. Amid a warm, dry spring and facing predictions of more of the same throughout the summer, British Columbia could face even more forest fires than last year's record season. So far there have been 206 fires in the province between April 1 and May 11, compared with 134 in the same period last year. Water crisis as Mexico City sinks faster than Venice 30 April 2004 (independent.co.uk) Mexico City's underlying aquifer is now collapsing at a staggering rate beneath the streets. While Venice slips into the Adriatic at a fraction of an inch each year, Mexico City is lurching downwards by as much as a foot a year in some areas. Over the past century, it has dropped 30ft. Chugging the equivalent of one Olympic-sized swimming pool full of water every minute, the city's strained aquifers are dragging much of the capital's rich heritage down with them, while the 20 million residents face problems that include water-borne diseases, power outages and the threat of riots. Below street level, the ongoing subsidence is wreaking havoc with the water distribution and drainage systems. The city's 8,300-mile network of water pipes routinely fracture, losing up to 40 per cent of potable water supplies, according to some estimates. California Sizzles in Record Spring Temps AP April 27, 2004 LOS ANGELES - A spring heat wave blistered California with record temperatures Monday as firefighters kept a close eye on dry brush, power officials monitored electricity use, and residents sought refuge at beaches and in swimming pools. Hundred-degree or greater highs were reported in coastal cities as well as through inland valleys and into the desert. Long Beach topped out only four degrees under Death Valleyï¿½s 105. The National Weather Service reported 99 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, shattering the record of 91 set in 1972. Other records included 100 in Santa Maria on the central coast, 91 in San Francisco, which usually averages 65 degrees this time of year, and 93 in San Jose. Sacramento hit 98, the capitalï¿½s hottest April 26 since record- keeping began in 1849! Ocean 'dead zone' alert March 29, 2004 So-called "dead zones" - oxygen-starved areas of the world's oceans that are devoid of fish - top the list of emerging environmental challenges, the United Nations Environment Program warned today in its global overview. The spreading zones have doubled over the last decade and pose as big a threat to fish stocks as overfishing, UNEP said in its Global Environment Outlook Year Book 2003, released at the opening of the agency's 8th summit for the world's environment ministers. The new findings tally nearly 150 dead zones around the globe, double the number in 1990, with some stretching 70,000 square kilometres. Dead zones have long afflicted the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay, but are now spreading to other bodies of water, such as the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Adriatic Sea, Gulf of Thailand and Yellow Sea, as other regions develop, UNEP said. They are also appearing off South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. 2003 Likely Europe's Hottest in 500 Years 3-5-04 Washington (AP) Last year's deadly summer in Europe probably was the hottest on the continent in at least five centuries, according to researchers who analyzed old records, soil cores and other evidence. "The summer of 2003 exceeded 1901 to 1995 European summer temperatures by around 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)," the study said. "Taking into account the uncertainties, it appears that the summer of 2003 was very likely warmer than any other summer back to 1500." Longer article on the SpotLite page... Dan Insurer warns of global warming catastrophe 3-3-04 GENEVA (Reuters) The world's second-largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, warned on Wednesday that the costs of natural disasters, aggravated by global warming, threatened to spiral out of control, forcing the human race into a catastrophe of its own making. In a report revealing how climate change is rising on the corporate agenda, Swiss Re said the economic costs of such disasters threatened to double to $150 billion (82 billion pounds) a year in 10 years. "Sea levels will continue to rise, glaciers retreat and snow cover decline," the insurer wrote. Global Waring will plunge Britain into new ice age "within decades" 1-25-04 (independent.co.uk) Britain is likely to be plunged into an ice age within our lifetime by global warming, new research suggests. A study, which is being taken seriously by top government scientists, has uncovered a change "of remarkable amplitude" in the circulation of the waters of the North Atlantic. Scientists have long expected that global warming could, paradoxically, cause a devastating cooling in Europe by disrupting the Gulf Stream, which brings as much heat to Britain in winter as the sun does: the US National Academy of Sciences has even described such abrupt, dramatic changes as "likely". But until now it has been thought that this would be at least a century away. The new research, by scientists at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Acquaculture Science at Lowestoft and Canada's Bedford Institute of Oceanography, as well as Woods Hole, indicates that this may already be beginning to happen. ... longer article on SpotLite page... Dan. Record Swiss glacier melting in 2003 1-14-04 (AFP/Terra Daily) Switzerland's glaciers melted by a record amount during 2003 due to long-term climate warming, according to the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences. The retreat of the glaciers in the Swiss Alps reached up to 150 metres in 2003, with overall melting exceeding that observed in any year since measurements began in the 19th century. "The overall view that emerges is of a clarity never seen before since annual measurements started in 1880" the academy in Bern said in a statement. "The glacier measurements are one of the best ways of documenting climate change". The Swiss length measurements were based on regular data recorded on 96 Alpine glaciers. Europe's 2003 heatwave was 1-in-46,000 event! 1-12-04 (AFP/Yahoo News) The heatwave that paralyzed Europe last summer was hailed as a harbinger of global warming by many, including climatologists who predicted wilder extremes in floods, droughts and storms thanks to climate change. More than 20,000 people are thought to have died as a result of Europe's heatwave during the summer of 2003. During June and July, temperatures across much of the continent topped 40 ï¿½C. Now results from a climate model have added more evidence to the idea that extreme temperature events are set to rise due to global warming, Nature Science Update reports. Christoph Schï¿½r of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his colleagues calculate that, based on average temperatures since 1990, a European summer such as that of 2003 should come along only once every 46,000 years - even after taking global warming into account. "Statistically, this event should not have happened," Schï¿½r says. US Climate Policy 'Bigger Threat Than Terrorism' 1-9-4 (The Independent - UK) Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser, says in an article today in the journal Science that America, the world's greatest polluter, must take the threat of global warming more seriously. "In my view, climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today, more serious even than the threat of terrorism," Sir David says. The Bu$h administration was wrong to pull out of the Kyoto protocol, the international effort to limit the emission of greenhouse gases, and wrong to imply the protocol could adversely affect the US economy, Sir David says. "As the world's only remaining superpower, the United States is accustomed to leading internationally co-ordinated action. But the US government is failing to take up the challenge of global warming. Results of a major study showed yesterday that more than a million species will become extinct as a result of global warming over the next 50 years. Sir David says the Bu$h administration is wrong to dispute the reality of global warming. The 10 hottest years on record started in 1991 and, worldwide, average temperatures had risen by 0.6C in the past century. Sea levels were rising, ice caps were melting and flooding had become more frequent. The Thames barrier was used about once a year in the 1980s to protect London but now it was used more than six times a year. Australian government report on global warming 1-2-04 The BBC reports that a new Australian government report on expected climate changes over the next 70 years, written by that country's leading climate scientists, gives a devastating assessment of what can be expected due to global warming. It predicts that Australia will be hotter, with average annual temperatures rising by up to six degrees by 2070, and experience more severe droughts and storms, raging bushfires, as well as major outbreaks of tropical diseases such as dengue and Ross River Fever. Climate change caused by global warming will, say the authors of the study, also put great pressure on Australia's water supplies, while the Great Barrier Reef could be badly damaged by coral bleaching caused by higher ocean temperatures. Melting Ice 'Will Swamp Capitals' 12-6-03 (The Independent - UK) Measures to fight global warming will have to be at least four times stronger than the Kyoto Protocol if they are to avoid the melting of the polar ice caps, inundating central London and many of the world's biggest cities, concludes a new official report. The report, written by eight leading German professors, says that "dangerous climatic changes" will become "highly probable" if the world's average temperature is allowed to increase to more than 2 degrees centigrade above what it was before the start of the Industrial Revolution. Beyond that level the West Antarctic ice sheet and the Greenland ice cap would begin gradually to melt away, eventually raising sea levels world wide by up to 30 feet, submerging vast areas of land and key cities worldwide. London, New York, Miami, Bombay, Calcutta, Sydney, Shanghai, Lagos and Tokyo would be among those largely submerged by such a rise. No Doubts Global Warming Is Real Say US Experts 12-5-03 WASHINGTON (Reuters) There can be no doubt that global warming is real and is being caused by people, two top U.S. government climate experts said. Industrial emissions are a leading cause, they say -- contradicting critics, already in the minority, who argue that climate change could be caused by mostly natural forces. "There is no doubt that the composition of the atmosphere is changing because of human activities, and today greenhouse gases are the largest human influence on global climate," wrote Thomas Karl, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, and Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "The likely result is more frequent heat waves, droughts, extreme precipitation events, and related impacts, e.g., wildfires, heat stress, vegetation changes, and sea-level rise,"* they added in a commentary to be published in Friday's issue of the journal Science. Karl and Trenberth estimate that, between 1990 and 2100, there is a 90 percent probability that average global temperatures will rise by between 3.1 and 8.9 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 and 4.9 degrees Celsius) because of human influences on climate. * predicted by yours truly in --- 1997 ! France braced for "floods of century" 12-3-03 LYON, France (Reuters) Torrential rain drenching parts of southeastern France threaten to worsen flash floods that have cost at least three lives and forced about 4,000 people to evacuate their homes. Flooding along the Rhone River from Lyon to Marseille was due to hit its peak during the day, while winds of up to 150 kph were expected to lash the Mediterranean coast, officials said. Heavy rain moving west also set off flood alerts reaching as far as the Pyranees Mountains. A spokeswoman for the government nuclear safety authority ASN said two reactors were shut early on Tuesday as a precaution after the heavy rains. She said the restarting of the reactors would depend on river levels. ... didn't we just have a 'flood of the century'? Global Warming 'Could Close Half Of Alpine Ski Resorts' The Telegraph - UK (12-3-3) More than half of all ski resorts in the Alps could be forced out of business in the next 50 years by rising temperatures, according to research published yesterday. Its predictions are based on scientific estimates that temperatures will increase by between 1.4C (2.5F) and 5.8C (10.4F)* during this century. This is expected to raise the snowline by up to 1,000ft, jeopardising the future of resorts below 5,900ft. Conversely, those above 6,500ft may fall victim to more avalanches. The research focused on Switzerland, where the loss of places such as Wildhaus and Unterwasser could cost the country ï¿½1 million a year through lost revenue. Already some European banks are refusing to lend money to low-level resorts. ... oh wait - the word 'money' is used here, maybe this will get noticed... Dan * as pointed out on this page many times before - a 10 degree rise in temperature will have a Huge impact on mankind. Oblivion threat to 12,000 species 11-18-03 (BBC) Another 2,000 species have been added to the annual Red List of the world's most endangered animals and plants. The "official" catalogue produced by IUCN-The World Conservation Union now includes more than 12,000 entries. Among the countries with the highest numbers of threatened birds and animals are Indonesia, India, Brazil, China and Peru. Plants are declining fast in Ecuador, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and Sri Lanka. Arctic Warming Is Accelerating - NASA 10-30-3 OTTAWA (CP) -- A NASA study warns that the rate of warming in the Arctic is speeding up and may be a harbinger of climate changes that will affect the entire globe. The rate of warming in the Arctic over the last 20 years is eight times greater than the rate over the entire last 100 years, says the study, to be published in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate. The biggest temperature increases are occurring over North America. The study is based on infrared satellite pictures taken from space. ... sigh ... 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. 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. 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. 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 thatï¿½s 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.
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