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
Keep in Touch !
the shape of things to come ...
Rats And Mosquitoes Sweep Europe After Floods
The Telegraph (UK) 9-16-2 The floods that swept across
central Europe last month have devastated wildlife and plants
to such an extent that they will take decades to recover,
according to reports published last week.
A plague of mosquitoes, rats and cockroaches has also been
unleashed by the flood waters.
Large areas of countryside are either still underwater or
coated in layers of mud and debris.
Vienna University produced a report last week which showed
that the flooding was the worst in central Europe for more
than 2,000 years, or as far as records go back.
2002 Summer Hottest Since 1930s Dust Bowl
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With nearly half the country reeling
from a blistering drought, this summer is the hottest since
the depression-stricken "Dust Bowl" era of the 1930s, U.S.
government weather experts said on Friday.
The summer's scorching temperatures have sparked raging forest
fires in the West, wilted crops in the Midwest and parched
pastures in the Plains.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the
average temperature for the contiguous United States from June
through August was 73.9 degrees, the third hottest summer since
records began in 1895.
Six states -- North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Utah, Arizona
and Nevada -- are suffering their worst drought on record, NOAA
said. South Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, Delaware and Wyoming
are also near unprecedented dry levels.
Global Warming Blamed for Floods
09-Sep-2002 The recent flooding of European cities has made
scientists wonder if the weather is permanently changing.
There is growing evidence of a link between global warming and
the floods and droughts that have devastated parts of Asia and
Europe this year. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says there is
undeniable proof that the Earth is warming.
The IPCC predicts the Earth's surface temperature will increase
by 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, compared with 1990
levels. Sea levels will rise from 3.6 to 35 inches, which will
threaten small island states and low- lying areas.
... A Three Foot sea rise will threaten MUCH more than
'low-lying areas'. Dan ...
Satellites Reveal Rapid Polar Melting
06-Sep-2002 Recent NASA satellite images and space-based
measurements of the thickness of Earth's polar ice sheets show
they are melting much more rapidly than we thought. Large areas
of ice in southeast Greenland, West Antarctica and the Antarctic
Peninsula are changing rapidly and scientists don't understand why
this is happening so fast.
The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets together hold enough ice
to raise sea level by ~230 feet.
05-Sep-2002 Pacific island nations are the places that are most
at risk of sinking due to rising sea levels caused by global warming.
Tuvalu Prime Minister Saufatu Sopoanga predicts the Pacific will
completely submerge his country in 50 years. Tuvalu is a nation of
about 11,000 people that measures just 10 square miles. A string of
nine coral atolls, Tuvalu is just 16 feet above sea level at its
The leaders of the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, the Marshall
Islands and Tuvalu have released a statement saying they "expressed
profound disappointment at the decision of the U.S. to reject the
Raging floods soak central Europe
Aug. 15 - Floodwaters in Dresden’s historic center rose to the
highest level in more than a century Thursday, threatening the
Baroque city’s landmark opera and art collection as east Germany
became the focus of deadly European flooding.
In Bitterfeld, a town about 80 miles northwest of Dresden, a dam
broke Thursday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of all 16,000
residents and raising fears of dangerous water pollution.
Hundreds of thousands of Czechs fled the rushing waves of the
Vltava and dozens of other rivers, searching for higher ground.
About 70,000 inhabitants of the capital’s 1 million people left
their homes, city officials said.
Nearly Half Of U.S. Suffers Drought
WASHINGTON (AP) - Persistent and worsening drought has spread to
nearly half the contiguous United States, the government reported
The National Climatic Data Center said that as of the end of July,
49 percent of the 48 contiguous states were affected by moderate to
Areas of extreme drought stretched from the Southwest to Montana and
Nebraska and from Georgia to Virginia, the center reported.
The past 12 months were the driest August through July on record in
Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and
Wyoming. They were the second driest in Arizona, Nevada and Delaware.
Parts of the Southeast and West have been in various stages of
drought since 1998.
A mysterious shift in Earth’s gravity
8-6-02 (MSNBC) Something strange has been going on under our feet
for the past four years. Earth’s gravity field suddenly shifted
gears and began getting flatter, reversing a course of centuries
during which the planet and its gravity field grew rounder each year.
“Sometime around 1998, something began to make the Earth’s gravity
field flatter,” says Christopher Cox of Raytheon Information
Technology and Scientific Services. “The result is it looks as if
post-glacial rebound has reversed itself. But we do not have any
reason to think that post-glacial rebound has in any way stopped
The shift is significant. “The effect is twice as large as post-
glacial rebound in terms of effect on the gravity field, and it’s
in the opposite direction,” Cox said. “Whatever it is, it’s big.”
Record warmth intensified drought
Aug 5th, 2002 Experts say record warmth between November 2001
and January 2002 is at least partly to blame for the moderate to
extreme drought plaguing 15 states from Georgia to Maine and 14
states in the Plains and West. The January global temperature
was the warmest in the 123-year surface record.
... much more than 123 years really. Dan
Earth Heading For Warmest Year Ever Recorded
LONDON (Reuters) - The first six months of the year have been the
second-warmest ever and average global temperatures in 2002 could
be the highest ever recorded, British weather experts said Thursday.
Global temperatures were 1.03 Fahrenheit higher than the long-term
average of about 59 Fahrenheit in the period from January to June.
In the nearly 150 years since recording began, only in 1998 has the
difference been higher, 1.08 Fahrenheit, and that was caused by the
influence of the El Nino weather phenomenon.
The figures also showed that the northern hemisphere had its warmest
ever half year, with temperatures 1.31 Fahrenheit above the long-term
"The actual rise prior to 1970 was partly man-made and partly due to
natural effects. But since 1970 scientists are in fairly general
agreement that warming can be attributed to man's polluting activities."
... now - where have I heard that before ? ... Dan.
Warmest seas on record stress Barrier Reef
SYDNEY, Australia, July 27 - Sea temperatures around Australia’s
Great Barrier Reef early this year were the warmest on record,
scientists reported Thursday.
Bleaching in early 2002 covered 60 percent of the reef, even more
than the 1998 event that made headlines worldwide. The bleaching
in early 2002 was not during an El Nino year, making the high
temperatures even more unusual.
Heaviest Snow In 70 Years Hits South Africa
7-23-02 South Africa (AP) Some areas in eastern South Africa were
declared disaster zones Monday after heavy rains and snowfall caused
power failures, destroyed homes and trapped commuters, killing at
least 22 people, officials said.
The snow rose as high as a meter (3.3 feet) in some areas -
livestock have frozen to death and two ships ran aground in heavy
storms off the country's eastern coast.
The snow had also trapped more than 130 drivers last weekend in their
vehicles for 24 hours, with heavy flurries initially preventing rescue
helicopter from reaching them.
Drought, abnormally dry weather hits 49 states
7/21/02 (CNN) -- Abnormally dry or drought conditions affect all or
part of 49 U.S. states and could worsen over the Northeast, government
scientists reported Friday.
Roughly 36 percent of the country is covered by one of four
drought categories, which range from "moderate" to "exceptional,"
A large area of "extreme" drought -- the second-worst category --
extends from northern Montana to the Mexican border, and from western
Nebraska to El Paso and San Diego. A smaller area of "exceptional"
drought -- the worst conditions measured -- stretches southward from
southern Wyoming to near the cities of Phoenix and Albuquerque.
The bad news will get worse, NOAA predicted. The Ohio River Valley and
much of Upstate New York can expect drought conditions to develop, with
several dry months on the horizon.
Alaska glaciers’ meltdown measured
WASHINGTON, July 18 (AP) An estimated 24 cubic miles of ice are
disappearing annually from Alaskan glaciers, turning some imposing ice
mountains into minor hills and adding to the steady rise in global sea
level, a study shows.
From the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s, the glaciers lost about 52 cubic
kilometers (13 cubic miles) a year, in the last five years that rate has
Disease 'genie out of bottle'
7-14-02 Medical experts say staphylococcus aureus, cause of some of
the most troublesome infections to afflict man, has become resistant to
the antibiotic of last resort, vancomycin.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced the first confirmed case
of vancomycin-resistant staph aureus -- known in the medical world as
VRSA -- found last month in Michigan.
"The genie is out of the bottle," Dr. Donald Low, microbiologist-in-chief
at Mount Sinai Hospital, "It's ominous."
The experts know the Michigan case is solid proof they will soon have to
deal with their nightmare scenario -- common staph aureus infections
untreatable with any antibiotics.
Unusual Fish Invade U.S. Waters
July 9 (ABCnews) So far local fishermen have caught 10 northern
snakehead fish, which are usually only found in China, in a
4-acre lake in Crofton, Md.
Reaching up to 40 inches in length and weighing up to 15 pounds, the
formidable creature with snake-like scales on its head has an ability
shared by only a few other species of fish — it can survive out of
The lionfish, normally limited to marine waters of the western
Pacific of Southeast Asia, is now spotted regularly by divers in
coastal regions off of Florida, North Carolina and occasionally in
Long Island Sound.
Both fish are aggressive predators and researchers are concerned they
will eat up available prey and displace native top-level species.
The lionfish also poses a threat to people.
Earth 'Will Expire By 2050' Says Report
A study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), warns that the human race
is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to
The report, based on scientific data from across the world, reveals
that more than a third of the natural world has been destroyed by
humans over the past three decades.
The report offers a vivid warning that either people curb their
extravagant lifestyles or risk leaving the onus on scientists to
locate another planet that can sustain human life. Since this is
unlikely to happen, the only option is to cut consumption now.
... entire article on the 'SpotLight' page ... Dan.
Rising Temperatures Could Ravage Alaska
New York Times 7-4-02 In Alaska, rising temperatures, whether caused
by greenhouse gas emissions or nature in a prolonged mood swing, are not
a topic of debate or an abstraction. Mean temperatures have risen
by 5 degrees in summer and 10 degrees in winter since the 1970s,
federal officials say. While President Bu$h was dismissive of a report
the government recently released on how global warming will affect the
nation, the leading Republican in this state, Senator Ted Stevens, says
that no place is experiencing more startling change from rising
temperatures than Alaska. Among the consequences, Senator Stevens says,
are sagging roads, crumbling villages, dead forests, catastrophic fires
and possible disruption of marine wildlife.
28 Percent Of All US Lakes Have Contaminated Fish
Washington (Reuters) More than one-fourth of the nation's lakes have
advisories warning consumers that fresh-caught fish may be contaminated
with mercury, dioxins or other chemicals, the Environmental
Protection Agency said on Tuesday.
The EPA said state regulators issued 2,618 fishing advisories or bans in
2001 because of contaminants.
Some 14 percent of U.S. rivers were covered by advisories in 2001, up
from 10.5 percent in the previous year.
States that had the most fishing advisories include Massachusetts,
Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nebraska
and New Jersey.
Some of the affected waterways include Lake Champlain, Florida's Sarasota
Bay, Washington's Puget Sound, and the Potomac River which feeds into
Maryland's Chesapeake Bay.
Himalayan Ice Reveals Climate Warming
Jun 26th, 2002 Ice cores drilled through a glacier more than four miles
up in the Himalayan Mountains have yielded a highly detailed record of
the last 1,000 years of earth's climate in the high Tibetan Plateau.
Based on an analysis of the ice, both the last decade and the
last 50 years were the warmest in 1,000 years.
The core also showed a clear record of at least eight major droughts
caused by a failure of the South Asian Monsoon, the worst of these a
catastrophic seven-year-long dry spell that cost the lives of more
than 600,000 people.
... uhm, HELLO - is anybody paying attention? ... Dan.
A Warmer Planet is a Sicker Planet
Scientists warn that infectious diseases will rise as the world gets
warmer. Human malaria, butterflies with parasites, diseased corals,
and trees overgrown with fungus are some of the things awaiting us as
the Earth warms up. Entire species of animals could be wiped out.
Human tropical diseases will become more common as tropical weather
spreads. Dr. Richard Ostfeld of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies
says, "Disease now has to be considered another main player on the
climate warming stage.
The rise in infectious diseases will be caused by changes in temperature,
rainfall, and humidity, all of which encourage the growth of insects and
bacteria. Climate differences will also stress plants and animals, making
them more susceptible to infection.
Record Kansas Drought Devastates Wheat Crop
6-23-02 (AP) It's been nearly a year since much of western Kansas
has gotten substantial rain. The drought has devastated the wheat
crop now being harvested and spurred widespread selling off of cattle
herds, as farmers become increasingly desperate to find enough feed
and water to carry them through the summer grazing season.
Weather records dating back to 1913 show that never has there been
less precipitation here than now. Even the Dust Bowl days of the
1930s logged more rain than this year!
More on Antarctic Warming
Washington, June 13 The Antarctic ice sheet holds enough frozen
water to be a major player in the climate change game if it melts.
Concerned about a range of possibilities, from rising sea level to
upsets in the oceans’ circulation patterns, scientists have been
scrutinizing the continent for signs of change. A new report in
the journal Science, published by the American Association
for the Advancement of Science, suggests that the ice sheet’s
edges are most vulnerable to climate warming, and are melting faster
than scientists had realized. On average the ice near the grounding
lines was melting away twice as fast as the rate scientists had
previously predicted for the ice shelves overall.
... well, they're catching on, slowly... Dan.
Greenland's warming ice flows faster
Jun 7th, 2002 New measurements by US scientists show that since
1996 the Greenland ice sheet has been moving faster during the
summer melting season. The rate is accelerating because more
melted water is trickling down from the surface of the sheet to
the bedrock. There it lubricates the sheet, which moves faster
towards the coast.
The scientists say this suggests the ice may be responding more
quickly than thought to a warming climate.
Global water "crisis" high on Earth Summit agenda
Jun 7th, 2002 BALI, Indonesia - Of the myriad issues on the
table for a U.N. summit in August that aims to cut world poverty
and save the environment, few are as critical as getting safe
drinking water to the 1.1 billion people who go without it.
The European Union has warned the world was in a global water
crisis, and made the issue a priority for the World Summit on
Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and also at final
preparatory talks here on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.
Global Warming Blamed For Melting Everest Glacier
GENEVA (Reuters) - A glacier from which Sir Edmund Hillary and
Tenzing Norgay set out to conquer Mount Everest nearly 50 years
ago has retreated three miles up the mountain due to global warming,
a U.N. body says.
UNEP recently warned that more than 40 Himalayan glacial lakes
were dangerously close to bursting, threatening the lives of
thousands of people, because of ice melt caused by global warming.
06-Jun-2002 At the University of California, said Lisa Sloan,
an associate professor of Earth sciences, has figured out how
global warming will effect the climate of California. The amount
of carbon dioxide in the air has doubled since preindustrial days
and Sloan found out it will double again by 2050. Their model also
showed a future in which higher average temperatures will occur
every month in every part of the state. The warming will vary,
however, with the greatest increases in temperature occurring at
high elevations in the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range.
The model showed increased rainfall in northern California but rain
staying the same in southern California, while snow accumulation in
the mountains decreases dramatically. "With less precipitation
falling as snow and more as rain, plus higher temperatures creating
increased demand for water, the impacts on our water storage system
will be enormous".
U.S. sees big impacts from warming
June 3 — The Bu$h administration for the first time has issued a
report that says manmade emissions are tied to global warming and
predicts that changes in temperature will deeply affect the United
States. Environmentalists said Monday the predictions warrant
stronger action by President Bu$h. The administration stood by
its existing $trategy, saying it protects the economy while
... my views on this should be obvious. Dan
Signs of Thaw in a Desert of Snow
May 28, 2002 IQALUIT, Nunavut -- And so it has come to be, the
elders say, a time when icebergs are melting, tides have changed,
polar bears have thinned and there is no meaning left in a ring
around the moon. Scattered clouds blowing in a wind no longer speak
to elders and hunters. Daily weather markers are becoming less
predictable in the fragile Arctic as its climate changes.
There is increasing evidence that the Arctic, this desert of snow,
ice and killing cold wind, one of the most hostile and fragile places
on Earth, is thawing. Glaciers are receding. Coastlines are eroding.
Lakes are disappearing. Fall freezes are coming later. The winters are
not as cold. Mosquitoes and beetles never seen before are appearing.
While scientists debate the causes of climate change and politicians
debate whether to ratify the Kyoto accord to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions that many scientists believe cause global warming, the Inuit
who live in Canada's Far North say they are watching their world melt
before their eyes.
... nothing I need to add ... Dan
Earth Warming Faster Than Expected
21-May-2002 Planet earth is warming up faster than previously
expected, according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and
Research. Dying forests, expanding deserts and rising sea levels will
wreak havoc on human and animal lives sooner than anticipated as global
A 2001 United Nations report on climate change forecast that global
temperatures will rise two to five degrees Celsius by the end of the
century, but recent data suggest temperatures could rise even higher
as a worst case scenario shows four times as much emitted CO2 in the
atmosphere from today's levels which is significantly higher than
... no surprises here ... Dan
Antarctic ice melt poses worldwide threat
REUTERS May 15, 2002 - The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves are
cracking up and, on the face of things, it is the most serious thaw
since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago.
The break-up of the ice shelves in itself is a natural process of
renewal, but the size and rate of production of icebergs, is alarming
scientists, who blame global warming.
The fear is that a snowball effect will lead to disintegration of the
vast West Antarctic ice shelf, kilometres thick in parts.
A longer-term effect would be if the disintegration led to a meltdown
of the grounded West Antarctic ice sheet, which would cause the world's
oceans to rise by up to five metres (~17 feet).
... beach front property anyone ? ...
TWO LARGE ICEBERGS BREAK OFF ROSS ICE SHELF
The National Ice Center reports a two new icebergs (C-18 and C-19)
have broken off of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The iceberg C-19
is 108 nautical miles long and 17 nautical miles wide
and is located 77.23 South 173.30 East. C-18 is 41 nautical miles
long by 4 nautical miles wide and is located at 77.78 South 178.78
East. The iceberg C-18 was spotted by NIC analyst Judy Shaffer on
May 5 using satellite images from the Defense Meteorological Satellite
Program. The iceberg C-19 was discovered on May 11. The icebergs are
named for the Antarctic quadrant in which they were discovered.
Giant iceberg spells disaster
4-27-02 Auckland - A giant Antarctic iceberg is causing devastating
damage to the world food chain and already millions of penguins have
fallen victim to it, polar experts warned on Thursday.
The B15 iceberg, the size of Jamaica, calved off the Ross Ice Shelf
in March 2000 and has blocked the Ross Sea.
Nasa's satellite Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor has revealed
B15 has cut sea phytoplankton, the foundation of the food chain, by
40 percent, and the small fish krill has gone.
2002 'warmest for 1,000 years'
THE first three months of this year were the warmest globally since
records began in 1860 and probably for 1,000 years, scientists said
The three months were about 0.71C warmer than the average for 1961
to 1990, itself the warmest period for 1,000 years according to ice-
The global record comes in the wake of observed changes in the
British climate since 1900: a lengthening of the growing season for
plants by one month in central England, a temperature increase of 1C,
and a 10cm sea level rise.
Scientists Firm Up Global Climate Forecasts
Apr 20th, 2002 LONDON (Reuters) - While some meteorologists have
difficulty getting the five-day forecast right, climatologists have
firmed up their predictions of how much warmer the climate will be
over the next 20 to 30 years. New research by two teams of scientists
using different climate models predicts the global mean temperature
will be between 0.3 and 1.3 degrees Centigrade (about 0.5-2.3
degrees Fahrenheit) warmer by 2020-2030 than it was in 1990-2000.
Later in the century, if greenhouse gas emissions are at the high end
of predictions, they could force up temperatures by 0.3 to seven
degrees C (0.5-13 degrees F).
GLOBAL TEMPERATURE FOR MARCH WARMEST ON RECORD
4-16-02 Arctic air brought in by the jet stream in March kept
temperatures relatively low throughout the United States, making
it the first cooler-than-average month since March 2001.
However, it was the warmest March for the globe since reliable
records began in 1880, according to NOAA scientists.
Ocean surface temperatures were also warmer than average in the
eastern equatorial Pacific as the evolution of oceanic conditions
continued to indicate a developing El Niño episode, and the global
sea surface temperature was the second warmest on record.
The average global temperature for land and ocean surfaces combined
(based on preliminary data) was 1.39 F (0.77 C) above the 1880-2001
long-term mean, 0.16 F (0.09 C) higher than the previous record warm
March, which occurred in 1998 during the latter stages of the last
El Niño episode. Global temperatures have increased approximately
1 F (0.6 C) since 1900, but the rate of warming during the past 25
years is almost three times higher, according to NOAA's Climatic
Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
Global Warming Accelerates China's Sea Level Rise
Apr 14th, 2002 Large sections of Chinese coastal regions gradually
disappear under rising sea levels because of global warming, severely
impairing the country's social and economic progress.
According to the latest observations from domestic tide stations, the
sea level along China's coastline has maintained a rapidly rising speed
over the past five decades. The elevation even accelerated in recent
years with an annual increase of 2.6 millimeters.
Meteorologists predict that in the next 30 years, the sea level will
continue to rise by one to 16 centimeters. By 2050, it will be six to
26 centimeters(10.2 in) higher. The increase will probably reach
30 to 70 centimeters(27.6 in) by the end of the 21st century.
China's long coastline is the base for about 70 percent of the large
cities, over a half of the domestic population and nearly 60 percent
of the national economy.
Scientist predicts climate change of 10 degrees
4-9-02 Jonathan Overpeck, a climate researcher at the University of
Arizona, says new computer simulations suggest that global warming
this century will be about four times greater than what the
planet experienced in the 1900s.
Scientists gathered at the college, 40 miles east of Syracuse, for
their first meeting since Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf disintegrated
in only 35 days ending March 7. It probably had existed since the
last Ice Age, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.
According to a new study by Overpeck and his team of scientists,
the Earth's average temperature will rise about 10 degrees
before the year 2100.
Unless the amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere declines
sharply, he said, the consequences could extend worldwide.
"I think it is going to be pretty hard to avoid the sixth mass
extinction in Earth's history," Overpeck told The Post-Standard
of Syracuse. "Countries are going to be put out of business.
Cultures are going to be put out of business."
ANTARCTIC MELTING IDENTIFIED IN THE PAST
4-9-02 Researchers from the University of Oregon published a study
that determined that a very large and unusually abrupt rise in sea
levels 14,200 years ago was caused by the partial collapse of ice
sheets in Antarctica. The period exhibited conditions similar to
today with increased temperatures, sea levels and atmospheric carbon
dioxide. Using shoreline fossil deposits scientists were able to
develop a method of identifying each possible melting scenario from
ice sheets that existed at that time.
The OSU report states, "What is very clear, however, is the importance
of Antarctica's huge ice sheets remaining stable. The West Antarctic
ice sheet is thought to be potentially unstable, and if it collapsed
sea levels around the world would rise almost 20 feet.
The melting of the larger and more stable East Antarctic ice sheet would
raise Earth's sea levels another 200 feet!
Arctic Ice and Way of Life Melting Away for Eskimos
Apr 1st, 02 YANRAKYNNOT, Russia -- The native elders have no explanation.
Scientists are perplexed as well. The icy realm of the Eskimo--the tundra
and ice of Russia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland--has started to thaw.
Strange portents are everywhere. Thunder and lightning, once rare, have
become commonplace. An eerie warm wind now blows in from the south.
Hunters who prided themselves on their ability to read the sky say they
no longer can predict the sudden blizzards. "The Earth," one hunter
concluded, "is turning faster." The elders, who keep thousands of years
of history and legend without ever writing it down, have long told
children this story: If the ice that freezes thick over the sea each
winter breaks up before summer, the entire village could perish.
What the residents of the Arctic are reporting fits convincingly with
powerful computer models, satellite images and recently declassified
ice measurements taken by Russian submarines. In the last century,
parts of the Arctic have warmed by 10 degrees Fahrenheit--10 times
the global average. Sea ice covers 15% less of the Arctic Ocean
than it did 20 years ago, and that ice has thinned from an average of 10
feet to less than 6.
Drought Leaves Rivers At All-Time Lows
3-28-02 A USA TODAY analysis found that scores of the nation's
rivers fell to historic low levels during the past four months.
Using U.S. Geological Survey data that track the flow of rivers
nationwide, the analysis identified 59 points on 57 rivers that
reached record low levels in March. The analysis showed that 40 of
those points also had reached a record low in one of the months
of December, January or February. Less water flowed down these
rivers than at any comparable time in at least 30 years and,
in many cases, as long as 80 years. Using temperature
and precipitation data, federal scientists calculate that severe or
extreme drought has spread over 21% of the country.
Global Warming is shrinking Ireland
Mar 27th, 2002 Northern Ireland (AP) — Ireland is shrinking,
a scientist warned Monday at a conference on the deterioration
of coastlines worldwide. Andrew Cooper, director of the Coastal
Research Group at the University of Ulster, said the sea was
swallowing up about 750 acres of Ireland each year, and warned
that the process would quicken. He said global warming was likely
to subject Ireland's shores, particularly along the northern and
western Atlantic coasts, to more frequent and powerful storms, but
the governments of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic were
doing little to erect sensible coastline defenses.
More of Antarctica faces breakup with Climate Change
Mar 27th, 2002 New Zealand - The Antarctic's huge ice shelves may
break up as ice floes across the frozen continent slow or even stop
and the global climate warms, a New Zealand climate researcher warned.
The collapse reported last week of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica
was "a wakeup call to expect more collapses," said Tim Naish, a senior
researcher at the government-owned Institute of Geological and Nuclear
Sciences. Such collapses would have "a dramatic effect on global
climate" by disrupting ocean currents, he said.
Worldwide Drought by 2025
27-Mar-02 (BBC) More than 2.7 billion people will face severe water
shortages by the year 2025 if the world continues consuming water at
the same rate, the United Nations warns.
A new report says that another 2.5 billion people will live in areas
where it will be difficult to find enough water to meet their needs.
The crisis is being blamed on mismanagement of existing water
resources, population growth and changing weather patterns.
Less than 3% of the Earth's water is fresh and most of it is in the
form of polar ice or too deep underground to reach. The amount of
fresh water that is accessible in lakes, rivers and reservoirs is
less than a quarter of 1% of the total.
The UN says the water crisis will limit the ability to grow crops,
which poor people need to survive. Agriculture consumes about 70%
of the world’s available water, and small farmers are the first to
lose their supply.
... it won't be that long.
Drought Emergency For New York
3-27-02 NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
declared a drought emergency for the city and four upstate counties
Tuesday in response to the worst drought to hit the eastern United
States in nearly 70 years.
Restrictions on water use will affect more than 8 million residents
of New York and about 1 million in Westchester, Putnam, Ulster and
Orange counties, which contain the reservoir systems that provide
the city's water supply.
The city's reservoirs are at 52 percent capacity. Normal for
this time of year would be 92.5 percent, officials said.
Water restrictions are in place in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
New York, Maine and New Hampshire, and several other states are urging
The U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors national water levels, said
last week that conditions were commensurate with those during the
drought of 1930.
Massive Antarctic ice shelf collapses
March 24,2002 (AP) Scientists say that an enormous floating ice
shelf in Antarctica that has existed since the last Ice Age 12,000
years ago collapsed this month with staggering speed during one of
the warmest summers on record there.
"We're seeing a very rapid and profound response by the ice sheet
to a warming that's been around for just a few decades," said Ted
Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University
of Colorado. The entire Larsen Ice Shelf now is about 40 percent
of its original size.
"We knew what was left would collapse eventually, but the speed of
it is staggering," said David Vaughan, a glaciologist at the British
Antarctic Survey. "Hard to believe that 500 million billion tons of
ice sheet has disintegrated in less than a month."
Scientists believe the shelf was at least 400 years old and may have
been around as long as the last glaciation 12,000 years ago. Over the
last 5 years the shelf has lost 2,200 square miles of area and 5,200
square miles have been lost since 1974. Global warming is higher than
average in the region with temperature increasing 4.5 degrees
Fahrenheit since the 1940's.
Drought Emergency Throughout U.S.
States from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific are experiencing
severe drought conditions. This nationwide drought is more serious
than the usual dry spell. The entire state of Wyoming has been
declared a drought disaster area, and large areas of the Southeast
and the West are in danger of wildfires. In New York City, reservoir
levels are at 50 percent below normal.
In some Southern states, there are areas that have had moisture
deficits of more than 30 inches.
Navy Report - Polar Ice Shrinking Fast
3-12-02 The polar ice cap has been shrinking so fast that
regular ships may be steaming through the Northwest Passage each
summer by 2015, and along northern Russia even sooner, according
to a new U.S. Navy report.
Global warming will open the Arctic Ocean to unprecedented
commercial activity. The seasonal expansion of open water may
draw commercial fishing fleets into the Chukchi and Beaufort seas
north of Alaska within a few decades. The summer ice cover could
even disappear entirely by 2050 -- or be concentrated around
northern Greenland and Ellesmere Island.
Though the 72-page report primarily addressed naval issues, it
offered a vivid update on how recent warming has been consuming
the polar cap. Submarine data has found a 40 percent decrease
in the volume of the Arctic ice.
Global Warming Creates Grim Future for Forests
Mar 6th, 2002 WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Global warming is
becoming an increasing threat to forests in much of the world,
paving the way for fires, droughts and pest infestations, officials
told an environmental conference on Tuesday.
The World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development said the
latest evidence indicates that over half the world's boreal forest
could disappear due to the effect of climate change as conditions
shift. Boreal, or northern, forests are a belt of mostly coniferous
trees running through much of Canada, the United States, Russia,
Scandinavia and parts of Mongolia and China.
January Warmest On Record
3-5-02 (NOAA) November 2001-January 2002 warmest winter period ever
recorded in United States since 1895. The second warmest
November-January occurred in 1999-2000. The third warmest was the
drought decade of 1933-1934.
The combination of record warm land temperatures and near-record sea
surface temperatures led to the warmest January on record for both
land and ocean surfaces combined, which was 1.24 F (0.69 C) above
average and 0.09 F (0.05 C) warmer than January 1998.
Last Three Months Warmest Ever Recorded
2-22-02 (Reuters) - The last three months were the warmest on
U.S. record books, and January was the balmiest in the 123 years
temperatures for the month have been recorded globally, government
scientists said on Thursday. A preliminary average of the nation's
temperature measured from November 2001 to January 2002 was 4.3
degrees Fahrenheit above average temperatures gathered between 1895
and 2001, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration(NOAA). The same monthly period in 1999-2000 held the
Oceans Could Rise Higher Than Predicted
2-21-02 Global sea level rise in the 21st century could be
significantly higher than previously estimated, according to the most
comprehensive glacier dataset ever compiled.
The missing factor is the melting of the world's largest temperate
glaciers in Alaska and Canada, say Mark Meier and Mark Dyurgerov at the
University of Colorado at Boulder. New data from the University of
Alaska show this has been underplayed in earlier calculations, they say.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2001 that the
expected rise in sea level by 2100 due to glacier melting alone was
between 1 and 23 centimetres. The estimate represents the consensus of
many of the world's scientists.
Meier and Dyurgerov's new range is much higher, at between 20 and 46 cm
(18 in.), and they say it could be even greater. Combined with the
IPCC's estimate for sea level rise caused by other processes, such as
ocean warming, of 11 to 43 cm, the total 21st century rise could be as
much as 89 cm(35 in.).
"These estimates in sea-level rise may seem small, but a 30 cm rise in
sea level will typically cause a retreat of shoreline of 30 metres
(~98 ft.). This would have substantial social and economic impacts,"
The new data from the University of Alaska shows that the long term
contribution to sea level rise from the wastage of the Alaskan and
Canadian glaciers is 0.12 millimetres per year, but that this has more
than doubled to 0.32 mm in the last decade. The present rate of
wastage in some glaciers is greater that it has been for 5000 years,
... I supplied the converted numbers for my US readers - Dan.
Collapse Of North Atlantic Fishing Predicted
The entire North Atlantic is being so severely overfished that it may
completely collapse by 2010, reveals the first comprehensive survey of
the entire ocean's fishery.
North Atlantic catches have fallen by half since 1950, despite a
tripling of the effort put into catching them. The total number of fish
in the ocean has fallen even further, they say, with just one sixth as
many high-quality "table fish" like cod and tuna as there were in 1900.
Fish prices have risen six fold in real terms in 50 years.
Half Of Amazon Rain Forest Being 'Profoundly' Damaged
Half of the Amazon rain forest is being damaged by the pollution caused
by forest burning, a new study has revealed.
Previous concerns about the world's largest rain forest have focused on
the burning itself, which has now destroyed 14 percent of the forest's
five million square kilometres. But the new research shows that half of
the remaining pristine forest is being degraded by the gases and
particulates released by the burning.
The pollution caused by burning will also impact on the Amazon forest's
critical role in the global climate, affecting the production of water
vapour in the tropics.
Dire Warning For Planet Earth
OSLO, Norway - At the Nobel Peace Prize Centennial Symposium here
yesterday (12-7-01) celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Nobel
prize, 100 Nobel laureates have issued a brief but dire warning of
the 'profound dangers' facing the world. Their statement predicts
that our security depends on immediate environmental and social reform.
... entire text on SpotLight page. Dan
North America Biodiversity Shrinking
MONTREAL (Reuters) - Some 235 North American animal species such as the
Monarch butterfly and northern codfish are threatened by pollution, human
encroachment on their natural habitats and aggressive harvesting
practices, says an environmental agency set up under the continental free
A broad study by the North American Commission for Environmental
Cooperation, a Montreal-based agency created under the North American
Free Trade Agreement comprising the United States, Canada and Mexico,
says the continent faces a ''biodiversity crisis'' in which
threatened species could disappear. That harms evolution and depletes
the natural environment humans depend on to survive.
The report notes that some experts believe humans are ''fishing down the
food chain'' in over-harvested stocks such as salmon, cod, halibut and
swordfish. That means catching fish that are needed to rebuild depleted
The current report raises alarm bells on a number of fronts, including
the effect of modern transportation systems on the environment, the over
-use of water resources and rising threat of drought, and bio-invasion,
the spread of nonnative species imported into North America.
Environmentalists blast plan for Florida Everglades
WASHINGTON (December 30, 2001) - Claiming the Bu$h administration's
draft of rules for the restoration of the Florida Everglades is "a
recipe for inaction," environmental groups say the plan will endanger
the shrinking wetlands because it contains no deadlines.
With some environmental scientists warning that the Everglades
would be destroyed by 2015 without immediate action, advocates
of stronger environmental regulation criticized the draft,
especially the lack of deadlines or timelines. They feared pressure
from agricultural and other interests would make state officials
reticent to push ahead quickly.
Florida's $ugar farmers and urban water utilities have resisted
conservation measures they believe would harm their interests.
Scientists estimate about half of the subtropical forests along the
state's coasts has been forever lost because of agriculture and
urban development. Also lost: about 90 percent of the unique
birds found in the Everglades endangered grassy wetlands.
Antarctic Experts Warn Of Global Warming
LONDON - There is a one in 20 chance of a dramatic rise in world
sea levels over the next century due to global warning, according
to a new risk assessment published on Friday. The survey -- by
the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Norwegian environmental
safety organization, Det Norske Veritas -- said there was a five
percent chance of the giant West Antarctic Ice Sheet disintegrating
due to climate change and raising sea levels by one meter (~yard)
in the next 100 years. ''You have to balance the likelihood against
the severity of the impacts, and in this case even a five percent
chance of this happening is really damn serious,'' said scientist
David Vaughan of BAS, responsible for British scientific research
in Antarctica. Scientists have already predicted a rise in sea
levels of 50 cm (20 ins) over the next century due
to a combination of climate change and increased extraction of
ground water, even with no contribution from melting Antarctic ice.
Not only would there be flooding on a potentially vast scale, but
changes in ocean currents could also have untold consequences on
weather patterns, he added.
World Temperature Second Highest On Record
GENEVA (Reuters) - This year has been the second warmest on record
and the trend toward higher mean global temperatures looks set to
continue, World Meteorological Organization officials said Tuesday.
Compared with the 1961-1990 average used as the basis for comparison,
officials said the global temperature in 2001 rose a fraction of a
degree Fahrenheit to 57.2 F.
The 2001 average temperature was second only to 1998 when temperatures
rose under the impact of La Nina, the sister phenomenon to El Nino,
both of which are caused by abnormal warming of surface water in the
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of
international scientists, has warned that rising emissions of greenhouse
gases such as carbon dioxide as a result of human activities are at
least partially responsible for the temperature trend.
Another Island Group Sinking into the Pacific
Dec 17th, 2001 While diplomats debate environmental protocols and
scientists question whether the Pacific is rising, families on a
forgotten atoll are homeless as an otherwise beautiful piece of the
Pacific puts on a dress rehearsal for global warming.
The weekly Independent newspaper in Port Moresby says in its latest
issue that Papua New Guinea is faced with no alternative but to move
the 1,500 people of the Carteret or Kilinailau Island as the sea
relentlessly moves in on them.
The sinking islands there have seen gardens destroyed and a growing
threat of starvation for a people who have seldom needed imported
food until now.
Scientists warn of severe climate change over next century
WASHINGTON (December 12, 2001) - Scientists said Tuesday the earth's
gradual warming from pollutants in the atmosphere could someday
trigger abrupt climate changes that people and ecosystems would have
trouble adapting to.
A report by the National Research Council likened the climatic effect
of global warming to increasing pressure from a finger flipping on a
light switch. Over time, regional climates have changed by as much
as 18 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 years, researchers said.
Carbon dioxide produced from burning fossil fuels is the most
prevalent of the so-called greenhouse gases, whose growing
concentration in the atmosphere is thought to be warming the earth.
Many scientists have said they believe the warming, if not stopped,
will cause severe climate changes over the next century.
Nature reveals evidence of a warming world
Dec 3, 2001 Hard evidence of global warming is showing up not in
climate scientists' charts and figures but in nature: on an ice-
covered river in Alaska and in the annual growth cycles of plants
and animals. And the proof points to a shrinking cold weather season.
In Mediterranean ecosystems, the leaves of deciduous trees unfold on
average 16 days earlier and fall off 13 days later each season than
they did 50 years ago.
Satellite imaging of vegetation shows that the growing season across
Europe and western Asia during the past two decades has increased by
18 days; it's 12 days longer in North America.
Animal and insect life cycles also are affected by our changing climate,
reaching specific stages in their development more quickly. Butterflies
now appear 11 days earlier than in 1952 in northeast Spain, while frog
calling in New York is occurring 10 days sooner each spring between 1990
and 1999 than between 1900 and 1912.
Whether it's melting ice, accelerated tree and insect growth, or a longer
growing season, mounting evidence of a changing climate has formed a
natural link to global warming that's more real than ever.
Scientist warns of sixth great extinction of wildlife
Nov 29th, 2001 Humankind is presiding over an extinction of plant
and animal species that matches the catastrophe of the dinosaurs 65m
years ago, a British scientist warned last night.
Lord May - until last year the government's chief scientist, and now
president of the Royal Society - calculated that the extinction of
birds and mammals was probably 100 to 1,000 times faster than the
average through many millions of years of history. Studies of fossils
had pointed to five great extinctions in the past.
Crop hotspots spell hunger, UN says
Nov 14th, 2001 Scientists say some agricultural harvests could fall
by about one-third as global temperatures increase. They believe
crops like rice and wheat will find it harder in a warmer world to flower
and to set seed.
Two scientists who analysed the IPCC data said last July they thought the
likeliest increase, with a 50% probability, would lie between 2.4
and 3.8 degrees Celsius.
World's Freshwater Lakes Face Death
11-12-1 TOKYO (Reuters) - Many of the world's freshwater lakes face
death by pollution, resulting in catastrophe for the human populations
that depend on them, an environmental expert warned on Monday.
``There is not a lake left on the planet that is not already being
affected by human activities,'' said William Cosgrove, vice president
of the World Water Council, an international organization that deals
with ecological problems involving water. ``We're killing the lakes,
and that could be disaster to the human communities that depend on
... full article on SpotLight Page.
Global warming affects evolution
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 — Researchers have identified for the first time
a creature that is evolving in response to global warming.
It’s a tiny mosquito that lives in the pitcher plant.
Researchers at the University of Oregon in Eugene found that the
pitcher plant mosquito, a tiny, fragile species that seldom bothers
people, is starting to delay when it breeds and develops.
The study suggests it is possible that other species may also be in
the process of genetically adapting to longer growing seasons.
Animals with the greatest genetic variability will be the most
successful in the face of global climate changes.
Warmest British Autumn In Memory
The Observer - London 11-4-1 As Britons bask in the warmest autumn
in living memory, conservationists are warning that winter as it has
been known throughout history will soon vanish, as the distinction
between the seasons becomes blurred.
Frost and snow - once prevalent across Britain - are retreating to
northern areas. Many species are so confused, their life-cycle has been
thrown into disarray. Birds which should be nesting in the spring are
nesting in autumn, and flowers that should bloom once are blooming twice.
The extended growing season - four weeks longer than a few decades ago
- means farmers are producing bumper crops.
Last month was the warmest October since records began in 1659, and
climatologists reckon it was probably the warmest for at least 1,000
years. This year as a whole, although cooler than the all-time record
set in 1999, is still expected to be in the top 10 warmest ever recorded.
Plants Could Be Harmed by Warmer Climate -Study
Oct 7th, 2001 (Reuters) - Several species of plants in the U.S. Midwest
could become extinct within 30 years if climate conditions continue to
become drier and warmer as many experts predict, researchers said on
Thursday. The researches believe within 35 years, temperatures and soil
moisture content in Minnesota will be similar to what Kansas is
experiencing today. Under extreme conditions, Minnesota's temperature
and precipitation levels could mirror current data in Oklahoma.
Panel takes stock of Alaska's ocean health
9/29/01 ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Environmental strains ripple on the oceans
that border Alaska. In rural stretches of the state, global warming has
thinned Arctic pack ice, making travel dangerous for Native hunters.
Traces of industrial pollution from distant continents are showing up
in the fat of Alaska's marine wildlife and in the breast milk of Native
mothers who eat a traditional diet that includes seal and walrus meat.
Human Resistance to Antibiotics Worries WHO
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Humans are building up dangerous levels of
resistance to modern antibiotics that could leave them vulnerable to
killer diseases, the U.N. World Health Organization said on Tuesday.
Farmers who use antibiotics* to fatten up livestock and poultry
are aggravating the problem because microbes on animals build up
defenses against the drugs, then jump across the food chain and attack
human immune systems, WHO said.
... *this is why I stopped eating beef a year before the 'mad cow'
issue surfaced. Dan
Coral Reefs 'Face Total Destruction'
Most of the coral reefs of the world's oceans will disappear within
30 to 50 years, a marine biologist warned yesterday. Rupert Ormond,
director of the university marine biological station at Millport in
Scotland, told the British Association science festival in Glasgow
that global warming would raise ocean temperatures to levels
that would bleach the great reefs of the Pacific and Indian oceans,
the Caribbean and the Red Sea.
Global Warming Increasing Spread Of Infectious Diseases
( 9-5-01) NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Climate change associated with
global warming is already increasing the spread of infectious diseases,
researchers at the New York University School of Medicine maintain.
They predict that worldwide climate shifts will create growing threats
to public health if not reversed.
``Warming will change the distribution of disease-carrying agents,
which will in turn bring the specter of diseases wiped out decades ago
to possible prominence,'' Dr. William N. Rom told Reuters Health.
Rom and Dr. Dushana Yoganathan, writing in the August issue of the
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, note that extreme weather
events lead to increases in populations of microbes such as bacteria,
while atmospheric ozone depletion has been linked to an increased
susceptibility among hosts to these microbes.
They point to increases in mosquito-borne infections like malaria and
dengue fever, as well as certain rodent-borne viruses, as possible
risks the world faces.
Leakey Warns Of Mass Extinctions
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (ENS) - The world is losing between 50,000
and 100,000 plant, insect and animal species a year, Kenyan
conservationist Richard Leakey said Wednesday at a lecture. This is
much higher than a similar estimate Leakey gave in 1997. "Human
activities are causing between 10,000 and 40,000 species to become
extinct each year," Leakey said then. Leakey said preserving land
and conserving its wildlife are an "absolute necessity" and people
have to decide exactly how much land should be allocated to
conservation. Only the previous five periods in history of mass
extinction - the last being the death of the dinosaurs - showed the
same rate of loss. "At that rate we are probably approaching a point
similar to mass extinction," he said.
"It is the acceleration of species loss through human activities
today that is significant and unless the present trend is reversed,
the planet could lose approximately 55 percent of today's
species over the next 50 to 100 years. Such rapid catastrophic
losses to biodiversity have happened before, and these catastrophes
have always had far reaching consequences for the surviving species,"
Russian Ecologist Says Global Warming Can't Be Stopped
(8-24-01) The process of global warming cannot be stopped, people
can only diminish climatic changes caused by civilization's negative
effect, the leader of the Russian Ecological Union, Viktor Danilov-
Danilyan, told a press conference in Moscow on Thursday.
He said "it is too late to speak of preventing antropogenic climatic
changes." He noted, however, that it is necessary to reduce
civilization's effect on climate-forming factors, above all, to stop
the destruction of ecological systems and cut the release of
greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. He said the climatic changes
will hit hard all countries. According to the World Meteorological
Organization, the air temperature on the Earth may increase by two
to six degrees by the end of the century, which Danilov-Danilyan
said may have catastrophic consequences.
World Water Shortage May Cause Global Crisis
A worldwide water shortage is likely to worsen severely over the
next 25 years, affecting billions of people in an unprecedented
global crisis involving the earth's most precious natural resource,
reports the UK's Independent. This and other international news
reports were summarized in the World Bank's Development News Digest.
... more on SpotLight Page.
Drought Beginning To Affect Wildlife In 'Driest Year Ever'
SASKATOON, SASK. - A huge swath of land from Hudson Bay, Sask.,
in the northeast, to Pincher Creek Alta., in the southwest is
suffering through what's being called the driest year ever.
The last 18 months in many parts of Western Canada have been the
driest anyone can remember. Between the heat, the sun and the wind,
soil moisture is almost nil. The results are devastating.
Most crops in the area have been written off or cut for cattle feed.
Researchers Forecast Rapid, Irreversible Climate Warming
(7-26-1) There's a nine out of ten chance that global average temperatures
will rise between three and nine degrees Fahrenheit over the coming century,
with a four to seven degree increase most likely, according to a new
probability analysis by scientists in the United States and England.
The most likely projected increase is five times greater than the one
degree temperature rise observed over the past century.
... full article on SpotLite page. Dan
Global Warming Much Worse Than Predicted
(7-12-01) Global warming is happening now, caused by human actions,
and threatens the Earth with disaster, the world's leading atmospheric
scientists insisted yesterday as politicians struggled to repair the
Kyoto treaty on climate change which the United States torpedoed in
March. A 2,000-page UN report on the science and potential impacts
of climate change gave the most authoritative statement yet that
the Earth is warming rapidly, that the main cause is industrial
pollution, and that the consequences for human society are likely to
... long story on Spotlite page... Dan
Global Warming Will Devastate Agriculture
(7-11-01) Global warming will turn frozen tundra into wheatfields,
significantly reduce crops in Britain, France and other parts of
Northern Europe, and will devastate agriculture across much
of the developing world, a major scientific report claims today.
... full article on SpotLite page ... Dan
Wetlands disappearing around the globe
7-6-01 (UPI) About half of the world's wetlands have disappeared in the
past 100 years, gobbled up by agriculture, development, water diversion
projects and dredging. Pollution, water extraction, dam construction and
excessive hunting and fishing also contribute to the deteriorating
ecological health of these areas. One of the worst cases of wetlands
destruction has been along the Mississippi River. Conversion to agriculture
and towns created a situation that fosters flooding and has radically
reduced the natural ability of wetlands to remove nitrates from fertilizer
rich agricultural run-off. As a result there is now a large "dead-zone"
downstream in the Gulf of Mexico from nitrate contamination.
Human Sperm In Dramatic Decline
7-3-01 Scientists from around the world are alarmed by a dramatic increase
in genetically damaged human sperm - a trend that is not only causing
infertility in men, but also childhood cancers in the offspring of those
who can reproduce. It's now estimated that up to 85 per cent of the
sperm produced by a healthy male is DNA-damaged, a leading authority
on the subject revealed yesterday at an international conference being
held in Montreal.
... article on SpotLite page. Dan
Warm Poles Could Mean Cold Europe
6-12-01 (Reuters) Global warming shrinking the Arctic icecap is making
life harsher for Inuit and polar bears, but paradoxically it might chill
Europe by shutting off a warm ocean current.
Inhabitants of the Arctic say higher temperatures, which scientists say
are rising faster than anywhere else on Earth, are adding to the
stresses of life near the Pole rather than giving a slight relief from
the bone-chilling cold.
But for northwest Europe, one of the biggest fears of global warming is
that it could spell the reverse: a shift to colder temperatures by
disrupting the Gulf Stream that brings warm waters northeast across the
Atlantic. Near the Poles, the rays of the sun strike the Earth from a
low angle, passing through a thicker layer of atmosphere than at the
Equator. As the world heats, any faint heat the rays bring to Earth near
the Poles is more likely to get trapped by greenhouse gases than to bounce
back into space. Temperatures may be rising as fast in Antarctica but
there are too few measurements to tell.
Scientists agree warming is real
June 7 — Global warming is real and the United States should support
the U.N.-led scientific effort to deal with the problem, a review
commissioned by the White House concludes. Citing concerns about the
science and economics of solutions, President Bu$h had said earlier he
would no longer work with a U.N.-led treaty process.
The scientists began their report by stating that “greenhouse gases are
accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities,
causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise.
... well, here's a bulletin ...
Glaciers all over the world are shrinking
Most of the world's glaciers are shrinking, a new satellite survey
of over 2000 glaciers has revealed. Concerns have been raised about
melting glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro in the Tanzanian Himalayas and
in the Glacier National Park in Montana (New Scientist, 13 May 2000,
p 28). Now infrared and visible photographs taken by a Japanese
instrument on board NASA's Terra spacecraft show the shrinkage is
happening on a global scale.
Images of mountain lakes at the base of melting glaciers show many
had grown over the last 10 years, and showed up dark blue instead
of light blue, indicating higher levels of sediments. This suggests
there has been increased erosion of the mountain by the glacier,
indicating higher flow rates of the ice - and higher temperatures.
Worst Drought Since '30s
In Florida, the shorelines of Lake Okeechobee, the state's "liquid
heart," have receded as much as 150 feet, marooning docks and leaving
alligators dead in the bullrushes.
In Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, much of Jackson Lake, one of
the most photographed bodies of water in the world, may have to be
drained to provide relief for drought-stricken potato farmers in Idaho.
In Washington, dry conditions are causing early glacial melting on
Mount Rainier, spawning rock slides.
One of the worst droughts since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s is gripping
much of the US - hurting farmers, scaring firefighters, and forcing
water restrictions from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to Midland, Texas.
In parts of the Southwest, it's so dry the cactuses need watering!
Growth is surely a contributing factor to the state's dwindling water
supplies, but nature takes most of the blame. Dry conditions over
the past three years have caused a 51-inch rainfall deficit.
Global Warming Melts Australia's Glaciers
SYDNEY (Reuters) 6-1-01 - Australia's glaciers are melting.
In the land of outback deserts this is not as strange as it
sounds. Scientists say the shrinking of Australia's little-known
glaciers on remote, sub-Antarctic Heard Island in the Indian Ocean
reveals global warming now stretches from the tropics to the edge
of Antarctica. A five-month Australian scientific expedition to
Heard Island which ended in March discovered global warming was
dramatically changing the island's harsh and hostile environment.
Since 1947 the temperature has risen 1.3F causing glaciers to melt
rapidly. The island's 34 glaciers have decreased by 11 percent in
area and 12 percent in volume -- half the loss occurred in the 1980s.
Increased shrubbery found in Arctic
(AP) - Scientists in the Alaskan Arctic have discovered that shrubs
are growing larger and spreading across previously barren territory
in the tundra. The findings add to the scientific consensus that the
region is gradually getting warmer. Federal researchers combed through
archives of aerial photos, comparing new images to those of the same
locations taken 50 years ago. Of the 66 aerial photos taken for the
study, growth increases were reported in 36 of those images, with the
growth of some plants estimated to be as much as 15%.
Explorer Says Arctic Ice Thinning Noticeably
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The ice sheets covering the Arctic seas have
thinned noticeably over the last seven years, most likely as a
result of global warming, said a Norwegian explorer who has just
skied alone across the top of the world.
Boerge Ousland, speaking after an 82-day trip in which he traveled
1,300 miles from the northern tip of Russia to the North Pole and
then down to Canada, said on Sunday he had seen other evidence
which hinted strongly at the effects of climate change.
The 38-year-old explorer, holder of four long-distance polar skiing
records, measured the ice thickness as part of a study by the
Norwegian Polar Institute. He made similar measurements on a trek
from Russia to the North Pole in 1994.
"The ice toward the North Pole seems to be much thinner than normal
and this made it much more broken so that the conditions were much
more difficult than they had been in 1994 ... at around 87 degrees
North it was up to a meter thinner," Ousland said.
Global warming threatens Alaskan villages
WASHINGTON (May 5, 2001) - The disastrous consequences of global
warming forecast by some scientists are already in evidence in
Alaska, where rising sea levels threaten native villages and
towns, Alaskans have reported that Arctic ice is 8 inches thinner
in some places this year than it was last year.
Some scientists have predicted that the effects of global warming
will be amplified and first noticed in the polar regions. The 10
warmest years in meteorological record-keeping have all occurred
since 1983, with eight of the years occurring since 1990.
Sea levels worldwide have risen an average of 9 inches in the last
century. In a series of three reports issued earlier this year,
the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
estimated that sea levels will rise another 3.5 to 34.6! inches
by 2100 due to warmer water temperatures and melting ice.
World Warming Said Melting Australia's Alpine Snow
SYDNEY - In an early warning to the rest of the world, Australia's
snowy alpine regions are shrinking and could disappear in 70 years
because of global warming, Australian scientists say.
"In Australia we could have the complete loss of the alpine
ecosystems within the next 70 years," said botanist John Morgan
in La Trobe University's latest campus magazine. A La Trobe study
found that sub-alpine trees in the Snowy Mountains have started
growing 40 metres (130 feet) higher than they had in the
past 25 years as a result of global warming. La Trobe scientists
say Australia's Snowy Mountains sub-alpine forest are 300 to 500
years old, suggesting the forest had been stable for centuries.
Scientists say Great Barrier Reef choking to death
BRISBANE, (Reuters) - Australia's Great Barrier Reef risks choking
to death on fertiliser-soaked silt thanks to the clearance of wetlands
and rainforests along the neighbouring Queensland coast, scientists
said on Wednesday. The Australian Institute of Marine Science said
research from 30 scientists around the world showed the World Heritage
listed reef needed urgent help to survive the impact of farming and
other human activities.
... so sad.
Rainfall in England Heaviest Since Tudor Times
You thought there had never been rainfall like it? You were right.
The rain over England and Wales in the past 12 months may have been
the heaviest for 500 years and perhaps longer, according to one of
Britain's leading independent meteorologists.
Statistical analysis indicates that the rainfall is so far above
the average that its "return period" the frequency with which it
could be expected to recur is 500 to 750 years.
Although no link can yet be proved, one of the principal predicted
consequences of climate change is more rainfall over the British
Isles, especially in winter. The Met Office has announced that the
year from 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001 was the wettest since
records began in either 1766 or 1727 (depending on which records
you use). In either case, the record is comfortably broken.
Gases blamed for Earth's warming
WASHINGTON (AP) - Computer models developed independently by two
teams of researchers give new evidence that global warming is
influenced by man-made gases. In a study appearing Friday in the
journal Science, researchers report that the two models,
using slightly different techniques, linked rising global
temperatures to an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases,
principally carbon dioxide from the burning of oil, gas and coal.
"We think this is some of the strongest evidence to date that
human-induced effects are changing our climate," said Sydney
Levitus, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration and co-author of one of the studies. President Bu$h
decided last month to reject the Kyoto climate treaty, a 1997
international plan to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases as
a way to curb global warming. Bu$h said the plan, which specifies
a sharp reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, was too expen$ive
and unwi$e during a time that the United $tates faces energy and
Concern over global warming heating up
CAMBRIDGE, England (April 9, 2001) - Earlier flu seasons. Smaller crop
yields. Deadlier and more frequent storms. In the wake of President
Bu$h's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, scientists
from 25 countries on Monday forecast a perilous future for the planet
if emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases
continue to rise.
Warmer oceans drive climate change
WASHINGTON, April 6 — Major climate changes seen in the Northern
Hemisphere over the past half century have been driven by a
progressive warming of tropical oceans, probably sparked by the
human-caused buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, scientists
say. Many scientists believe emissions of certain pollutants from
industry, power plants and vehicles threaten to disrupt global climate
and ecosystems by causing the Earth’s atmosphere to trap more of the
sun’s energy, triggering global warming.
Studies examining the likely early effects of increased greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere have pointed to a warming trend in the tropical
oceans, and observations have demonstrated such a trend beginning
around 1950, the researchers said.
Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures have displayed a warming trend
over the past several decades the likes of which have not been seen in
the past thousand years, they added, noting that the NAO(North Atlantic
Oscillation) change has greatly influenced this.
... allow me to repeat myself, Global Warming is REAL. The Earth
has been both warmer and colder in the past - this is Normal. Manmade
pollutants ARE having an effect - this is Not Normal.
The debate has shifted during the past decade from 'is it real'? to
'whats the cause'? - and while the 'experts' debate and the
politicians cover their eyes, we lose shorelines and coral reefs and
watch as the weather patterns continue to Change ... Dan
Scientists warn of climate devastation
GENEVA, Switzerland -- The full extent of the potentially
devastating effects of global warming has been spelled
out in a U.N. report. Climate change could wipe out
tropical islands and Alpine skiing retreats, while melting
ice caps could unleash changes that would continue for
centuries, according to the report published Monday.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said poor
countries would bear the brunt of the devastating changes.
But it warned that the rich would not be immune, with southern
Europe subjected to harsher droughts and higher temperatures and
U.S. coastal regions vulnerable to rising sea levels and
more severe storms.
The final message said the effects of man-made climate change
will lead to more "freak" weather conditions like
cyclones, floods and droughts and massive displacement of
populations in the worst-affected areas. There was also the
potential for enormous loss of both human and animal life due
to the greater risk from diseases like malaria as the mosquito
widenes its reach and the habitat of entire animal species is
... sometimes I really hate to be right ... Dan
CLIMATE CHANGING FASTER THAN FORECAST
January 22, 2001 BBC NEWS reports: “The world's leading
climatologists say global warming is happening faster than previously
predicted. They say world temperatures this century could rise by
between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius. Sea levels could also rise by
tens of centimetres, threatening millions of people living in low-
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has
been meeting in Shanghai, China, says an increasing body of
observations gives a collective picture of a warming world.
And it says the evidence is stronger than before for a human
influence on the climate. The head of the United Nations Environment
Programme, Dr Klaus Toepfer, said: "The scientific consensus presented
in this comprehensive report about human-induced climate change should
sound alarm bells in every national capital and in every local
Dr Robert Watson, who heads the panel of scientists advising the
United Nations, said there could be massive implications in terms of
water shortages, drought, damage to agriculture and the increased
spread of disease, with developing countries worst hit. He said:
"There's no doubt the Earth's climate is changing. The decade of the
1990s was the hottest decade of the last century and the warming in
this century is warmer than anything in the last 1,000 years in the
Rethink on ice shelf melting
NEW scientific evidence reveals that the Antarctic ice shelf is at
more risk of melting than previously calculated.
Rising summer temperatures rather than overall mean annual
temperatures are exposed as the biggest threat to the polar ice.
Scientists warn that the vast ice shelves are "just a few degrees"
away from a potentially catastrophic meltdown.
If the ice melts, the rush of billions of gallons of water into the
oceans will lead to rising sea levels, affect global weather systems
and, ultimately, adversely impact on wildlife and mankind.
... entire article on the SpotLight page. Dan
December period was coldest on record
WASHINGTON (January 5, 2001) - Government weather experts
confirmed the suspicions of millions of shivering Americans on
Friday: It was the nation's coldest November-December period.
Two months in a row of much-below-average temperatures resulted
in the coldest November-December U.S. temperature on record, 33.8
degrees Fahrenheit. That broke the old record of 34.2 set in 1898.
The world in 2015: it's looking bleak
A sweeping projection of what the world will look like in
2015 has concluded that the availability of water and food,
changes in population, and the spread of information and
disease will become increasingly important to international
security. The report concludes that the population of the
world will grow from the current 6.1 billion to 7.2 billion
by 2015, with 95 per cent of that growth occurring in the
developing world, and nearly all of it in urban areas.
... more on the SpotLight page. Dan
Above-Normal Temperatures in 2000
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Although the United States is ending this
year with colder-than-normal temperatures, the nation logged above
average temperatures for most of the year, government forecasters
said on Monday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the
average annual U.S. temperature for the year 2000 was projected
at between 54.1 and 54.2 degrees Fahrenheit, well above the
average of 52.8 degrees Fahrenheit logged since 1895.
U.S. temperatures have risen at a rate of 0.9 degree Fahrenheit
per century over the past 100 years. But within the past 25
years, U.S. temperatures increased at a rate of 1.6 degrees
Fahrenheit, NOAA said.
The global temperature was expected to be 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit
above average recorded since 1880, similar to temperatures
recorded in 1999. The 10 warmest years on record have all
occurred since 1983, NOAA said. During the past century, global
temperatures rose at a rate near 1.1 degree Fahrenheit, but
this trend ``dramatically'' increased to a rate greater than
3.0 Fahrenheit per century during the past 25 years.
Alaskan Glacier Falling Apart
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Alaska's Columbia Glacier, which moves
into the sea at a rate of up to 110 feet (34 meters) a day, is
ready to disintegrate, leaving a spectacular fjord, researchers
said on Tuesday. It started moving more quickly in 1982,
probably as an indirect response to the warming climate.
The glacier is breaking off new icebergs into Prince Williams
Sound much faster than it is accumulating new snow.
Autumn breaks wet weather records
(BBC) England and Wales have suffered the wettest autumn since
records began 234 years ago. The long-term forecast of
changeable wet weather means the UK is unlikely to escape further
flooding which has already wrecked 6,500 homes. Flood warnings
remain on 12 rivers and much of the countryside is still water-
logged, preventing farmers harvesting or planting winter crops.
Global Warming Wreaking Havoc Around The World
The movie horror-fantasy of the sea engulfing east coast cities
could become reality this century if nothing is done to halt
global warming, scientists believe. Take, as they project,
temperatures increasing by between 1.5C and 6C (2.7F and 11F!!),
causing the sea to expand and rise by as much as 60cm (2ft);
add stronger storms and greater precipitation causing more extreme
downpours and cities such as New York and Boston might be in jeopardy.
... Detailed article on Spotlight page. Dan
Scientists Claim Nothing Will Stop Climate Change
11-13-00 (UK Sunday Times) Scientists have warned thousands of
government officials and politicians gathering for international
climate talks in the Hague that the rise in global temperatures
is irreversible, and that the best they can hope for is to slow
it down by a fraction of a degree. The rise in temperatures has
led to increasingly unpredictable weather. Last Christmas Eve a
storm hit northern France, killing scores of people and ripping
up more than 400,000 trees. Recently towns and cities across
Britain have been hit by flooding.
... Entire article on SpotLight page. Dan
GLOBAL WARMING WORSE THAN FEARED
Oct. 29, 2000 The BBC reported: "A draft report prepared for the
world's governments says that the earth may heat up much more than
current forecasts suggest. The report, by scientists from the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says average
global temperatures could rise twice as much as they thought
earlier. It foresees a possible rise of 6C above 1990 levels.
Five years ago the IPCC was predicting a probable maximum increase
of 3C. Scientists believe the level of carbon dioxide emissions
being forecast in the report could trigger the mass death of
forests and significant rises in sea levels, as well as crop
failures and extreme weather..."
Study: Global warming worse than thought; man to blame
WASHINGTON (October 25, 2000) - Man-made pollutants have
"contributed substantially" to global warming and the earth
is likely to get much warmer than previously believed, a United
Nations-sponsored panel of hundreds of scientists finds.
And the scientists, in revised estimates, conclude that if
greenhouse emissions are not curtailed the earth's average
surface temperatures could be expected to increase from 2.7 to
nearly 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century,
substantially more than estimated in its report five years ago.
Among the findings that suggest climate change already is under
way, according to the summary:
- Warming over the last 100 years "is likely to be the largest of
any century during the past 1,000 years" when fully analyzed. The
1990s are likely to be the warmest decade with 1998 the warmest
year of the 20th century.
- There has been "a widespread retreat of mountain glaciers in
nonpolar regions" and a decline in sea ice and snow-covered areas
during the past 50 years.
- Sea level rise has been 10 times greater in the last 100 years
than the average rate over the last 3,000 years. The oceans have
become warmer over the last 50 years.
... sigh ... is this where I say Told Ya So? ... Dan
Ozone Layer Continues To Deplete
Upper atmospheric conditions in The Northern Hemisphere
are becoming similar to those of the Antarctic. The result of
this could be the formation of an "Arctic Ozone Hole" or more
correctly termed "low ozone event". The alarming difference is
there are millions of people that live in the area that will be
exposed to this deadly radiation. These conditions could expose
large numbers of people and animals to more ultraviolet radiation,
which can cause skin cancer and disrupt reproduction of some
animals and destroy plant life.
The ozone layer, high up in the atmosphere, shields Earth from
much of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. A gradual thinning
due to emissions of damaging man-made chemicals has increased
the occurrence of skin cancer and other illnesses related to
over-exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Half of Indonesia coral reefs are dead
NUSA DUA, Indonesia October 24, 2000 - Half of the once-vast
coral reefs that surrounded the world's largest archipelago
have been lost and international aid is needed to save what
remains, Indonesia said Tuesday. Scientists meeting on the
island of Bali have said that an increase in ocean and sea
temperatures is largely to blame for much reef destruction
around the world. Unless drastic steps are taken to reverse
the warming trend and curb pollution, all reefs will be
dead within 20 years, they said.
Icelandic Glacier in Rapid Breakup
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (UPI) -- A British newspaper reported Sunday
new research shows Europe's biggest glacier is about to
disintegrate. Glasgow University surveyors originally arrived at
Breidamerkurjökull in 1965 to make maps of the glacier and compare
them against U.S. Army measurements from 1945, the 1965 readings
showed the glacier had slipped back from the sea by a couple of miles.
In 1998, a new Glasgow University measurement using global positioning
satellite equipment and other high-precision devices, showed rapid
melting. Those results show the great river of ice has dwindled
dramatically over the past 30 years - a total of five miles from
Report warns of water degradation, shortages
EAST LANSING, Mich. (October 21, 2000) - Freshwater systems around
the world are so damaged that their ability to support human, animal
and plant life is seriously diminished, according to a report
released Saturday. The report is part of a comprehensive study by
the institute on how human activity is changing the world's
... entire article on SpotLight page. Dan
Extreme Weather On The Rise
BOULDER -- Expect hotter days, warmer nights, heavier rain and
snowfall events, and more floods over the next century, says a
new study published September 22 in the journal Science. The
article reviews observations, impacts, and results from some
20 global climate models currently in use worldwide.
... longer article on the SpotLight Page. Dan
Hawking says greenhouse effect threatens human race survival
LONDON (September 30, 2000) - Stephen Hawking fears the human race
may not survive another millennium. "I am afraid the atmosphere
might get hotter and hotter until it will be like Venus with
boiling sulfuric acid," the physicist told Britain's Press
Association. "I am worried about the greenhouse effect."
To ensure the survival of humans, he adds, efforts must be made
to colonize other planets. Space travel would not solve every
problem, but at least it would ensure that people don't become
extinct. "It takes too many resources to send each person into
space," he said. "But unless the human race spreads into space,
I doubt it will survive the next thousand years." Hawking, 58,
holds the Cambridge University post once held by Sir Isaac Newton
and is the author of the best-selling "A Brief History of Time."
Glacier Test Shows Global Warming
Ancient ice drilled from deep inside a glacier shows that the past
century has been the hottest period in 1,000 years in the high
Himalayan Mountains. Researchers said the new finding is yet another
indication the Earth is warming and supports other studies that show
a rapid melting of mountain ice fields is under way on three
continents. In northern Peru, there is a marked shrinkage of
ice fields in the Andes and a dry season reduction in flow of up
to 70 percent in the Rimac River which supplies water to Lima,
in Africa, aerial photos taken of Mt. Kilimanjaro and checked
against 1912 maps found a 75 percent loss of ice mass
1990’s the Warmest Decade EVER
Sept. 15, 2000 The London Telegraph reported: “A record of
climate held frozen in a Himalayan glacier reveals that the
last decade was the warmest of the past millennium,
scientists report today. Ice core samples, taken more
than four miles up, provide a detailed record of the
last 1,000 years of climate on the Tibetan Plateau and
suggest that human activities have had an impact. Today,
the journal Science reports that the Dasuopu Glacier
samples reveal that the last 10 years were the warmest.
Prof Lonnie Thompson, the expedition leader, of Ohio
State University, said: ‘There is no question in my mind
that the warming is in part, if not totally, driven by
more info & other cool stuff
Information shared times since 11/6/97
... plus about 31,000 that Tripod LOST ...