Dan's    Earth    Changes    Report

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 ... 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. Sinking Nations 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 highest point. 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 Kyoto Protocol." 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 Wednesday. The National Climatic Data Center said that as of the end of July, 49 percent of the 48 contiguous states were affected by moderate to extreme drought. Areas of extreme drought stretched from the Southwest to Montana and Nebraska and from Georgia to Virginia, the center reported. The past 12 months were the driest August through July on record in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and Wyoming. They were the second driest in Arizona, Nevada and Delaware. Parts of the Southeast and West have been in various stages of drought since 1998. A mysterious shift in Earth’s gravity 8-6-02 (MSNBC) Something strange has been going on under our feet for the past four years. Earth’s gravity field suddenly shifted gears and began getting flatter, reversing a course of centuries during which the planet and its gravity field grew rounder each year. “Sometime around 1998, something began to make the Earth’s gravity field flatter,” says Christopher Cox of Raytheon Information Technology and Scientific Services. “The result is it looks as if post-glacial rebound has reversed itself. But we do not have any reason to think that post-glacial rebound has in any way stopped or changed. The shift is significant. “The effect is twice as large as post- glacial rebound in terms of effect on the gravity field, and it’s in the opposite direction,” Cox said. “Whatever it is, it’s big.Record warmth intensified drought Aug 5th, 2002 Experts say record warmth between November 2001 and January 2002 is at least partly to blame for the moderate to extreme drought plaguing 15 states from Georgia to Maine and 14 states in the Plains and West. The January global temperature was the warmest in the 123-year surface record. ... much more than 123 years really. Dan Earth Heading For Warmest Year Ever Recorded LONDON (Reuters) - The first six months of the year have been the second-warmest ever and average global temperatures in 2002 could be the highest ever recorded, British weather experts said Thursday. Global temperatures were 1.03 Fahrenheit higher than the long-term average of about 59 Fahrenheit in the period from January to June. In the nearly 150 years since recording began, only in 1998 has the difference been higher, 1.08 Fahrenheit, and that was caused by the influence of the El Nino weather phenomenon. The figures also showed that the northern hemisphere had its warmest ever half year, with temperatures 1.31 Fahrenheit above the long-term average. "The actual rise prior to 1970 was partly man-made and partly due to natural effects. But since 1970 scientists are in fairly general agreement that warming can be attributed to man's polluting activities." ... now - where have I heard that before ? ... Dan. Warmest seas on record stress Barrier Reef SYDNEY, Australia, July 27 - Sea temperatures around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef early this year were the warmest on record, scientists reported Thursday. Bleaching in early 2002 covered 60 percent of the reef, even more than the 1998 event that made headlines worldwide. The bleaching in early 2002 was not during an El Nino year, making the high temperatures even more unusual. 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 almost doubled. Disease 'genie out of bottle' 7-14-02 Medical experts say staphylococcus aureus, cause of some of the most troublesome infections to afflict man, has become resistant to the antibiotic of last resort, vancomycin. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced the first confirmed case of vancomycin-resistant staph aureus -- known in the medical world as VRSA -- found last month in Michigan. "The genie is out of the bottle," Dr. Donald Low, microbiologist-in-chief at Mount Sinai Hospital, "It's ominous." The experts know the Michigan case is solid proof they will soon have to deal with their nightmare scenario -- common staph aureus infections untreatable with any antibiotics. 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 water. 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 support life. The report, based on scientific data from across the world, reveals that more than a third of the natural world has been destroyed by humans over the past three decades. The report offers a vivid warning that either people curb their extravagant lifestyles or risk leaving the onus on scientists to locate another planet that can sustain human life. Since this is unlikely to happen, the only option is to cut consumption now. ... entire article on the 'SpotLight' page ... Dan. Rising Temperatures Could Ravage Alaska New York Times 7-4-02 In Alaska, rising temperatures, whether caused by greenhouse gas emissions or nature in a prolonged mood swing, are not a topic of debate or an abstraction. Mean temperatures have risen by 5 degrees in summer and 10 degrees in winter since the 1970s, federal officials say. While President Bu$h was dismissive of a report the government recently released on how global warming will affect the nation, the leading Republican in this state, Senator Ted Stevens, says that no place is experiencing more startling change from rising temperatures than Alaska. Among the consequences, Senator Stevens says, are sagging roads, crumbling villages, dead forests, catastrophic fires and possible disruption of marine wildlife. 28 Percent Of All US Lakes Have Contaminated Fish Washington (Reuters) More than one-fourth of the nation's lakes have advisories warning consumers that fresh-caught fish may be contaminated with mercury, dioxins or other chemicals, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday. The EPA said state regulators issued 2,618 fishing advisories or bans in 2001 because of contaminants. Some 14 percent of U.S. rivers were covered by advisories in 2001, up from 10.5 percent in the previous year. States that had the most fishing advisories include Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nebraska and New Jersey. Some of the affected waterways include Lake Champlain, Florida's Sarasota Bay, Washington's Puget Sound, and the Potomac River which feeds into Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. Himalayan Ice Reveals Climate Warming Jun 26th, 2002 Ice cores drilled through a glacier more than four miles up in the Himalayan Mountains have yielded a highly detailed record of the last 1,000 years of earth's climate in the high Tibetan Plateau. Based on an analysis of the ice, both the last decade and the last 50 years were the warmest in 1,000 years. The core also showed a clear record of at least eight major droughts caused by a failure of the South Asian Monsoon, the worst of these a catastrophic seven-year-long dry spell that cost the lives of more than 600,000 people. ... uhm, HELLO - is anybody paying attention? ... Dan. A Warmer Planet is a Sicker Planet Scientists warn that infectious diseases will rise as the world gets warmer. Human malaria, butterflies with parasites, diseased corals, and trees overgrown with fungus are some of the things awaiting us as the Earth warms up. Entire species of animals could be wiped out. Human tropical diseases will become more common as tropical weather spreads. Dr. Richard Ostfeld of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies says, "Disease now has to be considered another main player on the climate warming stage. The rise in infectious diseases will be caused by changes in temperature, rainfall, and humidity, all of which encourage the growth of insects and bacteria. Climate differences will also stress plants and animals, making them more susceptible to infection. Record Kansas Drought Devastates Wheat Crop 6-23-02 (AP) It's been nearly a year since much of western Kansas has gotten substantial rain. The drought has devastated the wheat crop now being harvested and spurred widespread selling off of cattle herds, as farmers become increasingly desperate to find enough feed and water to carry them through the summer grazing season. Weather records dating back to 1913 show that never has there been less precipitation here than now. Even the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s logged more rain than this year! More on Antarctic Warming Washington, June 13 The Antarctic ice sheet holds enough frozen water to be a major player in the climate change game if it melts. Concerned about a range of possibilities, from rising sea level to upsets in the oceans’ circulation patterns, scientists have been scrutinizing the continent for signs of change. A new report in the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, suggests that the ice sheet’s edges are most vulnerable to climate warming, and are melting faster than scientists had realized. On average the ice near the grounding lines was melting away twice as fast as the rate scientists had previously predicted for the ice shelves overall. ... well, they're catching on, slowly... Dan. Greenland's warming ice flows faster Jun 7th, 2002 New measurements by US scientists show that since 1996 the Greenland ice sheet has been moving faster during the summer melting season. The rate is accelerating because more melted water is trickling down from the surface of the sheet to the bedrock. There it lubricates the sheet, which moves faster towards the coast. The scientists say this suggests the ice may be responding more quickly than thought to a warming climate. Global water "crisis" high on Earth Summit agenda Jun 7th, 2002 BALI, Indonesia - Of the myriad issues on the table for a U.N. summit in August that aims to cut world poverty and save the environment, few are as critical as getting safe drinking water to the 1.1 billion people who go without it. The European Union has warned the world was in a global water crisis, and made the issue a priority for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and also at final preparatory talks here on Indonesia's resort island of Bali. Global Warming Blamed For Melting Everest Glacier GENEVA (Reuters) - A glacier from which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay set out to conquer Mount Everest nearly 50 years ago has retreated three miles up the mountain due to global warming, a U.N. body says. UNEP recently warned that more than 40 Himalayan glacial lakes were dangerously close to bursting, threatening the lives of thousands of people, because of ice melt caused by global warming. California Warming 06-Jun-2002 At the University of California, said Lisa Sloan, an associate professor of Earth sciences, has figured out how global warming will effect the climate of California. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air has doubled since preindustrial days and Sloan found out it will double again by 2050. Their model also showed a future in which higher average temperatures will occur every month in every part of the state. The warming will vary, however, with the greatest increases in temperature occurring at high elevations in the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range. The model showed increased rainfall in northern California but rain staying the same in southern California, while snow accumulation in the mountains decreases dramatically. "With less precipitation falling as snow and more as rain, plus higher temperatures creating increased demand for water, the impacts on our water storage system will be enormous". U.S. sees big impacts from warming June 3 — The Bu$h administration for the first time has issued a report that says manmade emissions are tied to global warming and predicts that changes in temperature will deeply affect the United States. Environmentalists said Monday the predictions warrant stronger action by President Bu$h. The administration stood by its existing $trategy, saying it protects the economy while protecting Earth. ... my views on this should be obvious. Dan Signs of Thaw in a Desert of Snow May 28, 2002 IQALUIT, Nunavut -- And so it has come to be, the elders say, a time when icebergs are melting, tides have changed, polar bears have thinned and there is no meaning left in a ring around the moon. Scattered clouds blowing in a wind no longer speak to elders and hunters. Daily weather markers are becoming less predictable in the fragile Arctic as its climate changes. There is increasing evidence that the Arctic, this desert of snow, ice and killing cold wind, one of the most hostile and fragile places on Earth, is thawing. Glaciers are receding. Coastlines are eroding. Lakes are disappearing. Fall freezes are coming later. The winters are not as cold. Mosquitoes and beetles never seen before are appearing. While scientists debate the causes of climate change and politicians debate whether to ratify the Kyoto accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists believe cause global warming, the Inuit who live in Canada's Far North say they are watching their world melt before their eyes. ... nothing I need to add ... Dan Earth Warming Faster Than Expected 21-May-2002 Planet earth is warming up faster than previously expected, according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research. Dying forests, expanding deserts and rising sea levels will wreak havoc on human and animal lives sooner than anticipated as global warming accelerates. A 2001 United Nations report on climate change forecast that global temperatures will rise two to five degrees Celsius by the end of the century, but recent data suggest temperatures could rise even higher as a worst case scenario shows four times as much emitted CO2 in the atmosphere from today's levels which is significantly higher than previously expected. ... no surprises here ... Dan Antarctic ice melt poses worldwide threat REUTERS May 15, 2002 - The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves are cracking up and, on the face of things, it is the most serious thaw since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago. The break-up of the ice shelves in itself is a natural process of renewal, but the size and rate of production of icebergs, is alarming scientists, who blame global warming. The fear is that a snowball effect will lead to disintegration of the vast West Antarctic ice shelf, kilometres thick in parts. A longer-term effect would be if the disintegration led to a meltdown of the grounded West Antarctic ice sheet, which would cause the world's oceans to rise by up to five metres (~17 feet). ... beach front property anyone ? ... TWO LARGE ICEBERGS BREAK OFF ROSS ICE SHELF The National Ice Center reports a two new icebergs (C-18 and C-19) have broken off of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The iceberg C-19 is 108 nautical miles long and 17 nautical miles wide and is located 77.23 South 173.30 East. C-18 is 41 nautical miles long by 4 nautical miles wide and is located at 77.78 South 178.78 East. The iceberg C-18 was spotted by NIC analyst Judy Shaffer on May 5 using satellite images from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. The iceberg C-19 was discovered on May 11. The icebergs are named for the Antarctic quadrant in which they were discovered. Giant iceberg spells disaster 4-27-02 Auckland - A giant Antarctic iceberg is causing devastating damage to the world food chain and already millions of penguins have fallen victim to it, polar experts warned on Thursday. The B15 iceberg, the size of Jamaica, calved off the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000 and has blocked the Ross Sea. Nasa's satellite Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor has revealed B15 has cut sea phytoplankton, the foundation of the food chain, by 40 percent, and the small fish krill has gone. 2002 'warmest for 1,000 years' THE first three months of this year were the warmest globally since records began in 1860 and probably for 1,000 years, scientists said yesterday. The three months were about 0.71C warmer than the average for 1961 to 1990, itself the warmest period for 1,000 years according to ice- core analysis. The global record comes in the wake of observed changes in the British climate since 1900: a lengthening of the growing season for plants by one month in central England, a temperature increase of 1C, and a 10cm sea level rise. Scientists Firm Up Global Climate Forecasts Apr 20th, 2002 LONDON (Reuters) - While some meteorologists have difficulty getting the five-day forecast right, climatologists have firmed up their predictions of how much warmer the climate will be over the next 20 to 30 years. New research by two teams of scientists using different climate models predicts the global mean temperature will be between 0.3 and 1.3 degrees Centigrade (about 0.5-2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer by 2020-2030 than it was in 1990-2000. Later in the century, if greenhouse gas emissions are at the high end of predictions, they could force up temperatures by 0.3 to seven degrees C (0.5-13 degrees F). GLOBAL TEMPERATURE FOR MARCH WARMEST ON RECORD 4-16-02 Arctic air brought in by the jet stream in March kept temperatures relatively low throughout the United States, making it the first cooler-than-average month since March 2001. However, it was the warmest March for the globe since reliable records began in 1880, according to NOAA scientists. Ocean surface temperatures were also warmer than average in the eastern equatorial Pacific as the evolution of oceanic conditions continued to indicate a developing El Niño episode, and the global sea surface temperature was the second warmest on record. The average global temperature for land and ocean surfaces combined (based on preliminary data) was 1.39 F (0.77 C) above the 1880-2001 long-term mean, 0.16 F (0.09 C) higher than the previous record warm March, which occurred in 1998 during the latter stages of the last El Niño episode. Global temperatures have increased approximately 1 F (0.6 C) since 1900, but the rate of warming during the past 25 years is almost three times higher, according to NOAA's Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Global Warming Accelerates China's Sea Level Rise Apr 14th, 2002 Large sections of Chinese coastal regions gradually disappear under rising sea levels because of global warming, severely impairing the country's social and economic progress. According to the latest observations from domestic tide stations, the sea level along China's coastline has maintained a rapidly rising speed over the past five decades. The elevation even accelerated in recent years with an annual increase of 2.6 millimeters. Meteorologists predict that in the next 30 years, the sea level will continue to rise by one to 16 centimeters. By 2050, it will be six to 26 centimeters(10.2 in) higher. The increase will probably reach 30 to 70 centimeters(27.6 in) by the end of the 21st century. China's long coastline is the base for about 70 percent of the large cities, over a half of the domestic population and nearly 60 percent of the national economy. Scientist predicts climate change of 10 degrees 4-9-02 Jonathan Overpeck, a climate researcher at the University of Arizona, says new computer simulations suggest that global warming this century will be about four times greater than what the planet experienced in the 1900s. Scientists gathered at the college, 40 miles east of Syracuse, for their first meeting since Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf disintegrated in only 35 days ending March 7. It probably had existed since the last Ice Age, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. According to a new study by Overpeck and his team of scientists, the Earth's average temperature will rise about 10 degrees before the year 2100. Unless the amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere declines sharply, he said, the consequences could extend worldwide. "I think it is going to be pretty hard to avoid the sixth mass extinction in Earth's history," Overpeck told The Post-Standard of Syracuse. "Countries are going to be put out of business. Cultures are going to be put out of business." ANTARCTIC MELTING IDENTIFIED IN THE PAST 4-9-02 Researchers from the University of Oregon published a study that determined that a very large and unusually abrupt rise in sea levels 14,200 years ago was caused by the partial collapse of ice sheets in Antarctica. The period exhibited conditions similar to today with increased temperatures, sea levels and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Using shoreline fossil deposits scientists were able to develop a method of identifying each possible melting scenario from ice sheets that existed at that time. The OSU report states, "What is very clear, however, is the importance of Antarctica's huge ice sheets remaining stable. The West Antarctic ice sheet is thought to be potentially unstable, and if it collapsed sea levels around the world would rise almost 20 feet. The melting of the larger and more stable East Antarctic ice sheet would raise Earth's sea levels another 200 feet! Arctic Ice and Way of Life Melting Away for Eskimos Apr 1st, 02 YANRAKYNNOT, Russia -- The native elders have no explanation. Scientists are perplexed as well. The icy realm of the Eskimo--the tundra and ice of Russia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland--has started to thaw. Strange portents are everywhere. Thunder and lightning, once rare, have become commonplace. An eerie warm wind now blows in from the south. Hunters who prided themselves on their ability to read the sky say they no longer can predict the sudden blizzards. "The Earth," one hunter concluded, "is turning faster." The elders, who keep thousands of years of history and legend without ever writing it down, have long told children this story: If the ice that freezes thick over the sea each winter breaks up before summer, the entire village could perish. What the residents of the Arctic are reporting fits convincingly with powerful computer models, satellite images and recently declassified ice measurements taken by Russian submarines. In the last century, parts of the Arctic have warmed by 10 degrees Fahrenheit--10 times the global average. Sea ice covers 15% less of the Arctic Ocean than it did 20 years ago, and that ice has thinned from an average of 10 feet to less than 6. Drought Leaves Rivers At All-Time Lows 3-28-02 A USA TODAY analysis found that scores of the nation's rivers fell to historic low levels during the past four months. Using U.S. Geological Survey data that track the flow of rivers nationwide, the analysis identified 59 points on 57 rivers that reached record low levels in March. The analysis showed that 40 of those points also had reached a record low in one of the months of December, January or February. Less water flowed down these rivers than at any comparable time in at least 30 years and, in many cases, as long as 80 years. Using temperature and precipitation data, federal scientists calculate that severe or extreme drought has spread over 21% of the country. Global Warming is shrinking Ireland Mar 27th, 2002 Northern Ireland (AP) — Ireland is shrinking, a scientist warned Monday at a conference on the deterioration of coastlines worldwide. Andrew Cooper, director of the Coastal Research Group at the University of Ulster, said the sea was swallowing up about 750 acres of Ireland each year, and warned that the process would quicken. He said global warming was likely to subject Ireland's shores, particularly along the northern and western Atlantic coasts, to more frequent and powerful storms, but the governments of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic were doing little to erect sensible coastline defenses. More of Antarctica faces breakup with Climate Change Mar 27th, 2002 New Zealand - The Antarctic's huge ice shelves may break up as ice floes across the frozen continent slow or even stop and the global climate warms, a New Zealand climate researcher warned. The collapse reported last week of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica was "a wakeup call to expect more collapses," said Tim Naish, a senior researcher at the government-owned Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences. Such collapses would have "a dramatic effect on global climate" by disrupting ocean currents, he said. Worldwide Drought by 2025 27-Mar-02 (BBC) More than 2.7 billion people will face severe water shortages by the year 2025 if the world continues consuming water at the same rate, the United Nations warns. A new report says that another 2.5 billion people will live in areas where it will be difficult to find enough water to meet their needs. The crisis is being blamed on mismanagement of existing water resources, population growth and changing weather patterns. Less than 3% of the Earth's water is fresh and most of it is in the form of polar ice or too deep underground to reach. The amount of fresh water that is accessible in lakes, rivers and reservoirs is less than a quarter of 1% of the total. The UN says the water crisis will limit the ability to grow crops, which poor people need to survive. Agriculture consumes about 70% of the world’s available water, and small farmers are the first to lose their supply. ... it won't be that long. Drought Emergency For New York 3-27-02 NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared a drought emergency for the city and four upstate counties Tuesday in response to the worst drought to hit the eastern United States in nearly 70 years. Restrictions on water use will affect more than 8 million residents of New York and about 1 million in Westchester, Putnam, Ulster and Orange counties, which contain the reservoir systems that provide the city's water supply. The city's reservoirs are at 52 percent capacity. Normal for this time of year would be 92.5 percent, officials said. Water restrictions are in place in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Maine and New Hampshire, and several other states are urging voluntary conservation. The U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors national water levels, said last week that conditions were commensurate with those during the drought of 1930. Massive Antarctic ice shelf collapses March 24,2002 (AP) Scientists say that an enormous floating ice shelf in Antarctica that has existed since the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago collapsed this month with staggering speed during one of the warmest summers on record there. "We're seeing a very rapid and profound response by the ice sheet to a warming that's been around for just a few decades," said Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado. The entire Larsen Ice Shelf now is about 40 percent of its original size. "We knew what was left would collapse eventually, but the speed of it is staggering," said David Vaughan, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey. "Hard to believe that 500 million billion tons of ice sheet has disintegrated in less than a month." Scientists believe the shelf was at least 400 years old and may have been around as long as the last glaciation 12,000 years ago. Over the last 5 years the shelf has lost 2,200 square miles of area and 5,200 square miles have been lost since 1974. Global warming is higher than average in the region with temperature increasing 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1940's. Drought Emergency Throughout U.S. States from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific are experiencing severe drought conditions. This nationwide drought is more serious than the usual dry spell. The entire state of Wyoming has been declared a drought disaster area, and large areas of the Southeast and the West are in danger of wildfires. In New York City, reservoir levels are at 50 percent below normal. In some Southern states, there are areas that have had moisture deficits of more than 30 inches. Navy Report - Polar Ice Shrinking Fast 3-12-02 The polar ice cap has been shrinking so fast that regular ships may be steaming through the Northwest Passage each summer by 2015, and along northern Russia even sooner, according to a new U.S. Navy report. Global warming will open the Arctic Ocean to unprecedented commercial activity. The seasonal expansion of open water may draw commercial fishing fleets into the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska within a few decades. The summer ice cover could even disappear entirely by 2050 -- or be concentrated around northern Greenland and Ellesmere Island. Though the 72-page report primarily addressed naval issues, it offered a vivid update on how recent warming has been consuming the polar cap. Submarine data has found a 40 percent decrease in the volume of the Arctic ice. Global Warming Creates Grim Future for Forests Mar 6th, 2002 WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Global warming is becoming an increasing threat to forests in much of the world, paving the way for fires, droughts and pest infestations, officials told an environmental conference on Tuesday. The World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development said the latest evidence indicates that over half the world's boreal forest could disappear due to the effect of climate change as conditions shift. Boreal, or northern, forests are a belt of mostly coniferous trees running through much of Canada, the United States, Russia, Scandinavia and parts of Mongolia and China. January Warmest On Record 3-5-02 (NOAA) November 2001-January 2002 warmest winter period ever recorded in United States since 1895. The second warmest November-January occurred in 1999-2000. The third warmest was the drought decade of 1933-1934. The combination of record warm land temperatures and near-record sea surface temperatures led to the warmest January on record for both land and ocean surfaces combined, which was 1.24 F (0.69 C) above average and 0.09 F (0.05 C) warmer than January 1998. Last Three Months Warmest Ever Recorded 2-22-02 (Reuters) - The last three months were the warmest on U.S. record books, and January was the balmiest in the 123 years temperatures for the month have been recorded globally, government scientists said on Thursday. A preliminary average of the nation's temperature measured from November 2001 to January 2002 was 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit above average temperatures gathered between 1895 and 2001, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA). The same monthly period in 1999-2000 held the previous record. Oceans Could Rise Higher Than Predicted 2-21-02 Global sea level rise in the 21st century could be significantly higher than previously estimated, according to the most comprehensive glacier dataset ever compiled. The missing factor is the melting of the world's largest temperate glaciers in Alaska and Canada, say Mark Meier and Mark Dyurgerov at the University of Colorado at Boulder. New data from the University of Alaska show this has been underplayed in earlier calculations, they say. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2001 that the expected rise in sea level by 2100 due to glacier melting alone was between 1 and 23 centimetres. The estimate represents the consensus of many of the world's scientists. Meier and Dyurgerov's new range is much higher, at between 20 and 46 cm (18 in.), and they say it could be even greater. Combined with the IPCC's estimate for sea level rise caused by other processes, such as ocean warming, of 11 to 43 cm, the total 21st century rise could be as much as 89 cm(35 in.). "These estimates in sea-level rise may seem small, but a 30 cm rise in sea level will typically cause a retreat of shoreline of 30 metres (~98 ft.). This would have substantial social and economic impacts," Meier says. The new data from the University of Alaska shows that the long term contribution to sea level rise from the wastage of the Alaskan and Canadian glaciers is 0.12 millimetres per year, but that this has more than doubled to 0.32 mm in the last decade. The present rate of wastage in some glaciers is greater that it has been for 5000 years, says Meier. ... I supplied the converted numbers for my US readers - Dan. Collapse Of North Atlantic Fishing Predicted The entire North Atlantic is being so severely overfished that it may completely collapse by 2010, reveals the first comprehensive survey of the entire ocean's fishery. North Atlantic catches have fallen by half since 1950, despite a tripling of the effort put into catching them. The total number of fish in the ocean has fallen even further, they say, with just one sixth as many high-quality "table fish" like cod and tuna as there were in 1900. Fish prices have risen six fold in real terms in 50 years. Half Of Amazon Rain Forest Being 'Profoundly' Damaged Half of the Amazon rain forest is being damaged by the pollution caused by forest burning, a new study has revealed. Previous concerns about the world's largest rain forest have focused on the burning itself, which has now destroyed 14 percent of the forest's five million square kilometres. But the new research shows that half of the remaining pristine forest is being degraded by the gases and particulates released by the burning. The pollution caused by burning will also impact on the Amazon forest's critical role in the global climate, affecting the production of water vapour in the tropics. Dire Warning For Planet Earth OSLO, Norway - At the Nobel Peace Prize Centennial Symposium here yesterday (12-7-01) celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prize, 100 Nobel laureates have issued a brief but dire warning of the 'profound dangers' facing the world. Their statement predicts that our security depends on immediate environmental and social reform. ... entire text on SpotLight page. Dan North America Biodiversity Shrinking MONTREAL (Reuters) - Some 235 North American animal species such as the Monarch butterfly and northern codfish are threatened by pollution, human encroachment on their natural habitats and aggressive harvesting practices, says an environmental agency set up under the continental free -trade pact. A broad study by the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a Montreal-based agency created under the North American Free Trade Agreement comprising the United States, Canada and Mexico, says the continent faces a ''biodiversity crisis'' in which threatened species could disappear. That harms evolution and depletes the natural environment humans depend on to survive. The report notes that some experts believe humans are ''fishing down the food chain'' in over-harvested stocks such as salmon, cod, halibut and swordfish. That means catching fish that are needed to rebuild depleted species. The current report raises alarm bells on a number of fronts, including the effect of modern transportation systems on the environment, the over -use of water resources and rising threat of drought, and bio-invasion, the spread of nonnative species imported into North America. Environmentalists blast plan for Florida Everglades WASHINGTON (December 30, 2001) - Claiming the Bu$h administration's draft of rules for the restoration of the Florida Everglades is "a recipe for inaction," environmental groups say the plan will endanger the shrinking wetlands because it contains no deadlines. With some environmental scientists warning that the Everglades would be destroyed by 2015 without immediate action, advocates of stronger environmental regulation criticized the draft, especially the lack of deadlines or timelines. They feared pressure from agricultural and other interests would make state officials reticent to push ahead quickly. Florida's $ugar farmers and urban water utilities have resisted conservation measures they believe would harm their interests. Scientists estimate about half of the subtropical forests along the state's coasts has been forever lost because of agriculture and urban development. Also lost: about 90 percent of the unique birds found in the Everglades endangered grassy wetlands. Antarctic Experts Warn Of Global Warming LONDON - There is a one in 20 chance of a dramatic rise in world sea levels over the next century due to global warning, according to a new risk assessment published on Friday. The survey -- by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Norwegian environmental safety organization, Det Norske Veritas -- said there was a five percent chance of the giant West Antarctic Ice Sheet disintegrating due to climate change and raising sea levels by one meter (~yard) in the next 100 years. ''You have to balance the likelihood against the severity of the impacts, and in this case even a five percent chance of this happening is really damn serious,'' said scientist David Vaughan of BAS, responsible for British scientific research in Antarctica. Scientists have already predicted a rise in sea levels of 50 cm (20 ins) over the next century due to a combination of climate change and increased extraction of ground water, even with no contribution from melting Antarctic ice. Not only would there be flooding on a potentially vast scale, but changes in ocean currents could also have untold consequences on weather patterns, he added. World Temperature Second Highest On Record GENEVA (Reuters) - This year has been the second warmest on record and the trend toward higher mean global temperatures looks set to continue, World Meteorological Organization officials said Tuesday. Compared with the 1961-1990 average used as the basis for comparison, officials said the global temperature in 2001 rose a fraction of a degree Fahrenheit to 57.2 F. The 2001 average temperature was second only to 1998 when temperatures rose under the impact of La Nina, the sister phenomenon to El Nino, both of which are caused by abnormal warming of surface water in the Pacific Ocean. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of international scientists, has warned that rising emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide as a result of human activities are at least partially responsible for the temperature trend. Another Island Group Sinking into the Pacific Dec 17th, 2001 While diplomats debate environmental protocols and scientists question whether the Pacific is rising, families on a forgotten atoll are homeless as an otherwise beautiful piece of the Pacific puts on a dress rehearsal for global warming. The weekly Independent newspaper in Port Moresby says in its latest issue that Papua New Guinea is faced with no alternative but to move the 1,500 people of the Carteret or Kilinailau Island as the sea relentlessly moves in on them. The sinking islands there have seen gardens destroyed and a growing threat of starvation for a people who have seldom needed imported food until now. Scientists warn of severe climate change over next century WASHINGTON (December 12, 2001) - Scientists said Tuesday the earth's gradual warming from pollutants in the atmosphere could someday trigger abrupt climate changes that people and ecosystems would have trouble adapting to. A report by the National Research Council likened the climatic effect of global warming to increasing pressure from a finger flipping on a light switch. Over time, regional climates have changed by as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 years, researchers said. Carbon dioxide produced from burning fossil fuels is the most prevalent of the so-called greenhouse gases, whose growing concentration in the atmosphere is thought to be warming the earth. Many scientists have said they believe the warming, if not stopped, will cause severe climate changes over the next century. Nature reveals evidence of a warming world Dec 3, 2001 Hard evidence of global warming is showing up not in climate scientists' charts and figures but in nature: on an ice- covered river in Alaska and in the annual growth cycles of plants and animals. And the proof points to a shrinking cold weather season. For example: In Mediterranean ecosystems, the leaves of deciduous trees unfold on average 16 days earlier and fall off 13 days later each season than they did 50 years ago. Satellite imaging of vegetation shows that the growing season across Europe and western Asia during the past two decades has increased by 18 days; it's 12 days longer in North America. Animal and insect life cycles also are affected by our changing climate, reaching specific stages in their development more quickly. Butterflies now appear 11 days earlier than in 1952 in northeast Spain, while frog calling in New York is occurring 10 days sooner each spring between 1990 and 1999 than between 1900 and 1912. Whether it's melting ice, accelerated tree and insect growth, or a longer growing season, mounting evidence of a changing climate has formed a natural link to global warming that's more real than ever. Scientist warns of sixth great extinction of wildlife Nov 29th, 2001 Humankind is presiding over an extinction of plant and animal species that matches the catastrophe of the dinosaurs 65m years ago, a British scientist warned last night. Lord May - until last year the government's chief scientist, and now president of the Royal Society - calculated that the extinction of birds and mammals was probably 100 to 1,000 times faster than the average through many millions of years of history. Studies of fossils had pointed to five great extinctions in the past. Crop hotspots spell hunger, UN says Nov 14th, 2001 Scientists say some agricultural harvests could fall by about one-third as global temperatures increase. They believe crops like rice and wheat will find it harder in a warmer world to flower and to set seed. Two scientists who analysed the IPCC data said last July they thought the likeliest increase, with a 50% probability, would lie between 2.4 and 3.8 degrees Celsius. World's Freshwater Lakes Face Death 11-12-1 TOKYO (Reuters) - Many of the world's freshwater lakes face death by pollution, resulting in catastrophe for the human populations that depend on them, an environmental expert warned on Monday. ``There is not a lake left on the planet that is not already being affected by human activities,'' said William Cosgrove, vice president of the World Water Council, an international organization that deals with ecological problems involving water. ``We're killing the lakes, and that could be disaster to the human communities that depend on them.'' ... full article on SpotLight Page. Global warming affects evolution WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 — Researchers have identified for the first time a creature that is evolving in response to global warming. It’s a tiny mosquito that lives in the pitcher plant. Researchers at the University of Oregon in Eugene found that the pitcher plant mosquito, a tiny, fragile species that seldom bothers people, is starting to delay when it breeds and develops. The study suggests it is possible that other species may also be in the process of genetically adapting to longer growing seasons. Animals with the greatest genetic variability will be the most successful in the face of global climate changes. Warmest British Autumn In Memory The Observer - London 11-4-1 As Britons bask in the warmest autumn in living memory, conservationists are warning that winter as it has been known throughout history will soon vanish, as the distinction between the seasons becomes blurred. Frost and snow - once prevalent across Britain - are retreating to northern areas. Many species are so confused, their life-cycle has been thrown into disarray. Birds which should be nesting in the spring are nesting in autumn, and flowers that should bloom once are blooming twice. The extended growing season - four weeks longer than a few decades ago - means farmers are producing bumper crops. Last month was the warmest October since records began in 1659, and climatologists reckon it was probably the warmest for at least 1,000 years. This year as a whole, although cooler than the all-time record set in 1999, is still expected to be in the top 10 warmest ever recorded. Plants Could Be Harmed by Warmer Climate -Study Oct 7th, 2001 (Reuters) - Several species of plants in the U.S. Midwest could become extinct within 30 years if climate conditions continue to become drier and warmer as many experts predict, researchers said on Thursday. The researches believe within 35 years, temperatures and soil moisture content in Minnesota will be similar to what Kansas is experiencing today. Under extreme conditions, Minnesota's temperature and precipitation levels could mirror current data in Oklahoma. Panel takes stock of Alaska's ocean health 9/29/01 ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Environmental strains ripple on the oceans that border Alaska. In rural stretches of the state, global warming has thinned Arctic pack ice, making travel dangerous for Native hunters. Traces of industrial pollution from distant continents are showing up in the fat of Alaska's marine wildlife and in the breast milk of Native mothers who eat a traditional diet that includes seal and walrus meat. Human Resistance to Antibiotics Worries WHO WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Humans are building up dangerous levels of resistance to modern antibiotics that could leave them vulnerable to killer diseases, the U.N. World Health Organization said on Tuesday. Farmers who use antibiotics* to fatten up livestock and poultry are aggravating the problem because microbes on animals build up defenses against the drugs, then jump across the food chain and attack human immune systems, WHO said. ... *this is why I stopped eating beef a year before the 'mad cow' issue surfaced. Dan Coral Reefs 'Face Total Destruction' Most of the coral reefs of the world's oceans will disappear within 30 to 50 years, a marine biologist warned yesterday. Rupert Ormond, director of the university marine biological station at Millport in Scotland, told the British Association science festival in Glasgow that global warming would raise ocean temperatures to levels that would bleach the great reefs of the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Caribbean and the Red Sea. Global Warming Increasing Spread Of Infectious Diseases ( 9-5-01) NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Climate change associated with global warming is already increasing the spread of infectious diseases, researchers at the New York University School of Medicine maintain. They predict that worldwide climate shifts will create growing threats to public health if not reversed. ``Warming will change the distribution of disease-carrying agents, which will in turn bring the specter of diseases wiped out decades ago to possible prominence,'' Dr. William N. Rom told Reuters Health. Rom and Dr. Dushana Yoganathan, writing in the August issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, note that extreme weather events lead to increases in populations of microbes such as bacteria, while atmospheric ozone depletion has been linked to an increased susceptibility among hosts to these microbes. They point to increases in mosquito-borne infections like malaria and dengue fever, as well as certain rodent-borne viruses, as possible risks the world faces. Leakey Warns Of Mass Extinctions CAPE TOWN, South Africa (ENS) - The world is losing between 50,000 and 100,000 plant, insect and animal species a year, Kenyan conservationist Richard Leakey said Wednesday at a lecture. This is much higher than a similar estimate Leakey gave in 1997. "Human activities are causing between 10,000 and 40,000 species to become extinct each year," Leakey said then. Leakey said preserving land and conserving its wildlife are an "absolute necessity" and people have to decide exactly how much land should be allocated to conservation. Only the previous five periods in history of mass extinction - the last being the death of the dinosaurs - showed the same rate of loss. "At that rate we are probably approaching a point similar to mass extinction," he said. "It is the acceleration of species loss through human activities today that is significant and unless the present trend is reversed, the planet could lose approximately 55 percent of today's species over the next 50 to 100 years. Such rapid catastrophic losses to biodiversity have happened before, and these catastrophes have always had far reaching consequences for the surviving species," Leakey warned. Russian Ecologist Says Global Warming Can't Be Stopped (8-24-01) The process of global warming cannot be stopped, people can only diminish climatic changes caused by civilization's negative effect, the leader of the Russian Ecological Union, Viktor Danilov- Danilyan, told a press conference in Moscow on Thursday. He said "it is too late to speak of preventing antropogenic climatic changes." He noted, however, that it is necessary to reduce civilization's effect on climate-forming factors, above all, to stop the destruction of ecological systems and cut the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. He said the climatic changes will hit hard all countries. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the air temperature on the Earth may increase by two to six degrees by the end of the century, which Danilov-Danilyan said may have catastrophic consequences. World Water Shortage May Cause Global Crisis A worldwide water shortage is likely to worsen severely over the next 25 years, affecting billions of people in an unprecedented global crisis involving the earth's most precious natural resource, reports the UK's Independent. This and other international news reports were summarized in the World Bank's Development News Digest. ... more on SpotLight Page. Drought Beginning To Affect Wildlife In 'Driest Year Ever' SASKATOON, SASK. - A huge swath of land from Hudson Bay, Sask., in the northeast, to Pincher Creek Alta., in the southwest is suffering through what's being called the driest year ever. The last 18 months in many parts of Western Canada have been the driest anyone can remember. Between the heat, the sun and the wind, soil moisture is almost nil. The results are devastating. Most crops in the area have been written off or cut for cattle feed. Researchers Forecast Rapid, Irreversible Climate Warming (7-26-1) There's a nine out of ten chance that global average temperatures will rise between three and nine degrees Fahrenheit over the coming century, with a four to seven degree increase most likely, according to a new probability analysis by scientists in the United States and England. The most likely projected increase is five times greater than the one degree temperature rise observed over the past century. ... full article on SpotLite page. Dan Global Warming Much Worse Than Predicted (7-12-01) Global warming is happening now, caused by human actions, and threatens the Earth with disaster, the world's leading atmospheric scientists insisted yesterday as politicians struggled to repair the Kyoto treaty on climate change which the United States torpedoed in March. A 2,000-page UN report on the science and potential impacts of climate change gave the most authoritative statement yet that the Earth is warming rapidly, that the main cause is industrial pollution, and that the consequences for human society are likely to be catastrophic. ... long story on Spotlite page... Dan Global Warming Will Devastate Agriculture (7-11-01) Global warming will turn frozen tundra into wheatfields, significantly reduce crops in Britain, France and other parts of Northern Europe, and will devastate agriculture across much of the developing world, a major scientific report claims today. ... full article on SpotLite page ... Dan 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 $tates faces energy and economic problems. Concern over global warming heating up CAMBRIDGE, England (April 9, 2001) - Earlier flu seasons. Smaller crop yields. Deadlier and more frequent storms. In the wake of President Bu$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 wiped out. ... 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- lying countries. 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 community" 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 Northern Hemisphere…” 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 the sea. Report warns of water degradation, shortages EAST LANSING, Mich. (October 21, 2000) - Freshwater systems around the world are so damaged that their ability to support human, animal and plant life is seriously diminished, according to a report released Saturday. The report is part of a comprehensive study by the institute on how human activity is changing the world's ecosystems. ... entire article on SpotLight page. Dan Extreme Weather On The Rise BOULDER -- Expect hotter days, warmer nights, heavier rain and snowfall events, and more floods over the next century, says a new study published September 22 in the journal Science. The article reviews observations, impacts, and results from some 20 global climate models currently in use worldwide. ... longer article on the SpotLight Page. Dan 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 human activity.’...”



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