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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Global Warming Warnings

Climate report maps out ‘highway to extinction’

Dire predictions includes loss of species, increasing scarcity of water

Animal and plant species have begun dying off or changing sooner

than predicted because of global warming, a review of hundreds of research

studies contends. Biologist Camille Parmesan said that she worries most

about cold- adapted species, such as polar bears, which are dropping in

numbers and weight in the Artic.

Image: Pola bear
Jonathan Hayward / AP







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WASHINGTON - A key element of the second major report on climate change being released Friday in Belgium is a chart that maps out the effects of global warming with every degree of temperature rise, most of them bad.

There’s one bright spot: A minimal heat rise means more food production in northern regions of the world. [ Crops won't grow without tremendous amounts of water. With water scarcity, how can crops be grown?WA]

However, the number of species going extinct rises with the heat, as does the number of people who may starve, or face water shortages, or floods, according to the projections in the draft report obtained by The Associated Press

Some scientists are calling this degree-by-degree projection a “highway to extinction.”

It’s likely to be the source of sharp closed-door debate, some scientists say, along with a multitude of other issues in the 20-chapter draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. While the wording in the draft is almost guaranteed to change at this week’s meeting in Brussels, several scientists say the focus won’t.

The final document will be the product of a United Nations network of 2,000 scientists as authors and reviewers, along with representatives of more than 120 governments as last-minute editors. It will be the second of a four-volume authoritative assessment of Earth’s climate released this year. The last such effort was in 2001.

University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver said the chart of results from various temperature levels is “a highway to extinction, but on this highway there are many turnoffs. This is showing you where the road is heading. The road is heading toward extinction.”

Weaver is one of the lead authors of the first report, issued in February.

While humanity will survive, hundreds of millions, maybe billions of people may not, according to the chart—if the worst scenarios happens.


Click for related content

‘Major extinctions around the globe’
The report says global warming has already degraded conditions for many species, coastal areas and poor people. With a more than 90 percent level of confidence, the scientists in the draft report say man-made global warming “over the last three decades has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological systems.”

But as the world’s average temperature warms from 1990 levels, the projections get more dire. Add 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit -- 1 degree Celsius is the calculation scientists use—and between 400 million and 1.7 billion extra people can’t get enough water, some infectious diseases and allergenic pollens rise, and some amphibians go extinct. But the world’s food supply, especially in northern areas, could increase. That’s the likely outcome around 2020, according to the draft.

Add another 1.8 degrees and as many as 2 billion people could be without water and about 20 percent to 30 percent of the world’s species near extinction. Also, more people start dying because of malnutrition, disease, heat waves, floods and droughts—all caused by global warming. That would happen around 2050, depending on the level of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels.

At the extreme end of the projections, a 7- to 9-degree average temperature increase, the chart predicts: “Up to one-fifth of the world population affected by increased flood events ... “1.1 to 3.2 billion people with increased water scarcity” ...”major extinctions around the globe.”

Despite that dire outlook, several scientists involved in the process say they are optimistic that such a drastic temperature rise won’t happen because people will reduce carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.

“The worst stuff is not going to happen because we can’t be that stupid,” said Harvard University oceanographer James McCarthy, who was a top author of the 2001 version of this report. “Not that I think the projections aren’t that good, but because we can’t be that stupid.”

[Wanna bet? We (our government and major corps, especially the energy giants) have already been that stupid! WA]

© 2007 The Associated Press.

COMMENTS:
Wow. Great blog entry.A while back, media reform expert Robert McChesney had a guest speaking about Global Climate Change on his MediaMatters radio program. Bob said, something to the effect, that he has difficulty dealing with the subject of global climate change, because the discussion inevitably leads to depressing feelings associated with contemplating our own extinction.

As I listened to McChesney, I heard the words, and understood them. But on Saturday, April 7, I felt the words and was reminded of his comment. Listening to the DemocracyNow! podcast for April 6, they included the following: A new United Nations report on climate change warns that global warming could cause more shortages of food in Africa, more severe weather events in Europe and the United States, the decimation of coral reefs and the disappearance of the ice caps.and the following:A new study in the journal Science is predicting rising temperatures here in this country will likely result in a permanent drought throughout Arizona and the Southwest by the year 2050.While listening, I realized that I was a little nauseated; this is a common response to thoughts of one's tenuous mortal jeopardy. In this case, it's all of humanity's mortal jeopardy.
# posted by GDAEman : Monday, April 09, 2007 7:43:00 AM
Take Action:Submit Comments to have the polar bears listed under the Endangered Species Act due to the loss of their icy habitat to global warming.LINK for Commenting
# posted by GDAEman : Monday, April 09, 2007 8:03:00 AM


It would take far too much space to list all the species that have gone extinct during the past 100 -150 years, and especially those that have died out since mankind proliferated around the globe. Some people say that the loss of certain animals, plants and insects does not matter, that humans are not dependent on them. In addition to making the world a poorer place for our descendents if all these species are lost, we have no accurate knowledge of how our dependency is interconnected. Many of our modern medicines are synthesized chemical properties of medicinal plants. We do not know what properties some of the plant extinctions may hold and are thereby lost to our benefit. Mankind has caused the extinction of too many species through his actions and now global warming exacerbates the rate.>>>

"Before the time of humans, species went extinct at the rate of about one species per million each year. Today, that rate has accelerated to about 10,000 species per million per year. An estimated 27,000 species of all kinds, primarily insects and plants, go extinct each year in the rain forests. In the last 600 years, out of 51,000 vertebrate species, 337 of them have become extinct.More than 11,000 plant and animal species face extinction in the near future, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Will the extinction of many currently endangered species lead to the extinction of humans? This is a question that we will probably not know the answer to until it is much too late. We must act now while we still have time to save endangered species.More Modern Extinctions" links: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/paleontology/75114/2

http://www.greenfacts.org/biodiversity/1-3/3-extinction-endangered-species.htm .

http://www.speciesalliance.org/facts.php
# posted by Worried : Wednesday, April 11, 2007 12:14:00 PM Post a Comment

Links to this post:
See links to this post
Global Climate Change: Mortal Jeopardy Came across a good blog entry at Is America Burning blog on the recent UN report on Global Climate Change.[1] It has some interesting links to multi-media information. A while back, media reform expert Robert McChesney had a guest ...
posted by GDAEman @ Saturday, April 07, 2007 11:00:00 AM


Progressive Traditionalist said...
Hello, Worried.I find reporting of these matters to be highly skewed, either to one side or the other. Every story seems to be either a doomsday scenario or a pollyanna tale. The truth lies somewhere in between.To my knowledge, there have been people diligently at work trying to solve the problem of CO2 pollution since around 1987. And quite likely, even before then.For example, I recently worked on a power plant that made use of a spray dryer absorber (SDA) to capture CO and other pollutants in a slush of CaO, which converts the material to calcium carbonate and other substances. This is but one of several techniques. Such things have been around for awhile, but they aren't widely used in the US, ie practically unknown.That's what's spurring the latest round of power plant construction, that these techniques which have been developed, primarily in Japan and Europe, might be incorporated into domestic power plant design. And the science is developing rapidly. For example, the use of target specific ionic liquids (TSILs) have been around for a long time to controll emissions for other contaminants, but only recently have TSILs been designed to work with CO2 pollution.They're not telling the good news. In that same report from MIT, I see where it says that, in 2050, we will have many more coal-fired plants, but significantly less CO2 pollution from them.Similarly, I have to question why I hear so much about people wanting more wind and solar power plants, yet not hardly a whimper about hydroelectric power, which is an even more efficient technology. I receive newsletters from Rainforest Action Network, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and others, and they, one and all, oppose coal power without telling the whole story, advocate wind and solar power, and remain conspicuously silent about hydro power. Which leads me to believe that I am reading a propaganda statement rather than a serious and well-balanced position. I've already tuned out the Sierra Club, primarily due to their position on carbon sinks.
Thursday, April 12, 2007 5:24:00 AM
Progressive Traditionalist said...
That is, the SDA structure captures CO2, not CO, although this is not its primary purpose.&btw, heat from that power plant is piped in to an ethanol plant just down the road from it.
Thursday, April 12, 2007 5:28:00 AM

Thank you, PT, for your usual factual and informative comments. It is good to be informed about these efforts.WA

Labels:

6 Comments:

  • At Monday, April 09, 2007 8:43:00 AM , Blogger GDAEman said...

    Wow. Great blog entry.

    A while back, media reform expert Robert McChesney had a guest speaking about Global Climate Change on his MediaMatters radio program. Bob said, something to the effect, that he has difficulty dealing with the subject of global climate change, because the discussion inevitably leads to depressing feelings associated with contemplating our own extinction.

    As I listened to McChesney, I heard the words, and understood them. But on Saturday, April 7, I felt the words and was reminded of his comment. Listening to the DemocracyNow! podcast for April 6, they included the following:

    A new United Nations report on climate change warns that global warming could cause more shortages of food in Africa, more severe weather events in Europe and the United States, the decimation of coral reefs and the disappearance of the ice caps.

    and the following:

    A new study in the journal Science is predicting rising temperatures here in this country will likely result in a permanent drought throughout Arizona and the Southwest by the year 2050.

    While listening, I realized that I was a little nauseated; this is a common response to thoughts of one's tenuous mortal jeopardy. In this case, it's all of humanity's mortal jeopardy.

     
  • At Monday, April 09, 2007 9:03:00 AM , Blogger GDAEman said...

    Take Action:

    Submit Comments to have the polar bears listed under the Endangered Species Act due to the loss of their icy habitat to global warming.

    LINK for Commenting

     
  • At Wednesday, April 11, 2007 1:14:00 PM , Blogger Worried said...

    It would take far too much space to list all the species that have gone extinct during the past 100 -150 years, and especially those that have died out since mankind proliferated around the globe.

    Some people say that the loss of certain animals, plants and insects does not matter, that humans are not dependent on them. In addition to making the world a poorer place for our descendents if all these species are lost, we have no accurate knowledge of how our dependency is interconnected. Many of our modern medicines are synthesized chemical properties of medicinal plants. We do not know what properties some of the plant extinctions may hold and are thereby lost to our benefit.

    Mankind has caused the extinction of too many species through his actions and now global warming exacerbates the rate.
    >>>
    "Before the time of humans, species went extinct at the rate of about one species per million each year. Today, that rate has accelerated to about 10,000 species per million per year. An estimated 27,000 species of all kinds, primarily insects and plants, go extinct each year in the rain forests. In the last 600 years, out of 51,000 vertebrate species, 337 of them have become extinct.

    More than 11,000 plant and animal species face extinction in the near future, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Will the extinction of many currently endangered species lead to the extinction of humans? This is a question that we will probably not know the answer to until it is much too late. We must act now while we still have time to save endangered species.

    More Modern Extinctions"

    links: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/paleontology/75114/2
    http://www.greenfacts.org/biodiversity/1-3/3-extinction-endangered-species.htm
    http://www.speciesalliance.org/facts.php

     
  • At Thursday, April 12, 2007 6:24:00 AM , Blogger Progressive Traditionalist said...

    Hello, Worried.
    I find reporting of these matters to be highly skewed, either to one side or the other. Every story seems to be either a doomsday scenario or a pollyanna tale. The truth lies somewhere in between.

    To my knowledge, there have been people diligently at work trying to solve the problem of CO2 pollution since around 1987. And quite likely, even before then.

    For example, I recently worked on a power plant that made use of a spray dryer absorber (SDA) to capture CO and other pollutants in a slush of CaO, which converts the material to calcium carbonate and other substances. This is but one of several techniques. Such things have been around for awhile, but they aren't widely used in the US, ie practically unknown.

    That's what's spurring the latest round of power plant construction, that these techniques which have been developed, primarily in Japan and Europe, might be incorporated into domestic power plant design. And the science is developing rapidly. For example, the use of target specific ionic liquids (TSILs) have been around for a long time to controll emissions for other contaminants, but only recently have TSILs been designed to work with CO2 pollution.

    They're not telling the good news. In that same report from MIT, I see where it says that, in 2050, we will have many more coal-fired plants, but significantly less CO2 pollution from them.

    Similarly, I have to question why I hear so much about people wanting more wind and solar power plants, yet not hardly a whimper about hydroelectric power, which is an even more efficient technology. I receive newsletters from Rainforest Action Network, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and others, and they, one and all, oppose coal power without telling the whole story, advocate wind and solar power, and remain conspicuously silent about hydro power. Which leads me to believe that I am reading a propaganda statement rather than a serious and well-balanced position. I've already tuned out the Sierra Club, primarily due to their position on carbon sinks.

     
  • At Thursday, April 12, 2007 6:28:00 AM , Blogger Progressive Traditionalist said...

    That is, the SDA structure captures CO2, not CO, although this is not its primary purpose.

    &btw, heat from that power plant is piped in to an ethanol plant just down the road from it.

     
  • At Friday, April 20, 2007 12:25:00 PM , Blogger Geo Karras said...

    In Litigation, lawyers contesting with corporations often try to avoid technical debates since the side with the most money can hire the best and most expert witnesses (the side with the most money wins any technical debate). This is clearly how the “consensus” on global warming has been achieved. And the stakes in this contest are huge; we are talking about global regulation (anti-competitive regulation of production), barriers to entry for small scale bio-energy, taxation of the poor in the OECD and developing nations who wish access to relatively inexpensive Carbon energy, and of course “Carbon Trading”, a mechanism for financial intermediaries to scam billions in transfers of permits and emission rights from the First to the Third World.

    This last motivation is very important to understand in context; the slave state China is exempt under Kyoto from production regulation but may create permits. This is a huge subsidy to European joint ventures and Euro-Oil companies aligned with the PRC, e.g. BP-Shell. This is why you’ll find these organizations as charter members of the International Emission Trading Association, and indirectly supporting, and coordinating the distribution of propaganda related to global warming, including Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth-a film distributed and managed by fronts linked to the CFR; itself a front for the BP-Shell consortium. See: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1425249672931646464&q=geo+karras&hl=en

    And follow the links there.

     

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