Global Warming

History Of The Greenhouse Effect As An Idea

The fossil-fueled Industrial Revolution was born in England. As coal-fired industry (as well as home heating and cooking) filled English skies with acrid smoke, some English homeowners protested coal's use as a fuel. The coal-burning steam engine was invented by Thomas New-comen in 1712 and refined into a form that was widely adaptable for industrial processes by James Watt, beginning in 1769. Within a century of industrialism's first stirrings, during the 1820s, Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, a...

Farming Technology Improvements

Rattan Lal, a professor of soil science at Ohio State University, has asserted that the atmosphere's load of carbon dioxide could be greatly reduced through several relatively simple changes in farming technology. Contributions of farming to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been increasing with rising populations. Carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere via plowing, so Lal believes that reducing the depth of furrows would significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide introduced into...

Creation Care Biblical Stewardship Of The Earth

The Bible's content is diverse enough to be quoted in almost any context. The same Good Book that commands us to multiply and subdue the Earth also may be quoted to commend stewardship of the natural world. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 2001 has done as much in its new plea for dialogue, prudence, and the common good, its consensus statement on global climate change. The statement continued, How are we to fulfill God's call to be stewards of creation in an age when we may have the...

Scientists And Others To Watch

Alley An expert on Arctic ice melt. Ken or Kenneth Caldeira An expert on the carbonization increasing acidification of the oceans and many other newsworthy subjects. Ruth Curry Oceanographer an expert on ocean thermohaline circulation. Kerry A. Emanuel An expert on hurricanes and global warming. Paul Epstein An outspoken expert on human health and warming. Jim or James E. Hansen Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, and a long-time veteran of the...

Coral Reefs On The Edge Of Disaster

Ocean Reef

Aside from the obvious ravages of fishermen who blast the reefs and pour cyanide on them, the reefs are also threatened by rising ocean temperatures that many marine biologists attribute to global warming and short-term climate events such as El Nino episodes in the Pacific Ocean. Most corals live very close to the upper limits of their heat tolerance. Temperature rises of only a few degrees over a sustained period cause death of living organisms within coral reefs. The scope of corals'...

Generate Your Own Green Electric Powerand Sell Your Surplus To The Power Company

As of 2007, 40 of the 50 U.S. states had laws requiring net metering, which provides the legal infrastructure for individual households to generate power and, if they have a surplus, sell it to the power grid at market rates, usually about 6 to 8 cents per kilowatt-hour. In areas with good wind conditions, a household windmill (costing between 10,000 and 25,000 to install) can generate power at that cost. Solar power (at 25 to 35 cents per kilowatt-hour) is still too expensive to be profitable,...

Andes Glaciers Retreat

Andes Ice 1980

Hundreds of Andean glaciers are retreating, and scientists say that their erosion is a direct result of rising temperatures. During three decades 1970-2000 , Peru's glaciers lost almost a quarter of their 1,225-square-mile surface Wilson, 2001, A-1 . The 18,700-foot-high Quelccaya ice cap in the Andes of southeastern Peru has been steadily shrinking at an accelerating rate and lost 10 to 12 feet a year between 1978 and 1990, up to 90 feet a year between 1990 and 1995, and 150 feet a year...

Warming And Spreading Deserts

Since the 1970s, the number of very dry areas on Earth has more than doubled, as defined by the Palmer Drought Severity Index, to about 30 percent of the land area. As a major study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research has concluded, These results provide observational evidence for the increasing risk of droughts as anthropogenic global warming progresses and produces both increased temperatures and increased drying (Romm, 2007, 55). In March 2006, Phoenix, Arizona, set a record with...

Warming And North Americas Water Supplies

A temperature rise of 2 F could have dramatic impacts on water resources across western North America, according to scientific teams that have warned of reduced snow packs and more intense flooding as temperatures rise. This research was the first time that global climate modelers have worked with teams running detailed regional models of snowfall, rain, and stream flows to predict what warming will do to the area. The researchers were surprised by the size of the effects generated by a small...

The Stakes Of Sea Level Rise

The oceans are the final stop in global warming's feedback loop and potentially one of the most important for human beings not because we live in the oceans, of course, but because more than 100 million people worldwide live within a meter of mean sea level (Meier and Dyurg-erov, 2002, 350). The situation is particularly acute for island nations. Consider, for example, Indonesia. Jakarta and 69 other sizable cities along Indonesia's coasts will probably be inundated as global warming causes...

Polar Bears Under Pressure

Steady melting of Arctic ice threatens the survival of polar bears, which hunt seals on ice floes. A few years ago, the demise of Arctic sea ice and a majority of polar bears was projected at the end of the century, but ice has melted so quickly that both may vanish within a few decades. The offshore ice-based ecosystem is sustained by upwelling nutrients that feed plankton, shrimp, and other small organisms, which feed the fish. These, in turn, feed the seals, which feed the bears. The Native...

Could Europes Heat Of Become Typical

According to British scientists, Europe's scorching heatwave of 2003 will be considered typical summer weather by the middle of the twenty-first century and may be below average in 100 years. More than 35,000 people died in that heat wave, more than half of them in France. London recorded its first 100 day since records have been kept there, nearly 400 years. Temperatures reached 117 F in parts of Spain. British scientists made a case that the summer of 2003 was Europe's hottest in southern,...

Global Warming And Hurricanes

The frequency and intensity of hurricanes (as well as the number hitting U.S. coastlines and inflicting major damage) have been rising during recent years, in an uneven trend. Any study that takes the record back to the 1970s indicates a very tight relationship between ocean warming, hurricane intensity, and air temperatures. However, during the 1950s and 1960s, air temperatures were generally cooler than during the 1980s, butwater temperatures and hurricane intensity were higher again, on an...

Drunken Forests

Drunken Forests Alaska

Some Alaskan forests have been drowning and turning gray as thawing ground sinks under them. Trees and roadside utility poles, losing their footings in the thawing earth, lean at crazy angles. The warming has contributed a new phrase to the English language, the drunken forest Johansen, 2001, 20 . In Barrow, home of Pepe's, the world's northernmost Mexican restaurant, mosquitoes, another southern import, have become a problem for the first time. Barrow has also now experienced its first...

Climate Contradictions In Antarctica

In Antarctica, ice sheets have been melting around the edges of the continent more quickly than anticipated, as increasing temperatures speed glaciers' movement into the surrounding oceans. The Antarctic Peninsula is among the most rapidly warming areas on Earth, where large ice shelves have been crumbling into the surrounding seas for several years. Temperatures on the West Antarctic Peninsula have risen 8.8 F in winter since 1950, and 4.5 F in summer (Glick, 2004, 33). At the same time,...

Palm Trees And Banana Plants In English Gardens

Snowdrops Daffodils

Traditional English gardens have been changing as the climate warms, as described in an Associated Press dispatch carried in Canada's Financial Post. The fabled English garden with its velvety green lawn and vivid daffodils, delphiniums and bluebells is under threat from global warming, leading conservation groups said late in 2002. Within the next 50 to 80 years, palm trees, figs and oranges may find themselves more at home in Britain's hotter, drier summers, the National Trust and the Royal...

Spruce Beetle Outbreaks On The Kenai Peninsula

Global Warming Spruce Tree

On Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, a forest nearly twice the size of Yellowstone National Park has been dying. Century-old spruce trees stand silvered and cinnamon-colored as they bleed sap, from spruce bark beetle infestations spurred by rising temperatures, wrote reporter Tim Egan of The New York Times June 16, 2002, A-1, June 25, 2002, F-1 . During 15 years 1988-2003 , 40 million spruce trees on the Kenai Peninsula have died Whitfield, 2003, 338 . The beetle infestations have reached Anchorage,...

Hydrogen Fuelcelled Transport No Free Lunch

Political correctness in the automobile industry has become associated with development of hydrogen fuel cells, especially after President George W. Bush used his State of the Union Address in January 2003 to propose 1.2 billion in research funding to develop hydrogen fuel technologies. With those funds, Bush said that America could lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. Iceland has, meanwhile, made plans to become the world's first hydrogen economy (utilizing its...

Species Moving Toward The Poles

Baby Armadillos Arkansa

Other scientific studies indicate that species are generally moving toward the poles northward in the northern hemisphere and with a smaller number of examples southward below the equator. Two studies involving several thousand plant and animal species throughout the world, from plankton to polar bears, provide ample evidence that climate change is reshaping animal and plant habitats at an increasing rate. During the fall of 2007, after the Arctic lost almost one-fourth of its ice cap in one...

Antarctic Warming And The Ocean Food

Food Chains Antarctica

Numbers of krill, a small shrimplike animal at the base of the Antarctic ocean food chain, have fallen by 80 percent since the 1970s, creating food shortages that are endangering larger animals and birds, such as whales, seals, penguins, and albatrosses, especially in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula. Angus Atkinson of the British Antarctic Survey, who led the research, said, This is the first time that we have understood the full scale of this decline. Krill feed on the algae found...

References

Are White Christmases to be Just a Memory Environment News Service, December 21, 2001, Australia Assesses Fire Damage in Capital. Omaha World-Herald, January 20, 2003, A-4. Brooke, James. 'Heat Island' Tokyo Is Global Warming's Vanguard. The New York Times, August 13, 2002, A-3. Brown, Paul. Global Warming It's with Us Now Six Dead As Storms Bring Chaos Throughout the Country. London Guardian, October 31, 2000, 1. Clover, Charles. 2002 'Warmest for 1,000 Years.' London Daily Telegraph, April...

Ice Melt In Greenland

The largest mass of ice in the Northern Hemisphere covers Greenland, which is about 10 percent of the world's ice. This ice is being measured and monitored as never before, by satellites, aircraft, and by dozens of scientists who are enduring 30 F temperatures and deadly snow-cloaked crevasses at the slumping edges of the ice cap (Revkin, 2004). Greenland's southern tip is no further north than Juneau or Stockholm. The persistence of the ice cap is due to its mass, the fact that Greenland...

The Speed Of Ice Melt A Slowmotion Disaster

Scientists are coming to understand that ice can melt with incredible rapidity. We thought the Southern Hemisphere climate is inherently more stable, said Scambos, All of the time scales seem to be shortened now. These things can happen fairly quickly. A decade or two decades of warming is all you need to really change the mass balance. Things are on more of a hair trigger than we had thought (Struck, 2007, A-10). Evidence from Antarctica suggests that melting ice may flow into the sea much...

Wildfires Drought And Floods Increase In Australia

During the 1950s and 1960s, Australia built reservoirs that were supposed to protect against droughts lasting several years. These gave the country the highest storage capacity per person in the world. Together with hundreds of miles of irrigation conduits, Australia was said, at the time, to be drought-proof. Searing heat and pervasive drought after the year 2000 changed that. Melbourne's water storage was 28 percent of its capacity by mid-2007 Sydney's was 37 percent, and Perth's was 15...

Melting

The most obvious indication that the Earth is steadily warming has been the steady erosion of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic and on mountain glaciers. Although a few exceptions do exist, the worldwide erosion of ice leaves little doubt that the Earth has experienced steady warming for at least a century. The melting of ice is important not only for Arctic, Antarctic, and mountain ecosystems, but also for hundreds of millions of people living at lower elevations who depend upon glacier melt for...

Drought And Deluge

While warmer temperatures will bring an increase of rainfall on the average, theory as well as an increasing number of daily weather reports strongly indicate that changes in precipitation patterns may vary widely. Such changes will be highly uneven and sometimes damaging in intensity. Both droughts and deluges are likely to become more severe. They may even alternate in some regions, with deluges followed by drought and vice versa. By 2000, the hydrological cycle (indicated by precipitation...

Major League Baseban Bats May Be Victims of Warming

The ash tree, traditional source of major-league baseball bats, is being killed by a beetle species, the emerald ash borer, which may be encouraged by warming temperatures. Owners of bat factories in the ash country of Northwestern Pennsylvania have made emergency plans they will call upon if the white ash tree, source of the best wood, is, as the plan says, compromised. Seeds of the same tree are being collected in Michigan in case natural species are endangered. Asian wasps were imported and...

Changing The Ways We Use Energy

Having surveyed evidence of worldwide warming, along with the science supporting it and political controversy surrounding it, one may ask what we can do to avoid damaging climate change. Chances of avoiding serious consequences of climate change revolve around humankind's ability to create political and technological solutions. One will not work without the other. Technological changes range from the very basic (such as mileage improvements on existing gasoline-burning automobiles, changes in...

The US House of Representatives Going Carbon NeutraL

House of Representatives in 2007 made plans to become carbonneutral. The Chief Administrative Officer of the House, Dan Beard, who was directed in March 2007 by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to find ways to make the House side of the Capitol carbon-neutral, has worked to omit coal from the fuel mix that heats and cools the U.S. Capitol and nearby buildings. In addition, Beard's office also installed compact fluorescent bulbs and dimmers in 12,000 desk lamps in the House's office buildings....

Amazon Valley Drought Deforestation And Warming

During 2005 a severe drought spread through the Amazon Valley at the same time that satellite surveys indicated that damage from logging in the same area had been 60 to 120 percent more than previously reported. We think this additional logging adds 25 percent more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from the Amazon than previously estimated, said Michael Keller, an ecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and coauthor of an Amazon logging inventory published in Science...

Health Benefits From Warming

Pim Martens has written that while the overall impact of global warming on human health is expected to be markedly negative, human beings may experience a few positive outcomes. Some diseases that thrive in cold weather such as influenza may find their ranges and effects reduced in a warmer world. The elderly might die less frequently of cardiovascular and pulmonary ailments heart diseases that peak during cold weather. Whether the milder winters could offset the mortality during the summer...

Bird Extinctions Baltimore Without Orioles

Maryland's Baltimore orioles, which have been declining due to habitat loss for many years, could vanish altogether late in the twenty-first century due to changes in migration patterns strongly influenced by a warming climate. A study by the National Wildlife Federation and the American Bird Conservancy suggests that the effects of global warming may be robbing Maryland and a half-dozen other states of an important piece of their heritage by hastening the departure of their state birds Pianin,...

Ethanol The Right Way And The Wrong

Greenhouse gas emissions from ethanol (biofuel) are lower than for gasoline, but not by much. The difference varies by the source for corn-based ethanol, it is usually 10 to 20 percent. Regardless, by 2007, driven by a 51-cent-a-gallon federal subsidy, ethanol fever had struck Capitol Hill. One bill under consideration required the use of biofuels (partially corn-based, with others from other plants) to climb to 36 billion gallons by 2022, more than six times the capacity of the nation's 115...

Is The Kyoto Protocol A Bandaid Or A Dead Letter

Global greenhouse gas emissions are rising and evidences of a warming planet are developing much more quickly than world diplomacy has been able to address them. The snail's pace nature of international diplomacy combines with the fact that we feel the results of fossil fuel effluvia perhaps 50 years after the actual emissions through a complex set of natural feedbacks involving thermal inertia. Thus, nature provides direct evidence of heat long after the actions that cause it, requiring our...

Sea Level Rise Local Examples

Coastal Stump Example Global

Since 1900 sealevels have risen 12.3inches in NewYorkCity 8.3 inches in Baltimore 9.9 inches in Philadelphia 7.3 inches in Key West, Florida 22.6 inches in Galveston, Texas and 6 inches in San Francisco Boyd, 2001, A-3 . The rate of sea level rise has been accelerating over time. At the port of Baltimore, at the head of Chesapeake Bay, for example, the water level crept up at only about one-tenth of an inch per year for much of the twentieth century. After 1989, however, the level rose by half...

Mountain Glaciers In Retreat

Kilimanjaro Aerial

Mountain glaciers are in rapid retreat around the Earth, with very few exceptions. Climbers have been rescued from the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps as thawing mountainsides crumble under them. During the summer of 2003, Mont Blanc, Europe's tallest, was closed to hikers and climbers because its deteriorating snow and ice was too unstable to allow safe passage. The mountain was crumbling as ice that once held it together melted during a record warm summer in Europe. In the Swiss Alps, scientists...

Ice Shelves Collapse

Several ice shelves on or near the Antarctic Peninsula have collapsed into the ocean in recent years, becoming spectacular poster images for global warming. Kevin Krajick, writing in Science, remarked that glaciol-ogists in Antarctica are keeping an eye on an alarming trend sudden, explosive calving of icebergs in parts of Antarctica. The fear is that if this continues, it may hasten the death of glaciers at an unanticipated rate (Krajick, 2001, 2245). Ted Scambos, a glacier expert at the...

Erosion On The Gulf Of Mexico Coast

Parts of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi could lose as much as 1 foot of elevation within 10 years according to an analysis by the National Geodetic Survey of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA researchers have warned that populated areas will face increased dangers from storm surges and flooding due to ongoing subsidence of coastal areas along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Coastal wetlands in Louisiana have been disappearing at the rate of 33 football fields...

Wind Power Capacity Surges

By the early twenty-first century, wind power was becoming competitive in cost with electricity generated by fossil fuels, as its use surged. While wind power still was a tiny fraction of energy generated in the United States, some areas of Europe (Denmark, as well as parts of Germany and Spain) were using it as a major source. Advances in wind turbine technology adapted from the aerospace industry have reduced the cost of wind power from 38 cents per kilowatt-hour (during the early 1980s) to 3...

Global Warming And The Spread Of Diseases

Houghton, author of Global Warming The Complete Briefing (1997), believes that global warming will accelerate the spread of many diseases from the tropics to the middle latitudes. Mosquito-borne malaria (which already kills more than a million people a year in the tropics) could increase its present range, Houghton warned. Other diseases which are likely to spread for the same reason are yellow fever, dengue fever, and viral encephalitis, he wrote (Houghton, 1997, 132). After 1980,...

Increasing Levels Of Greenhouse Gases In The Atmosphere

Co2 Concentration Ppm Volume

For the past two centuries, and at a faster rate in recent years, the basic composition of the Earth's atmosphere has been changed by the burning of fossil fuels. Human-induced warming of Earth's climate infrared forcing to scientists is emerging as one of the major scientific, social, and economic issues of the twenty-first century, as the effects of climate change become evident in everyday life in locations as varied as the small island nations of the Pacific Ocean and the shores of the...

Erosion Of Arctic

Warming is being felt most intensely in the Arctic, where a world based on ice and snow has been melting away. Arctic sea ice cover shrank more dramatically between 2002 and 2006 than at any time since detailed records have been kept. A report produced by 250 scientists under the auspices of the Arctic Council found that Arctic sea ice was half as thick in 2003 as it was 30 years earlier. If present rates of melting continue, there may be no summer ice in the Arctic by 2070, according to the...

Poison Ivy Our Itchy Future

As rising levels of carbon dioxide enhance growth of the plants, their oil (which produces the irritating itch) becomes more potent. Ledwis Ziska, a plant physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland, tested the ivy at 300 ppm carbon dioxide (a level common in the 1950s) and at 400 ppm, a little higher than the 2007 level of 383. After eight months, leaf size, stem length, weight, and oil content were 50 to 75 percent higher for...

Outline Of The Book

This book has been prepared for high school students, but it can also be read by anyone who wants a compact, plain-spoken guide to the science of global warming. We begin here with a brief introduction to the issue and continue with an examination of basic issues, followed by important controversies in the body of the science. The book then develops scientific issues related to melting ice, rising seas, and effects on plants and animals. Global Warming 101 concludes with consideration of some...

The Use Of Energy From Fossil Fuels Continues To Increase

According to British Petroleum's Statistical Review of World Energy 2006 , global use of energy has doubled since the 1970s, from about 5 million metric tons of oil equivalent to 10.5 million, more than 90 percent of it from fossil fuels. In the United States in 2004, the average person used 7.9 metric tons of oil equivalent, 3.8 in the United Kingdom, 1.0 in China, and 0.11 in Bangladesh Hillman and Fawcett, 2007, 38-40 . Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are built into...

The Sun As A Major Driver Of Climate Change

Humankind's use of fossil fuels is only one influence on climate, although it grows relatively more powerful as the atmosphere's overload of greenhouse gases increases. Another important shaper of climate has been cycles initiated by the sun's generation of the energy that sustains all life on Earth. A team writing in Nature found that the level of sunspot activity during the last two-thirds of the twentieth century was exceptional, the highest in roughly 8,000 years (Solanki et al., 2004,...

Sea Level Rise May Speed Up

Writing in the March 2004 edition of Scientific American, James Hansen warned that catastrophic sea level increases could arrive much sooner than expected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (Holly 2004). The IPCC has estimated sea level increases of roughly half a meter over the next century if global warming reaches several degrees Celsius above temperatures seen in the late 1800s (Holly, 2004). Hansen warned that if recent growth rates of carbon dioxide emissions and...

Thermohaline Circulation Debating Points

The idea that failure of the thermohaline circulation could cause colder temperatures on continents bordering the North Atlantic Ocean (North America and Europe) is highly debatable, as well as politically controversial. The debate was given extra force in 2001 when one of the idea's major proponents backed away from it. Earlier, Wallace S. Broecker of Columbia University had stated that business as usual fossil fuel use could trigger an abrupt reorganization of the Earth's thermohaline...

Moratorium On Coalfired Electricity Without Sequestration

Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, proposed a number of policy-level solutions to the U.S. House of Representatives on March 19, 2007. First, and most important, Hansen recommended a ban on construction of new coal-fired power plants until technology for carbon dioxide capture and sequestration (that prevents the plants' carbon dioxide from reaching Greenpeace Save the Climate balloon (Jeff Dixon) Greenpeace Save the Climate balloon...

Aviation The Most Carboninefficient Mode Of Travel

The most carbon-inefficient mode of transport is aviation, which requires three times as much fuel per passenger mile as a small car with one occupant. A great deal of jet fuel is required to take passengers to high altitudes and keep them there at speeds of up to 600 miles an hour. While wind and solar power are good for generating electricity, nothing but fossil fuels provide the thrust necessary to keep a jet aircraft aloft. Clearly, any serious solution to global warming is going to require...

Biomass Very Basic Stuff

Usually cities burn organic garbage and extract methane (some pig farms do the same with manure), but as of 2007 it was the biggest source of alternative fuel in the United States. Companies use biomass generation as part of their industrial processes. Weyerhauser, for one, generates electricity with wood waste combined with by-products from pulp mills that once were discarded as useless. Such sources have been generating power for 5 to 10 cents per...

Specific Issues in Global Warming Science

How might global warming issues affect our everyday lives Will recent heat waves such as the one in Europe that killed 35,000 people in 2003 become more common Increasing temperatures also cause storms to become more violent, and spells of dry weather more intense, in drought-and-deluge cycles. In some ways, these effects on the hydro-logical cycle the way that nature handles water have already begun, as temperatures rise. This chapter provides a number of specific examples, such as a one-day...

Drought And Deluge Many Examples

The summer of 2002 featured a number of climatic extremes, as excessive rain deluged Europe and Asia, swamping cities and villages and killing at least 2,000 people, while drought and heat scorched cities in the Western and Eastern United States. Climate contrarians argued that weather is always variable, but other observers noted that extremes seemed to be more frequent than before Revkin, 2002, A-10 . Also during the summer of 2002, near the Black Sea, a large tornado and heavy rains left at...

Frogs Threatened Worldwide

In 2004, the firstworldwide survey of 5,743 amphibians species frogs, toads, and salamanders indicated that one in every three species was in danger of extinction, many of them likely victims of an infectious fungus possibly caused by drought or global warming Stokstad, 2004, 391 . Findings combined efforts by more than 500 researchers from more than 60 countries. The fact that one-third of amphibians are in a precipitous decline tells us that we are rapidly moving toward a potentially epidemic...

Bark Beetles Spread Across Us West

Nine years of intense drought and rising temperatures by 2007 had created perfect conditions for bark beetle infestations across the U.S. West. By the fall of 2002, large areas of evergreen forests in Western Montana and the Idaho Panhandle, as well as parts of California, Colorado, and Utah had fallen victim to unusually large infestations of bark beetles, including the Douglas fir bark beetle, spruce beetle, and mountain pine beetle. The infestations were being encouraged by several factors a...

Signals From Europe

Sweden and Norway have some of the highest liquor taxes in the world, which have led to a large amount of smuggling from Denmark mainly over an international bridge near Copenhagen. Until recently, contraband seized at Malmo by the Tullverket (Swedish Customs) was poured down the drain. Now, however, in today's very green Sweden, each year a million bottles of illicit liquor are trucked to a new high-tech plant in Linkoping (about 75 miles south of Stockholm) that manufactures biogas fuel for...

Problems With Ocean Iron Fertilization

Should the oceans be seeded with large amounts of iron ore that will increase the growth of phytoplankton thatwill consume carbon dioxide The idea has attracted some support among corporations and foundations looking for ways to minimize the effects of carbon dioxide without changing the world's basic energy generation mix. The idea is simple on its face iron stimulates the growth of phytoplankton that absorbs carbon dioxide. Ulf Riebesell, a marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for...

Surface Warming Stratospheric Cooling And Ozone Depletion

Greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere near the surface like a blanket, holding heat near the surface. Deprived of emitted warmth, the stratosphere cools, aggravating depletion ofozone, which protects plants and animals from ultraviolet radiation. Chemical reactions that drive ozone depletion tend to accelerate as the stratosphere cools, retarding the restoration of ozone anticipated after the ban of chlorofluorocar-bons (CFCs) under the Montreal Protocol, which was enacted during the late 1980s....

Disintegration Of Glaciers In The High Alps

Rising temperatures have been melting ancient glaciers on the high Alps, causing devastating summer rockslides that have endangered the lives of many climbers, including 70 on July 14, 2003, one of the largest mass rescues in the area's history. Most were plucked from the Matterhorn, which was racked by two major landslides that day. According to an observer, Those climbing its slopes could have been forgiven for thinking the crown jewel of the Alps had started falling apart under their feet...

Deepsea Injection Of Carbon Dioxide Effects On Life

Disposal of carbon dioxide in the deeper parts of oceans has been proposed as one method of reducing global warming. However, many proposals to inject human-generated carbon dioxide into the oceans ignore its possible effects on life at those levels. Brad A. Seibel and PatrickJ. Walsh examined these effects, finding that increased deep-water carbon dioxide levels result in decreases of seawater pH (increasing acidity), which can be harmful to sea creatures, as has been demonstrated for the...

Rising Seas

On a practical level, rising seas provoked by melting ice and thermal expansion of seawater will be the most notable challenge related to global warming (ranging from inconvenience to disaster) for many people around the world. Human beings have an affinity for the open sea. Thus, many major population centers have been built within a mere meter or two of high tide. From Mumbai (Bombay) to London to New York City, many millions of people will find warming seawater lapping at their heels during...

Warming And Possible Changes In Ocean Circulation

The term thermohaline is used to describe worldwide ocean circulation because water density (which causes it to rise or fall in the ocean) is determined by both temperature and salinity (saltiness). This flow is part of what marine scientists call the Global Conveyor, a vast submarine flow of water around the world. As part of this conveyor, water flows north from the tropics, in the Gulf Stream, which helps to keep Britain and much of Western Europe warmer than might be expected for such a...

Warming And The Decline Of Oregons Western Toad

Global warming could be playing a role in the decline of the western toad in Oregon, according to a report that was among the first to link climatic change with amphibian die-offs in North America Pounds, 2001, 639 . The wave of toad population declines could be a warning of ecological chain reactions that may be triggered by warming. J. Alan Pounds, who has researched the decline of the golden toad in Costa Rica from his post with the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve and Tropical Science...

Writings About Global Warming Increase Rapidly

The amount of writing describing the science of global warming (and debates about it) increased very rapidly during the two decades after the 1980s. emerging from several scientific fields, including climatology, oceanography, several of the Earth sciences, as well as sociology, anthropology, and economics. The field's development has been so recent, spreading across so many fields of study, that a body of standard reference works does not yet exist. One problem that confronts anyone who...

The Abrupt Nature Of Climate Change

Climatologists have been sharing the disturbing idea that small shifts in global conditions may lead to sudden and abrupt climate changes. The National Academy of Sciences has warned that global warming could trigger large, abrupt and unwelcome climatic changes that could severely affect ecosystems and human society (McFarling, 2001, A-30). We need to deal with this because we are likely to be surprised, said Richard Alley, a Pennsylvania State University climate expert. It's as if climate...

Once Upon A Green Venus

All planets' ecosystems change over time, a fact that may be unsettling to students of the greenhouse effect on Earth who cast their eyes upon Venus, where catastrophic global warming has raised surface temperatures to a toasty 850 F (464 C). Some contemporary theories argue that Venus may have once experienced a climate much more like that of today's Earth, complete with giant rivers, deep oceans and teeming with life (Leake, 2002, 11). Two British scientists believe that they have found some...

An Orderly Retreat Of Government From London

During 2004, a panel of 60 British climate change experts released a government-sponsored report, Future Flooding, which asserted that the homes of as many as 4 million Britons might be at risk by 2050. The report said that the national cost of flooding might rise from 2.6 billion a year about 2000 to 52 billion annually by 2080. Some government officials warned that the government might be forced to consider an orderly retreat from London because parts of the 2,000-year-old city are below sea...

Japan Heat Island Tokyo

According to The Daily Yomiuri of Tokyo, temperatures in several Japanese cities averaged between 3.2 C and 3.9 C above long-term averages during the winter of 2001-2002. The increase in temperatures was most notable in and around Tokyo. During the early-morning hours (midnight to 5 a.m.), average temperatures in Tokyo have risen by 7.2 F in a century. In 1900, the number of tropical nights with minimum temperatures above 77 F was zero to five in an average summer. By the early twenty-first...

Personal Stories Of Climate Change

The destruction of an Arctic ecosystem heretofore based on ice and snow is now a day-to-day reality in the lives of people who live near or above the Arctic Circle. Their personal stories indicate that the atmosphere is warming more rapidly in parts of the Arctic than anywhere else on Earth. Around the Arctic, in Inuit villages now connected by email as well as the oral history of traveling hunters, weather watchers are reporting striking evidence that global warming is an unmistakable reality....

The Penetration Of Warming Into The Oceans

A team of oceanographers using a combination of observations and climate models had determined by 2005 that the penetration of human-induced warming in the world's oceans was unmistakable. Furthermore, the same team reported that roughly 84 percent of the extra heat that the entire Earth was absorbing had impacted the oceans during the previous 40 years (Barnett, 2005, 284). Their study concluded that little doubt exists that there is a human-induced signal in the environment. The record also...

Evidence That Thermohaline Circulation May Be Breaking Down

Evidence has been published indicating that ocean circulation is already breaking down, although researchers are unsure whether this is evidence of a natural cycle, an effect caused by warming sea waters, or both (Hakkinen and Rhines, 2004, 559). Analysis has been restricted by the limited nature of data gathered before 1978. These observations of rapid climatic changes over one decade the 1990s may merit some concern, according to informed observers (Hakkinen and Rhines, 2004, 559). Evidence...