Michael Lorrey wrote:
>Contrary to claims of many of the tree huggers who yap that the sky is
>falling and the world is ending from global warming of a scale that is
>unprescedented, there is new evidence that the world has become some 10
>degrees chillier over the last 3.2 million years. Read it and weep,
Even if the world is now on average 10 degrees cooler than it was 3.2
million years ago, a warming trend NOW--even if the final result were still
a cooler world than existed 3.2 million years ago--would still result in
big changes. Our centers of population and agricultural production have
been determined by the climate of the past several hundred years rather
than the climate of 3.2 million years ago.
Below is an article that was published yesterday that describes some of the
adjustments that will likely be required due to the present warming trend.
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The earth's atmosphere is warming faster than
expected, evidence is mounting that humans are to blame and tens of
millions of people may be forced from low-lying areas as seas rise, the
U.N. said on Monday.
"We see changes in climate, we believe we humans are involved and we're
projecting future climate changes much more significant over the next 100
years than the last 100 years," said Robert Watson of the U.N.'s
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
A warmer climate would raise sea levels as ice caps recede and could force
tens of millions of people to flee low lying areas like China's Pearl River
Delta, Bangladesh and Egypt, the IPCC chairman told a news conference in
Klaus Toepfer, the head of the United Nations Environment Program which
part sponsors the IPCC, said the report should ring alarm bells everywhere.
"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," he said in a statement.
"We must move ahead boldly with clean energy technologies and we should
start preparing ourselves for the rising sea levels, changing rain patterns
and other impacts of global warming."
Global warming is a highly controversial subject with many respected
scientists arguing that the earth undergoes periodic climatic changes with
or without contributions from humanity.
The IPCC report, which runs to more than 1,000 pages, was written by 123
lead authors around the world who drew on 516 contributing experts and is
one of the most comprehensive produced on global warming.
A draft summary for policy makers, issued on Monday, said the report
projects the earth's average surface temperature will rise 1.4 to 5.8
degrees Celsius (2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit) between 1990 and 2100,
higher than its 1995 estimate of a one to 3.5 degree C rise (1.8 to 6.3
Sea levels were likely to rise between nine and 88 cm (3.54 and 34.64
inches) over the same period, it said.
"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," Watson said.
"We will see a drier summer in arid and semi-arid areas which will make
water management much more difficult in the future," he said. Ecosystems
such as coral and forests will suffer.
The earth's temperature had already risen 0.6 degrees C (1.08 degrees F)
over the last 100 years and it has seen more floods and droughts around the
world in the last decade. Land areas had warmed close to one degree, more
than oceans, the IPCC said.
DISEASE, LESS WATER
Watson said the main reason behind expectations of faster global warming is
an anticipated fall in cooling agents such as sulfur dioxide. Sulfur
emissions are expected to ease due to concerns they cause acid rain and
deposits, he said.
Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide prevent heat from leaving the
earth, therefore warming the earth's atmosphere, whereas sulfur dioxide
tends to cool it.
Watson said the implications of global warming on human health included
increases in heat stress mortality in the summer and diseases such as
malaria and dengue fever.
It could also hit agriculture and water resources, which many experts
believe will be a major issue in coming years.
Watson said industrialized nations had to help curb global warming, but
developing countries must become more energy efficient and getting the
right technologies in place everywhere was critical.
"Governments can play a critical role in placing the right enabling
framework to facilitate the transfers of technology," he said. "It's not
just hardware, it's information and knowledge."
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