Climate Change Science [Strictly Moderated]

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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

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What Carbon Cycle? College Students Lack Scientific Literacy, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Jan. 7, 2011) — Most college students in the United States do not grasp the scientific basis of the carbon cycle -[HILITE]- an essential skill in understanding the causes and consequences of climate change, [/HILITE]according to research published in the January issue of BioScience.


more
What carbon cycle? College students lack scientific literacy, study finds

Why am I not surprised :garfield

and now we begin to document the large scale energy transport changes.....

welcome to the Anthropocene....

Atlantic currents have seen 'drastic' changes: study
January 4, 2011 The cold northern Labrador Current may be having a declining influence on the Atlantic Ocean

Image
A woman celebrates after participating in the annual Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year's Day swim in New York.

Scientists have found evidence of a "drastic" shift since the 1970s in north Atlantic Ocean currents that usually influence weather in the northern hemisphere, Swiss researchers say.

Scientists have found evidence of a "drastic" shift since the 1970s in north Atlantic Ocean currents that usually influence weather in the northern hemisphere, Swiss researchers said on Tuesday.

The team of biochemists and oceanographers from Switzerland, Canada and the United States detected changes in deep sea Atlantic corals that indicated the declining influence of the cold northern Labrador Current.

They said in the US National Academy of Science journal PNAS that the change "since the early 1970s is largely unique in the context of the last approximately 1,800 years," and raised the prospect of a direct link with global warming.

The Labrador Current interacts with the warmer Gulfstream from the south.

They in turn have a complex interaction with a climate pattern, the North Atlantic Oscillation, which has a dominant impact on weather in Europe and North America.

Scientists have pointed to a disruption or shifts in the oscillation as an explanation for moist or harsh winters in Europe, or severe summer droughts such as in Russia, in recent years.

One of the five scientists, Carsten Schubert, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Acquatic Sciences and Technology (EAWAG), underlined that for nearly 2,000 years the sub polar Labrador current off northern Canada and Newfoundland was the dominant force.

However that pattern appeared to have only been repeated occasionally in recent decades.

"Now the southern current has taken over, it's really a drastic change," Schubert told AFP, pointing to the evidence of the shift towards warmer water in the northwest Atlantic.

The research was based on nitrogen isotope signatures in 700 year old coral reefs on the ocean floor, which feed on sinking organic particles.

While water pushed by the Gulfstream is salty and rich in nutrients, the colder Arctic waters carried by the Labrador current contain fewer nutrients.

Changes could be dated because of the natural growth rings seen in corals.

"The researchers suspect there is a direct connection between the changes in oceanic currents in the North Atlantic and global warming caused by human activities.


Atlantic currents have seen 'drastic' changes: study

Dump fossil carbon in the atmosphere....there are consequences...

This is very worrisome - this is a global shift in climate/weather regimes underway
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

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As Wally Broeker said a while back "The climate system is a capricious beast, and we are poking at it with a stick."
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And the beast is awake - kiss the world we know goodbye....nastiest bit I've seen come along yet...

Climate change to continue to year 3000 in best case scenarios: research
January 9, 2011

New research indicates the impact of rising CO2 levels in the Earth's atmosphere will cause unstoppable effects to the climate for at least the next 1000 years, causing researchers to estimate a collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, and an eventual rise in the global sea level of at least four metres.

The study, to be published in the Jan. 9 Advanced Online Publication of the journal Nature Geoscience, is the first full climate model simulation to make predictions out to 1000 years from now. It is based on best-case, 'zero-emissions' scenarios constructed by a team of researchers from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (an Environment Canada research lab at the University of Victoria) and the University of Calgary.

"We created 'what if' scenarios," says Dr. Shawn Marshall, Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and University of Calgary geography professor.

"What if we completely stopped using fossil fuels and put no more CO2 in the atmosphere? How long would it then take to reverse current climate change trends and will things first become worse?" The research team explored zero-emissions scenarios beginning in 2010 and in 2100.

The Northern Hemisphere fares better than the south in the computer simulations, with patterns of climate change reversing within the 1000-year timeframe in places like Canada. At the same time parts of North Africa experience desertification as land dries out by up to 30 percent, and ocean warming of up to 5°C off of Antarctica is likely to trigger widespread collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, a region the size of the Canadian prairies.

Researchers hypothesize that one reason for the variability between the North and South is the slow movement of ocean water from the North Atlantic into the South Atlantic. "The global ocean and parts of the Southern Hemisphere have much more inertia, such that change occurs more slowly," says Marshall. "The inertia in intermediate and deep ocean currents driving into the Southern Atlantic means those oceans are only now beginning to warm as a result of CO2 emissions from the last century.

The simulation showed that warming will continue rather than stop or reverse on the 1000-year time scale."
continues


http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-cli ... arios.html

and how many hundreds of millions live near the coasts?

It turns out that two-thirds of world's largest cities — cities with more than five million people — are at least partially in these low areas. That's important, because people are increasingly moving to cities.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=9162438

That is NOT a long time span......the oldest building in Venice was built in 639 - 1300 plus years ago.
The next thousand will see it meters underwater as a diving site.....

Along with most of Manhattan, London et al
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

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Really good comprehensive article on what's happening in the cryosphere:

http://www­.rollingst­one.com/po­litics/new­s/on-thin-­ice-201009­22
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

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FACT-MAN-2";p="754809 wrote:Really good comprehensive article on what's happening in the cryosphere:

http://www­.rollingst­one.com/po­litics/new­s/on-thin-­ice-201009­22


the link isn't working fact man,even though i copy and pasted the whole url :)
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

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Weaver";p="759916 wrote:This should work:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/ne ... e-20100922

:cheers: thanks..
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The number of Americans who are worried about global warming has fallen to nearly the historic low reached in 1998, a poll released Monday showed.

Just 51 percent of Americans -- or one percentage point more than in 1998 -- said they worry a great deal or fair amount about climate change, Gallup's annual environment poll says.

In 2008, a year after former US vice president Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize, two-thirds of Americans were concerned about climate change.


From here.

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in case you were wondering

Warm water causes extra-cold winters in northeastern North America and northeastern Asia
March 30, 2011

Image
This map shows sea‑surface temperatures averaged over eight days in September 2001, as measured by NASA's Terra satellite. Dark red represents warm water (32 degrees Celsius) and purple is cold (‑2 degrees Celsius). The Gulf Stream can be seen as the orange strip extending from the eastern U.S. toward the Atlantic. Credit: Ronald Vogel, SAIC for NASA GSFC

If you're sitting on a bench in New York City's Central Park in winter, you're probably freezing. After all, the average temperature in January is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. But if you were just across the pond in Porto, Portugal, which shares New York's latitude, you'd be much warmer—the average temperature is a balmy 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

Throughout northern Europe, average winter temperatures are at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than similar latitudes on the northeastern coast of the United States and the eastern coast of Canada. The same phenomenon happens over the Pacific, where winters on the northeastern coast of Asia are colder than in the Pacific Northwest.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have now found a mechanism that helps explain these chillier winters—and the culprit is warm water off the eastern coasts of these continents.

"These warm ocean waters off the eastern coast actually make it cold in winter—it's counterintuitive," says Tapio Schneider, the Frank J. Gilloon Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering.

Schneider and Yohai Kaspi, a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, describe their work in a paper published in the March 31 issue of the journal Nature.

Using computer simulations of the atmosphere, the researchers found that the warm water off an eastern coast will heat the air above it and lead to the formation of atmospheric waves, drawing cold air from the northern polar region. The cold air forms a plume just to the west of the warm water. In the case of the Atlantic Ocean, this means the frigid air ends up right over the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.

Image

This image, taken by NASA's Terra satellite in March 2003, shows a much colder North America than Europe‑‑even at equal latitudes. White represents areas with more than 50 percent snow cover. NASA's Aqua satellite also measured water temperatures. Water between 0 and ‑15 degrees Celsius is in pink, while water between ‑15 and ‑28 degrees Celsius is in purple. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio; George Riggs (NASA/SSAI).

For decades, the conventional explanation for the cross-oceanic temperature difference was that the Gulf Stream delivers warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to northern Europe. But in 2002, research showed that ocean currents aren't capable of transporting that much heat, instead contributing only up to 10 percent of the warming.

Kaspi's and Schneider's work reveals a mechanism that helps create a temperature contrast not by warming Europe, but by cooling the eastern United States. Surprisingly, it's the Gulf Stream that causes this cooling.

In the northern hemisphere, the subtropical ocean currents circulate in a clockwise direction, bringing an influx of warm water from low latitudes into the western part of the ocean. These warm waters heat the air above it.

"It's not that the warm Gulf Stream waters substantially heat up Europe," Kaspi says. "But the existence of the Gulf Stream near the U.S. coast is causing the cooling of the northeastern United States."

The researchers' computer model simulates a simplified, ocean-covered Earth with a warm region to mimic the coastal reservoir of warm water in the Gulf Stream. The simulations show that such a warm spot produces so-called Rossby waves.

Generally speaking, Rossby waves are large atmospheric waves—with wavelengths that stretch for more than 1,000 miles. They form when the path of moving air is deflected due to Earth's rotation, a phenomenon known as the Coriolis effect. In a way similar to how gravity is the force that produces water waves on the surface of a pond, the Coriolis force is responsible for Rossby waves.

In the simulations, the warm water produces stationary Rossby waves, in which the peaks and valleys of the waves don't move, but the waves still transfer energy. In the northern hemisphere, the stationary Rossby waves cause air to circulate in a clockwise direction just to the west of the warm region. To the east of the warm region, the air swirls in the counterclockwise direction. These motions draw in cold air from the north, balancing the heating over the warm ocean waters.


more

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-ext ... erica.html

Yes Virginia it IS getting warmer and we ARE responsible.... :rolleyes:
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

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Laugh or cry - the denidiots take a beating by one of their own.....

Speaking of anti-science - this denier attempt at "credibility" back fired rather dramatically....

Global Warming Skeptic Changes His Tune
— by Doing the Science Himself
by Donald Prothero, Apr 06 2011

With the GOP takeover of the House, the political climate surrounding controversial topics in science has changed radically. The extremists who now run the House Energy and Commerce Committee have been doing their best to challenge the enormous body of evidence supporting the reality of global climate change. On March 10, 2011, they set new lows for trying to redefine “greenhouse gases” to exclude carbon dioxide, methane, and all the other greenhouse gases that science has recognized. The situation was so ludicrous that Rep. Edward Markey (Democrat from Massachusetts) mocked their anti-scientific efforts by asking if they planned to repeal the laws of gravity, relativity, quantum mechanics, and heliocentrism. In his words:

Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to a bill that overturns the scientific finding that pollution is harming our people and our planet. However, I won’t physically rise, because I’m worried that Republicans will overturn the law of gravity, sending us floating about the room. I won’t call for the sunlight of additional hearings, for fear that Republicans might excommunicate the finding that the Earth revolves around the sun. Instead, I’ll embody Newton’s third law of motion and be an equal and opposing force against this attack on science and on laws that will reduce America’s importation of foreign oil. This bill will live in the House while simultaneously being dead in the Senate. It will be a legislative Schrodinger’s cat killed by the quantum mechanics of the legislative process! Arbitrary rejection of scientific fact will not cause us to rise from our seats today. But with this bill, pollution levels will rise. Oil imports will rise. Temperatures will rise. And with that, I yield back the balance of my time. That is, unless a rejection of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity is somewhere in the chair’s amendment pile.
Meanwhile, the Republican leaders of the House Science and Technology Committee were also attacking the science of global warming. The agenda for their March 31, 2011 hearing was explicitly arranged to challenge the climate science community and cast doubt on their data about global temperature change. They openly “stacked the deck” with their chosen witnesses, which included such “expert scientific witnesses” as an economist, a lawyer, and a professor of marketing—and Richard Muller, Professor of Physics at University of California Berkeley.

To geologists, Richard Muller is a well-known name, even though his expertise is primarily in nuclear physics. He has dabbled in a lot of geologic topics over the years with varied success. His efforts to explain the extinction of the dinosaurs by postulating another unseen star in our solar system (the “Nemesis hypothesis”) has been refuted, as were his explanations of a alleged 26-million-year cycle of extinctions by postulating periodic perturbations of comets in the Oort cloud. As I summarized in my 2003 paleontology textbook (Prothero, 2003, Bringing Fossils to Life, Chapter 6, the original data supporting the “periodic extinction” model has long been discredited, so the periodicity is not real. Thus, the mechanisms proposed to explain a non-existent extinction periodicity are now moot as well.

To the global warming deniers, Muller had been an important scientific figure with good credentials who had expressed doubt about the temperature data used to track the last few decades of global warming. Muller was influenced by Anthony Watts, a former TV weatherman (not a trained climate scientist) and blogger who has argued that the data set is mostly from large cities, where the “urban heat island” effect might bias the overall pool of worldwide temperature data. Climate scientists have pointed out that they have accounted for this possible effect already, but Watts and Muller were unconvinced. With $150,000 (25% of their funding) from the Koch brothers (the nation’s largest supporters of climate denial research), as well as the Getty Foundation (their wealth largely based on oil money) and other funding sources, Muller set out to reanalyze all the temperature data by setting up the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project. Although only 2% of the data were analyzed by last month, the Republican climate deniers in Congress called him to testify in their March 31 hearing to attack global warming science, expecting him to give them scientific data supporting their biases.



To their dismay, Muller behaved like a real scientist and not an ideologue—he followed his data and told them the truth, not what they wanted to hear.

Muller pointed out that his analysis of the data set almost exactly tracked what the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Goddard Institute of Space Science (GISS), and the Hadley Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK had already published (see figure). Muller testified before the House Committee that:

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project was created to make the best possible estimate of global temperature change using as complete a record of measurements as possible and by applying novel methods for the estimation and elimination of systematic biases. We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups. The world temperature data has sufficient integrity to be used to determine global temperature trends. Despite potential biases in the data, methods of analysis can be used to reduce bias effects well enough to enable us to measure long-term Earth temperature changes. Data integrity is adequate. Based on our initial work at Berkeley Earth, I believe that some of the most worrisome biases are less of a problem than I had previously thought.
The right-wing ideologues were sorely disappointed, and reacted viciously in the political sphere by attacking their own scientist, but Muller’s scientific integrity overcame any biases he might have harbored at the beginning. He “called ‘em as he saw ‘em” and told truth to power. Such scientific backbone is becoming increasingly rare in a political climate where every controversial scientific topic, from evolution to global climate change to stem-cell research, has become highly polarized and ideological. But it speaks well of the scientific process when a prominent skeptic like Muller does his job properly and admits that his original biases were wrong. As reported in the Los Angeles Times :

Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, which contributed some funding to the Berkeley effort, said Muller’s statement to Congress was “honorable” in recognizing that “previous temperature reconstructions basically got it right…. Willingness to revise views in the face of empirical data is the hallmark of the good scientific process.”

This is the essence of the scientific method at its best. There may be biases in our perceptions, and we may want to find data that fits our preconceptions about the world, but if science is done properly, we get a real answer, often one we did not expect or didn’t want to hear. That’s the true test of when science is giving us a reality check: when it tells us “an inconvenient truth”, something we do not like, but is inescapable if one follows the scientific method and analyzes the data honestly.

Thomas Henry Huxley said it best over 150 years ago:

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.

http://skepticblog.org/2011/04/06/globa ... -his-tune/
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

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Battle lines forming

Why We're Merging to Form a Climate Change Supergroup

* Bill McKibbenBill McKibben


This morning, two powerhouse climate change advocacy organizations, 1Sky and 350.org, announced they would be merging. This is a guest post written by occasional contributor Bill McKibben, chair of 350.org, and Betsy Taylor, former chair of 1Sky. —Ben Jervey

If you spend a little time as an environmentalist, one thing you’ll hear eventually from friends and family: “I wish there weren’t so many groups. It’s confusing—I don’t know who to volunteer for. Wouldn’t it work better if you all got together?”

This isn’t quite as obvious as it sounds. Different groups have sprung up at different times to fill different niches—you wouldn’t look out at a marsh and say “it would be much nicer if there was just one kind of frog to keep track of.” Diversity has some very real purposes.

But there are moments, and this is one of them, when unity is essential. We’re up against the most sustained assault on the environment ever: in the last few weeks our oldest environmental groups have had to play nonstop defense just to keep Congress from gutting the Clean Air Act. A president elected on the promise of transformational energy change has reverted to opening vast tracts of Wyoming to new coal-mining. A Tea-Party House of Representatives has actually voted to deny the science of global warming.

Behind all this is a very unified fossil-fuel industry. Working through the Koch Brothers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a couple of other fronts they’re busy buying votes and supplying disinformation. And they’re winning. To fight back effectively, we need a much louder voice.

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12 April 2011 Last updated at 17:10 GMT

Shale gas 'worse than coal' for climate
Richard Black By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News
A core of shale rock Gas is a natural by-product of shale rock
ates

The new kid on the energy block, shale gas, may be worse in climate change terms than coal, a study concludes.

Drawn from rock through a controversial "fracking" process, some hail the gas as a "stepping stone" to a low-carbon future and a route to energy security.

But US researchers found that shale gas wells leak substantial amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

This makes its climate impact worse than conventional gas, they say - and probably worse than coal as well.

"Compared to coal, the footprint of shale gas is at least 20% greater and perhaps more than twice as great on the 20-year horizon, and is comparable over 100 years," they write in a paper to be published shortly in the journal Climatic Change.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13053040

TANSTAAFL
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and the consequences

AAAS 2011: Climate change poses challenge to food safety

Sid Perkins

WASHINGTON, DC – Climate change will pose a number of challenges to food safety in the coming decades, from boosting the rates of food- and water-borne illnesses to enabling the spread of pathogens, researchers reported Monday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Depending on the greenhouse gas emissions scenario, global average temperature is expected to rise between 1.1° and 6.8° Celsius by the end of the century. And warmer temperatures are known to increase rates of some diseases: According to a recent study of salmonellosis in Europe, frequency of the ailment rises about 12 percent for every 1°C that air temperature increases beyond a baseline of 6°C, said Cristina Tirado, an environmental scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. The precise cause for this trend isn’t clear, said Ewen Todd, a bacteriologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing. It’s possible that warmer temperatures cause bacteria to grow more quickly, or people may prepare food differently in warmer weather (grilling outdoors vis-à-vis cooking in a kitchen, for example).

Climate change can increase disease risks in several ways, Tirado added. The concentration of methyl mercury in fish increases about 3.5 percent for every 1°C rise in water temperature. Warmer sea-surface temperatures can boost the frequency of harmful algal blooms, leading to an increased incidence of paralytic shellfish poisoning. Higher water temperatures also enable the spread of pathogens to higher latitudes: An outbreak of vibriosis on an Alaskan cruise ship in 2005, later linked to oysters that had been harvested near one of the ship’s ports of call, represents the spread of the disease-causing Vibrio parahaemolyticus to a locale more than 1,000 kilometers north of its previous known range. Dust storms, which are expected to increase in some regions due to climate change, could wreak their own havoc, because iron-rich mineral dust can drive a 10- to 1,000-fold increase in the growth rate of Vibrio bacteria.


http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/
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UN predicts 50 Million climate refugees by 2010

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2005/oct/12/naturaldisasters.climatechange1

Rising sea levels, desertification and shrinking freshwater supplies will create up to 50 million environmental refugees by the end of the decade, experts warn today. Janos Bogardi, director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University in Bonn, said creeping environmental deterioration already displaced up to 10 million people a year, and the situation would get worse.

Tony Oliver-Smith, a natural hazards expert at the University of Florida, said: "Around the world vulnerability is on the increase, due to the rapid development of megacities in coastal areas. Combine this trend with rising sea levels and the growing number and intensity of storms and it is a recipe for a disaster, with enormous potential to create waves of environment-driven migration."

Dr Bogardi called for an intergovernmental panel on environmental degradation to be established to assess the situation, feed advice to politicians and distinguish genuine environmental refugees from economic migrants. "If you see a group of young men trying to climb over a fence, it's very difficult to say those are environmental refugees, because, if you are an environmental refugee you bring your whole family with you. The whole population would be on the move."

Good fences make good neighbors
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National Coal Expert: “Mining is a Loser” in Practically Every Way
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Originally posted at The Great Energy Challenge blog

Anytime coal’s cost to America is discussed, the coal industry reflexively talks about what an economic lifeline it is for the states in which it operates. Headwaters Economics, a Bozeman-based think tank focusing on natural resource issues, has a solid new study that’s getting national attention for undercutting those claims. For instance, the Headwaters study finds that “[f]ossil fuel production has not insulated energy-producing states from fiscal crisis,” that “[f]ossil fuel extraction has a limited influence at the state level on economic indicators such as GDP by state, personal income, and employment,” and that “[t]he volatility of fossil fuel markets poses obstacles to the stability and long-term security of economic growth in energy-producing regions.”

This is a problem for the coal industry, which spends heavily to construct a fantasy world in which it’s a “clean” industry to which we should feel grateful, a vital supplier of our power, and an economic lifeline to host communities.

But in the real world, coal’s case is even weaker than the Headwaters study shows. The work of Professor Michael Hendryx of West Virginia University goes even further. His work has looked at the costs of coal mining to the Appalachian communities that host it.


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http://www.desmogblog.com/national-coal ... -every-way
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who'll stop the rain.......as the song goes...

Hydrology - the leading edge of vicious climate change consequences....

Amid 11 months of nearly nonstop rain, dykes have burst and rivers have topped their banks, inundating communities, cattle ranches, and croplands in 28 of Colombia's 32 departments. Waterlogged Andean mountainsides have collapsed, burying neighborhoods and blocking highways. More than 1,000 people have been killed, injured or gone missing. In the flooded town of Puerto Boyacá in central Colombia, coffins holding the dead are being floated to the cemetery on boats. (Read a Q&A With Colombia's President Santos)

All told, more than 3 million people — nearly 7% of Colombia's population - have been displaced or have suffered major water damage to their homes and livelihoods. President Juan Manuel Santos calls it the worsgt natural disaster in the country's history, one his government predicts will shave 2.5% from Colombia's 2011 GDP. Yet hardly anyone outside of Colombia has noticed because the tragedy, unlike an earthquake or hurricane, has unfolded in slow motion. "Drop by drop the rain causes more damage every day," Santos said recently. "It's like Chinese water torture."


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/ ... z1LxFKQKcu
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

Post by chango369 »

I thought this article might make a contribution to this thread. The article focuses on the extraordinary extreme weather events that occurred in 2010 and also contains links to some interesting web sites.

Dr. Jeff Masters wrote:Every year extraordinary weather events rock the Earth. Records that have stood centuries are broken. Great floods, droughts, and storms affect millions of people, and truly exceptional weather events unprecedented in human history may occur. But the wild roller-coaster ride of incredible weather events during 2010, in my mind, makes that year the planet's most extraordinary year for extreme weather since reliable global upper-air data began in the late 1940s. Never in my 30 years as a meteorologist have I witnessed a year like 2010--the astonishing number of weather disasters and unprecedented wild swings in Earth's atmospheric circulation were like nothing I've seen. The pace of incredible extreme weather events in the U.S. over the past few months have kept me so busy that I've been unable to write-up a retrospective look at the weather events of 2010. But I've finally managed to finish, so fasten your seat belts for a tour through the top twenty most remarkable weather events of 2010. At the end, I'll reflect on what the wild weather events of 2010 and 2011 imply for our future.


continues ---> http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMa ... rynum=1831
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

Post by Schneibster »

Arctic ice extent is the second lowest on record, since 1979, according to the NSIDC, who "made the call" today after the fourth consecutive day of increasing ice cover. Late windy conditions could still push the ice together, even if some freezing occurs in the meantime, so we'll have to wait a bit longer to be absolutely sure, but this looks like it's it for the year.

Read all about it.
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

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There goes the neighborhood

Canadian Arctic nearly loses entire ice shelf from global warming
CHARMAINE NORONHA
TORONTO— The Associated Press
Published Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011 6:39PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011 8:05PM EDT

Two ice shelves that existed before Canada was settled by Europeans diminished significantly this summer, one nearly disappearing altogether, Canadian scientists say in newly published research.

The loss is important as a marker of global warming, returning the Canadian Arctic to conditions that date back thousands of years, scientists say. Floating icebergs that have broken free as a result pose a risk to offshore oil facilities and potentially to shipping lanes. The breaking apart of the ice shelves also reduces the environment that supports microbial life and changes the look of Canada’s coastline.


more

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... le2185500/
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Re: Global Climate Change Science News

Post by Macdoc »

Meanwhile despite wishful thinking of a diminishing few.....the consequences of AGW continue to unfold....

nasty bit of feedback this one...

Thawing microbes could control the climate

* 18:00 06 November 2011 by Michael Marshall
* For similar stories, visit the http://www.newscientist.com/topic/climate-change
Image
The tundra is awakening

As the Arctic permafrost melts over the coming decades, long-frozen microorganisms will thaw out and start feasting on the soil. The first have already begun to wake up – and early signs are that they will have a major impact on how Earth's climate changes.

As the Arctic permafrost thaws, runaway global warming may ensue, because the huge amounts of organic carbon the permafrost contains will escape into the atmosphere.

To find out how the permafrost's microorganisms will respond to a thaw, Janet Jansson of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, and colleagues collected three cores from permafrost soil in central Alaska. Back in the lab, they thawed samples of each core and kept them at 5 °C. For the first two days the melting ice released lots of methane that had been trapped when it formed, but the rate then quickly dropped.

That's because soil microorganisms thawed out, and although some began making methane that added to the emissions, others consumed it and converted it into carbon dioxide instead. "It's a very rapid response," Jansson says. Her team took samples of DNA from the permafrost as it warmed up, allowing them to track how the microbial population changed.

Many studies have examined the gases that escape from thawing permafrost, but we knew little about how the microbes within influence the process, says Torben Christensen of Lund University in Sweden. The permafrost ecosystem is almost entirely unexplored. "Most of the microorganisms in permafrost have never been cultivated, and more than 90 per cent are unidentified," Jansson says.
Chilly microbes

Methane is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, although it does not stay in the atmosphere as long. Jansson says a release of CO2 is still bad news, but preferable to methane.

It's long been known that methane-munching microorganisms will get to work in thawing permafrost, Christensen says. "At least 50 per cent of the gross production of methane will be oxidised." In other words, consumed.

The question is, will the methane-eaters be able to consume the bulk of the gas once the permafrost starts melting in a big way? Christensen says that will depend on what happens to the water table. Higher water tables mean more methane and fewer microorganisms to eat it, while lower water tables mean the opposite.
No laughing matter

Also adding to our worries are indications that thawing permafrost may release large quantities of nitrous oxide – aka laughing gas – which is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than methane, and damages the ozone layer into the bargain.

As the team's permafrost samples thawed they saw no boost in the levels of microbes that produce nitrous oxide reductase, an enzyme that converts nitrous oxide into harmless nitrogen. Without this boost, the nitrous oxide could escape.

Christensen has set up a monitoring system to track greenhouse gas emissions from thawing permafrost, and is increasingly tracking nitrous oxide as well as CO2 and methane. "It may be a player," he says.

Journal reference: Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature10576

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2 ... print=true
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EO Wilson in On Human Nature wrote:
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