Saturday, October 13, 2007

Climate Worsening Faster Than Predicted - But Canada "Voting for Apocalypse" at UN Talks

Sounds nice -- until you think about it:

"... Enjoy it while it lasts, because you 'know what's ahead.'" --Environment Canada's David Phillips

Sure, there's some cold weather ahead this winter -- but what about a few years from now? Could we have more of this:
"'We've got an invisible disaster going on [in Toronto and area],' Mr. Phillips said, adding that the ground in some parts of the region has become so dry that it isn't able to absorb water any more, and that young trees may not make it to spring.'"

Source: Gandhi, U. (Sept 26, 2007). Weather continues to set records. Globe & Mail, p. A15, via Gale Group or Globe & Mail (subscription/payment required for either one - public library may provide free access to Gale).
The global headlines are grim:
"OSLO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - A record melt of Arctic summer sea ice this month may be a sign that global warming is reaching a critical trigger point that could accelerate the northern thaw, some scientists say.

"'The reason so much (of the Arctic ice) went suddenly is that it is hitting a tipping point that we have been warning about for the past few years,' James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Reuters.

The Arctic summer sea ice shrank by more than 20 percent below the previous 2005 record low in mid-September to 4.13 million sq km (1.6 million sq miles), according to a 30-year satellite record. It has now frozen out to 4.2 million sq km."
'"...the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is already above the threshold that can potentially cause dangerous climate change,' Flannery told the broadcaster yesterday. 'We are already at great risk of dangerous climate change, that's what these figures say. It's not next year or next decade, it's now.'

"Flannery, whose recent book The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth made best-seller lists, said the data showed the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions had reached about 455 parts per million by mid-2005, well ahead of scientists' previous calculations.

"'We thought we'd be at that threshold within about a decade, that we had that much time,' Flannery said. 'I mean, that's beyond the limits of projection, beyond the worst-case scenario as we thought of it in 2001,' when the last major IPCC report was issued."

"Global warming will slow briefly in the next year or two, but then charge ahead, making at least half of the years after 2009 warmer than at any other time in recorded history, British scientists claim [...] [in a study published] in Science, a major journal scientists rely on to judge and announce top discoveries."
Apparently, it's the heat -- and the humidity!

"The European Union and many developing nations such as China and India want industrial states to use the stringent 25-40 percent range to guide future talks to force a shift away from fossil fuels, blamed by U.N. reports for stoking global warming.

"But Russia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland objected to setting the stringent range in negotiations about extending the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, the main plan for fighting global warming that runs to 2012, delegates said.

"'The lower the stabilization level (of greenhouse gases) achieved, the lower the consequent damages,' the draft said. It mentions the option of 25-40 percent cuts but drops a previous reference to them as an indicative guide for future work.

"'This is voting for the apocalypse,' said Stephanie Tunmore of environmental group Greenpeace. 'The 25-40 percent range is needed to help avert dangerous climate change' such as more powerful storms, rising seas and melting glaciers, she said.

"'Japan is willing to let the typhoons roll in and the water flow onto its coastal land. Switzerland is committed to melt all its remaining glaciers,' environmentalists said in a newsletter" [bolding added].
Apparently, "Canada's New Government" is willing to let much of the Maritime Provinces be washed away, Arctic ice to melt even faster, and the rest of us to suffer from drought!

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