Ghostgrrrl in the Machine

A place to share information and tools to survive in the 21st century.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Global Warnings About Global Warming

Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island


For the first time, an inhabited island has disappeared beneath rising seas. Environment Editor Geoffrey Lean reports

Published: 24 December 2006

Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.

As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities.

Eight years ago, as exclusively reported in The Independent on Sunday, the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

More here

Sunderbans faces threat of submergence

Kolkata: There will be no requiem sung to Lohachara and Suparibhanga on World Environment Day on June 5 this year.

Located in the Sunderbans delta area of West Bengal, these two islands were submerged by the rising sea levels. A few more are facing a threat. In the process, hundreds were displaced from their homes and sought shelter in the four refugee colonies in adjoining Sagar Island.

"The Government of India's disaster management mechanism ignores the implications of slow onset disasters like rise in sea level, and does not provide any compensation for people thus affected," says Prof. Sugata Hazra, Director, School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata......

More here

Satellite view of Lohachara Gang, India

A little history


Ancient ice shelf snaps and breaks free from the Canadian Arctic
Dec 28 6:41 PM US/Eastern

Ancient ice shelf snaps and breaks free from the Canadian Arctic STEVE LILLEBUEN (CP) - A giant ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has snapped free from Canada's Arctic, leaving a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake.

The mass of ice broke clear from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 800 kilometres south of the North Pole. Warwick Vincent of Laval University, who studies Arctic conditions, travelled to the newly formed ice island and couldn't believe what he saw. "It was extraordinary," Vincent said Thursday, adding that in 10 years of working in the region he has never seen such a dramatic loss of sea ice.

"This is a piece of Canadian geography that no longer exists."

The collapse was so powerful that earthquake monitors 250 kilometres away picked up tremors from it.

Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in 30 years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor.

"We think this incident is consistent with global climate change," Vincent said, adding that the remaining ice shelves are 90 per cent smaller than when they were first discovered in 1906.




Review of the year: Global warming
Our worst fears are exceeded by reality

By Steve Connor

Published: 29 December 2006

It has been a hot year. The average temperature in Britain for 2006 was higher than at any time since records began in 1659. Globally, it looks set to be the sixth hottest year on record. The signs during the past 12 months have been all around us. Little winter snow in the Alpine ski resorts, continuing droughts in Africa, mountain glaciers melting faster than at any time in the past 5,000 years, disappearing Arctic sea ice, Greenland's ice sheet sliding into the sea. Oh, and a hosepipe ban in southern England.

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During the past year, scientific findings emerged that made even the most doom-laden predictions about climate change seem a little on the optimistic side. And at the heart of the issue is the idea of climate feedbacks - when the effects of global warming begin to feed into the causes of global warming. Feedbacks can either make things better, or they can make things worse. The trouble is, everywhere scientists looked in 2006, they encountered feedbacks that will make things worse - a lot worse.

Next year, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will publish its fourth assessment on the scale of the future problems facing humanity. Its last assessment, published in 2001, had little to say on the subject of climate feedbacks, partly because, at that time, they were such an unknown quantity. This year, scientists came to learn a little more about them, and they didn't like what they learnt.

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Climate feedbacks could turn the Earth into a very different planet over a dramatically short period of time. It has happened in the past, scientists say, and it could easily happen in the future given the unprecedented scale of the environmental changes caused by man.

snip

As climate warms, phytoplankton production goes down, but this also means that carbon dioxide uptake by ocean plants will decrease," says Michael Behrenfeld of Oregon State University. "That would allow carbon dioxide to accumulate more rapidly in the atmosphere, making the problem worse." Some climate scientists believe that the risk of dangerous feedbacks tipping the Earth's climate system beyond a threshold is so great that there should be wider recognition of what they term "abrupt changes". The point is, they say, it has happened repeatedly in the past. It happened 55 million years ago when a trillion tons of methane were suddenly and mysteriously released from frozen stores on the seabed, causing global temperatures to soar 10C, and a mass extinction of species.

It happened 14,500 years ago when ice sheets catastrophically collapsed into the ocean causing sea levels to rise by 20 metres in just 400 years. And it happened 6,500 years ago when the Sahara was suddenly turned from lush vegetation to dry desert......


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1 Comments:

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Neil' said...

Hello. I was directed here from Robert Anton Wilson's blog, may he progress in peace. You are doing a great job to present this blog, telling us about harmful effects on the Earth and how to cope. Best wishes to you and for the struggle.

 

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