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PMC Articles Tagged 'Climate Change'

Hansen: Climate Change is Here — And Worse Than We Thought

August 13th, 2012 by PMC | 1 Comment

Climate change is here – and worse than we thought

By James Hansen

Published August 3, 2012

See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/climate-change-is-here–and-worse-than-we-thought/2012/08/03/6ae604c2-dd90-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html

James E. Hansen directs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988 , I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.

In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.

These weather events are not simply an example of what climate change could bring. They are caused by climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills.

To read the full article, click here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/climate-change-is-here–and-worse-than-we-thought/2012/08/03/6ae604c2-dd90-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html

Impacts of biodiversity loss rival those of climate change and pollution

May 4th, 2012 by PMC | Add a Comment

Thanks to John Feeney for alerting me to this important article. If you find this interesting, a second article on the same topic can be accessed here: http://www.imachordata.com/?p=1217

Impacts of biodiversity loss rival those of climate change and pollution

Current estimates suggest we are now, or soon will be, in the grip of earth’s sixth mass extinction of species. This is of course a tragedy in many ways-but will it really affect us in any substantial way? With the thundering hooves of all the other apocalyptic horsemen bearing down on us-global warming heating, hypoxic dead zones, overfishing, ocean acidification-can we afford to worry about declining biodiversity? Is this really that big a deal?

Yes. In fact we can’t afford not to worry about biodiversity.

That is the message from our new analysis, published online today in Nature. For the first time we’ve been able to compare-directly, quantitatively, and rigorously-the impacts of losing wild species to the effects of all the other human-caused environmental changes on the productivity and functioning of ecosystems and their ability to continue providing for us.

The time is ripe because two decades of research have now shown pretty conclusively that more biologically diverse ecosystems are generally more productive, as John previously highlighted here. And that means that ongoing extinctions of species caused by habitat loss, overharvesting, and a slew of other environmental changes might well stuff up nature’s ability to provide things we need and want. Like food, clean water, and a stable climate. But so far it’s been unclear how such biodiversity losses stack up against other big environmental changes.

Now we can answer that question with some confidence.

To read the full article, click here: http://theseamonster.net/2012/05/impacts-of-biodiversity-loss-rival-those-of-climate-change-and-pollution/

Parched: Australia faces collapse as climate change kicks in

March 1st, 2009 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Fred Stanback for this article.

A man sunbathes on the beach at Melbourne yesterday as temperatures broke records, staying above 43C for the third day in succession. More than 20 people have died from the heat.

Leaves are falling off trees in the height of summer, railway tracks are buckling, and people are retiring to their beds with deep-frozen hot-water bottles, as much of Australia swelters in its worst-ever heatwave.

For full article, visit:

December 28th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

When conservative groups like the American Enterprise Institute recognize climate change as real, it is heartening. However, the solution discussed in this article, geoengineering, needs a lot of scrutiny for unintended environmental effects.

‘Geoengineering’ may not be a panacea for global warming, but it deserves more attention from policymakers.

As Congress debates legislation to mandate reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a more radical type of intervention to reduce global warming has gotten relatively little attention. Earlier this month, the American Enterprise Institute held the first in a series of conferences to examine the scientific and policy implications of “geoengineering.”

For full article, visit:

U.S. Population, Energy and Climate Change

December 7th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Vicky Markham for the 2008 publication entitled, “U.S. Population, Energy and Climate Change.” To download a copy, visit www.cepnet.org.

Hollywood aims to put climate change on prime time

November 25th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Could TV really save the world from global warming?

Maybe not, but network television writers gathered on Tuesday anyway to discuss how incorporating the growing threat of climate change into primetime storylines could inspire viewers to live green.

Citing evidence that shows like crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” inspired a wave of wannabe forensic scientists, Hollywood movers and shakers said they believe more Americans will pay attention to the environment if they learn about global warming through their favorite TV series.

For full article, visit:

Population and Climate Change

November 21st, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | 1 Comment

Thanks to Tyler LePard, Media Manager of Population Action International, for alerting me to the discussion on the RH Reality Check website, which just published PAI’s feature on population and climate change. There are four posts and places to comment on each one:

• “Taking on Population and Climate Change” by Carolyn Vogel, PAI’s VP of Programs
• “Combating Global Warming Brings Population Back to the Agenda” by Leiwen Jiang, PAI’s new Senior Demographer
• “Global Climate Change: What Does it Mean for the World’s Women?” by Malea Hoepf Young, Research Associate at PAI
• “Should We Be Talking About Population and Climate Change?” by Karen Hardee, PAI’s VP of Research

They are available at http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/tag/population-and-climate-change

See Leiwen Jiang’s paper below.

Two landmark conferences of the 1990s really seemed to get the links between human population and the environment. The 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development noted that “human beings are the centre of concern for sustainable development.” Building on this two years later, the Cairo Programme of Action included the objective “to reduce both unsustainable consumption and production patterns as well as negative impacts of demographic factors on the environment in order to meet the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

For full article, visit:

Climate change puts U.S. way of life at risk: EPA

November 20th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency, under fire for apparently discounting the impact of climate change, on Thursday said global warming poses real risk to human health and the American way of life.

Risks include more heat-related deaths, more heart and lung diseases due to increased ozone, and health problems related to hurricanes, extreme precipitation and wildfires, the agency said in a new report.

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Climate change: disease spread fears

November 18th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Climate change, according to recent research, is leading to an increase in the spread of parasitic diseases.

On Monday, delegates at the 23rd International Congress of Entomology heard that viral and parasitic diseases have been shown to increase in case studies because of the effects of climate change.

“Today’s lifestyles are energy dependent and the increased demand is leading to an increased warming in the atmosphere,” said Dr John Githure of the African Insect Science for Food and Health based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Penguin decline reveals human fingerprint on climate, oceans

November 17th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Plunging penguin populations are a signal that the world’s oceans are suffering the effects of climate change, fishing and oil and gas development, according to an analysis that could provide new ammunition for groups seeking federal and global protection for the birds.

The paper’s author, University of Washington conservation biologist P. Dee Boersma, has studied the birds for more than 30 years.

For full article, visit: