[B]Global warming nears ‘dangerous’ level [/B]
Researchers say average temperatures are close to a million-year high
By Sara Goudarzi
Updated: 7:00 p.m. ET Sept 25, 2006
Global temperatures are dangerously close to the highest ever estimated to have occurred in the past million years, scientists reported Monday.
In a study that analyzed temperatures around the globe, researchers found that Earth has been warming rapidly, nearly 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit (0.2 degrees Celsius) in the last 30 years.
"The average surface temperature is 15, maybe 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit)," said Alan Robock, a meteorologist and climate researcher from Rutgers University who was not involved with the study.
[B]If global temperatures go up another 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C), it would be equal to the maximum temperature of the past million years.[/B]
"This evidence implies that we are getting close to dangerous levels of human-made (anthropogenic) pollution," said study leader James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
‘A different planet...’
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, human-caused greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the warming of the last 50 years. The gases, released by burning of fossil fuels and land clearing, among other factors, trap heat in the atmosphere and warm Earth's surface.
Further global warming of 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C) defines a critical level, Hanson said.
Robock agrees that temperatures are getting up there.
"It's certainly the warmest it's been in the last couple of thousand years," Robock said. "I don't have access to the data about the last million years but it's probably right. I just haven't looked at it in detail.
"During the warmest interglacial periods the Earth was reasonably similar to today. But if further global warming reaches 2 or 3 degrees Celsius, we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet than the one we know," he said. "The last time it was that warm was in the middle Pliocene, about 3 million years ago, when sea level was estimated to have been about 25 meters [80 feet] higher than today."
The study also notes that global warming is greatest at higher latitudes near the poles. This is because when Earth warms, snow and ice melt, uncovering darker land and ocean surfaces. Instead of the once-white surface that reflected solar rays back into space, the darker surfaces now absorb more energy from the sun.
Although warming is most noticeable at the poles, higher latitudes are still among the coolest spots around. For animals and plants that can survive only within certain cool temperature ranges, these are the only places to go as their current homes become intolerably warm.
In a 2003 study, scientists showed that 1,700 plant and animal species migrated toward the poles at about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) per decade in the last 50 years.
That migration rate is not fast enough to keep up with the current rate of movement of a given temperature zone, which has reached about 25 miles (40 kilometers) per decade in the period 1975 to 2005, Hanson and co-authors write in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Rapid movement of climatic zones is going to be another stress on wildlife," Hansen said. "It adds to the stress of habitat loss due to human developments. If we do not slow down the rate of global warming, many species are likely to become extinct. In effect we are pushing them off the planet."
Listen, Bit. I was praying to God the other night and he told me not to worry about global warming or any such thing. He said it has nothing to do with man. It seems that Satan is having a boiler problem down there in the fiery depths of hell. He called a plumber, but trying to get one of those jackass*s to show up on time....you know, the whole frozen over thing. But God said that if Satan can't get his plumber to show up he will conjure up a punctual plumber, which you know, would be a miracle....
'LIMOUSINE liberals, move over. You've been out-glammed by Lear Jet liberals who burn beaucoup fossil fuels in the sky as they soar around the planet fighting global warming.
Last week, they flew to their Mecca, the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York City. For the left-leaning and loaded, this is the meeting that has it all -- the mega-rich paying to be seen caring about poor people and the environment, while posing for photos with former President Bill Clinton.
You see, they care so much more about the environment than President Bush because they support the Kyoto global-warming pact, which they believe would save the planet from greenhouse gases, if only Bush had not rejected it. (Never mind that Clinton never asked the Senate to ratify the pact, probably because senators voted 95-0 for a resolution rejecting any treaty that exempted China and India.)
Forget that Kyoto has the depth of a cowboy movie set. The storefronts look like a general store and saloon, but when actors walk through the door, there's nothing there. The overwhelming majority of industrialized nations that signed on to Kyoto amid much fanfare haven't cut their greenhouse gases. In June, the United Nations reported that only two Western European signatories -- Britain and Sweden -- are on target to meet their greenhouse-gas reduction targets, which call for a worldwide reduction of 5 percent below 1990 levels in 2012.
Spain is spewing more than 40 percent above its 1990 levels. Canada is 30 percent over. By comparison, Dubya's America looks good -- emitting 16 percent more greenhouse gases than in 1990.
No wonder Lear Jet liberals love Kyoto: it allows them to look like they really, really care about the environment -- and have their contrails, too.
The big news of the CGI was an announcement by Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, that he would donate $3 billion over 10 years -- his personal profits from his airline and train businesses -- to global-warming research. That's more money than I'll ever see, or spend on R&D, so bully for Branson. Still, it should be noted that Branson said some of the money will go back to his own corporations' research. That's not quite charity.
Besides, Branson hails from a country where some enviros believe flying is worse than a mega-SUV. The Bishop of London recently referred to flying abroad on holiday as "a symptom of sin."
Europeans are acutely aware of the effect flying has on one's carbon footprint. Flying is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases in the U.K. As the Guardian reported, greenhouse-gas emissions from flying more than doubled from 1990 to 2004 to 5.5 percent of the U.K.'s emissions. It would not surprise me if some day Britain legislates a limit on short flights -- say, London to Edinburgh or Paris, trips you can make in a car or train about as fast as flying. That would be bad news for Virgin Express.
In California, Branson has a soul mate in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Critics hit the governator for signing global-warming bills while owning four Hummers, but his biggest green sin is dibs on a private plane.
Flying is my biggest item in my carbon footprint calculation and I don't own a jet. Flying is probably the biggest personal polluter for people who fly roundtrip more than 10 times a year. So, all those Hollywood stars who preen about their Priuses can see themselves as eco-virtuous only by ignoring their plane travel.
They are in a pickle. How can they be beautiful people if they don't jet to an island for a week or two of eco-tourism?[/quote]
[QUOTE=Big Al NYC]Not to be TOO nit-picky, but you probably should have read the description of the person responsible for the quote you pulled out of that article.
"Alan Robock, a meteorologist and climate researcher from Rutgers University [B]who was not involved with the study[/B]."
Why is that quote in the article, then? He's a climatologist, no? This is the herd mentality that goes along with these things. The peer review process is a joke. That Hockey-Stick chart that Al Gore's movie so famously portrays has been ripped to shreds since no one can replicate that independently and there was no true peer review process. That is something a truly rigorous independent peer review should be able to accomplish before anything even remotely declarative is published.
Did someone independently replicate this study and arrive at the same conclusion? Why is this scientist so willing to take another study at face value, when science should be skeptical by nature? A million years - are they freaking kidding me?
Hansen has admitted in the past that hyping global warming is okay in order to raise awareness.
This is a joke and some igorant nodding along by a climatologist is a joke as well. Why quote the guy? His quote is so telling it's ridiculous. "It's probably right." That is NOT what science is. That is nothing. That should be telling to people like Bitonti and others who lap up everything they read.