[Vision2020] Four Levels of Global Warming: A Climate Change Update
nickgier at roadrunner.com
nickgier at roadrunner.com
Wed Dec 15 11:58:12 PST 2010
Good Morning Visionaries:
This is my column/radio commentary for the week. The full version is attached as a PDF file. Read about climate deniers exposed at www.home.roadrunner.com/~nickgier/CopenMyth.htm.
This piece would not have been possible with the help of Ted Moffet's references and his suggestions for corrections and additions. As opposed to Doug Wilson, this is one UI philosophy grad of whom I'm very proud.
I'm afraid the new Congress will set us back even worse than the Bush administration.
Look at this quotation from the clown that leads the GOP: “We are cooling. We are not warming. The warming you see out there is part of the cooling process.” This is just plain ignorance, but what is more dangerous is fabrication and manipulation driven by ideologues who can get the facts straight if they really wanted to.
Fearing the worse for our country,
FOUR LEVELS OF GLOBAL WARMING: A CLIMATE CHANGE UPDATE
Surface temperatures are the hightest since 1880, and scientists have now confirmed that the lower atmosphere has warmed as well. The surfaces of the oceans are warmer—up 7 degrees Fahrenheit off the coast of Sumatra—and sophisticated measurements have indicated that the ocean depths have warmed as well, especially in the waters surrounding Antarctica. Arctic Sea ice has retreated to the third lowest extent in recorded history, and the 58-foot Russian Peter I has just completed a circumnavigation of the North Pole without the aid of ice breakers.
The 2007 report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been unfairly criticized. A major error in the 2007 report—that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035—has been corrected, as well as minor errors about the Netherlands.
Although it urged the climate scientists to be more transparent, a British government panel has cleared the East Anglia Climate Research Unit of any wrong doing. Penn State University has also exonerated climate scientist Michael Mann of “falsifying or suppressing data, intending to delete or conceal e-mails and information, and misusing privileged or confidential information.”
According to the World Meteorological Organization—those leftists that bring you the daily weather —CO2 levels rose to 387 parts per million in 2009. The figure was 280 parts per million at the start of the industrial revolution. There is a consensus that a level of no more than 350 parts per million is what allowed the great civilizations to flourish.
The world’s oceans act as a huge CO2 sink, but the more they absorb the more acidic they become. The National Research Council reports that "the chemistry of the ocean is changing at an unprecedented rate and magnitude due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions." The oceans have not been this acidic in 800,000 years.
Warmer and more acidic seas destroy coral reefs, which, under normal conditions, take tons of calcium out of CO2. About 80 percent of the corals at the eastern end of the Indonesian island of Sumatra are now dead.
New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg told a Commerce Committee panel: "This increase in ocean acidity threatens to decimate entire species, including those that are at the foundation of the marine food chain. If that occurs, the consequences are devastating."
In October, 2010 the National Academy of Sciences published a paper that found that the volume of the world’s rivers has increased 18 percent from 1994-2006. This river run-off and thermal expansion of the oceans has caused sea levels to rise.
How high they will go depends primarily on how fast the world’s glaciers will melt. New estimates are 50 percent gone by 2050 and 70 percent by 2070. This does not include the ice sheets of Greenland or Antarctica, which will last much longer, but are still melting at an alarming rate. From 2004-2007 Greenland lost 708 billion metric tons of ice.
Predictions for sea level rise by 2100 range from 30 inches to 6 feet. (That high figure comes from a 2009 paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.) A 16 inch rise would put 11 percent of Bangladesh underwater and force 7-10 million people to relocate permanently.
Some Pacific islands are frequently flooded by “king” tides, and some are already authorizing budget lines for the complete relocation of their citizens. This will be the first time in history that nations have physically disappeared.
If climate change deniers will not listen to scientists, perhaps they will pay heed to military leaders who believe that climate change is a threat to the security of all nations. Speaking to the New York Times (8-9-09) retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni warns that “we will pay for this one way or another,” and his advice is that we do it now before the costs and security risks become too great.
Unfortunately the number of climate change deniers has dramatically increased in the U.S. Congress, and on December 2 four GOP lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton objecting to the $3.2 billion that has been set aside for developing countries to fight global warming. Citing errors in the IPCC report (a red herring) and the treasury deficit, they insist that taxpayer money should not be wasted in this manner.
In conclusion I would like to quote from Michael Steele, the Chair of the National Republican Committee: “We are cooling. We are not warming. The warming you see out there is part of the cooling process.”
Nick Gier taught philosophy at the University of Idaho for 31 years.
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