Report: China Overtakes U.S. As Top CO2 Emitter [2007 June 21]
... According to a report released Tuesday by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, China overtook the U.S. in emissions of CO2 by 8 percent in 2006. While China was 2 percent below the United States in 2005, voracious coal consumption and increased cement production caused the numbers to rise rapidly, the group said.
... The study said China, which relies on coal for two-thirds of its energy needs and makes 44 percent of the world's cement, produced 6.2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2006. In comparison, the U.S., which gets half its electricity from coal, produced 5.8 billion metric tons of CO2, it said.
...Beijing also indicated an unwillingness to enforce mandatory emissions caps.
Climate change and trace gases by James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Pushker Kharecha, Gary Russell, David W. Lea & Mark Siddall, in Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A Volume 365, Number 1856 / July 15, 2007 [2007 June 19]
Palaeoclimate data show that the Earth's climate is remarkably sensitive to global forcings. Positive feedbacks predominate. This allows the entire planet to be whipsawed between climate states. One feedback, the ‘albedo flip’ property of ice/water, provides a powerful trigger mechanism. A climate forcing that ‘flips’ the albedo of a sufficient portion of an ice sheet can spark a cataclysm. Inertia of ice sheet and ocean provides only moderate delay to ice sheet disintegration and a burst of added global warming. Recent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions place the Earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of our control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the largest human-made climate forcing, but other trace constituents are also important. Only intense simultaneous efforts to slow CO2 emissions and reduce non-CO2 forcings can keep climate within or near the range of the past million years. The most important of the non-CO2 forcings is methane (CH4), as it causes the second largest human-made GHG climate forcing and is the principal cause of increased tropospheric ozone (O3), which is the third largest GHG forcing. Nitrous oxide (N2O) should also be a focus of climate mitigation efforts. Black carbon (‘black soot’) has a high global warming potential (approx. 2000, 500 and 200 for 20, 100 and 500 years, respectively) and deserves greater attention. Some forcings are especially effective at high latitudes, so concerted efforts to reduce their emissions could preserve Arctic ice, while also having major benefits for human health, agricultural productivity and the global environment.
How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic by Coby Beck at Gristmill [2007, 2006]
Responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming.
IPCC's Climate Change 2007: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability [2007 April 6]
Worse to Come From Global Warming by Richard A. Kerr, ScienceNOW Daily News [2007 April 6]
"The U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today in Brussels has a familiar ring. As the climate disasters headlined recently--intense hurricanes, drought in the American West, Arctic thawing--become commonplace in a greenhouse world, plants, animals, and people will suffer. That has been the presumption, but the latest report from the IPCC projecting greenhouse impacts calculates mounting costs that will fall the heaviest on the world's poor."
AL GORE: Global Warming Testimony @ Congress on YouTube [2007 March 21]
Republican Joe Barton v. Al Gore, Global Warming Testimony @ Congress on YouTube [2007 March 21]
Swiss boat claims first solar Atlantic crossing [2007 February 4]
"A Swiss-made catamaran has become the first solar-powered boat to cross the Atlantic after reaching the French Caribbean island of Martinique....
It is claimed to be the first-ever motorized vessel to complete the journey without using any fuel."
Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policymakers, by Richard Alley et al, Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, UNEP [Press conference (audio with slidshow)] [2007 February 2]
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
This Summary for Policymakers was formally approved at the 10th Session
of Working Group I of the IPCC, Paris, February 2007.
Water at Risk as State Warms, San Jose Mercury [2007 January 25]
"Without water and the ability to move it efficiently over hundreds of miles --to cities, suburbs, farms and factories -- California would be unrecognizable as the fertile, vibrant state it is today. Already, scientists say, there are clear signs that global warming will put that vital flow in jeopardy. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, a natural reservoir that stores 40 percent of the state's water supply in the winter and gradually releases it in the spring and summer, is shrinking. The mountains are getting more rain and less snow, and the snowpack is melting at least a week earlier than it did before World War II. Sea level has risen half a foot at the Golden Gate..."
Tackling Climate Change in the U.S.: Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 2030, American Solar Energy Society (204 pgs, pdf, 8.7 mb) [2007 January]
"Climate change is happening. Animals know it. Many are beginning to migrate to stay within their climate zones. But some are beginning to run out of real estate. They are in danger of being pushed off the planet, to extinction.
Even humans are starting to notice climate change. And they are learning that unabated climate change poses great dangers, including rising sea levels and increased regional climate extremes. Yet the public is not fully aware of some basic scientific facts that define an urgency for action. One stark implication—we must begin fundamental changes in our energy use now, phasing in new technologies over the next few decades, in order to avoid human-made climate disasters."
This document is very rich in visual aids and technical details. Unfortunately the section on biomass is incomplete and the section on biofuels is delusional:
"... Biofuels serve a unique role in reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on oil and gasoline—a critical strategic problem. Savings of 28 billion gallons in gasoline consumption in 2030 represent 20% of total current U.S. consumption of gasoline. While not a majority of future demand, this level of savings could be sufficient to reduce the current pattern of transportation fuel price volatility..."
Climate Change and the Bay Area, by ABAG [2006 November 17]
See pages 10 and 11.
The Stern Review on climate change. [2006 October]
"... [T]he costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year."
Arctic and Global Climate Change, by Lonnie G. Thompson, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Geological Sciences & BPRC, Ohio [2006 May 22]
With so little time to act, such suggestions for modest approaches are dangerous. With all due respect for all the effort given to creating this report, the author's prescription for change is too little too late. [Ed.]
"The Earth is at its warmest since record keeping began (1860 AD). The 20th century is the warmest in the last 2000 years. There is broad scientific consensus that human activities are contributing to the warming of the Earth and creating systemic
disruptions (nutrient cycles, ecosystem disruptions, sea level rise). Ice cores provide unique information that extends our knowledge of the Earth’s climate history. Glaciers in most parts of the world are rapidly melting and their loss will affect 2 to 3 billion people and valuable paleoclimate archives will be lost forever. Glaciers are our most visible evidence of global warming. They integrate many climate variables in the Earth system. Their loss is readily apparent and they have “no political agenda”."
Remarks by Al Gore [2006 September 18]
"Each passing day brings yet more evidence that we are now facing a planetary emergency — a climate crisis that demands immediate action to sharply reduce carbon dioxide emissions worldwide in order to turn down the earth’s thermostat and avert catastrophe.
Abrupt Tropical Climate Change: Past and Present [Abstract] [2006 July 11]
"The serious debate over the climate crisis has now moved on to the question of how we can craft emergency solutions in order to avoid this catastrophic damage."
This document is available for free at this otherwise pay-to-read website. See the highlighted reference.
Global Challenges Toward Low-Carbon Economy - Focus on Country-Specific Scenario Analysis agenda for COP 11 in Montréal by Japanese Institute for Environmental Studies [2005 November]
Scenarios toward 2050 by representatives from USA, Canada, UK, France, Japan, China, and India. Key messages:
Amazon suffering worst drought in decades, Some suspect global warming, deforestation are factors, by Terry Wade, Reuters [2005 October 12]
- Low carbon economy (LCE) is necessary to stabilize climate change.
- There is no single bullet. The way to achieve LCE is different for each country. [Emissions by country, total and per capita] International cooperation is necessary to realize global LCE.
- Aligning sustainable development & climate change actions can reduce the burden and facilitate transition to stabilization. LCE is technologically and economically feasible.
"The worst drought in more than 40 years is damaging the world’s biggest rainforest, plaguing the Amazon basin with wildfires, sickening river dwellers with tainted drinking water, and killing fish by the millions as streams dry up."
The Debate Is Over No serious scientist doubts that humans are warming up the planet, Bill McKibben [2005 Nov 03]
We are entering the Oh shit era of global warming.
First there was the era of I wonder what will happen? It began more than 100 years ago when Svante Arrhenius, a great Swedish chemist, scrawled a few calculations on the back of the proverbial envelope.
New coal plants bury 'Kyoto', by [2004 December 23]
"The official treaty to curb greenhouse-gas emissions hasn't gone into effect yet and already three countries are planning to build nearly 850 new coal-fired plants, which would pump up to five times as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce."
How could we have known that a hurricane was coming to New Orleans? [2004 October]
Insurer Warns of Global Warming Catastrophe by Thomas Atkins, Reuters [2004 March 3]
Greenhouse Gas Soft Sell, by Andrew T. Gillies, Forbes Magazine [2003 November 26]
"When the Bush Administration unveiled its plan to address global climate change in February 2002, a key component was a program called "Climate Leaders." True to the administration's bottom-up approach to business regulation, Climate Leaders invited big manufacturers and others to work with the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases--such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and others thought to contribute to global warming."
An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security, by Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall [2003 October]
"This report suggests that, because of the potentially dire consequences, the risk of abrupt climate change, although uncertain and quite possibly small, should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a U.S. national security concern."
Washing Away, Special Report from the Times-Picayune, by Mark Schleifstein et al [2002 June 23-27]
"It's only a matter of time before South Louisiana takes a direct hit from a major hurricane. Billions have been spent to protect us, but we grow more vulnerable every day."