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Canadian Climate Change Article


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Put me down for some beach front property on Great Slave Lake :)

By the end of this century, fires will consume twice as much forest annually in Canada, a fifth of the currently snowy Arctic will be greened by tundra and Great Lakes water levels will have plunged still lower, international scientists are going to warn this week in an authoritative climate change report.

Economic damage from severe weather, such as hurricanes, is almost certain to continue rising in North America and city-dwellers face heightened health risks, the scientists conclude.

Yet Canada and the U.S. are ill-prepared to adapt to such almost-certain impacts from climate change, leaving their citizens vulnerable.

This grim regional picture is contained in the second report this year from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to be published Friday.

The report summarizes the probable effects on people and the environment arising from the increase of 2 to 3 degrees C in average temperatures by 2050 forecast in the panel's first climate science study released in February.

The scientists conclude that the temperature-spurred shift of plants and animals northward and to higher altitudes "is likely to rearrange the map of North American ecosystems."

They also caution that climate change will hit hardest at specific groups in Canada and the U.S., like the urban poor and elderly, aboriginals and resource-dependent communities, such as lumber towns.

A collation of the top peer-reviewed scientific research over the past five years, the IPCC reports are produced by a United Nations network of 2,000 scientists as authors and reviewers.

The Star obtained a near-final draft of the IPCC Technical Summary, an 80-page document more detailed than the short political summary being edited in Brussels this week by representatives from 120 governments. Both documents are to be made public Friday.

Nearly six pages of the technical summary are devoted to climate change impact and vulnerability in North America and the polar regions. For most of the projected effects, the scientists rate the confidence level as "high" or "very high," meaning an 80 or 90 per cent chance of being correct.

Water in North America is going to come under particularly severe pressure because of climate change, the IPCC summary concludes.

For the Great Lakes and major river systems, "lower water levels are likely to exacerbate issues of water quality, navigation, hydro-power generation, water diversions and bi-national co-operation."

In addition, warmer temperatures affecting snowfall and rain over the Rockies by mid-century will probably reduce the summer flow in rivers and increase the risk of winter flooding.

Also a recurring theme is higher health and safety risk in North American cities because of climate change.

"Severe heat waves, characterized by stagnant, warm air masses and consecutive nights with high minimum temperatures, are likely to intensify in magnitude and duration over portions of the U.S. and Canada, where they already occur," the scientists say.

By 2050, deaths linked to smog could increase by almost 5 per cent because of higher ozone levels in cities already blighted by smog.

The summary does not identify individual cities.

The continent's ecosystems will be rearranged in both good and bad ways.

Forests may initially benefit from warming through faster tree growth but hotter summers in the second half of this century could lead to fires consuming between 74 and 118 per cent more forest than now.

Longer growing seasons should boost net agricultural production for a few decades but this will be accompanied by more insect plagues and more wildfires.

In the North, the scientists forecast that tundra will invade between 15 and 25 per cent of the current "Arctic desert," the region characterized by permanently frozen ground and minimal precipitation.

Other Arctic predictions include:

# Permafrost area could shrink by as much as a third by mid-century and the ground will thaw to a depth 50 per cent greater than usual during summer in northernmost locations.

# The summer spread of polar sea ice, already shrinking, should get still smaller by 22 to 33 per cent by the end of the century, opening navigation through the Arctic Ocean.

# Climate change at the poles will trigger global impacts, including a possible weakening of the ocean "conveyor belt" which brings warm water north from the tropics.

The detailed science underlying the IPCC conclusions won't be available until later this year when the full study will be published. It is expected to run between 300 and 400 pages.

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my dad sent me this article this morning, provides a bit of a counterpoint... i haven't read through it all yet.

An Inconvenient Truth meets a few facts

S. Fred Singer, Special to The Windsor Star

Published: Monday, April 02, 2007

Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth has met its match: a devastating documentary recently shown on British television, which has also been viewed by millions of people on the Internet. In spite of its flamboyant title, The Great Global Warming Swindle is based on sound science by recording the statements of real climate scientists, including me. An Inconvenient Truth mainly records a politician.

The scientific arguments presented in The Great Global Warming Swindle can be stated quite briefly.

First, there is no proof at all that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from human activities, such as the generation of energy from the burning of fuels. Observations in ice cores show that temperature increases have preceded -- not resulted from -- increases in CO2 by hundreds of years, suggesting that the warming of the oceans is an important source of the rise in atmospheric CO2.

As the dominant greenhouse gas, water vapour is far, far more important than CO2, yet not well handled by climate models -- and, in any case, not within our control. Greenhouse models also cannot account for the observed cooling of much of the past century (1940-1975), nor for the observed patterns of warming -- what we call the "fingerprints." For example, the Antarctic is cooling while models predict warming. And where the models call for the middle atmosphere to warm faster than the surface, the observations show the exact opposite.

THE BEST EVIDENCE

But the best evidence we have supports natural causes -- changes in cloudiness linked to regular variations in solar activity. Thus the current warming is likely part of a natural cycle of climate warming and cooling that's been traced back almost a million years. It accounts for the Medieval Warm Period around 1100 AD, when the Vikings were able to settle Greenland and grow crops, and the Little Ice Age, from about 1400 to 1850 AD, which brought severe winters and cold summers to Europe, with failed harvests, starvation, disease and general misery.

Attempts have been made to claim that the current warming is "unusual"; a spurious analysis of tree rings and other proxy data tried to deny the existence of these historic climate swings; but this so-called "hockey-stick" result, that earth temperatures have been constant until recent decades, has now been thoroughly discredited.

Second, if the cause of warming is mostly natural, then there is little we can do about it. We can't influence the inconstant Sun, the likely origin of most climate variability. None of the schemes of mitigation currently bandied about will do any good; they are all irrelevant, useless, and wildly expensive:

- Control of CO2 emissions, whether by rationing or by elaborate cap-and-trade schemes

- Uneconomic "alternative" energy, such as ethanol and the impractical "hydrogen economy"

- Massive installations of wind turbines and solar collectors

- Proposed projects for the sequestration of CO2 from smokestacks or even from the atmosphere

Ironically, all of these schemes would be ineffective even if CO2 were responsible for the observed warming trend -- unless we could persuade every nation, including China, to cut fuel use by 80 percent! Finally, no one can show that a warmer climate would produce negative impacts overall. The much-feared rise in sea levels does not seem to depend on short-term temperature changes, as the rate of sea-level increases has been steady since the last ice age, 10,000 years ago. In fact, many economists argue that the opposite is more likely -- that warming produces a net benefit, that it increases incomes and standards of living. All agree that a colder climate would be bad. So why would the present climate be the optimum? Surely, the chances for this must be vanishingly small, and the history of past climate warmings bear this out.

MAIN MESSAGE

But the main message of The Great Global Warming Swindle is much broader. Why should we devote our scarce resources to what is essentially a non-problem, and ignore the real problems the world faces: hunger, disease, denial of human rights -- not to mention the threats of terrorism and nuclear wars? And are we really prepared to deal with natural disasters; pandemics that can wipe out most of the human race, or even the impact of an asteroid, such as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs?

Yet politicians and the elites throughout much of the world prefer to toy with and devote our limited resources to fashionable issues, rather than concentrate on real ones. Just consider the scary predictions emanating from supposedly responsible world figures: The chief scientist of Britain's Labor Party tells us that unless we insulate our houses and use more efficient light bulbs, the Antarctic will be the only habitable continent by 2100, with a few surviving breeding couples propagating the human race. Seriously.

I imagine that in the not-too-distant future, all of the hype will have died down, particularly if the climate should decide to cool -- as it did during much of the past century; we should take note here that it has not warmed since 1998. Future generations will look back on the current madness and wonder what it was all about. They will have movies like An Inconvenient Truth and documentaries like The Great Global Warming Swindle to remind them.

S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and research fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. (www.independent.org). He served as the founding director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service and was vice-chairman of the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere. He is the author of Hot Talk, Cold Science, and his most recent book, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years, is on the New York Times bestseller list.

© The Windsor Star 2007

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Well I'm no scientist but pollution and C02 being spewed into my atmosphere concerns me alot more than Terrorist threats. I think articles like this (Right above my post) just confuses people and stops them from taking any action. It also fuels the "Well theres nothing we can do about it" mindset. I dont call climate change a non-issue, hey but that me.........

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And are we really prepared to deal with natural disasters ; pandemics that can wipe out most of the human race, or even the impact of an asteroid, such as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs?

I don't trust people who challenge scientists on that level if they write in sentence fragments.

Seriously, though, it is pretty silly stuff, and what makes it especially annoying is the "either-or" mentality - "why devote any scientific resources to sorting this through [in spite of the fact that this has been going on an awful lot and has produced these uncomfortable conclusions] when we should be putting the resources elsewhere, like preventing terrorism or nuclear war [as if these were proper subjects for science anyway]?"

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I agree with some things in that article but it's from stuff like that that makes people think it's ok whats happening with global warming and just turn a blind eye. I think that first article is pretty important cause it's really the first time that the 'media' is saying it is global warming...

I don't think it's all natural. Maybe there are some natural elements but overall I have seen more changes in the weather in the last 2 years then I ever have! (then again I have only seen 26 yrs of the weather but.. ya... lol..)

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There's an endless list of interesting Dirty Big Secrets behind most of the "experts" and "scientists" interviewed in this swindle.

Indeed, the author of the Windsor Star article is none other than the first on the list below; [color:red]Frederick Singer.

Many of the film's interviewees are in the pay of the fossil fuel industry and energy lobby groups.

And of course, some are those kinds of people willing to say anything just to make a buck.

Check out this background info on ten of the 18 skeptics interviewed, and why they might not be credible.

Be sure to check the referenced links for the real eye openers. Then, You can decide who's trying to swindle who.

[color:red]Professor Emeritus Frederick Singer (made a name for himself fighting for the tobacco lobby, arguing that second hand smoke wasn't bad for human health, connected to at least 11 separate organizations on the payroll of Exxon Mobil.)

reference

[color:red]Dr Tim Ball (in the pay of the oil and gas industry, runs PR groups controlled by energy industry lobbyists)

reference more references

[color:red]Piers Corbyn - (Possibly whacko numero uno of the cast. He claims to have a secret technique for predicting the weather months in advance, but the catch is, you have to buy his forecasts to check their validity, and many who do seem to want their money back; apparently he isn't very good at it.)

reference

[color:red]Professor Richard Lindzen (has been paid at a rate of $2,500 per day by the oil and gas industry as a consultant. Had trip expenses to testify before a Senate comittee on climate science paid by Western Fuels. Has been paid by OPEC to write an essay entitled: 'Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus')

reference

[color:red]Patrick Moore (One of my personal favorite (loathed) climate skeptics. In the pay of the Forestry, Fossil fuel and Nuclear Industry. No BS, here's a PR gem he came up with in the past: On the disappearing Amazon rainforest in 2000: "They are just about the healthiest forests in the world. This stuff about them vanishing at an alarming rate is a con based on bad science...anyone who has been in the jungle knows that if you want to live there, you'd better take a few machetes.")

reference

[color:red]Professor Patrick Michaels (long time on the fossil fuel payroll, Critics of his work wonder why he consistently leaves out 1996-present data in his discussions, graphs etc, as those last ten or so years are the hottest on record.)

reference more references

[color:red]Paul K. Driessen (Co-editor of Capital PR news, newsletter of the largest chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. His bio indicates working for an unspecified energy trade association)

reference

[color:red]Paul Reiter (Paul sits comfortably on a board of scientific advisors for the 'Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy'. This group was the recipient of $763,500 Exxon Mobil dollars, and used to be funded by the 'National Association of Manufacturers', one of America's largest industry groups)

reference

[color:red]Ian Clark (sits on the scientific advisory board of a PR group directed by Tim Ball, controlled by fossil interests - see above)

reference

[color:red]Roy Spencer (Scientific advisor to the "Interfaith Stewardship Alliance"; "a coalition of religious leaders, clergy, theologians, scientists, academics, and other policy experts committed to bringing a proper and balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development." <-- if that mission statement doesn't scare you then just follow the money. He is also a member of at least two think tanks who are or have been on the payroll of Exxon Mobil.)

reference

10 of the 18 interviewed in the film having serious conflicts of interest to say the least. Feel free to continue researching the remaining eight. Newsflash, make that seven. [color:green]Professor Carl Wunsch was also interviewed in the film, yet it turns out he was swindled into believing the film was to be a balanced study of science. Immediately after the program aired, Professor Wunsch denounced the film as PR spin, saying that he wouldn't have made the appearance if he knew it aimed to stall the debate. Read his entire letter to the Television Broadcaster who aired the program in response #109 to the link below:

real climate science from climate scientists

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