Monday, August 01, 2005

On Canaries and Coal Mines

Global Warming "just a theory?"

BROOKLIN, Canada - Hurricane Ivan, the incredibly powerful storm that killed at least 120 people in the Caribbean and southern United States, may be a harbinger of the Earth's hotter future, say experts.

"As the world warms, we expect more and more intense tropical hurricanes and cyclones," said James McCarthy, a professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University...

Over the last 100 years, the Earth has warmed by about .6 degrees C, according to the 2001 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international scientific body that studies the relationship between human activity and global warming.

The IPCC report was based on research by more than 2,500 scientists from about 100 countries who determined that emissions of gases such as carbon dioxide act as a blanket that prevents much of the sun's energy from dissipating into space.

Much of the extra energy from this "greenhouse effect" is being absorbed by the oceans.

The "proof" that the oceans are warming is the fact that global sea levels have risen 3.1 cm in the past 10 years, said Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Water expands when heated, and sea levels are expected to continue rising by as much as 50 cm by 2100.

While the warming of the oceans is not uniform -- the North Pacific and North Atlantic are a bit cooler -- the hurricane-producing mid-Atlantic and Caribbean oceans have warmed significantly.

"Global warming is creating conditions that are more favorable for hurricanes to develop and be more severe," said Trenberth.

Will that result in more Category 4 or 5 storms like Ivan?

"That's the logical conclusion, although it may be somewhat controversial," he said.

Let's see...Team Bush's environmental policy, no policy. He also wants to stiff Louisiana, which ALREADY has a critical problem with coastal erosion WHETHER OR NOT a super-cane either sideswipes or hits us head on, but sees no problem spending upwards of $300 billion for war in Iraq (and already only god knows how much of that has been lost to graft and corruption).

Hell, about the only thing left IS a "faith-based" initiative--pray the Gret Stet can dodge the proverbial bullet.

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