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ira Feb 2nd, 2007 03:39 AM

Global Warming Report
Hi All,

The Summary of the IPCC report on global warming is out.


Makes for interesting reading.

Summers in Europe are projected to be dryer for the next 100 years, while winters will be wetter.


Piedmont_Phil Feb 2nd, 2007 04:03 AM

Could do with some rain on my vineyard in NW Italy at the moment - we are in the middle of a drought!

ira Feb 2nd, 2007 04:19 AM

Hi PP,

You might want to consider plantng some vines from Sicily. :)

Budman Feb 2nd, 2007 04:36 AM

Thanks for the morning chuckle. :-) ((b))

wanderful Feb 2nd, 2007 04:40 AM

Global warming:

One more reason to get in as much Venice as you can before the “high water” becomes ... glub, glub

Sue_xx_yy Feb 2nd, 2007 07:39 AM

From p.12 of the report ira cites:

"Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise would continue for centuries due to the timescales associated with climate processes and feedbacks, even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized."

If one observes how long it takes for the indoor temperature of any large commercial facility to reequilibrate after a major external temperature swing ( my local sports facility takes up to two days) it is easy to grasp how the consortium came to that conclusion. Extrapolating from such facilities, which are infinitesmally small compared to the area of the Earth's surface and the volume of its oceans, and one would readily conclude that the time lag before the Earth's temperatures could stabilize after major changes in the ozone layer, etc. would be proportionately long, very long.

This is why I have long felt that cherry-picking this or that unpopular energy use to condemn (SUVs, illumination of city monuments, etc.) simply distracts from the immediate problem that is far more pressing: learning to live with the effects of climate change, howsoever caused. In the meantime, while energy conservation is always a wise policy, it is only reasonable to keep in proportion the kinds of effects one can expect to achieve in the near future. Turning off a single light in my sports facility - whilst a noble and even reasonable idea in principle - won't help it cool down noticably faster, in the event the outside temperature swings upward (which it just has.)

A good and workable plan requires realistic expectations of environmental feedback to any alteration in energy use.

NorthShore Feb 2nd, 2007 08:04 AM

I don't get hot about global warming, its the coming ice age that chills me to the bone.

alanRow Feb 2nd, 2007 09:48 AM

Quote from the White House

<<< Sharon Hays, Associate Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy said that the report was a "comprehensive and accurate" presentation of climate science and that President George Bush’s policies, braking the rise of emissions rather than cutting them, were working.

"The President has put in place a comprehensive set of policies to address what he has called the ’serious challenge’ of climate change." >>>

I'm assuming that the denizens of White House are either reading a different report or they are out of their tiny little skulls on someone GWB has saved for a rainy day.

naughtyb Feb 2nd, 2007 10:11 AM

Still, Bush will not sign the Kyoto agreement. What a mind blowing decision. We need to join the table and do our part to help curb the effects for later generations.

wanderful Feb 2nd, 2007 10:30 AM

The global warming report comes at the same time that scientists are declaring once more in the press that the Bush Administration has systematically compromised their findings, by changing the wording of the reports they’ve written or by ‘persuading” them to come to more Bush-friendly “scientific” conclusions.

wombat7 Feb 2nd, 2007 10:48 AM

Have a look at this article from the Grauniad which guides you through a cacluation of your carbon footprint.

Must admit that I was feeling pretty smug as I worked my way through calculations for heating and gas/petrol - even the consumption part was not bad. But then I went to the flying part

Not really much point in doing all the other calculations becuase the carbon footprint from my flights in the last 12 months blew it all out of the water.

Quite depressing

RufusTFirefly Feb 2nd, 2007 01:00 PM

The Kyoto Agreement is a feel-good, political document. When you get into the fine print it accomplishes very little--e.g., major increasing polluters like China and India were basically allowed to pollute all they want just so they would sign. Much more agressive measures are needed.

jeanm Feb 2nd, 2007 01:36 PM

Two comments on RufusT's contentions:

Of course Kyoto isn't enough, but it's the basis for Plan B (and C and D and E, as more evidence accumulates). By removing ourselves from Kyoto, we moved to the sidelines of the global playing field, which is a shame. Right when true leadership was most needed.

As for India, China, and Kyoto: India and China will certainly have to participate to reduce climate change impacts. There's an international principle that applies: "common but differentiated responsibilties." All countries need to participate, but not all in the same way. Participation should be proportionate to resources and responsibility.

Speaking of which -- in 2003, US emitted 20 (or 23.5, depending on the source) metric tonnes of CO2 per capita. China: 3.2 tonnes per capita. India: 1.2 tonnes. It's not hard to imagine these countries asking why they should reduce emissions if the US won't. Which returns us to that leadership issue. . .

alanRow Feb 2nd, 2007 01:55 PM

The White House is more concerned about POSSIBLE job losses than doing anything.

As I said several years ago when Bush first put his head in the sand, you don't have to believe in Climate Change to make money from it.

Not that it would occur to GWB and his fellow vultures

wren Feb 2nd, 2007 02:16 PM

Countries can sign anything they want...but here are the facts:

If you are at all serious about this subject, I trust that you are writing your Congressmen and petitioning the use of Nuclear Energy...just like France who gets more than 70% of their power from this source. Think of how clean it is compared to coal!

Sue_xx_yy Feb 2nd, 2007 02:27 PM

How did ira's link to a report by a United Nations agency based in Switzerland turn into a discussion about American politics?

Does nobody actually want to discuss the report itself, and the science behind it? (There's enough acronyms and graphs in there to keep anyone busy, I would have thought. Or is that the problem, that the report is too technical?)

Anybody? Ira? (After all, you raised the topic.)

tomboy Feb 2nd, 2007 02:57 PM

There are numerous websites that illustrate how nuclear energy is not the "carbon saint" it's made out to be. For example, how does one get uranium? Answer: dig it up with big (diesel) shovels and trucks, treat the rock with sulfuric acid (made using LOTS of energy).
Further, the 3 fastest growing economies in the world (China, India, Brazil), although signatories, have no requirement to reduce carbon dioxide emission whatsoever. So, they're free to build, and are building, coal burning power plants without scrubbers or similar technology to power their growth.
This is not to say there may not be global warming (if we don't take steps to reverse it, Greenland will have gardens again as it did in Lief Ericson
s day, 1000 AD), but the controls ought to weigh equally on all parties.

NEDSIRELAND Feb 2nd, 2007 03:02 PM

It's scary! Consider the efect on the climate in Europe of a southward shift in the Gulf Stream as the Greenland Ice Cap melts and cold, fresh water spills southward. A similar thing will happen as the larger, Antartic Ice Cap melts in the Southern hemisphere. Storm tracks will traverse the Continents at more southerly latitudes; what are now deserts (N. Africa, for example) will bloom.

The cold, fresh water underrunning salt water in the oceans will doom a lot of marine life.

Magnitude and dimensions of problems caused by global warming are unfathomable. A multidisciplinary group such as the Department of Policy Sciences at the University of Oklahoma should be awarded a Grant to identify and study as many of the Dimensions of this problem as possible.

If President Bush doesn't take this seriously enough, Congress has an Office of Technology Assessment that brings together experts as needed to explore and define Impacts of various technologies. I was priviledged to serve as a member of one of those panels 20-years ago.
I think Ira did well posting the URL of the IPCC Report.

cruiseluv Feb 2nd, 2007 03:04 PM

I can't get too excited about this. 30 years ago Time magazine discussed in an article how the consensus was that a new Ice age was coming...... Now, the crisis du jour is "Global Warming". Even if it's happening, why is it so bad? Maybe some places that were useless to grow crops will now be able to.

Jack Feb 2nd, 2007 03:16 PM

As always in these kinds of posts, the facts get skewed based on a posters political position. To set the record straight:

The United States, although a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, has neither ratified nor withdrawn from the Protocol. The signature alone is symbolic, as the Kyoto Protocol is non-binding on the United States unless ratified.

On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States".

On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore (not Bill Clinton) symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman then indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations. Thereafter, the Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

Since taking office in 2001, George W. Bush, has indicated that he also does not intend to submit the treaty for ratification, not because he does not support the Kyoto principles, but because of the exemption granted to China, the world's second largest emitter of carbon dioxide (The United States is, as of 2005, the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels). Bush also opposes the treaty because of the strain he believes the treaty would put on the economy; and he emphasizes the uncertainties which he asserts are still present in the climate change issue.

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