The earth’s climate has been relatively stable for thousands of years. We know intuitively that it is hot, humid, and rainy in the Amazon, and that corn grows well in the US Midwest. We know that at a particular altitude we should plant a crop during a certain week of the year because conditions for it are just right then. For most of our memory as humans, our climates have closely oscillated around predictable patterns, and this has allowed us to feed ourselves and flourish.
When a stable climate system is modified beyond its “tipping point,” it gets out of balance and loses its equilibrium. While the system searches for a new set of patterns to stabilize around, variability and uncertainly are the norm. This, in essence, is the nature of the challenge that we are now facing.
Just like the swimming polar bears have become symbols for disappearing sea ice in the Arctic, the remote atolls of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean have become emblematic for the consequences of sea level rise.
It makes plain sense that on islands where the highest elevation is sometimes less than two meters, the IPCC’s predicted sea level rise of up to 58 cm by 2100 will cause devastation.
Or does it? Things that seem obvious at first glance, usually turn out to be more complicated if you look closer. So too with climate change.
Irrigation’s Cooling Effects May Mask Warming in Some Regions — For Now
ScienceDaily (Sep. 8, 2010) — Expanded irrigation has made it possible to feed the world’s growing billions — and it may also temporarily be counteracting the effects of climate change in some regions, say scientists in a new study. But some major groundwater aquifers, a source of irrigation water, are projected to dry up in coming decades from continuing overuse, and when they do, people may face the double whammy of food shortages and higher temperatures.
A new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research pinpoints where the trouble spots may be.
“Irrigation can have a significant cooling effect on regional temperatures, where people live,” said the study’s lead author, Michael Puma, a hydrologist who works jointly with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and its affiliated NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “An important question for the future is what happens to the climate if the water goes dry and the cooling disappears? How much warming is being hidden by irrigation?”
Biodiversity Hot Spots More Vulnerable to Global Warming Than Thought
ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2010) — Global warming may present a threat to animal and plant life even in biodiversity hot spots once thought less likely to suffer from climate change, according to a new study from Rice University.
Tropics: Global Warming Likely to Significantly Affect Rainfall Patterns
ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2010) — Climate models project that the global average temperature will rise about 1°C by the middle of the century, if we continue with business as usual and emit greenhouse gases as we have been. The global average, though, does not tell us anything about what will happen to regional climates, for example rainfall in the western United States or in paradisical islands like Hawai’i. Continue reading “Global Warming and Rainfall Patterns (Science Daily)”
Copenhagen also failed to bring smile in the face of Severn Suzuki
“When the temperature around the earth is rising, arctic ice and the glaciers are melting faster, sea level is rising at an alarming rate to submerge many island nations and whole of the earth is undergoing a terrible geographical change, how can the developed nations see the poor and developing countries as only vulnerable and count themselves as safe from the consequences of climate change?“
Basudev Mahapatra : December 25, 2009
‘I am afraid to go out to sun now because of the holes in the ozone. I am afraid to breathe in the air now because I don’t know what chemicals are in it’ said Severn Suzuki in 1992 at Rio expressing her concern over the issue of climate change across the globe. ‘Now we hear of animals and plants going extinct every day, vanishing forever. Now, in my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and main forests full of birds and butterflies. But now I wonder if they were even exist for my children to see’, said Severn Suzuki asking delegations from across the globe, ‘Did you have to worry of these things when you were of my age?’ This was the concern of Severn Suzuki when she was 12-13 years old. Continue reading “Copenhagen also failed to bring smile in the face of Severn Suzuki (Google / Hotnhitnews)”
Is global warming melting the ice on Mt. Kilimanjaro?
By Pete Spotts
Global warming appears to be melting the ice on Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro. The summit’s glaciers are likely to be gone within a few decades
That’s the word from a study appearing this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
But global warming may not be the whole story behind Mt. Kilimanjaro and its environs. And therein lies a tale of how human activities may affect local and regional climate in ways that can mask or reinforce a long-term warming trend.
Researchers are claiming advancement in the genetic engineering of plants to improve heat tolerance, which is increasingly critical in the global efforts to combat desertification.
In a study published by peer-review journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a team led by Gyeongsang National University scientist Lee Sang-yeol found that controlling the expression of AtTDX, a plant-specific protein, may provide a key in genetically-engineering plans against high-temperature stress. Continue reading “Heat Resistance in Plants (Google / Korea Times)”
Makhzoumi Foundation, in collaboration with “Art of Living – Lebanon”, distributed 4000 plants from the Foundation’s nursery in Akkar, to 20 universities and schools through different municipalities all over Lebanon. This activity took place on “Tree Day” in December 2008.
It is worth mentioning that the activity comes within the framework of the “Green Land” Project, supported by the United Nations millennium campaign and the United Nation Environmental Program, which aims at disseminating awareness on the significant role of tree planting in alleviating the Global Warming.