Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Bush Was and Is Wrong

I suspect most readers have seen this news by now, perhaps in other outlets.   Still, it is worth noting that two significant reports, both based upon large studies, agree that there will be a huge environmental impact of global climate change in the next 100 years. 

New Scientific Consensus: Arctic Is Warming Rapidly

REYKJAVIK -- The Arctic is warming much more rapidly than previously known, at nearly twice the rate as the rest of the globe, and increasing greenhouse gases from human activities are projected to make it warmer still, according to an unprecedented four-year scientific study of the region conducted by an international team of 300 scientists.

At least half the summer sea ice in the Arctic is projected to melt by the end of this century, along with a significant portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet, as the region is projected to warm an additional 4-7 C (7 to 13 F) by 2100. These changes will have major global impacts, such as contributing to global sea-level rise and intensifying global warming, according to the final report of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA).

The assessment was commissioned by the Arctic Council (a ministerial intergovernmental forum comprised of the eight Arctic countries and six Indigenous Peoples organizations) and the International Arctic Science Committee (an international scientific organization appointed by 18 national academies of science).

The assessment’s findings and projections are being released today and will be presented in detail at a scientific symposium in Reykjavik, Iceland, November 9-12, 2004.  [...]

Published online: 09 November 2004; | doi:10.1038/news041108-4
Michael Hopkin
Global warming alters US wildlife
Report warns of damaging changes in animal and plant habits.

Climate warming is influencing the lifestyles of animals and plants right across the United States, a report has warned. The changes are bringing rival species into contact with each other and could upset entire ecosystems.

Over the past few decades many plants have begun flowering earlier in spring in response to rising temperatures, and animals have migrated north or moved to higher altitudes, reports Camille Parmesan of the University of Texas at Austin, one of the report's authors.

One example is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), which is already widespread across North America but is now pushing north, threatening the weaker Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus), says Parmesan. Other more subtle effects may occur as, for example, birds altering the timing of their arrival at breeding grounds find themselves with less food or space. [...]

It will be an interesting test of his honesty, to see if he now can identify at least one mistake that he has made.  He has insisted that there is no scientific consensus on climate change, that we need to wait until more conclusive evidence is available, and that the damage to the economy would be too great to implement the Kyoto agreement.  Wait until we find out how much it is going to cost to move Washington DC to Kansas, just to keep the Washington Monument from being used to make shipping lanes. 

OK, maybe that is an exaggeration, but the point stands: the Arctic ice cap is melting, and coastal areas are going to be in big trouble by 2100.  And by then, the federal deficit will be so large, that we will not be able to afford to do anything about it.