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Old 26-03-2006, 10:13   #1
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Post Time Magazine Article - Titled:Be Worried, Be Very Worried

Be worried, be very worried
The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame

Sunday, March 26, 2006; Posted: 11:27 a.m. EST (16:27 GMT)

Editor's note: The following is a summary of this week's Time magazine cover story.

No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth.

Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us.

From heat waves to storms to floods to fires to massive glacial melts, the global climate seems to be crashing around us.

The problem -- as scientists suspected but few others appreciated -- is that global climate systems are booby-trapped with tipping points and feedback loops, thresholds past which the slow creep of environmental decay gives way to sudden and self-perpetuating collapse. That's just what's happening now.

It's at the north and south poles -- where ice cover is crumbling to slush -- that the crisis is being felt the most acutely.

Late last year, for example, researchers analyzed data from Canadian and European satellites and found that the Greenland ice sheet is not only melting, but doing so faster and faster, with 53 cubic miles draining away into the sea last year alone, compared to 23 cubic miles in 1996.

One of the reasons the loss of the planet's ice cover is accelerating is that as the poles' bright white surface disappears it changes the relationship of the Earth and the sun. Polar ice is so reflective that 90 percent of the sunlight that strikes it simply bounces back into space, taking its energy with it. Ocean water does just the opposite, absorbing 90 percent of the light and heat it receives, meaning that each mile of ice that melts vanishes faster than the mile that preceded it.

This is what scientists call a feedback loop, and a similar one is also melting the frozen land called permafrost, much of which has been frozen -- since the end of last ice age in fact, or at least 8,000 years ago.

Sealed inside that cryonic time capsule are layers of decaying organic matter, thick with carbon, which itself can transform into CO2. In places like the southern boundary of Alaska the soil is now melting and softening.

As fast as global warming is changing the oceans and ice caps, it's having an even more immediate effect on land. Droughts are increasingly common as higher temperatures also bake moisture out of soil faster, causing dry regions that live at the margins to tip into full-blown crisis.

Wildfires in such sensitive regions as Indonesia, the western U.S. and even inland Alaska have been occurring with increased frequency as timberlands grow more parched. Those forests that don't succumb to fire can simply die from thirst.

With habitats crashing, the animals that call them home are succumbing too. In Alaska, salmon populations are faltering as melting permafrost pours mud into rivers, burying the gravel the fish need for spawning. Small animals such as bushy tailed rats, chipmunks and pinion mice are being chased upslope by rising temperatures, until they at last have no place to run.

And with sea ice vanishing, polar bears are starting to turn up drowned. "There will be no polar ice by 2060," says Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation. "Somewhere along that path, the polar bear drops out."

So much environmental collapse has at last awakened much of the world, particularly the 141 nations that have ratified the Kyoto treaty to reduce emissions. The Bush administration, however, has shown no willingness to address the warming crisis in a serious way and Congress has not been much more encouraging.

Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman have twice been unable to get even mild measures to limit carbon emissions through a recalcitrant Senate.

A 10-member House delegation did recently travel to Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand to meet with scientists studying climate change. "Of the 10 of us, only three were believers to begin with," says Rep. Sherman Boehlert of New York. "Every one of the others said this opened their eyes."

But lawmakers who still applaud themselves for recognizing global warming are hardly the same as lawmakers with the courage to reverse it, and increasingly, state and local governments are stepping forward.

The mayors of more than 200 cities have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging, among other things, that they will meet the Kyoto goal of reducing greenhouse emissions in their own cities to 1990 levels by 2012. Nine northeastern states have established the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative for the purpose of developing a program to cap greenhouse gasses.


There is more to this article in this weeks Time magazine.
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Old 26-03-2006, 11:07   #2
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Interesting and scary.

Mike
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Old 26-03-2006, 13:49   #3
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can we please petition for Captain K to be renamed "Prophet of Doom"
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Old 26-03-2006, 13:51   #4
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Oh I look into my crystal ball. Hee hee funny Talbot
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Old 26-03-2006, 14:05   #5
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By the way people. If ya don't want to see this stuff posted anymore. Just let me know?

I was only putting this stuff up because it's an environmental issue. And cause it's "suppose" to be affecting everybody on this planet?

And also because while the caps are melting. We're gaining more water level on the present sea level. Adding more to future cruising grounds. And beloved islands out in the Pacific & the Carribean!!

That's basically why I have been posting this stuff.

And Talbot. If you're offended in some sort of way? Please accept my apologies!!
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Old 26-03-2006, 15:49   #6
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Back to Venus

The temperature on Venus was expected to be about 100C given its size and location. Instead it goes up to 500C. Scientists are concerned that a small change in one area could lead to a big change in other areas. A snowball effect that they do not understand. So folks say if you do not understand it why should we be worried. The surface pressure on Venus would be like being one kilometer deep in the ocean. The atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide. Burning coal produces more of this stuff than burning any other fossill fuel. We burn about 5 billion tons per year and it is expected to increase by 56% in the next twenty years. China already loses one month per year growing time. We are already choking in the stuff. If we believe the scientists when they tell us that the earth has been warmer, and the earth has been colder, then why don't we believe them when they tell us we are headed for trouble. And then there is the damage done to the mountains and hills on earth mining the stuff. Felt better to go sailing than think about this.
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Old 26-03-2006, 16:05   #7
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BC Mike C once whispered in the wind
Quote:
Felt better to go sailing than think about this.
Well, don't let me stop you, Micheal.

Go and enjoy your afternoon sailing!!

Can't wait to get my boat ready for sailing!!

Presently it's 81 F or 27.2 C here in Phoenix, Arizona!!
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Old 26-03-2006, 16:12   #8
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Hey Talbot!!!

Look at my profile name title.

I changed it!!!
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Old 26-03-2006, 18:52   #9
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And also because while the caps are melting. We're gaining more water level on the present sea level. Adding more to future cruising grounds.
I'll sail out to Arizona to see you next year, Captain K! Route 66 or one of those trans-America highways will become Jimmy Cornell's next Route. Move over RVers... here we come!
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Old 26-03-2006, 19:12   #10
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Sorry Sean.

I should be in a California by then, sailing my boat around on the California Delta. Homeport will be close to the Stockton, California area.

You're still welcome to drop by there in Stockton, and see me?
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Old 27-03-2006, 00:34   #11
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BC Mike C,I am sure that most people do listen to scientists about the situation here on Planet Earth,but lets face it,minning conglomerates and the ever popular petro-chemical companies can not afford to loose all their money trying to help save the planet and god forbid if the governments we elect to serve US will stand in their way.some people take it on their own to practice green lifestyles and this is a start but not enough to make headway on reversing the present situation.Just because we try and use less electricity dosnt mean the big boys are gonna stop burning coal.Without petro-chemical companies we wouldn't have plastics,wouldn't that bring us to a grinding holt,isn't it good of those big companies to rape the Earth in order to bring us a simpler and easyier lifestyle,while of course taking their bit of cream with it.I often wonder if our lifespan were longer,say 140yrs as opposed to 70yrs,If we would sit up and take more notice.While we stagnate in our wanton lifestyles we will all sit back with our hands out for more because we are dependant on the system as a whole The government here advised th C.S.R.O.I to censore the comments made by one of the top people in global warming when at a Keoto conference,or else risk looseing federal founding,go figure Tey retired this scientist from head of the department,I carntremember his name but he was top of his feild in the world.
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Old 27-03-2006, 00:36   #12
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Sorry ,C.S.I.R.O
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Old 27-03-2006, 00:46   #13
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Yeah.

Chalk that up under "conspiracy theory", when we are talking about the big oil boys. And the big coal men as well?
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