Global warming (was: leps-list sleeping)
kennk at ix.netcom.com
Wed Jul 9 14:36:18 EDT 2003
It's surprising to see that a number of otherwise intelligent people are
still confused on the issue of global warming. To clarify: Global
warming is a fact. It is a phenomenon that is occurring now. Of course
it is not being manifested as a gradual and evenly distributed warming
everywhere, and competent scientists never predicted that it would;
instead, as predicted, it is being manifested in greater extremes of
weather, with more violent storms, more extreme droughts and floods, more
extreme heat and cold, with the overall global average temperature
gradually going up.
In scientific circles this isn't even a matter of debate: there is
near-universal agreement that this change is going on. There's still
debate as to the cause, but no real debate about whether it's occurring,
because it IS occurring in a measurable way. Most unfortunately, the
Bush administration is making a serious attempt to quash the truth,
perhaps because the truth would be inconvenient to some of the big-money
interests that put Bush in office. The EPA's own scientists recognize
global warming as a serious problem, but the White House pressured them
into silence on this issue in a major report they were preparing this
I'm pasting in below a report from The Independent, in the UK, that
appeared in print less than a week ago. My apologies to any on this list
who are billionaires and polluters -- if the truth is widely
disseminated, you might be forced to spend a few bucks to clean up your
act. But anyone who likes to be able to go outside and breathe should be
aware of this news.
>Published on Thursday, July 3, 2003 by the lndependent/UK
>Reaping the Whirlwind
>Extreme Weather Prompts Unprecedented Global Warming Alert
>In an astonishing announcement on global warming and extreme weather,
>the World Meteorological Organization signaled last night that the
>world's weather is going haywire.
>In a startling report, the WMO, which normally produces detailed
>scientific reports and staid statistics at the year's end, highlighted
>record extremes in weather and climate occurring all over the world in
>recent weeks, from Switzerland's hottest-ever June to a record month
>for tornadoes in the United States - and linked them to climate change.
>The unprecedented warning takes its force and significance from the
>fact that it is not coming from Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth, but
>from an impeccably respected UN Organization that is not given to
>hyperbole (though environmentalists will seize on it to claim that the
>direst warnings of climate change are being borne out).
>The Geneva-based body, to which the weather services of 185 countries
>contribute, takes the view that events this year in Europe, America and
>Asia are so remarkable that the world needs to be made aware of it
>The extreme weather it documents, such as record high and low
>temperatures, record rainfall and record storms in different parts of
>the world, is consistent with predictions of global warming.
>Supercomputer models show that, as the atmosphere warms, the climate
>not only becomes hotter but much more unstable. "Recent scientific
>assessments indicate that, as the global temperatures continue to warm
>due to climate change, the number and intensity of extreme events might
>increase," the WMO said, giving a striking series of examples.
>In southern France, record temperatures were recorded in June, rising
>above 40C in places - temperatures of 5C to 7C above the average.
>In Switzerland, it was the hottest June in at least 250 years,
>environmental historians said. In Geneva, since 29 May, daytime
>temperatures have not fallen below 25C, making it the hottest June
>In the United States, there were 562 May tornadoes, which caused 41
>deaths. This set a record for any month. The previous record was 399 in
>In India, this year's pre-monsoon heatwave brought peak temperatures of
>45C - 2C to 5C above the norm. At least 1,400 people died in India due
>to the hot weather. In Sri Lanka, heavy rainfall from Tropical Cyclone
>01B exacerbated wet conditions, resulting in flooding and landslides
>and killing at least 300 people. The infrastructure and economy of
>south-west Sri Lanka was heavily damaged. A reduction of 20-30 per cent
>is expected in the output of low-grown tea in the next three months.
>Last month was also the hottest in England and Wales since 1976, with
>average temperatures of 16C. The WMO said: "These record extreme events
>(high temperatures, low temperatures and high rainfall amounts and
>droughts) all go into calculating the monthly and annual averages,
>which, for temperatures, have been gradually increasing over the past
>"New record extreme events occur every year somewhere in the globe, but
>in recent years the number of such extremes have been increasing.
>"According to recent climate-change scientific assessment reports of
>the joint WMO/United Nations Environmental Program Intergovernmental
>Panel on Climate Change, the global average surface temperature has
>increased since 1861. Over the 20th century the increase has been
>"New analyses of proxy data for the northern hemisphere indicate that
>the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been
>the largest in any century during the past 1,000 years."
>While the trend towards warmer temperatures has been uneven over the
>past century, the trend since 1976 is roughly three times that for the
>Global average land and sea surface temperatures in May 2003 were the
>second highest since records began in 1880. Considering land
>temperatures only, last May was the warmest on record.
>It is possible that 2003 will be the hottest year ever recorded. The 10
>hottest years in the 143-year-old global temperature record have now
>all been since 1990, with the three hottest being 1998, 2002 and 2001.
>The unstable world of climate change has long been a prediction. Now,
>the WMO says, it is a reality.
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