Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

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The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Monday, 22 January 2007


Now, at last, the IPCC is it seems going to tell us that we have passed the point of no-return, as the quotations below from The Observer, London, dated January 22nd, make chillingly clear.

'Global warming is destined to have a far more destructive and earlier impact than previously estimated, the most authoritative report yet produced on climate change will warn next week.

'A draft copy of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows the frequency of devastating storms will increase dramatically. Sea levels will rise over the century by around half a metre; snow will disappear from all but the highest mountains; deserts will spread; oceans will become acidic, leading to the destruction of coral reefs and atolls; and deadly heatwaves will become more prevalent.

'The impact will be catastrophic, forcing hundreds of millions of people to flee their devastated homelands, particularly in tropical, low-lying areas, while creating waves of immigrants whose movements will strain the economies of even the most affluent countries.

'The really chilling thing about the IPCC report is that it is the work of several thousand climate experts who have widely differing views about how greenhouse gases will have their effect. Some think they will have a major impact, others a lesser role. Each paragraph of this report was therefore argued over and scrutinized intensely. Only points that were considered indisputable survived the process.

' "This is a very conservative document -- that's what makes it so scary," one senior UK climate expert said.

'Although the final wording of the report is still being worked on, the draft indicates that scientists now have their clearest idea so far about future climate changes, as well as about recent events. It points out that: twelve of the past thirteen years were the warmest since records began; ocean temperatures have risen at least 3km beneath the surface; glaciers, snow cover and permafrost have decreased in both hemispheres; sea levels are rising at the rate of almost 2mm a year; cold days, nights and frost have become rarer while hot days, hot nights and heatwaves have become more frequent.

'And the cause is clear, say the authors: It is very likely that [man-made] greenhouse gas increases caused most of the average temperature increases since the mid-20th century, the report says.

'To date, these changes have caused global temperatures to rise by 0.6 degrees Celsius The most likely outcome of continuing rises in greenhouses gases will be to make the planet a further 3 degrees hotter by 2100, although the report acknowledges that rises of 4.5 to 5 degrees could be experienced. Ice-cap melting, rises in sea levels, flooding, cyclones and storms will be an inevitable consequence.

'The report reflects climate scientists' growing fears that Earth is nearing the stage when carbon dioxide rises will bring irreversible change to the planet.'

Really? As anyone with half an eye can see we have already passed that stage.

Underlining the point is the resetting of the Doomsday Clock, which now says global-overheating is as serious a threat to the human race as nuclear weapons. The clock now say it's five minutes to midnight. More than a tad optimistic obviously, but tick, tick, tick...