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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Tuesday, 20 March 2007


Yet another authoritative study shows that we have really messed up this planet for human habitation, and that there is a lot worse to come, as this media summary shows, backed by the NOAA report on which it is based).

Salient excerpts from the media summary make grim reading:

'Oceans worldwide absorbed approximately 118 billion metric tons of carbon between 1800 and 1994 according to a report published last year by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and NOAA, resulting in increased ocean acidity, which reduces the availability of carbonate ions needed for the production of calcium carbonate structures. In the past, changes in ocean acidity have triggered mass extinction events. According to a study published in the September issue of Geology, dramatically warmer and more acidic oceans may have contributed to the worst mass extinction on record, the Permian extinction. During the extinction event, which occurred some 250 million years ago, about 95% of ocean's life forms became extinct. The same fate could befall modern day marine life.'

'A draft U.N. report obtained by Reuters on Thursday said warming is expected to turn the planet a bit greener by spurring plant growth, but crops and forests may wilt beyond mid-century if temperatures keep rising. That report, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will be released on April 6.'

'The conclusions are negative for agriculture: it appears that the global warming process has produced damages to almost every commonly grown grains over 20 years. The damages are estimated at $5 billion.

'Warming temperatures from 1981 to 2002 cut the combined production of wheat, corn, barley and other crops by 40 million tonnes per year.'