Mmmmmm, money. Seriously, do people have another planet stashed away? Can I come along when Earth is done? I'll be nice, I swear.
Oh the humanity. Oh the earth. There really aren't words for this kind of burning horror.
"Riches await as Earth's icy north melts
The latest report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the ice cap is warming faster than the rest of the planet and ice is receding, partly due to greenhouse gases. It's a catastrophic scenario for the Arctic ecosystem, for polar bears and other wildlife, and for Inuit populations whose ancient cultures depend on frozen waters.
But some see a lucrative silver lining of riches waiting to be snatched from the deep, and the prospect of timesaving sea lanes that could transform the shipping industry the way the Suez Canal did in the 19th century.
Regardless of climate change, oil and gas exploration in the Arctic is moving full speed ahead. "
...when I visited Ghoramara there was powerful evidence that soil erosion caused in part by farming and the rising surrounding sea level caused by global warming were gradually making the island disappear.
The factors which are impacting on food production include soil erosion caused by intensive farming, and global warming which could reduce the yield of staple grains or make weather patterns less predictable for farmers.
The relatively new phenomenon of bio-fuels - for example, the production of ethanol from corn which can be used to supplement petrol - may take a huge proportion of the output of the big grain farms in the American Midwest." LINK
People — sometimes 30 or more — are crammed into trailers with no heat, no air-conditioning, undrinkable water, flickering power and plumbing that breaks down for weeks or months at a time.
"I was speechless," said Haider Quintero, a Colombian training for the priesthood who recently visited the parks as part of his studies. "I never expected to see this in America."" LINK
"Taiwan is to close one lane of a major highway to protect more than a million butterflies, which cross the road on their seasonal migration.
The purple milkweed butterfly, which winters in the south of the island, passes over some 600m of motorway to reach its breeding ground in the north.
"Human beings need to coexist with the other species, even if they are tiny butterflies," Lee Thay-ming, of the National Freeway Bureau, told the AFP news agency. " LINK
By Kevin Krolicki Mon Mar 19, 11:48 AM ET
DETROIT (Reuters) - With bidding stalled on some of the least desirable residences in Detroit's collapsing housing market, even the fast-talking auctioneer was feeling the stress.
"Folks, the ground underneath the house goes with it. You do know that, right?" he offered.
After selling house after house in the Motor City for less than the $29,000 it costs to buy the average new car, the auctioneer tried a new line: "The lumber in the house is worth more than that!"
A boarded-up bungalow on the city's west side brought $1,300. A four-bedroom house near the original Motown recording studio sold for $7,000.
In the most spirited bidding of the day, a sprawling, four-bedroom mansion from Detroit's boom days with an ornate stone entrance fetched just $135,000.
"Once we've seen the last person leave Michigan, then I think we'll be able to say we've seen the bottom," he said.
Thanks to B for the tip! Yikes!
Europe's largest wilderness is paying the price of Iceland's decision to market cheap, "green", renewable electricity to the world, as a massive new smelter nears completion.
Across a pool of oily water deep inside a rocky cavern carved into a mountain, two steel pipes stretch up into a black void. They rise as high as the Empire State Building. Within weeks these pipes will be connected to enormous turbines and some 40km (25 miles) away, the waters of a 57 sq km reservoir will be released.
An hour's drive along the new asphalt road, which winds across a windswept plateau, you reach what was once one of the most isolated parts of an isolated country: Kárahnjúkar. The monochromatic scenery of black rock and white snow, under grey skies, was once dominated by a deep fissure in the earth - a canyon carved by the waters from Europe's largest glacier. Now that flow has dried to a trickle and this incredible natural feature is blocked by the massive concrete wall of a new dam.
For those building the Kárahnjúkar dam this marks an exciting new stage in the country's development. "The hydroelectric resources of Iceland are stranded here in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean," says Sigurdur Arnalds, an engineer from the national power company, Landsvirkjun.
"We cannot sell the power to other countries because we are isolated here. The sole purpose of this is to sell electrical power to foreign industries, in this case it's aluminium to Alcoa. If you look at it globally this is clean energy."
The dramatic decrease in sea ice above the Arctic Circle means formerly impenetrable shipping routes are now or soon could be open for much of the year, the US Arctic Research Commission said in a report released last week at a summit of Arctic scientists. " LINK
"BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Forests of spruce trees are invading the Arctic tundra because of global warming and evicting and endangering species that live there quicker than scientists thought, a new study was quoted as saying Monday by news reports.
"The conventional thinking on treeline dynamics has been that advances are very slow because conditions are so harsh at these high latitudes and altitudes," said Ryan Danby of the University of Alberta. "But what our data indicates is that there was an upslope surge of trees in response to warmer temperatures. It's like it waited until conditions were right and then it decided to get up and run, not just walk."
While in many places the idea of more trees is a good one, this Arctic takeover endangers species like caribou and sheep that thrive in the tundra, as well as the native people who depend on these species for their survival."
"How could a rising sea level and pummeling storms affect the trillion dollars’ worth of property New Yorkers call home?"
Well, some New Yorkers are apparently hedging their bets. Smart. If you have the money, that is. "Now they’re telling us that one of the main considerations is to make sure it’s not an area of low ground. They’re also considering getting a smaller place here and investing in a property in a city way above sea level.”
"One long-term but unappetizing option is to ring the city with enormous concrete sea walls. In Manhattan, this would require a wall several dozen feet high and wide enough to fit a four-lane highway on top. The higher a sea wall or levee is, the broader it has to be, and in New York City, which is interlaced with rivers, such barriers would encroach on some of the priciest real estate in the world."
And Long Island is screwed- totally.
" ...the barriers wouldn’t prevent wind damage and would fail to protect some areas, including the southern coast of Long Island. (There, said Professor Bowman, looking several decades ahead, “I think people will stay as long as they can and then slowly evacuate if it gets really bad.”)
*Hundreds of millions of Africans and tens of millions of Latin Americans who now have water will be short of it in less than 20 years. By 2050, more than 1 billion people in Asia could face water shortages. By 2080, water shortages could threaten 1.1 billion to 3.2 billion people, depending on the level of greenhouse gases that cars and industry spew into the air.
*Death rates for the world's poor from global warming-related illnesses, such as malnutrition and diarrhea, will rise by 2030. Malaria and dengue fever, as well as illnesses from eating contaminated shellfish, are likely to grow.
*Europe's small glaciers will disappear with many of the continent's large glaciers shrinking dramatically by 2050. And half of Europe's plant species could be vulnerable, endangered or extinct by 2100.
*By 2080, between 200 million and 600 million people could be hungry because of global warming's effects.
*About 100 million people each year could be flooded by 2080 by rising seas.
*Smog in U.S. cities will worsen and "ozone-related deaths from climate (will) increase by approximately 4.5 percent for the mid-2050s, compared with 1990s levels," turning a small health risk into a substantial one.
*Polar bears in the wild and other animals will be pushed to extinction. "
Link to NYT article
"It took the Mississippi River 6,000 years to build the La. coast. It took man 75 years to wash away a third of it. Experts agree we have 10 years or less to act before the loss becomes irreversible.
"People think we still have 20, 30, 40 years left to get this done. They're not even close," said St. Pe, director of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, which seeks to save one of the coast's most threatened and strategically vital zones. Ten years is how much time we have left if that."
It's like putting makeup on a corpse," said Mark Schexnayder, a regional coastal adviser with LSU's Sea Grant College Program who has spent 20 years involved in coastal restoration. "
"WASHINGTON (AP) - The harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people won't have enough water, top scientists will say next month at a meeting in Belgium.
At the same time, tens of millions of others will be flooded out of their homes each year as the Earth reels from rising temperatures and sea levels, according to portions of a draft of an international scientific report obtained by The Associated Press.
Tropical diseases like malaria will spread. By 2050, polar bears will mostly be found in zoos, their habitats gone. Pests like fire ants will thrive.
For a time, food will be plentiful because of the longer growing season in northern regions. But by 2080, hundreds of millions of people could face starvation, according to the report, which is still being revised." LINK
"The National Weather Service is forecasting a heat wave over the next three days that will push temperatures into the 90s in some places, probably breaking records.
The forecast is the latest twist in a period of unseasonable weather, with the Southland on pace to experience its driest year on record.
The Santa Anas blowing in from the desert this weekend are expected to be weak. That doesn't sound like much — except Santa Anas aren't supposed to be blowing in March to begin with.
"It's going to be bad fire weather," Patzert said. "One thing that's been really constant has been the Santa Anas. We've had hot Santa Anas, cold Santa Anas and mild Santa Anas. We've had a lot of Santa Anas and no rain." "
(actual headline in LA Times)
Is China Changing Our Weather?
Researchers are reporting that Asia's growing air pollution -- soot, smog and wood smoke -- is making the Pacific region cloudier and stormier.
Ok, ok, I know that Cali is trying, hard. I know that Herr Schwarzenegger is turning his back on those ludicrous Hummers and is actively enacting green-positive legislation. But still, dude. Dude.
Dude. With Uhmerikans continuing to live lives of ludicrous luxury, including Ahnuld, and with Uhmerikan leaders (snort!) continuing to question the links between what we put in the air, and the air we breathe, and what we put in the water with what we consume when we, um, drink water or eat fish, we as a nation are TOTALLY NOT ALLOWED to point fingers. God, I'm feeling cranky. Or maybe that's cold. See post below for grumpy mood explanation.
Article about Californians looking at China's pollution output and shuddering, genteely. LINK
Whatever the cause, winter isn't what it used to be in this part of the world. Erratic weather in recent years has wreaked havoc on New England and its outdoor culture, turning tradition on its earmuff. Ice festivals have been canceled, ski seasons delayed and snowmobile races scrapped for lack of snow." LINK
The Japan Meteorological Agency said it had recorded no snow in central Tokyo between December and the end of February, the official winter months.
This the first time no snow has fallen in winter since records began in 1876, the agency said. " LINK