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Old 03-09-2007, 11:29 PM   #81
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eeekk...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...9/wpolar09.xml

Quote:
A survey of the animals' numbers in Canada's eastern Arctic has revealed that they are thriving, not declining, because of mankind's interference in the environment.

In the Davis Strait area, a 140,000-square kilometre region, the polar bear population has grown from 850 in the mid-1980s to 2,100 today.

"There aren't just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears," said Mitch Taylor, a polar bear biologist who has spent 20 years studying the animals.

His findings back the claims of Inuit hunters who have long claimed that they were seeing more bears.
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:52 PM   #82
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Yea right..
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070311/D8NPKSRG2.html

Quote:
Warming Report to Warn of Coming Drought
By SETH BORENSTEIN

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.
How does ocean rising and icecaps melting cause drought?
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:47 AM   #83
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Nice try dude, but didn´t you forget something?

Here the rest of the article:

Quote:
... "Scientific knowledge has demonstrated that Inuit knowledge was right," said Mr Taylor.
While fellow scientists have accepted Mr Taylor's findings, critics point out that his study was commissioned by the Inuit-dominated government of Nunavit.
Critics claim the government has an agenda to encourage polar bear hunting and keep the animals off the endangered species list.
In small Inuit communities, hunters kill bears that wander too close to human settlements and, in this particular region, they are licensed to kill six polar bears a year.
Polar bear experts said that numbers had increased not because of climate change but due to the efforts of conservationists.
The battle to ban the hunting of Harp seal pups has meant the seal population has soared - boosting the bears' food supply.
At the same time, fewer seal hunters are around to hunt bears.
"I don't think there is any question polar bears are in danger from global warming," said Andrew Derocher of the World Conservation Union, and a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. "People who deny that have a clear interest in hunting bears."
Bear numbers on the west coast of Hudson's Bay had shrunk by 22 per cent over the past decade, he said.
"They are declining due to global warming and changes in when the ice freezes and melts in Hudson's Bay," he added. He and other scientists in his group are concerned that the retreating ice in the Arctic may pose a danger to future generations of polar bears because of 'habitat loss'. "The critical problem is the sea ice is changing. "We're looking ahead three generations, 30 to 50 years.
"To say that bear populations are growing in one area now is irrelevant."
However, Prof Derocher conceded that some polar bear-related evidence of the damaging effect of global warming was misplaced.
Contrary to concern over a celebrated photograph of a bear and its cub floating on a tiny iceberg, the animals often travel in that way, he said.
"Bears will often hang out on glacier ice or large pieces of multi-year ice," he said.
The state of Alaska yesterday questioned the scientific justification for proposals to add polar bears to the US endangered species list.
Tina Cunnings, a biologist attached to the Alaskan government, questioned whether they needed sea ice to survive, saying they could adapt to hunt on land and find alternative food sources to seals.
Prof Derocher said the theory was "absolutely fanciful".


Now to the coherences between melting polar-ice and drought:

1. The polar-ice has a thickness of up to 4,5 km. If the ice melts, gigantic quantities of freshwater will get into the seas. On the basis of the different physical properties of freshwater and saltwater (density, heat-capacity), a change of the ocean currents could occur, in consequence of a postpone of the climatic zones and the distribution of precipitation. I.e. strongly populated areas have to fight with droughts all at once, in formerly dry areas, there suddenly is rain…

2. In order to melt ice you need about 80 times more energy than to heat up the same amount of water by 1°C! The so called arctic ocean circulation develops a 1.000 km wide belt of ice every winter. Every year if this ice-belt thaws again, gigantic quantities of heat energy will be degraded. If this ocean current collapses, considerably less energy can be reduced. I.e. the climate will further warming up. Additionally the sea is heating up in the course of this process, which once more could lead to a change of ocean currents.

3. By the unfreezing of the permafrost of the Tundra, gigantic quantities of methane, which is stored in the marshy soils, will be set free. This will reinforce the greenhouse effect on the other hand.

4. Not only the poles, but also the glaciers of the mountains will melt. The consequence is, that one of the most important sources for freshwater gets lost. Rivers could dry up and especially the ground-water level will fall, which leads to a considerable shortage of the freshwater occurrences.
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:48 AM   #84
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No I didn't forget the rest of the article. The rest of the article is typical of the climate debate, discredit and attempt to shout down the disputing positions.

This one is most aggrevious than others I've seen. Now it's hunters (those most evil of conservationists). Somehow the lack of hunting is causing the polar bear population to increase however global warming is causing it to decrease???

The climate folks claim that the polar bears are decreasing because of global warming but it's not true. So let's change the subject instead of saying okay..let's look at what's going on. That's my biggest problem with this new movement.

Again... I have no problem with decreasing our use of oil, as soon as the envriomentalists in THIS COUNTRY stand up and proclaim that they are all for building as many nuclear plants as needed to solve this then I'll listen to them. Until then it's typical liberal anti-business crap to me.
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:50 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Zoidberg
4. Not only the poles, but also the glaciers of the mountains will melt. The consequence is, that one of the most important sources for freshwater gets lost. Rivers could dry up and especially the ground-water level will fall, which leads to a considerable shortage of the freshwater occurrences.[/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR]
Huh?? That ice/snow etcetera was put there somewhere. The only way I can see what you saying about is that tremendous floods will occur as all of the ice melts and runs into rivers. My point is that more water it would appear to me on the planet will mean....more water on the planet. Somehow melting of ice now causes less water?
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Old 03-11-2007, 12:55 PM   #86
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Even the Bush administration has realized that the existence of polar bears is threatened!

Here the article:

Quote:
U.S. Wants Polar Bears Listed as Threatened



By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 27, 2006; Page A01


The Bush administration has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, putting the U.S. government on record as saying that global warming could drive one of the world's most recognizable animals out of existence.
The administration's proposal -- which was described by an Interior Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity -- stems from the fact that rising temperatures in the Arctic are shrinking the sea ice that polar bears need for hunting. The official insisted on anonymity because the department will submit the proposal today for publication in the Federal Register, after which it will be subject to public comment for 90 days.
Identifying polar bears as threatened with extinction could have an enormous political and practical impact. As the world's largest bear and as an object of children's affection as well as Christmastime Coca-Cola commercials, the polar bear occupies an important place in the American psyche. Because scientists have concluded that carbon dioxide from power-plant and vehicle emissions is helping drive climate change worldwide, putting polar bears on the endangered species list raises the legal question of whether the government would be required to compel U.S. industries to curb their carbon dioxide output.
"We've reviewed all the available data that leads us to believe the sea ice the polar bear depends on has been receding," said the Interior official, who added that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have concluded that polar bears could be endangered within 45 years. "Obviously, the sea ice is melting because the temperatures are warmer."
Northern latitudes are warming twice as rapidly as the rest of the globe, according to a 2004 scientific assessment, and by the end of the century annual ocean temperatures in the Arctic may rise an additional 13 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, researchers predict that summer sea ice, which polar bears use as a platform to hunt for ringed seals, will decline 50 to 100 percent. Just this month, researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research outlined a worst-case scenario in which summer sea ice could disappear by 2040.
By submitting the proposal today, the Interior Department is meeting a deadline under a legal settlement with three environmental advocacy groups -- the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace -- that argue the government has not responded quickly enough to the polar bear's plight. The department has been examining the status of polar bears for more than two years.
NRDC senior attorney Andrew Wetzler, one of the lawyers who filed suit against the administration, welcomed the proposal for listing.
"It's such a loud recognition that global warming is real," Wetzler said. "It is rapidly threatening the polar bear and, in fact, an entire ecosystem with utter destruction."
There are 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears worldwide, 4,700 of which live in Alaska and spend part of the year in Canada and Russia. The other countries with polar bears in their Arctic regions are Denmark (Greenland) and Norway.
Although scientists have yet to fully assess many of the 19 separate polar bear populations, initial studies suggest that climate change has already exacted a toll on the animals.
The ice in Canada's western Hudson Bay breaks up 2 1/2 weeks earlier than it did 30 years ago, giving polar bears there less time to hunt and build up fat reserves that sustain them for eight months before hunting resumes. As local polar bears have become thinner, female polar bears' reproductive rates and cubs' survival rates have fallen, spurring a 21 percent population drop from 1997 to 2004.
Scientists have not charted the same rapid decline within the U.S. polar bear populations, but federal scientists have observed a number of troubling signs. The bears have resorted to open-water swimming and even cannibalism in an effort to stay alive.
Polar bears normally swim from one patch of sea ice to another to hunt for food, but they are not accustomed to going long distances. In September 2004, government scientists observed 55 polar bears swimming offshore in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, an unprecedented spike, and four of those bears died. In a separate study that year, federal scientists identified three instances near the Beaufort Sea in which polar bears ate one another.
The Interior official said government officials studying Alaskan polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea area have observed thinner adult bears and a lower rate of survival among cubs. Although the population has yet to dip, "unless the polar cub survival rate goes up, it would have to happen," the official said.
Still, the official added that the decision to propose polar bears as threatened with extinction "wasn't easy for us" because "there is still some significant uncertainty" about what could happen to bear populations in the future.
"This proposal is sort of like a scientific hypothesis. You put this out there and say to the world, 'Tell us, is this right or is this wrong?' " the official said, adding that Interior will hold several public hearings about its proposal. "We're projecting what we think will happen in the future, not just what's happening at this moment."
The department could take up to a year to complete its proposal, and it could abandon the listing if it unearths new scientific projections about the bears' fate. But that appears unlikely, as recent models have consistently pointed to a faster deterioration of Arctic sea ice.
Although federal officials cited rising sea temperatures once before in a threatened-species proposal -- in May, when they called them a "major stressor" on Caribbean elkhorn and staghorn corals -- today's proposal will mark the first time the administration has identified climate change as the driving force behind the potential demise of a species.
Robert Correll, the scientist who chaired the international Arctic Climate Impact Assessment in 2004, said in an interview that the proposal to place polar bears on the endangered species list is "highly justified."
Correll, now directs the global change program at the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, added that he is participating in an administration-funded study at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on how climate change could affect national security and foreign policy.
That, along with the proposal on polar bears, he said, "plays into a reality that, in my opinion, they're going to be rethinking their position" on global warming.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...122601034.html

To the coherences of melting glaciers and lack of freshwater:

You didn´t understand it. At first, if the glaciers would melt, nothing would happen. Sources of water would be fed, the ground-water level would remain the same and the rivers continuing would be provided. The biggest amount of the melted water would flow by the rivers in the sea.

But normally glaciers submit their water little by little over a longer time frame and at wintertime they will increase again. If the glaciers would melt completely they will be dropped as water-provider for sources of water, ground-water and rivers, and as of a too warm climate the glaciers won´t develop anymore! At this time sources of water could disappear, rivers could run dry and the ground-water level will fall, with the consequence of freshwater-shortness. So melting of ice causes not less water, but less freshwater!
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Old 03-11-2007, 01:07 PM   #87
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Sounds like a dumb*** move by the bush administration to me. No dip in the US bear population has occurred. But it might in 45 years or so???

I've never heard of an animal being put on an endangered list where the population has not dipped.
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Old 03-11-2007, 01:27 PM   #88
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Maybe all of europe will adopt this.
http://blogs.salon.com/0001561/2007/03/11.html#a10270
Quote:
British Tories consider serious tax hikes on air travel

Harsh new taxes on air travel, including a strict personal flight "allowance", will be unveiled by the Conservatives tomorrow as part of a plan that would penalise business travellers, holidaymakers and the tourist industry.

The proposals, to be disclosed by George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, include levying VAT or fuel duty on domestic flights for the first time as part of a radical plan to tackle global warming.

The Conservatives will also suggest - most controversially of all - rationing individuals to as little as a single short-haul flight each year; any further journeys would attract progressively higher taxes, a leaked document entitled Greener Skies suggests.

The possibility to use the climate scare as an excuse to slam high taxes on people have politicians and bureaucrats all over Europe salivating.

Anyone thought about how many people, especially in poorer countries, who make their living off tourism, and what consequences high travel taxes will have for them?

The Tories are even inviting Al Gore over to advise them on how to tax the travel industry to death. I don't think he'll row over the Atlantic.
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Old 03-11-2007, 01:33 PM   #89
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Quote:
Sounds like a dumb*** move by the bush administration to me.
Why? It will cost no money to do it. There is no risk at putting them on an endangered list. If the population will rise to much you still can clear them for firing to control the population. So why wait and take the risk of a extinction of the polar bear?

Quote:
No dip in the US bear population has occurred.
There are not only US polar bears! E.g. in the article it says:

Quote:
The ice in Canada's western Hudson Bay breaks up 2 1/2 weeks earlier than it did 30 years ago, giving polar bears there less time to hunt and build up fat reserves that sustain them for eight months before hunting resumes. As local polar bears have become thinner, female polar bears' reproductive rates and cubs' survival rates have fallen, spurring a 21 percent population drop from 1997 to 2004.
Although there are many other warning signals named in this article.
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Old 03-11-2007, 01:46 PM   #90
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I can tell you that higher travel taxes wouldn´t have any consequences for tourism. In Germany we have high taxes especially on gasoline for a longer time. At first everybody was angry about it and said if this will happen I will limit driving with the car. But it never happens! We take the car as often as before. Maybe it causes a traveling at a lower speed.

The most people don´t fly very often, with exception of businessmen, and those will be paid by their companies. And I don´t think that anyone would stop to fly in holidays only because of a little higher taxes.
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Old 03-11-2007, 02:34 PM   #91
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Endangered species act (unless mistaken) is a US law, ergo the question, why would I put something on an endangered species act that is not dipping in population?
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Old 03-11-2007, 02:35 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Zoidberg
I can tell you that higher travel taxes wouldn´t have any consequences for tourism. In Germany we have high taxes especially on gasoline for a longer time. At first everybody was angry about it and said if this will happen I will limit driving with the car. But it never happens! We take the car as often as before. Maybe it causes a traveling at a lower speed.

The most people don´t fly very often, with exception of businessmen, and those will be paid by their companies. And I don´t think that anyone would stop to fly in holidays only because of a little higher taxes.
Balderdash, higher prices always have an impact, the question is whether the impact is high, low, etc. Double the price of gasoline and consumers will change. Here in the US when the price of gasoline topped 3.00 habits changed.
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Old 03-11-2007, 03:45 PM   #93
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Believe me, you in USA have to rethink a lot about energy prices, as the top is nowhere near reached yet, especially in USA. You pay what? 3 Dollar for a gallon gasoline! LOL. I feel very pity for you. Even a little teardrop is running down my cheek.

We have to pay 1,31 Dollar for 0,264 gallons (= 1 liter) for regular gas at the moment. This is 4,96 Dollar per gallon! By the way this is not the highest price we have had here. And belive it or not, here in Germany the people have decided furthermore to drive with a car and to fly in holiday without changing their habits. But maybe in USA everything is a little different.
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Old 03-11-2007, 04:00 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Zoidberg
Believe me, you in USA have to rethink a lot about energy prices, as the top is nowhere near reached yet, especially in USA. You pay what? 3 Dollar for a gallon gasoline! LOL. I feel very pity for you. Even a little teardrop is running down my cheek.

We have to pay 1,31 Dollar for 0,264 gallons at the moment. This is 4,96 Dollar per gallon! By the way this is not the highest price we have had here. And belive it or not, here in Germany the people have decided furthermore to drive with a car and to fly in holiday without changing their habits. But maybe in USA everything is a little different.
There is a reason that gasoline is cheap here, we don't live that close together. Average commute time in the US is about 16miles and ~25 minutes. That's with autos. What is it in germany?

Here is a blog entry talking about his commute

Quote:
I have to commute about 80 kilometres every day to my office. When I take my car it costs me about 5 € just for gas. All other car related costs (maintenance...) not included. The good thing about using the car is that I need 35-40 minutes for one way.

At the same time, my company is paying me the ride with public transportation. First I would have to take a bus, than a train and than a bus again to get to work. It takes me 65-70 minutes door to door, but I can use the time to read, to make notes or work on my computer. Furthermore it is way more ecological and relaxing.
As you can see his 35-40 minutes would be just a little more than average here but instead he is forced to go 65-70 minutes (per day) on a train.

There is a BIG "cost" to your higher gasoline. Not only in smaller homes but in commute times. You can have it.

I've seen the same thing in Japan and other highly urban areas. The living space is miniscule and the commute pretty bad.
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Old 03-11-2007, 04:36 PM   #95
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Good point, but I don´t think the gasoline is that cheap only because of the long distances for you to your workplaces. The oil-discharge of your own oil is much higher than in Germany. Here we have to rely more on imported oil, which is of course much more expensive then the own gained oil.

In Germany the average of the distance to the place of work is about 11 km, because you mostly get work near your home. If this is not the case you have to relocate near your workplace, otherwise you have a lot longer way to drive. The most of the rural population rely on cars. I.g. for me it´s nearly impossible to drive to work thru public transportation because the transportation system is so badly developed.
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Old 03-11-2007, 06:35 PM   #96
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Gasoline in europe is expensive because of taxes, not due to any inherent supply/demand.
http://goeurope.about.com/od/transpo...gas_prices.htm

Quote:
Make no mistake: the price of the raw gas is about the same as the U.S., but Europe taxes gasoline at a higher rate. At the moment, taxes in France make up about 70 percent of the pump price. For comparison, the U.S. federal gasoline tax of of 2005 was 18.4 cents per gallon, with each State adding between 10 and 33 cents of tax, according to Widipedia. That makes the maximum gasoline tax rate 17% in the U.S.
It's a political thing, the US taxpayer cherishes the freedom of having their own transportation as well as the ability to live in the suburbs if they desire. Part of this now is because of the raising of children as well..many americans do not relish raising their kids in an urban setting..and because the birth rate is higher, there are more folks living out of the cities.

I have seen a movement of people away from the suburbs in recent years as the commutes get longer, more baby boomers don't have kids and they are moving into urban areas. But on the other hand younger people who are going to raise a family move out from the city to get a larger house or for better schools. They commute a long way, but in general automobiles are usually faster (and less restrictive) than public transportation.
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Old 03-11-2007, 06:55 PM   #97
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Gasoline tax is Germany is almost $4.00 per gallon. In the USA it averages $.40 per gallon. that is the reason for the difference in retail price.

recent economist research indicate that demand for gas has become more inelastic, not less. this may be the increased urbanization (more people live in urban areas today than in the past), higher CAFE standards, dual income families, or even the increased technology that allows virtual offices. the result is that people do not substantially change their driving habits when the price increases.
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Old 03-11-2007, 07:11 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavdog
Gasoline tax is Germany is almost $4.00 per gallon. In the USA it averages $.40 per gallon. that is the reason for the difference in retail price.

recent economist research indicate that demand for gas has become more inelastic, not less. this may be the increased urbanization (more people live in urban areas today than in the past), higher CAFE standards, dual income families, or even the increased technology that allows virtual offices. the result is that people do not substantially change their driving habits when the price increases.
You are probably correct about it being more inelastic, but I think it's according to how much it moves and for how long. In general it seems the average price of a gallon is about 2.00 bucks. I thought when it went to 3.00+ I saw more movement to curtail driving and that drove stockpiles up (and prices back down). I do think that folks sort of expect gasoline to come back down and so changes aren't apparent....then they do.

I would expect that a 2.00 tax on gasoline would cause quite a bit of change in behaviour (possibly just automobile purchases primarily or car-pooling) but it would have to stay there for a year or so. Not the couple of months we see.

I think that I saw a much higher incidence of DART usage when it hit 3.00+, but it was a non-scientific observation.
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Old 03-12-2007, 12:55 PM   #99
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Watch out Dude1394, these Global warming religionists are similar to the Islamists
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Scientists threatened for 'climate denial'

By Tom Harper, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:24am GMT 11/03/2007

Scientists who questioned mankind's impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community.

They say the debate on global warming has been "hijacked" by a powerful alliance of politicians, scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions.

Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five deaths threats by email since raising concerns about the degree to which man was affecting climate change.


One of the emails warned that, if he continued to speak out, he would not live to see further global warming.

"Western governments have pumped billions of dollars into careers and institutes and they feel threatened," said the professor.

"I can tolerate being called a sceptic because all scientists should be sceptics, but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity. It has got really nasty and personal."

Last week, Professor Ball appeared in The Great Global Warming Swindle, a Channel 4 documentary in which several scientists claimed the theory of man-made global warming had become a "religion", forcing alternative explanations to be ignored.

Richard Lindzen, the professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - who also appeared on the documentary - recently claimed: "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labelled as industry stooges.

"Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science."

Dr Myles Allen, from Oxford University, agreed. He said: "The Green movement has hijacked the issue of climate change. It is ludicrous to suggest the only way to deal with the problem is to start micro managing everyone, which is what environmentalists seem to want to do."

Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, said: "Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system."
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Old 03-12-2007, 01:47 PM   #100
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I hate those f´king moronically extremists, no matter in which area of life they appear. None needs those idiots, as either way they cast a poor light on the people with the same opinions they advocate. Put them all together in a bag and beat it with a bludgeon. You will always hit the right one!
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:05 AM   #101
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ARRGGG

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Old 03-13-2007, 01:16 AM   #102
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I'm having a hard time figuring out if these guys are on the consensus side or not?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/sc...erland&emc=rss
Quote:
Hollywood has a thing for Al Gore and his three-alarm film on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won an Academy Award for best documentary. So do many environmentalists, who praise him as a visionary, and many scientists, who laud him for raising public awareness of climate change.
Skip to next paragraph
Stuart Isett for The New York Times

Don J. Easterbrook, a geology professor, has cited “inaccuracies” in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

But part of his scientific audience is uneasy. In talks, articles and blog entries that have appeared since his film and accompanying book came out last year, these scientists argue that some of Mr. Gore’s central points are exaggerated and erroneous. They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism.

“I don’t want to pick on Al Gore,” Don J. Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, told hundreds of experts at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. “But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data.”

Mr. Gore, in an e-mail exchange about the critics, said his work made “the most important and salient points” about climate change, if not “some nuances and distinctions” scientists might want. “The degree of scientific consensus on global warming has never been stronger,” he said, adding, “I am trying to communicate the essence of it in the lay language that I understand.”

Although Mr. Gore is not a scientist, he does rely heavily on the authority of science in “An Inconvenient Truth,” which is why scientists are sensitive to its details and claims.

Criticisms of Mr. Gore have come not only from conservative groups and prominent skeptics of catastrophic warming, but also from rank-and-file scientists like Dr. Easterbook, who told his peers that he had no political ax to grind. A few see natural variation as more central to global warming than heat-trapping gases. Many appear to occupy a middle ground in the climate debate, seeing human activity as a serious threat but challenging what they call the extremism of both skeptics and zealots.
.....
Other critics have zeroed in on Mr. Gore’s claim that the energy industry ran a “disinformation campaign” that produced false discord on global warming. The truth, he said, was that virtually all unbiased scientists agreed that humans were the main culprits. But Benny J. Peiser, a social anthropologist in Britain who runs the Cambridge-Conference Network, or CCNet, an Internet newsletter on climate change and natural disasters, challenged the claim of scientific consensus with examples of pointed disagreement.

“Hardly a week goes by,” Dr. Peiser said, “without a new research paper that questions part or even some basics of climate change theory,” including some reports that offer alternatives to human activity for global warming.

Geologists have documented age upon age of climate swings, and some charge Mr. Gore with ignoring such rhythms.
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Old 03-13-2007, 05:15 AM   #103
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I´m unable to comment on this matter as I haven´t seen this movie yet.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:19 AM   #104
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For those which always argue, to stop the global warming, will destroy the economy, here two interesting articles about the economic damage if you do nothing.

Article number one:

Quote:
The Stern Review (engl.) (30.10.2006)

The Review, which reports to the Prime Minister and Chancellor, was commissioned by the Chancellor in July last year. It has been carried out by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the Government Economic Service and former World Bank Chief Economist.

Sir Nicholas said today:
“The conclusion of the Review is essentially optimistic. There is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if we act now and act internationally. Governments, businesses and individuals all need to work together to respond to the challenge. Strong, deliberate policy choices by governments are essential to motivate change.
But the task is urgent. Delaying action, even by a decade or two, will take us into dangerous territory. We must not let this window of opportunity close.”
The first half of the Review focuses on the impacts and risks arising from uncontrolled climate change, and on the costs and opportunities associated with action to tackle it. A sound understanding of the economics of risk is critical here. The Review emphasises that economic models over timescales of centuries do not offer precise forecasts – but they are an important way to illustrate the scale of effects we might see.
The Review finds that all countries will be affected by climate change, but it is the poorest countries that will suffer earliest and most. Unabated climate change risks raising average temperatures by over 5°C from pre-industrial levels. Such changes would transform the physical geography of our planet, as well as the human geography – how and where we live our lives.

Adding up the costs of a narrow range of the effects, based on the assessment of the science carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001, the Review calculates that the dangers of unabated climate change would be equivalent to at least 5% of GDP each year.
The Review goes on to consider more recent scientific evidence (for example, of the risks that greenhouse gases will be released naturally as the permafrost melts), the economic effects on human life and the environment, and approaches to modelling that ensure the impacts that affect poor people are weighted appropriately. Taking these together, the Review estimates that the dangers could be equivalent to 20% of GDP or more.
In contrast, the costs of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year. People would pay a little more for carbon-intensive goods, but our economies could continue to grow strongly.
If we take no action to control emissions, each tonne of CO2 that we emit now is causing damage worth at least $85 – but these costs are not included when investors and consumers make decisions about how to spend their money. Emerging schemes that allow people to trade reductions in CO2 have demonstrated that there are many opportunities to cut emissions for less than $25 a tonne. In other words, reducing emissions will make us better off. According to one measure, the benefits over time of actions to shift the world onto a low-carbon path could be in the order of $2.5 trillion each year.
The shift to a low-carbon economy will also bring huge opportunities. Markets for low-carbon technologies will be worth at least $500bn, and perhaps much more, by 2050 if the world acts on the scale required.
Tackling climate change is the pro-growth strategy; ignoring it will ultimately undermine economic growth.
The Review looks at what this analysis means for the level of ambition of global action. It concludes that the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere should be limited to somewhere within the range 450 - 550ppm CO2e (CO2 equivalent). Anything higher would substantially increase risks of very harmful impacts but would only reduce the expected costs of mitigation by comparatively little. Anything lower would impose very high adjustment costs in the near term and might not even be feasible, not least because of past delays in taking strong action.
The second half of the Review examines the national and international policy challenges of moving to a low-carbon global economy.
Climate change is the greatest market failure the world has seen. Three elements of policy are required for an effective response.
The first is carbon pricing, through taxation, emissions trading or regulation, so that people are faced with the full social costs of their actions. The aim should be to build a common global carbon price across countries and sectors.
The second is technology policy, to drive the development and deployment at scale of a range of low-carbon and high-efficiency products. And the third is action to remove barriers to energy efficiency, and to inform, educate and persuade individuals about what they can do to respond to climate change. Fostering a shared understanding of the nature of climate change, and its consequences, is critical in shaping behaviour, as well as in underpinning both national and international action.
Effective action requires a global policy response, guided by a common international understanding of the long-term goals for climate policy and strong frameworks for co-operation. Key elements of future international frameworks should include:
Emissions trading:
  • Expanding and linking the growing number of emissions trading schemes around the world is a powerful way to promote cost-effective reductions in emissions and to bring forward action in developing countries.
  • Strong targets in rich countries could drive flows amounting to tens of billions of dollars each year to support the transition to low-carbon development paths.
Technology co-operation:
  • Informal co-ordination as well as formal agreements can boost the effectiveness of investments in innovation around the world.
  • Globally, support for energy research and development should at least double, and support for the deployment of low-carbon technologies should increase up to five-fold.
    International co-operation on product standards is a powerful way to boost energy efficiency.
Action to reduce deforestation:
  • The loss of natural forests around the world contributes more to global emissions each year than the transport sector. Curbing deforestation is a highly cost-effective way to reduce emissions; large-scale international pilot programmes to explore the best ways to do this should get underway very quickly.
Adaptation:
  • The poorest countries are most vulnerable to climate change. It is essential that climate change be fully integrated into development policy, and that rich countries honour their pledges to increase support through overseas development assistance.
  • International funding should also support improved regional information on climate change impacts, and research into new crop varieties that will be more resilient to drought and flood.
Notes for editors
  • Pre-industrial levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were 280ppm CO2 equivalent (CO2e). The current concentration is 430ppm CO2e.
  • The Review examined evidence from many different economic models of the impacts of climate change and of the costs and benefits of mitigation. One model, PAGE2002, was used to illustrate the results from considering new scientific evidence and a wider range of impacts. This model was chosen because it specifically allows for a rigorous statistical treatment of risk and uncertainty.
  • The Stern Review can be downloaded at www.sternreview.org.uk. Background on the Review, including the terms of reference and responses to the Call for Evidence, can also be found here.
  • Sir Nicholas Stern is Head of the Government Economic Service, and Adviser to the UK Government on the Economics of Climate Change and Development. He is a former Chief Economist of the World Bank.
  • For media enquiries, please call 020 7270 6280, or email sterninvites@hm-treasury.gsi.gov.uk.
    back to top
A Summary of the Report ist available here ( 310 kB).



http://www.klima-aktiv.com/article97_2673.html
And article number two:

Quote:
Economists warn climate change will cost trillions without government action (24.10.2006)

The cost of allowing global temperatures to increase by two degrees centigrade or more above pre-industrial levels will run into the trillions of dollars and the environmental and social costs will be incalculable, according to a report released last week.

The report, Climate Change the Costs of Inaction, was compiled by leading economists at Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment Institute for Friends of the Earth’s climate campaign. The report is available here (261 kB)
The report, which brings together the very latest scientific and economic thinking on climate change, highlights the enormous costs that will result if world governments fail to keep the rise in average global temperature below two degrees centigrade.
It is estimated that annual economic damages could reach $20 trillion by 2100, equivalent to six to eight percent of global economic output at that time [1]. However, even this figure is likely to be an underestimate because it does not account for the cost of biodiversity loss or of unpredictable events such as extreme weather or the collapse of Gulf Stream. The true costs of climate change are, according to Tufts University economists, incalculable.
The report also reveals the comparatively small amounts of money needed to keep temperatures in check. Action to limit temperature increases to two degrees centigrade could avoid $12 trillion in annual damages at a quarter of the cost.
Global temperatures have already risen by 0.6 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. If emissions continue to rise unchecked global temperatures could increase by more than four degrees centigrade by 2100. The report looks at scientific and economic predictions on the impact of climate change as temperature rise:
TWO DEGREE RISE IN GLOBAL TEMPERATURE
Decreased crop yields in the developing world will spell disaster for many poor farmers and poor countries whose economies are dependent on agriculture production. Widespread drought and water shortages will also hit the developing world hardest where millions of people are already living without access to clean safe drinking water. Other impacts include a near total loss of coral reefs, the expanded northward spread of tropical diseases such as malaria, and the potential extinction of arctic species including the polar bear.
THREE DEGREE RISE IN GLOBAL TEMPERATURE
Decreasing crop yields in developed countries, will lead to decreasing world food supplies. Disease will spread: For example, the incidence of diarrhea, a killer in the developing world, is predicted to increase by six percent in Africa. The rise in temperature will also lead to widespread species extinctions, increasing desertification, the wholesale collapse of the Amazon ecosystem, and the complete loss of all boreal and alpine ecosystems.
FOUR DEGREE RISE IN GLOBAL TEMPERATURE
Melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet will gradually increase sea levels by five to six meters, putting vast tracks of land underwater and producing millions of environmental refugees. In Bangladesh, where half the population lives in areas less then five meters above sea level, permanent flooding and shortages of drinking water could result in 30
40 million people being displaced from their homes. Elsewhere entire regions will have no agricultural production whatsoever as a result of the changing climate.
MORE THAN FOUR DEGREE RISE IN GLOBAL TEMPERATURE
There is a 50 percent chance that the ocean’s circulation system will shut down, removing the crucial currents that warm and stabilize the climate of Northern Europe.
Dr. Frank Ackerman, Director of the Research and Policy Program at the Global Development and the Environment Institute and one of the authors of the report said, “The climate system has enormous momentum, as does the economic system that emits so much carbon dioxide. Like a supertanker, which has to turn off its engines 25 km before it comes to a stop, we have to start turning off greenhouse gas emissions now in order to avoid catastrophe in decades to come.”
Elizabeth Bast from Friends of the Earth - US said, “This report demonstrates that climate change will not only be an environmental and social disaster: it will also be an economic catastrophe, especially if global temperatures are allowed to increase by more than two degrees centigrade.”

NOTES TO EDITORS
[1] Based on a study by the German Institute for Economic Research; estimates in U.S. dollars

Quelle: Friends of the Earth
For more information contact: Elizabeth Bast, Friends of the Earth US, 202 641-7203
In London, UK: Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International
Tel: +44-7811 283 641 (mobile)



http://www.klima-aktiv.com/article97_2303.html
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:12 AM   #105
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So the first article is estimating 5-25% decrease in GDP due to the phenomenom.

THAT'S the kind of science I just won't buy. Come on, 25% of world GDP is huge, to just throw it out there in a scientific "study" is what makes this whole issue look like fear-mongering.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:27 AM   #106
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Quote:
Action to reduce deforestation:

* The loss of natural forests around the world contributes more to global emissions each year than the transport sector. Curbing deforestation is a highly cost-effective way to reduce emissions; large-scale international pilot programmes to explore the best ways to do this should get underway very quickly.
So which site is correct.
First one claims a -2.2 % from 1990-2000.
http://www.earth-policy.org/Indicators/indicator4.htm
The second one claims -0.2% from 1990-2000 (same report).
http://www.mongabay.com/deforestation_cover.htm

The actual UN report says -0.2.
http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y7581E....htm#TopOfPage

So the first site is the Earth Policy Institute, second one is something called MongaBay. Third is the UN report.

I just do not trust scientists on this topic until they quit scaremongering it to death. For a -0.2 deforestation rate over a decade of the WORST global warming in the history of the planet to make it as a bullet item, smacks of scaremongering, right along with throwing out a 25% of GDP number.

They are going to have to show more solid data for this guy to support it as they've been crying wolf and (THE SKY IS FALLING) for decades now.
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Old 03-14-2007, 11:10 AM   #107
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You know how politicians are, they wont stop legislation till the the next Ice Age is upon us. Brace yourselves as the politicians will fall over themselves trying to save the people of the earth from global warming.
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:31 PM   #108
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The first article names a span of
Quote:
...at least 5% of GDP each year ... to 20% of GDP or more
Also at the beginning they point out that:
Quote:
...A sound understanding of the economics of risk is critical here. The Review emphasises that economic models over timescales of centuries do not offer precise forecasts – but they are an important way to illustrate the scale of effects we might see.
Stats and forecasting always base on estimations and statistical projections so you will never get an accurate prediction!

Quote:
So which site is correct.
First one claims a -2.2 % from 1990-2000.
http://www.earth-policy.org/Indicators/indicator4.htm
The second one claims -0.2% from 1990-2000 (same report).
http://www.mongabay.com/deforestation_cover.htm

The actual UN report says -0.2.
http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y7581E....htm#TopOfPage

So the first site is the Earth Policy Institute, second one is something called MongaBay. Third is the UN report.
The rate of the first site is a typing error, as this site refers to the data of the UN!

Quote:
They are going to have to show more solid data for this guy to support it as they've been crying wolf and (THE SKY IS FALLING) for decades now.
Which solid data do the experts, with the opinion of doing something against global warming has a bad impact for the economy, have?

Where is the difference to the opposing articles? The treatises I listed in my post are neither less knowledgeable nor more scaremongering than all the opposing ones.

So I will not continue to comment on economic coherences, as this subject is very complex and I´m not an economist.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:21 AM   #109
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For those who are interested, here a summary of the, related to the subject of global warming, frequently mentioned IPCC report, in which US scientists played a leading role:

Quote:
Evidence of Human-caused Global Warming “Unequivocal”, says IPCC

Paris, 2 February 2007 – The first major global assessment of climate change science in six years has concluded that changes in the atmosphere, the oceans and glaciers and ice caps show unequivocally that the world is warming.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that major advances in climate modelling and the collection and analysis of data now give scientists “very high confidence” (at least a 9 out of 10 chance of being correct) in their understanding of how human activities are causing the world to warm. This level of confidence is much greater than what could be achieved in 2001 when the IPCC issued its last major report.

Today’s report, the first of four volumes to be released this year by the IPCC, also confirms that the marked increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) since 1750 is the result of human activities.

An even greater degree of warming would likely have occurred if emissions of pollution particles and other aerosols had not offset some of the impact of greenhouse gases, mainly by reflecting sunlight back out to space.

Three years in the making, the report is based on a thorough review of the most-up-to-date, peer-reviewed scientific literature available worldwide. It describes an accelerating transition to a warmer world marked by more extreme temperatures including heat waves, new wind patterns, worsening drought in some regions, heavier precipitation in others, melting glaciers and Arctic ice and rising global average sea levels. For the first time, the report provides evidence that the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland are slowly losing mass and contributing to sea level rise.

“This report by the IPCC represents the most rigorous and comprehensive assessment possible of the current state of climate science and has considerably narrowed the uncertainties of the 2001 report,” said Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). “Progress in observations and measurements of the weather and climate are keys to improved climate research, with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services playing a crucial role.”

“While the conclusions are disturbing, decision makers are now armed with the latest facts and will be better able to respond to these realities. The speed with which melting ice sheets are raising sea levels is uncertain, but the report makes clear that sea levels will rise inexorably over the coming centuries. It is a question of when and how much, and not if,” he said.

“In our daily lives we all respond urgently to dangers that are much less likely than climate change to affect the future of our children,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which, together with WMO, established the IPCC in 1988.

“The implications of global warming over the coming decades for our industrial economy, water supplies, agriculture, biological diversity and even geopolitics are massive. Momentum for action is building; this new report should spur policymakers to get off the fence and put strong and effective policies in place to tackle greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

The report also concludes that:

• If atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases double compared to pre-industrial levels, this would “likely” cause an average warming of around 3°C (5.4°F), with a range of 2 - 4.5°C (3.6 - 8.1°F). For the first time, the IPCC is providing best estimates for the warming projected to result from particular increases in greenhouse gases that could occur after the 21st century, along with uncertainty ranges based on more comprehensive modelling.

• A GHG level of 650 ppm would “likely” warm the global climate by around 3.6°C, while 750 ppm would lead to a 4.3°C warming, 1,000 ppm to 5.5°C and 1,200 ppm to 6.3°C. Future GHG concentrations are difficult to predict and will depend on economic growth, new technologies and policies and other factors.

• The world’s average surface temperature has increased by around 0.74°C over the past 100 years (1906 - 2005). This figure is higher than the 2001 report’s 100-year estimate of 0.6°C due to the recent series of extremely warm years, with 11 of the last 12 years ranking among the 12 warmest years since modern records began around 1850. A warming of about 0.2°C is projected for each of the next two decades.

• The best estimates for sea-level rise due to ocean expansion and glacier melt by the end of the century (compared to 1989 – 1999 levels) have narrowed to 28 - 58 cm, versus 9 - 88 cm in the 2001 report, due to improved understanding. However, larger values of up to 1 m by 2100 cannot be ruled out if ice sheets continue to melt as temperature rises. The last time the polar regions were significantly warmer than at present for an extended period (about 125,000 years ago), reductions in polar ice volume caused the sea level to rise by 4 to 6 m.

• Sea ice is projected to shrink in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Large areas of the Arctic Ocean could lose year-round ice cover by the end of the 21st century if human emissions reach the higher end of current estimates. The extent of Arctic sea ice has already shrunk by about 2.7% per decade since 1978, with the summer minimum declining by about 7.4% per decade.

• Snow cover has decreased in most regions, especially in spring. The maximum extent of frozen ground in the winter/spring season decreased by about 7% in the Northern Hemisphere over the latter half of the 20th century. The average freezing date for rivers and lakes in the Northern Hemisphere over the past 150 years has arrived later by some 5.8 days per century, while the average break-up date has arrived earlier by 6.5 days per century.

• It is “very likely” that precipitation will increase at high latitudes and “likely” it will decrease over most subtropical land regions. The pattern of these changes is similar to what has been observed during the 20th century.

• It is “very likely” that the upward trend in hot extremes and heat waves will continue. The duration and intensity of drought has increased over wider areas since the 1970s, particularly in the tropics and subtropics. The Sahel, the Mediterranean, southern Africa and parts of southern Asia have already become drier during the 20th century.

• The amounts of carbon dioxide and methane now in the atmosphere far exceed pre-industrial values going back 650,000 years. As stated above, concentrations of carbon dioxide have already risen from a pre-industrial level of 280 ppm to around 379 ppm in 2005, while methane concentrations have risen from 715 parts per billion (ppb) to 1,774 in 2005.

• A number of widely discussed uncertainties have been resolved. The temperature record of the lower atmosphere from satellite measurements has been reconciled with the ground-based record. Key remaining uncertainties involve the roles played by clouds, the cryosphere (glaciers and ice caps), oceans, deforestation and other land-use change, and the linking of climate and biogeochemical cycles.

The IPCC does not conduct new research. Instead, its mandate is to make policy-relevant assessments of the existing worldwide literature on the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change. Its reports have played a major role in inspiring governments to adopt and implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

The Summary for Policymakers for IPCC Working Group I, which was finalized line-by-line by governments during the course of this week, has now been posted in English at www.ipcc.ch. The full underlying report – “Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis” – will be published by Cambridge University Press.
The report was produced by some 600 authors from 40 countries. Over 620 expert reviewers and a large number of government reviewers also participated. Representatives from 113 governments reviewed and revised the Summary line-by-line during the course of this week before adopting it and accepting the underlying report.

The Working Group II report on climate impacts and adaptation will be launched in Brussels on 6 April. The Working Group III report on mitigation will be launched in Bangkok on 4 May. The Synthesis Report will be adopted in Valencia, Spain on 16 November. Together, the four volumes will make up the IPCC’s fourth assessment report; previous reports were published in 1990, 1995 and 2001.

Note to journalists: For more information, please see www.ipcc.ch, www.wmo.int or www.unep.org, or contact:

UNEP – Michael Williams at +41-79-409-1528 or michael.williams@unep.ch; Robert Bisset at +33-6-2272-5842 or robert.bisset@unep.org; or Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, at +254-2-623084 or nick.nuttall@unep.org.

WMO – Mark Oliver, Press Officer, at +41-22-730-8417 or moliver@wmo.int; or Carine Richard Van-Maele, Chief of Communications and Public Affairs, at +41 22 730-8315 or cvanmaele@wmo.int.


http://unep.org/Documents.Multilingu...leID=5506&l=en
Here a Link to the original "Summary for Policymakers" with a lot of data, stats and graphics: http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf
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Old 03-15-2007, 11:22 AM   #110
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I have been away for awhile and coming back to this thread is actually pretty depressing if you are an American. As I see it there are three possible scenarios that captures the current state of the debate:

1) The scientific consensus that has emerged on this issue is actually the product of a political conspiracy by left wing nutjobs that are gaining something from taking this position and pushing their agenda. This is depressing if it is true. Depressing because what this means is that for the past several years a group of politically motivated scientists have gained control of the major scientific organizations and journals related to climatology and decided to refuse to publish scientific studies that provided evidence against global warming (because they control the editorial boards of journals), reject the grant applications of the skeptics (this goes hand in hand with publications... no pubs, no grants), and taken over the leadership of the most prestigious organizations in order to fulfill their hopes and dreams. This is a huge blow to science because scientists must maintain objectivity or else the field simply dies. Science is built on the pursuit of the truth independent of politics or economics. Have we so perverted our system that this is no longer true?

2) The rapidly growing number of scientists willing to attack the concept of man's contribution to an accumulation of atmospheric CO2 and concommitant climate change are paid antagonists whose goal is to muddy the water enough so all efforts to obtain a national energy policy (that would include some regulation of CO2 emissions) will eventually fail. This would not be the first time that corporate America has attempted to produce a politically and economically acceptable "science". If this is true and we end up ditching any approach to CO2 regulation, then the outcome is equally depressing to scenario #1 because scientific consensus becomes meaningless and politics once again wins the day. For some people this is more acceptable because their own political views are being upheld. But the fact is that, just like in #1 above, science and scientists have sold out to other interests and objectivity is again lost.

3) IMO, the best scenario is that the consensus is correct and that option #2 above is unsuccessful. With this scenario the objectivity of science has been upheld and attempts to discredit the scientific process have failed. If you are a scientist this is by far the best scenario because if #1 or #2 are correct then we might as well throw science out the window. Why teach science to our children if in fact the purpose is really to give credence to political and economic ideaology? It would be far better to replace science education with economics and politics and not spend any money at all on scientific inquiry. In this case, perhaps we should allow Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia to become the world's scientists while we concentrate on propaganda that support the political whims of our leaders and political parties (whether they be Democrats or Republicans).

My preference is to believe (for the time being anyway) #3. Although I cannot discount #1 or #2 above they seem too far-fetched and are a slippery slope to discounting scientific inquiry. I for one, believe that science and science education make us a strong nation.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:44 PM   #111
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I for one would of course be delighted if the global warming is a natural process which isn´t caused by humankind and doesn´t have any negative effects. But I can´t belive it, as there already are too many alarming phenomena of nature (e.g. melting glaciers, melting ice of south pole and arctic, rising natural disasters as floods, droughts, storms,...), measurements and climatic inquiries with tell another story.

I can´t imagine that the experts which deal with this topic, namely both opponents and adherents of the theorie of man made global warming, have lost their objectivity, as the majority of them mostly rely on scientifically accepted data, and as I mentioned before, stats and forecasting always base on estimations and statistical projections so you will never get an accurate prediction. It only is a matter of discussion how it has often taken place in the history of science. And needless to say that the politicians want to be involved and make the best of it.

Unfortunately there were always some corrupt people. But what can you do?
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:02 PM   #112
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Doc...I'd like to see a link showing the rising number of floods, storms, droughts. I would like to see that correlated with prior numbers, making sure that newer reporting mechanisms aren't just finding more.

I tried to find one here:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=140
but looking at the report they use for their data here:
http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/hurdat/
I continue to get conflicting hypothesis. The NOAA for example stated:
Quote:
3. Cycles of hurricane activity: These records reflect the existence of cycles of hurricane activity, rather than trends toward more frequent or stronger hurricanes. In general, the period of the 1850s to the mid-1860s was quiet, the late 1860s through the 1890s were busy and the first decade of the 1900s were quiet. (There were five hurricane seasons with at least 10 hurricanes per year in the active period of the late 1860s to the 1890s and none in the quiet periods.) Earlier work had linked these cycles of busy and quiet hurricane period in the 20th Century to natural changes in Atlantic Ocean temperatures.
If you are going to argue this stuff, I would refrain from throwing in fud that isn't settled. It's bad enough that I don't believe a consensus has been reached with respect to global warming being mainly attributable to mankind, without trying to use more data to confuse the issue.

Stick with the temperature, if that doesn't pan out then everything else looks like bunk.
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:06 AM   #113
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To get a good survey about the rising of natural disasters you only have to look to the inquiries of the reassurer, as those companies are directly affected. As an example I picked the Munich Re Group, one of the biggest reassurer of the world. It´s a little long to read, but nevertheless very interesting.

At first let´s have a look on the trend of hurricanes:
Quote:
Dr. Eberhard Faust

Changing hurricane risk in the North Atlantic

What we are concerned about

Updated to the end of the hurricane season 2005

The elevated frequency of intense storms in 2004 and 2005 — no fewer than four of the ten strongest hurricanes ever recorded occurred in 2004 or 2005 — hints at a systematic change in the hazard situation and hence a shift in the loss distribution and its parameters.

After an extremely active US hurricane season in 2004 with an absolute record of four hurricane landfalls in/near Florida and the highest overall insured loss from tropical cyclones until then, 2005 has been a season with even higher losses from hurricanes (particularly Katrina, Rita, and Wilma).
Accordingly, the current situation has to be characterised by a higher average market-wide annual loss and different return periods for market-wide claims expenditure compared with the situation a few years ago. In the following analyses, we address the question of new evidence with respect to causes of changes in hurricane frequencies and intensities.

01 Ocean temperatures and cyclone intensities worldwide

A scientific study performed by the Scripps Institute (Barnett et al. (2005) Science) compares recordings of ocean temperatures and respective computer simulations and shows that anthropogenic climate change is having a strong impact on increases in recorded temperatures of the upper ocean layers since 1960 (cf. Tourre/White GRL (2005)).
Other scientific studies by US researchers (Emanuel (2005), Nature; Webster et al. (2005), Science) have shown the following. There is evidence of a warmer trend during the summer season in all tropical oceans amounting to an average of 0.5°C since 1970. The intensity of tropical cyclones, characterised by the parameters of maximum wind speed and cumulative length of time with high wind speeds, increases in correlation with sea surface temperature (Fig. 1). As a consequence of this correlation, the global number of severe tropical cyclones (4–5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) has increased in relation to the annual total for all ocean basins. There has been a steep increase in absolute terms too, from about 8 per year at the beginning of the 1970s to 18 per year, i.e. more than double — in the period 2000–2004. At the same time, the proportion of weaker cyclones (Category 1) has decreased, while there is no recognisable trend as far as the moderate types (Categories 2-3) are concerned (Fig. 2).

02 Climate oscillation in the North Atlantic

In addition to this shift in the intensity distribution towards the higher categories, changes may also be observed in the total frequency in some regions. The number of cyclones occurring throughout the world every year on average is 80 (margin of deviation: 20) without any distinctive trend.
A general increase in frequency is observed in the North Atlantic since 1970, that means from a comparatively cool period to the current "warm phase" in terms of sea surface temperatures (Fig. 3). Accordingly, the hurricane season of 2005 has set an absolute record in terms of the number of named tropical storms (27, old record 21) and hurricanes (15, old record 12).
If further research findings of recent years are taken into account (Goldenberg (2001), Science; Trenberth (2005), Science), the result for the North Atlantic is such that cyclone activity is determined there both by a natural climate oscillation and by a superimposed linear warming process — most probably not explainable without anthropogenic global warming.
There are alternating phases lasting for several decades with exceptionally warm or exceptionally cool sea surface temperatures, the margin of deviation being around 0.5°C. The natural climatic fluctuation is driven by the ocean's large-scale currents (thermohaline circulation, Knight et al. (2005) GRL, Willoughby/Masters (2005)). Warm phases produce a distinct increase in hurricane frequency and also more intense storms, whereas cold phases have the opposite effect. So in the current warm phase, for example, 4.1 strong hurricanes have already occurred per year on average while in the previous cold phase this figure only was 1.5 (this means an increase by 173%). Of course, a definitive value for the average annual level of activity for the whole of the current warm phase can only be given when this phase has ended. The figures correspond to the observation possible up to 2005.

03 Global warming

At the same time, the natural fluctuation between these phases seems to be intensified by a superimposed long-term warming process so that sea surface temperature and the level of hurricane activity increase from warm phase to warm phase (Fig. 4). The increase in the number of strong hurricanes per year from 2.6 to 4.1 from the previous warm phase to the current warm phase means an increase of 58%.* There are strong arguments in favour of climate change as the long-term warming agent. The current unusually high level of activity is most probably due to the warm phase prevailing since the mid-1990s, which is supposed to continue for several years and intensified by the relatively linear process of global warming.

There is a clear indication that both the natural climatic cycle and global warming influence not only overall frequency but also landfall frequency. Between the last warm phase (approx. 1926 to approx. 1970) and the current warm phase since approx. 1995, the average annual number of landfalls increased as follows (Fig. 5):

Cat. 3—5 hurricanes+67% (from 0.6 to 1.0)
Cat. 1—5 hurricanes+33% (from 1.8 to 2.4)
Trop. storms and Cat. 1—5 hurricanes
+47% (from 3.4 to 5.0)

This comparison has to be seen as being primarily linked to the influence of global warming.


The change in level between the last cold phase (approx. 1971 to approx. 1994) and the current warm phase since 1995 has the following impact on the number of landfalls (Fig. 5):

Cat. 3—5 hurricanes+233% (from 0.3 to 1.0)
Cat. 1—5 hurricanes
+100% (from 1.2 to 2.4)
Trop. storms and Cat. 1—5 hurricanes
+100% (from 2.5 to 5.0)

This comparison has to be seen as being primarily indicative of the natural climatic oscillation.

* The records of the period before aircraft reconnaissance started in the mid-1940s are not as reliable as the records since then. This applies primarily to intensity attributions, because one has to rely on observations made by ships.

04 Different loss distribution

These strong changes, reflected in both the number of tropical cyclones and the number of landfalls, can only mean that we must expect a different loss distribution in the current warm phase since 1995 compared with the distribution in the prior period.
We should recall that we observe an increase in terms of the annual frequency of major hurricanes in the order of 170% from the foregoing cold phase (1971 to 1994) to the current warm phase since 1995. In terms of landfalls the increase is of the order of 230%.
Even if we compare the loss distribution of the current warm phase with a loss distribution based on all years since 1900, which can be called indifferent towards the natural climate cycle, we should expect a large difference. This is strongly indicated by a comparison of hurricane intensity distributions calculated for the whole period 1900 — 2005 versus the current warm period 1995 — 2005 (Fig. 6). It is plain to see that the current warm phase is marked by a higher proportion of strong hurricanes (Categories 4 and 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) and a lower proportion of weaker hurricanes (Categories 1 and 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale). Category 4 and 5 hurricanes account for 14% and 6% respectively in the distribution since 1900 and have increased to 20% and 10% in the current warm phase distribution. On the other hand, the Category 1 and 2 hurricanes account for 37% and 23% respectively in the distribution over all years since 1900 and have decreased to 34% and 17% in the current warm phase distribution.
None of the loss models available commercially incorporate such a change in the distribution. So it is a major challenge for the insurance industry to respond to the present-day hazard distribution and — as a consequence of this — the present-day loss distribution and to take them into consideration adequately in its risk management.

05 Glossary

Anthropogenic climate change/global warming

During the period of industrialisation, greenhouse gas emissions increased steadily and led to an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 380 ppm in 2004. The pre-industrial level was 280 to 300 ppm which at least for the past 650,000 years and probably for the last millions of years has not been exceeded. There are other greenhouse gases such as methane or dinitrogen oxide, which have increased equally fast.
Greenhouse gases alter the radiation properties of the atmosphere in such a way that much more energy from the sun is trapped by the lower parts of the atmosphere. This anthropogenic global warming comes in addition to what is called the natural greenhouse effect. Even before the appearance of mankind and of the industrial age the earth's atmosphere contained greenhouse gases (in particular CO2 and others), which have warmed the earth's surface by roughly 33°C. This natural greenhouse effect must be regarded as a precondition for the development of life on the planet.

Tropical cyclone

General expression for tropical storms forming over tropical oceans. Depending on the region and strength they are called hurricanes (Atlantic and Northeast Pacific), typhoons (Northwest Pacific), or cyclones (Indian Ocean and Australia).

Saffir-Simpson intensity scale

The Saffir-Simpson Scale is a five-stage intensity scale for tropical cyclones. The scale spans the following categories:
  • Cat 1: windspeed 118—153 km/h; central pressure >= 980 hPa
  • Cat 2: windspeed 154—177 km/h; central pressure 965—979 hPa
  • Cat 3: windspeed 178—209 km/h; central pressure 945—964 hPa
  • Cat 4: windspeed 210—249 km/h; central pressure 920—944 hPa
  • Cat 5: windspeed > 250 km/h; central pressure < 920 hPa
Atlantic cold phases/warm phases

The so-called cold and warm phases in the North Atlantic are part of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The mechanism behind it is a large-scale water flow conveyer belt in the ocean with periodically enhanced or reduced activity resulting in unusually warm or unusually cool surface waters in parts of the ocean. This overturning circulation, which is driven by water temperatures and water salinities, is called the thermohaline circulation.

Natural climate oscillation

Natural climate oscillations can be differentiated by the respective time scales. They are not driven by external influences on the earth's climate system, such as changes in solar irradiance or anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Examples of natural climate oscillations are the El-Nino/Southern-Oscillation events (interdecadal time scale), the North Atlantic Oscillation (quasi-decadal Oscillation) or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (multidecadal time scale).
Latest examples of abnormal storms:
Quote:
Ernst Rauch

Peak meteorological values and never-ending loss records

The last two years have been dominated by extreme tropical cyclones. The belief that the exceptional year of 2004 would be followed by a period of calm in 2005 turned out to be mistaken. The time has come for a radical rethinking of how hurricane risks are evaluated.

The record-breaking year of 2004

2004 was marked by the highest regional frequencies and intensities of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic since the recording of meteorological tracks began in 1851.
Hurricane Ivan was particularly significant for the insurance industry: its HDP (Hurricane Destruction Potential), which is the sum of the squares of the maximum wind speed in 6-hour periods for the duration of the storm, was 71,250. For the sake of comparison, the average HDP value of all tropical cyclones recorded in the Atlantic in each entire season between 1950 and 1990 was 70,600.
Hurricane Ivan set new records in terms of duration and intensity, but the latest scientific findings suggest it will not be an exception for very long. The study (Emanuel [2005], Nature) quoted in the section "Climate cycles and global warming — Effects on risk evaluation" shows that the Power Dissipation Index (PDI), which represents the accumulated wind energy of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic for a whole year, increased sharply in correlation with the higher sea surface temperature. The PDI is calculated in a similar way to the HDP. A closer analysis of this change makes it clear that there has been an increasing trend in the strength and duration of hurricanes and thus in their destruction potential too.

2005 — An increase is possible

In this season, both hurricane activity, i.e. the number of tropical cyclones, and the observed intensities reached new peak levels. The new maximum values were far above the old records of 21 tropical storms (1933) and 12 hurricanes (1969). A total of 27 named tropical cyclones developed in the North Atlantic, 15 of which reached hurricane force with wind speeds exceeding 118 km/h.
The intensities were no less striking. The list of the ten strongest hurricanes ever recorded includes Wilma, Rita, and Katrina, all from the year 2005. On 19 October, Wilma had a central pressure of 882 hPa, the lowest ever recorded. This suggests that it also had higher wind speeds than any other hurricane in the Caribbean since recordings began in 1851.
The beginning and end of the hurricane season in 2005 were also marked by exceptional meteorological features. The hurricane year began very actively with seven tropical cyclones in June and July — two more than the previous record of five by the end of July. Hurricane Epsilon marked the end of the season in December, along with Tropical Storm Zeta, which was still active in the Atlantic even at the beginning of January 2006: two storms that did not observe the "official" end of the hurricane season on 30 November.

01 Losses caused by the hurricane series in 2004 and 2005

The four most devastating hurricanes with landfalls in the Caribbean and the United States — Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne — presented the insurance industry with a new peak loss from tropical cyclones in the Atlantic of around US$ 30bn.
The most expensive year for insurers in this region before then was 1992, when Hurricane Andrew generated insured losses of US$ 17bn. According to Munich Re's analyses, Andrew would cost the insurance industry almost US$ 30bn today, given the increase in insured values in the affected regions of Florida and Louisiana since then.
The sum total of individual losses from hurricanes in 2004 was therefore not an extraordinary figure in itself. The surprising part was that a loss of these dimensions occurred only 13 years after Hurricane Andrew, since there are commercial models that put the "return period" for an annual market hurricane loss of US$ 30bn at well over 30 years.
The high loss accumulation from a series of moderate hurricanes was also unexpected for some risk carriers. Many insurers had responded to Hurricane Andrew by concentrating their efforts on estimating the accumulation loss potential of one major event — but these estimates were to be put to the test in 2005.
The natural catastrophe year of 2005 was marked by record losses from hurricanes in the North Atlantic, with insured losses exceeding US$ 83bn. Munich Re estimates that Hurricane Katrina alone generated privately insured market losses of US$ 45bn. This figure was boosted by Rita and Wilma, each costing around US$ 10bn, and significant insured losses from other storms like Dennis, Stan, and Emily.

A phase of rethinking is necessary

Two aspects in particular marked the year 2005: a mega-loss caused by Hurricane Katrina and a succession of moderate hurricane losses. Only a year after the most expensive natural catastrophe year in original values, the optimism displayed by many a market player proved to be unfounded. 2004 was not a solitary exception.

Losses in 2004 and 2005: Insured market losses from hurricanes
  • United States (mainland only) approx. US$ 95bn
  • Gulf of Mexico (offshore) approx. US$ 14-15bn
  • Caribbean approx. US$ 2bn
  • Mexico approx. US$ 2bn
  • North Atlantic (United States, Caribbean, Mexico) US$ 115bn
In all these regions, a process of fundamental rethinking is called for in the evaluation of hurricane risks. The United States mainland is particularly important in this regard, since high insured values will inevitably lead to high insured accumulation losses when the time comes.

02 Hurricane Katrina: Meteorological aspects

Hurricane Katrina developed out of a low-pressure vortex over the Bahamas on 23 August. As the eleventh tropical cyclone of the 2005 hurricane season, it crossed South Florida in the Miami area as a Category 1 hurricane (measured on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale).
In the days that followed, Katrina moved over the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico with a rapid increase in intensity. Over those areas where the water temperature was 1-2°C above the long-term average, the hurricane already reached force 5 on 28 August. This corresponds to wind speeds of approx. 340 km/h in peak gusts.
Shortly before making landfall on 29 August in the state of Louisiana — some 30-50 km east of New Orleans — it weakened to a Category 4 hurricane. An analysis of wind speed data published by the National Hurricane Center in Miami in December 2005 adjusted its strength at landfall again, lowering it even further to Category 3. Upon landfall in Louisiana and when it moved on to the states of Mississippi and Alabama, Katrina caused massive windstorm damage and, initially on a local scale, flood damage due to torrential rain.
Just a few hours after the hurricane vortex had passed over South Louisiana, the levees were breached on Lake Pontchartrain and on an artificial drainage canal. Large parts of New Orleans were flooded. The affected areas lie below sea level in a kind of soup bowl, and there is no natural drainage.
As draining is only possible using pumps or by natural evaporation, it took several weeks to dry out the city. It was not until early December 2005 that important infrastructure installations were back in place and access to the city of New Orleans was completely restored.
But it isn´t enough to only analyze the trend of hurricanes, to get a general view about the development of natural disasters:
Quote:
NatCatSERVICE information

Increasing intensity and costs of natural catastrophes – Is this a long-term trend?

2005 broke all negative records. Natural catastrophes have never been so expensive, either for the world’s economies or for the insurance industry. It was also one of the deadliest years of recent decades.

Over the past year we have continued our research into the possibility of identifying natural hazard trends with even greater accuracy and certainty. To this end, the data stored in Munich Re’s natural catastrophe database, NatCatSERVICE®, was prepared to make it more amenable to systematic analysis. We are pleased to publish the results of our work for the first time in this edition of Topics Geo. This NatCatSERVICE® information examines whether there is a discernible trend towards larger natural catastrophes, where in the world such a trend may be evident and how it may manifest itself.

Data sources, data preparation, classification

The whole process of evaluating macroeconomic losses is subject to significant uncertainty and fluctuation, as we discussed in detail in topics — Annual Review: Natural Catastrophes 2000.
We used the Munich Re natural catastrophe categories as a basis for our investigation of possible trends (Graphic: Natural catastrophes — Breakdown into seven catastrophe categories). This seven-level scale — from 0, natural event, to 6, great catastrophe — makes it possible to assign each loss event to a particular category, even if the exact extent of the overall losses are not known or cannot be determined.
Our analysis examined 16,000 natural catastrophes in the period between 1980 and 2005. Only about a quarter of all events were backed up by reliable official figures concerning the economic losses involved. Since the mid-1990s, however, there has been a distinct improvement in the reporting of overall losses (Graphic: Natural catastrophes of economic losses).
Munich Re’s experts estimated the losses from the remaining 12,000 events on the basis of claims notifications and global comparisons with similar events, considering in each case the affected national economy.

Two examples of this procedure

Example 1
  • Estimate of the overall losses on the basis of known insured losses using the factor of insurance penetration, a value that is known for all markets and for all the various types of event. This method factors in the type of natural hazard, the region of a country affected (urban, rural, population density, quality of buildings), and the classes of insurance business that were affected by losses. This information is the basis for a realistic loss estimate (Graphic: Example of a loss estimate: Hurricane Ivan).
Example 2
  • If insured losses are not known, as is frequently the case in developing countries, Munich Re’s loss estimate is based on the following parameters: type and duration of the natural catastrophe, region affected (urban, rural, population density, property, infrastructure, and public utilities, the number of people involved, and the death toll. On the basis of this data, an approximation technique then searches for all comparative catastrophes in the affected region for which there is detailed and reliable information on overall losses. The events are clustered and realistic values derived for individual units (e.g. average value of a residential building in a rural area). In this way, the event can be assigned to a certain category of loss.
In order to determine the extent of the loss, all events were assigned to one of seven categories of natural catastrophe. Catastrophe category 0 was disregarded for the purposes of our analysis, as it is used for natural events which have little or no economic impact. The remaining events were divided into three main categories:
  • Small-scale and moderate loss events (categories 1 and 2)
  • Severe and major catastrophes (categories 3 and 4)
  • Devastating and great natural catastrophes (categories 5 and 6)
The Analysis
  • There were hardly any noticeable differences in the percentage breakdown of the types of event across the three main categories. The exceptions to this are earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The proportion of windstorms in the three main groups is in fact absolutely identical. Overall, weather-related natural catastrophes dominated with a share of over 85% in all catastrophe categories (Graphic: Percentage distribution of events).
  • If one considers the number of events from 1980 up to the present day in their respective categories, it can be seen that the proportion of catastrophes in category 1 has diminished while there has been a significant increase in categories 2 and 3 (Graphic: Number of events per year).
  • A similar breakdown by continent shows that Asia – the continent with the most towns and conurbations – clearly dominates in terms of the number of events. Asia experienced 4,500 events, 70% of which were socalled "small loss events". At the same time, however, Asia also experienced the greatest number of devastating and great natural catastrophes (225 events).
  • Asia was also hardest hit in terms of the number of fatalities (800,000). Almost 90% of these fatalities were caused by events in catastrophe categories 5 and 6 (devastating and great catastrophes).
A comparison of Europe and North America (USA and Canada) shows that the two continents were affected by about the same number of natural catastrophes (Graphic: Natural catastrophes comparison between Europe and North America). However, while Europe was hit primarily by small events, North America had to contend with a greater number of severe and great natural catastrophes (categories 3–6). This trend is also reflected in the loss figures: overall losses in North America were almost three times as high as those in Europe and insured losses about four times as high. In absolute terms, more people died in Europe, but this can be largely attributed to a single event: the 2003 heatwave, which affected the whole continent. The final death toll was more than 35,000.

Dr. Eberhard Faust

Climate review 2005

Climate change continues unabated. This is clearly confirmed by the results of research in 2005, a year that is likely to go down as the second warmest year ever recorded. According to provisional calculations by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the mean global temperature in 2005 deviated by +0.47°C from the average of the climate normal period 1961–1990. It is thus one of the warmest years since recordings began in 1861 and currently ranks as the second warmest year worldwide.
The WMO will publish the final figures in February 2006. Nothing provides more striking evidence of the continual warming of our planet than the fact that the nine warmest years have all occurred between 1995 and 2005. In fact, in the northern hemisphere, 2005 is likely to go down as the warmest year ever recorded, with an anomaly of +0.65°C. In September 2005, ocean ice in the north covered less than six million square kilometres for the first time since satellite observations began in the 1970s. September is the month in which it typically reaches its minimum. The sea ice cover registered at the end of that month showed a reduction of 8% in the last 25 years.
A major part in this development was played by the North Atlantic, where the surface temperature in 2005 currently ranks as the warmest annual mean figure ever registered. The exceptionally large anomalies in a belt around 50°N and record values in the Caribbean and the tropical Atlantic were particularly noticeable. One of the effects of this was the extreme drought in the Amazon region. This was due to the higher level of evaporation and precipitation formation over the warm sea surfaces, whilst in the neighbouring region of North Brazil the prevailing conditions were a subsidence of air and cloud dispersion.
A study by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography was the first to show that anthropogenic climate change is responsible for the rising temperatures in the upper layers of all the earth’s oceans. This influence far outweighs the effects of natural climate variability and external forcings like changes in solar radiation and volcanic activity.

Examples of extreme weather patterns in 2005
  • Between October 2004 and June 2005, the total volume of precipitation in western France, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom was only half the long-term average. As a consequence, Spain and Portugal suffered their worst drought since the 1940s, resulting in many wildfires. And that only two years after the hot and dry hundred-year summer of 2003.
  • With an anomaly of +1.75°C in the first five months, 2005 was the hottest year in Australia since recordings began in 1910.
  • There was hardly any rain in Brazil, leading to extreme dryness in the south (Rio Grande do Sul) and the Amazon region and producing the worst drought for 60 years.
  • In contrast, July presented Mumbai with the greatest 24-hour precipitation volume ever recorded in India.

Climate change and insurance

Records of mean global temperatures go back to 1861, and for the northern hemisphere there are reliable temperature estimates for the last 1,000 years. The records show a distinctive trend. The average temperature on earth is rising — with an increase of 0.7°C since 1900 alone. The ten warmest years ever recorded have all occurred since 1995. 1998 set a new all-time record: the maximum temperature that year was higher than in any other year throughout the past millennium. The next near record followed in 2005.
A temperature increase of 0.7°C may seem moderate. However, between ice ages and warm periods, which alternate due to natural factors, there is only a difference in mean global temperatures of 6-7°C.
The extremely pronounced warming that has been observed particularly in the past three decades cannot be explained simply by natural influences. The scientists of Munich Re's Geo Risks Research Department are therefore certain that this global warming is man-made and that it will have massive repercussions.
A survey of the years 1950-2005 reveals a massive increase in major weather-related natural catastrophes during that time. Between 1994 and 2005 there were almost three times as many weather-related natural catastrophes as in the 1960s.
The trend is even more distinct with regard to losses. Economic losses increased by a factor of 5.3 in the same period, insured losses by a factor of no less than 9.6. The main causes in both cases were floods and windstorms. The majority of fatalities, more than three-quarters, were caused by "wet storms".
Last but not least the outlook from insurances point-of-view:
Quote:
Dr. Eberhard Faust

The further outlook


"Everything used to be better. Even the weather." Do such statements glorify the past? Not entirely, for the climate is indeed changing, as researchers have recently confirmed. Their findings are of profound importance for both insureds and insurers, especially as regards risk management.

Global mean annual temperatures can be followed back to 1861. In 2006, 145 years later, a trend has emerged which can no longer be ascribed to chance: the nine hottest years ever recorded were all between 1995 and 2005. According to provisional calculations by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the mean global temperature in 2005 deviated by +0.47 °C from the average temperature between 1961 and 1990.
By only half a degree? Then there's nothing to worry about, is there? Well, maybe there is, as a closer look at the repercussions reveals. The area of sea ice covering the northern hemisphere in late September every year has declined by roughly 8% in the last 25 years, for example. Glaciers in mountainous areas are on the decline.
2005 was a year of weather extremes in many regions. Just two years after the "hundred-year summer" of 2003, Spain and Portugal suffered their worst drought since the 1940s. Between October 2004 and June 2005, western France, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom had only half as much rain as usual. Australians sweltered in a heatwave with an average temperature that was 1.75°C above the mean in the first five months of the year.

Record year 2005

2005 turned out to be the hottest year there since records began in 1910. Major floods hit the Alpine regions in August, especially in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. They were caused by a central European weather trough, involving a low-pressure system which picks up considerable amounts of moisture over the warm water of the northern Mediterranean and deposits them over the Alpine region and the low mountain ranges of central, eastern, and southeastern Europe as it heads (north)east.
Such weather troughs were responsible for the floods on the Odra in 1997, the Vistula in 2001, and the Danube and Elbe in 2002 — despite the fact that the amount of rain falling in an average central European summer is steadily decreasing and that the probability of very hot and dry summers has considerably increased.
The insurance industry was affected above all by the losses caused by tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic. These storms develop over tropical oceans and depending on their intensity and the region involved, are called hurricanes (Atlantic and Northeast Pacific), typhoons (Northwest Pacific), or cyclones (Indian Ocean and Australia).
Worldwide, the proportion of severe tropical cyclones — Categories 4 and 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale — is growing steadily. Since 1970, their number has risen from an average of 8 per year to 18. In 2005, 27 tropical cyclones were recorded in the North Atlantic, including 15 of hurricane force — a record number. 2004 had been a very active season too.

Changes in the last 10-15 years

In view of such increases, the question is: what has changed in the last 10 to 15 years? An important part of this is how tropical cyclones work. They are fuelled by the difference in temperature and pressure between the surrounding atmosphere and its warm centre.
The relatively low pressure in the centre is caused by the evaporation of ocean surface water — the warmer the water, the stronger the evaporation. Climate simulations using cyclone models show that a "heated" earth with higher temperatures in tropical oceans gives rise to more intense storms characterised by higher wind speeds and heavier rainfall.
Indeed, this has been confirmed by our observations over the last few decades. At the same time, the increase is "masked" by natural oscillations. Over time, the average surface temperature of the North Atlantic has fluctuated in long waves; there have been exceptionally warm and exceptionally cool phases, each lasting several decades.

Higher North Atlantic temperatures

Higher temperatures prevailed before 1900, between the mid-1920s and the late 1960s, and again since the mid1990s. This phenomenon is probably due to a natural cause known as thermohaline circulation (THC). This means, in strongly simplified terms, that warm, saline water from the tropical North Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico is transported northwards and eastwards in the upper sea layers by the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current.
Once it has discharged its heat into the atmosphere, the water, which is very dense due to its salt concentration, sinks to the depths in the Labrador Sea and off the coast of Europe between Greenland and Scotland. Then it flows back towards the south. A more active THC contributes to higher North Atlantic temperatures.
Besides increasing the intensity of storms in the North Atlantic, warm phases like the one we are currently experiencing also generate more frequent hurricanes, whereas cold phases have the opposite effect. This alternation between warm and cold phases has now been supplemented by a new effect: the overall rise in temperature.

Intensity and frequency of hurricanes increases

The cold phases are not as cold as they used to be and the warm phases are getting hotter. 2005 made history with the highest value since 1880. Between July and September 2005, positive sea surface temperature anomalies of up to 2°C were registered in some parts of the tropical North Atlantic and the Caribbean, with average readings for.
January to November 2005 reaching record levels at several points on the map. Since the intensity and frequency of hurricanes increases with sea surface temperatures, the average number per year has also risen: from 2.6 to 4.1 hurricanes (Categories 3–5) between the last warm period and this one — an increase of around 60%.
A study by the Scripps Institute in 2005 reveals that the cause of this general warming is probably climate change, which, in turn, is due to human factors.

Effects on the insurance industry

Significantly more cyclones and a growing number of severe storms are also changing the prevailing hazard situations and loss distributions — factors of particular importance to the insurance industry.
The models used until spring 2006 were mainly based on all loss events since 1900, so that present loss levels are underestimated by insurance companies. Recent analyses by Munich Re have shown that the expected annual loss value increases on the basis of a distribution which only takes into account losses occurring in warm phases.
This is the great challenge for the insurance industry. It must respond to the current hazard situation and take it into account appropriately in its risk management.
The record losses generated by Hurricane Katrina also showed that some aspects of the total insured loss are still not sufficiently factored into loss models even today. Improvements must be made particularly with regard to the following:
  • Modelling the effects of storm surge and flood
  • The complex interrelation of aspects relating to business interruption covers that lead to higher losses
  • The limited resources available to loss adjusters, which hampers settlement when there are large numbers of individual claims (no fewer than two million claims were filed after Katrina)
  • The substantial increases in the price of materials and labour for the reconstruction work and the costs of alternative accommodation for people whose buildings have become uninhabitable
  • More serious damage and delayed, more expensive repairs when the same region is hit by several storms within a short time
  • The interruption of business activities in an entire region when this is aggravated by people returning to their homes slowly or not at all and by inefficient disaster management
These factors should also be taken into account in the insurance industry's risk management. Losses can be avoided if insurers additionally draw attention to the consequences of climate change and supports measures to counteract it.
All treatises from this site:
http://www.munichre.com/ (Choose English on the upper right side and than go to: --->TOPICS & SOLUTIONS --->Georisks)
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:43 PM   #114
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Ah..you can always count on the europeans to show us the "way".
http://en.rian.ru/world/20070403/62999935.html

Quote:
BRUSSELS, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - The government of Belgium’s French-speaking region of Wallonia, which has a population of about 4 million, has approved a tax on barbequing, local media reported.

Experts said that between 50 and 100 grams of CO2, a so-called greenhouse gas, is emitted during barbequing. Beginning June 2007, residents of Wallonia will have to pay 20 euros for a grilling session.

The local authorities plan to monitor compliance with the new tax legislation from helicopters, whose thermal sensors will detect burning grills.

Scientists believe CO2 emissions are a major cause of global warming.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:20 PM   #115
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LOL^^^^

Must be a late april fool hoax.

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Old 04-06-2007, 02:04 PM   #116
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From REUTERS: http://www.reuters.com/home
Quote:
Scientists, governments clash over warming report

Fri Apr 6, 2007 11:46AM EDT
By Jeff Mason

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Scientists clashed with government officials at a U.N. panel on climate change on Friday over how strongly global warming is affecting plants and animals and the degree to which humans are causing temperatures to rise.

More than 100 nations in the U.N. group agreed a final text after all-night talks that were punctuated by protests from researchers, who accused delegates of ignoring science and watering down a summary version of the report for policymakers.

Environmentalists say governments tried to weaken the report in order to avoid taking strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia were the main culprits at the meeting, delegates said.

"It looks like very blatant vested interests are trying to stop particular messages getting out," said Neil Adger from Britain's Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
"We give our best to provide the best scientific assessment, but when the wording of that is then changed ... we get very upset. It's three years' work."

He said delegates had also tried to weaken the link between greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans and the impacts of global warming worldwide.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) groups 2,500 scientists and is the top authority on climate change.

Cynthia Rosenzweig of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies submitted a letter of protest to the IPCC chairman after Chinese delegates insisted on cutting a reference to 'very high confidence' that climate change was already affecting natural systems on all continents and in some oceans, she said.
"I did make a statement that the authors strongly felt that the 'very high confidence' level was right," she told reporters after the meeting. "I was protesting because I felt the science wasn't brought forward."
She left the meeting after the protest but said she needed a break and had not staged a walkout.

The delegates ended up taking out any reference to confidence and revised the text to say: "Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases."

Martin Parry, co-chair of the group preparing the report, denied the document had been weakened as a whole.

"I don't think it would be a right story to say it was watered down. Certain messages were lost but I don't think in any respect the message was lost," he said. "When you have big meetings, there is a boiling down to common ground."

But although Rosenzweig said she was happy with the compromise, many scientists felt the summary was not as sound as the larger report that they are preparing.

"There is some residual frustration amongst the scientists. There's no question about that," said Kevin Hennessy, senior research scientist at the Climate Impact Group in Australia and another lead author. "But we're going to encourage people to drill down to the more detailed information in the technical summary and in the individual chapters."

(additional reporting by David Lawsky)

http://www.reuters.com/article/envir...49942120070406


UN panel issues stark climate change warning

Fri Apr 6, 2007 1:39PM EDT
By Jeff Mason

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Climate experts issued their starkest warning yet about the impact of global warming, ranging from hunger in Africa to a fast thaw in the Himalayas, in a report on Friday that increased pressure on governments to act.

More than 100 nations in the U.N. climate panel agreed a final text after all-night talks during which some scientists accused governments of watering down conclusions that climate change was already under way and damaging nature.

The report said warming, widely blamed on human emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, would cause desertification, droughts and rising seas and would hit hard in the tropics, from sub-Saharan Africa to Pacific islands.

"It's the poorest of the poor in the world, and this includes poor people even in prosperous societies, who are going to be the worst hit," said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

"This does become a global responsibility in my view."

The IPCC, which groups 2,500 scientists and is the world authority on climate change, said all regions of the planet would suffer from a sharp warming.

Its findings are approved unanimously by governments and will guide policy on issues such as extending the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, the main U.N. plan for capping greenhouse gas emissions, beyond 2012.

In Washington, the Bush administration indicated the United States, which pulled out of Kyoto in 2001, still planned to tackle limiting carbon dioxide emissions on its own rather than support global mandatory caps.

"Each nation sort of defines their regulatory objectives in different ways to achieve the greenhouse reduction outcome that they seek," Jim Connaughton, chairman of the White House council on environmental quality, told reporters.

RISE TO THE CHALLENGE

But a senior Democratic lawmaker said the report was further evidence that the U.S. had to act quickly on global warming.

"This Congress must rise to the challenge of transitioning from energy sources that threaten the planet and preparing for the damage we can no longer avoid," said Rep. Edward Markey, who heads a special committee on energy independence and global warming in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

Friday's study said climate change could cause hunger for millions with a sharp fall in crop yields in Africa. It could also rapidly thaw Himalayan glaciers that feed rivers from India to China and bring heatwaves for Europe and North America.

"This further underlines both how urgent it is to reach global agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and how important it is for us all to adapt to the climate change that is already under way," said European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.

"The urgency of this report...should be matched with an equally urgent response by governments," said Hans Verolme of the WWF conservation group.

Scientists said China, Russia and Saudi Arabia raised most objections overnight and sought to tone down the findings, including those about the likely pace of extinctions.

Other participants said the United States, which cited high costs when it pulled out of Kyoto, had opposed a suggested text that said parts of North America could suffer "severe economic damage" from climate change.

China, the second largest source of greenhouse gases after the United States, insisted on cutting a reference to "very high confidence" that climate change was already affecting "many natural systems, on all continents and in some oceans".

But delegates sharpened other sections, including adding a warning that some African nations might have to spend 5 to 10 percent of gross domestic product on adapting to climate change.

Overall, the report was the strongest U.N. assessment yet of the threat of climate change, predicting water shortages that could affect billions of people and a rise in ocean levels that could go on for centuries.

Its review of the regional impact of change built on an IPCC report in February saying that human greenhouse gas emissions were more than 90 percent sure to have stoked recent warming.

(With additional reporting by David Lawsky in Brussels and Jeremy Pelofsky in Washington)

http://www.reuters.com/article/envir...52735320070406
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Old 04-07-2007, 05:15 AM   #117
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http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070407/D8OBK1DG0.html
Quote:
Forecaster Blasts Gore on Global Warming
Apr 7, 2:55 AM (ET)

By CAIN BURDEAU

(AP) Dr. William Gray, a top hurricane researcher, answers questions during an interview in New Orleans,...
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A top hurricane forecaster called Al Gore "a gross alarmist" Friday for making an Oscar-winning documentary about global warming.

"He's one of these guys that preaches the end of the world type of things. I think he's doing a great disservice and he doesn't know what he's talking about," Dr. William Gray said in an interview with The Associated Press at the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans, where he delivered the closing speech.

A spokeswoman said Gore was on a flight from Washington, D.C., to Nashville Friday; he did not immediately respond to Gray's comments.

Gray, an emeritus professor at the atmospheric science department at Colorado State University, has long railed against the theory that heat-trapping gases generated by human activity are causing the world to warm.

Over the past 24 years, Gray, 77, has become known as America's most reliable hurricane forecaster; recently, his mentee, Philip Klotzbach, has begun doing the bulk of the forecasting work.

Gray's statements came the same day the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change approved a report that concludes the world will face dire consequences to food and water supplies, along with increased flooding and other dramatic weather events, unless nations adapt to climate change.

Rather than global warming, Gray believes a recent uptick in strong hurricanes is part of a multi-decade trend of alternating busy and slow periods related to ocean circulation patterns. Contrary to mainstream thinking, Gray believes ocean temperatures are going to drop in the next five to 10 years.

Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," has helped fuel media attention on global warming.

Kerry Emanuel, an MIT professor who had feuded with Gray over global warming, said Gray has wrongly "dug (his) heels in" even though there is ample evidence that the world is getting hotter.
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Old 04-07-2007, 08:08 AM   #118
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Gray may be right about Al Gore and the movie, but as I haven´t seen the movie yet, I don´t want to comment about.

Quote:
Rather than global warming, Gray believes a recent uptick in strong hurricanes is part of a multi-decade trend of alternating busy and slow periods related to ocean circulation patterns. Contrary to mainstream thinking, Gray believes ocean temperatures are going to drop in the next five to 10 years.
This doesn´t go against the mainstream as you can see in my former post about hurricanes:
Quote:
Atlantic cold phases/warm phases

The so-called cold and warm phases in the North Atlantic are part of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The mechanism behind it is a large-scale water flow conveyer belt in the ocean with periodically enhanced or reduced activity resulting in unusually warm or unusually cool surface waters in parts of the ocean. This overturning circulation, which is driven by water temperatures and water salinities, is called the thermohaline circulation.

Natural climate oscillation

Natural climate oscillations can be differentiated by the respective time scales. They are not driven by external influences on the earth's climate system, such as changes in solar irradiance or anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Examples of natural climate oscillations are the El-Nino/Southern-Oscillation events (interdecadal time scale), the North Atlantic Oscillation (quasi-decadal Oscillation) or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (multidecadal time scale).
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A general increase in frequency is observed in the North Atlantic since 1970, that means from a comparatively cool period to the current "warm phase" in terms of sea surface temperatures (Fig. 3). Accordingly, the hurricane season of 2005 has set an absolute record in terms of the number of named tropical storms (27, old record 21) and hurricanes (15, old record 12).
As we are in a "warm phase" now, it wouldn´t surprise any scientist, if the oceans will get colder in the next years, but:
Quote:
If further research findings of recent years are taken into account (Goldenberg (2001), Science; Trenberth (2005), Science), the result for the North Atlantic is such that cyclone activity is determined there both by a natural climate oscillation and by a superimposed linear warming process — most probably not explainable without anthropogenic global warming.
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Besides increasing the intensity of storms in the North Atlantic, warm phases like the one we are currently experiencing also generate more frequent hurricanes, whereas cold phases have the opposite effect. This alternation between warm and cold phases has now been supplemented by a new effect: the overall rise in temperature.

Intensity and frequency of hurricanes increases

The cold phases are not as cold as they used to be and the warm phases are getting hotter. 2005 made history with the highest value since 1880. Between July and September 2005, positive sea surface temperature anomalies of up to 2°C were registered in some parts of the tropical North Atlantic and the Caribbean, with average readings for.

January to November 2005 reaching record levels at several points on the map. Since the intensity and frequency of hurricanes increases with sea surface temperatures, the average number per year has also risen: from 2.6 to 4.1 hurricanes (Categories 3–5) between the last warm period and this one — an increase of around 60%.

A study by the Scripps Institute in 2005 reveals that the cause of this general warming is probably climate change, which, in turn, is due to human factors.
So I can´t find a statement by Gray, which speaks against a trend of increasing hurricanes, caused by global warming.

With his opinion to be "against the theorie that heat-trapping gases generated by human activity are causing the world to warm", he is in clearly minority. And as we often discussed before, this neither is a reason that his opinion isn´t right nor it is, although there are definitely more scientific data at the moment which affirm the man made global warming. So same old strory and nothing new in this article.
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Old 04-07-2007, 09:22 AM   #119
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Here a historic adjudication of the Supreme Court of USA, which certified the white house heaviest failures in the climate policy:

From ABC-NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3000959&page=1
Quote:



Supreme Court Rejects Bush in Global Warming Debate


Court Says Environmental Protection Agency May Determine Effect of New Car Emissions on Global Warming

By JENNIFER PARKER

April 2, 2007— - For the first time in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court has waded into the political debate on global warming.

Under the Bush administration, the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has argued that carbon dioxide and the like aren't pollutants under the Clean Air Act, and therefore, the agency has no power to regulate them.

In a sweeping 5-4 decision released Monday, the Supreme Court rejected that position, declaring that Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars.

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the majority opinion, and was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

The Supreme Court majority decided US motor-vehicle emissions make a "meaningful contribution to greenhouse gas concentrations" and hence, to global warming.

"A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Respected scientists believe the two trends are related," Justice Stevens wrote.

Bush Administration Defeat Delights Environmental Groups

Environmental groups applauded the Court's decision.

"It's an important signal that the Bush administration cannot continue to ignore the problem of global warming for political reasons when the science is so clear and there's such clear pressure from the public to move forward," said Josh Dorner, spokesperson for the Sierra Club in Washington D.C.

"An enormous victory for the fight against global warming," declared Doug Kendall, whose group Community Rights Counsel filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

"The Supreme Court has recognized both the importance of the problem and the need for the federal government to act on the solution," Kendall said, arguing the decision is a major victory for states who want to rely on the congressional Clean Air Act.

"The Supreme Court's decision, in Massachusetts v. EPA, repudiates the Bush administration's do-nothing policy on global warming," said David Doniger, Natural Resources Defense Council's attorney in the case.
Greenpeace, the well-known environmental group, viewed the decision today as a political victory against the Bush administration's policy on climate change.

"What this ruling shows is the degree to which the Bush administration just continues to be out of step, not only with the science, but with congress and public opinion," said Chris Miller, director of global climate change at Greenpeace.

"All of these years that the Bush administration has been in office, instead of trying to find out ways that they can combat global warming, they've been denying the science, they've been fighting lawsuits ... so this is a big defeat for them, and it's also a big defeat for the automotive industry that spent a lot of time energy and effort trying to beat this back," said Miller.

The automotive industry, which stands to be affected the most by any change in government regulation, reacted favorably today, arguing the ruling may be good for automakers in the long run.
"The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers believes that there needs to be a national, federal, economy-wide approach to addressing greenhouse gases," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

Many U.S. vehicle manufacturers have said they would like to see a national standard for emissions, instead of the current system of different standards in every state.

EPA Defends Bush Administration Climate Change Policy

Today the EPA responded to the Supreme Court decision with a defense of the Bush administration's climate change policy.

"EPA is reviewing the Court's decision to determine the appropriate course of action," said Jennifer Wood, press secretary for the EPA.

"The Bush Administration has an unparalleled financial, international and domestic commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Wood said, arguing the administration has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas intensity 18 percent by 2012.

"The president's policy achieves near-term reductions, while investing in long-term solutions," she said.
During a White House press briefing today, deputy press secretary Dana Perino argued the administration has already tried to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by increasing mileage standards for light trucks and SUVs through the Department of Transportation's CAFE program.

"The way to get cars to be more efficient is to burn less gas and to go more miles and that's what we've been working to do," said Perino.

When asked why the administration has declined to mandate that businesses cap their greenhouse gas emissions, Perino said, "we did not move forward with a full, mandatory cap because we believe that it would have been harmful to United States businesses."

"Everyone is emitting up into the air," said Perino, "and if there are no actions taken by the major developing countries, like China and India ... you're going to put the American economy at a great disadvantage, push American businesses overseas, and then do nothing for the environment," she said.

Dissenters of the Supreme Court decision included some of the more conservative justices, including Justices Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.

The dissenting Justices questioned whether concern over global warming is warranted.

"The Court's alarm over global warming may or may not be justified, but it ought not distort the outcome of this litigation," wrote Justice Scalia in his dissension.

"No matter how important the underlying policy issues at stake, this Court has no business substituting its own desired outcome for the reasoned judgment of the responsible agency," wrote Scalia.

Historic Decision Does Not Equal Action

Eleven states joined Massachusetts in bringing the suit against the EPA, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington State, along with numerous other environmental groups and nonprofit organizations.

Fourteen "friend of the court" briefs were also filed from independent scientists, former EPA administrators, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, electric power companies, state and local governments, and others.

However, some of those same groups say it may be years before any real change is taken by the EPA.
"It puts a process into motion that essentially compels the EPA to at some point issue regulations on carbon dioxide," said Dorner. "I think, obviously, that process will be a slow one and we might see some action in Congress before that process comes to full fruition. It just moves things down the field one more step."

Court Dives Into Heated Debate

The Supreme Court had three questions before it: Do states have the right to sue the EPA to challenge its decision? Does the Clean Air Act give EPA the authority to regulate tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases? Does EPA have the discretion not to regulate those emissions?

The Court said 'yes' to the first two questions and, on the third, it ordered EPA to re-evaluate its contention it has the discretion not to regulate tailpipe emissions.

The Court said the agency has so far provided a "laundry list'" of reasons that include foreign policy considerations and added that the EPA must tie its rationale more closely to the Clean Air Act.

Global Warming's Political Rise

The political climate has changed dramatically over the issue of global warming since the court agreed last year to hear the case -- the Supreme Court's first on the subject.

In November of 2006, Democrats took control of Congress and pledged to make global warming a national issue.

In February, the world's leading climate scientists reported global warming is "very likely" caused by man and is so severe that it will "continue for centuries."

An interesting development in the politics of climate change is how the issue of global warming is playing out in the 2008 presidential campaign.

"Virtually all of the frontrunners for the 2008 presidential bid are significantly stronger on this issue (than the Bush administration)," said Chris Miller of Greenpeace, pointing to '08 candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen, John McCain, R.Ariz., who all advocate capping greenhouse gas emissions.

But perhaps one of the biggest political players in the climate change arena is former Vice President Al Gore.

His Academy Award-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth", which makes the case for prompt action on climate change, has gained widespread attention and applause, not to mention giving Gore a microphone to the world during the Oscars.

Standing alongside David Guggenheim, director of the Gore-inspired documentary, on stage, Gore proclaimed, "My fellow Americans, people all over the world -- we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue. It's a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started with the possible exception of the will to act. That's a renewable resource. Let's renew it."

The former Vice President turned environmental activist also recently testified before both the House and Senate on the issue of global climate change, spurring rumors of another presidential bid, all of which have been downplayed but not entirely rejected by Gore.

ABC News' Jan Crawford Greenburg, Ariane DeVogue, and Dennis Powell contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures
Here the Link to the Supreme Court ruling: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinio...df/05-1120.pdf
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Old 04-07-2007, 10:14 AM   #120
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This is a horrible decision imo. This effectively gives the EPA the power to license a bar-b-que for 20 euros. Supreme Court should stay out of this crap.

Hopefully we can remove this by law from the EPA's jurisdiction.

Unfortunately looking at this ruling it's even more disturbing. Not only has it determined CO2 is under the EPA's jurisdiction but it's opened the door for enviromental lawsuits far and wide based on global warming, even though the court itself agrees that it's far from certain.

Now basically any wacko state(state today, individual probalby tommorrow) can bring suit for any reason based on global warming quack science. As liberals love to do, the decision making is being taken away from the people and given to a bunch of lawyers and judges. Terrible ruling again imo.
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