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1.31.2005

Amhpibians and polar animals threatened with extincion

The article below can be found here

Disasters take their toll on amphibians

January 31 2005 at 07:13AM

Scientists are concerned that almost a third of the world's amphibians face extinction from impending environmental disasters.

A total of 1 856 - or 32 percent - of all 5 743 known amphibian species are threatened with extinction, a major global study has revealed.

Accurate information is lacking on another 1 300 species which are said to be under threat. At least nine amphibian species had disappeared since 1980, when the most dramatic declines began.

Another 113 species have not been seen in the wild in recent years. They may also be extinct.

The study's findings were published in the journal Science.

More than 500 scientists from over 60 nations contributed to the Global Amphibian Assessment, the first worldwide audit of amphibian populations. Their assessment is regarded as a possible early warning of impending environmental disaster.

Amphibians, with their highly permeable skin, are extremely sensitive to the effects of climate change and pollution. Any cataclysm to hit the natural world is likely to affect amphibians first. In comparison, only 12 percent of all bird species and 23% of all mammal species are considered to be in danger.

Russell Mittermeir, president of the Washington-based organisation Conservation International, which co-led the new research, said:

"Amphibians are one of nature's best indicators of overall environmental health. Their catastrophic decline serves as a warning that we are in a period of significant environmental degradation."

The findings showed that 43 percent of all amphibian species were in decline, while 27 percent were stable. Fewer than 1% of amphibian populations were increasing, and the status of the rest was unknown.

Almost 430 species were on the Critically Endangered list, while 761 were listed as Endangered and 668 as Vulnerable. South America was the world's hottest spot for threatened amphibians. Columbia had 208 threatened species, the most in the world, followed by Mexico with 191, Ecuador with 163, Brazil with 110 and China with 86.

Haiti had the highest percentage of threatened amphibians, with 92 percent of its species at risk of extinction.

In the Americas, the Caribbean and Australia, a highly infectious disease called chytridiomycosis has hit amphibians especially hard.

New research shows that in some regions outbreaks of the disease may be linked to years of drought, which scientists are increasingly attributing to climate change.

In most other parts of the world, including Europe, Asia and Africa, chytridiomycosis is less of a problem.

Here, other threats such as habitat destruction, air and water pollution and consumer demand are the leading causes of amphibian decline.

Scientists believe the world's amphibians could still be saved by an immediate commitment of resources and effort. This would mean setting up new protected areas and captive breeding programmes, and improving local community involvement.

Research leader Simon Stuart, senior director of the World Conservation Union, said: "Since most amphibians depend on freshwater and feel the effects of pollution before many other forms of life, including humans, their rapid decline tells us that one of Earth's most critical life support systems is breaking down."


I also read an article in the PJS which points to the Amazon rainforest as being a global climate controller. The article headlines states Global warming chokes Earth's 'lung'

Whether it unfolds quickly by fire or slowly through global warming, the future of this forested river basin is a key to the future of Earth's climate. Hundreds of scientists are working overtime to understand that critical relationship - between the atmosphere and the region known as Amazonia, more than 11 times the size of Texas and home to one-third of the world's species.


The key to the Amazon seems to be water. If the world warms to the point that the Amazon does not receive enough moisture, this can have many affects...

What might this mean in a time of climate change?

Worldwide deforestation is now believed to contribute under 20 percent of manmade emissions of carbon dioxide, said Artaxo. And the Amazon forest is believed to remain a "sink" - still absorbing slightly more carbon than it emits.

But scientists say the feedback loops of a warming world might change that picture in mere decades.

Computer modeling foresees a warmer Pacific Ocean stirring more frequent and intense El Ninos, the climate phenomenon that tends to dry the eastern Amazon. Rising temperatures themselves would also help dry vegetation. In addition, deforested terrain sends less moisture - via plants' "evapotranspiration" - into the air to fall as rain. Dead trees then add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, further heightening warming in a destructive cycle.


The animals of the Arctic will also be negatively affected by global warming. A Reuters article regarding a study by the World Wildlife Fund states

World temperatures could surge in just two decades to a threshold likely to trigger dangerous disruptions to the earth's climate, the WWF environmental group says.

It said on Sunday the Arctic region was warming fastest, threatening the livelihoods of indigenous hunters by thawing the polar ice-cap and driving species like polar bears towards extinction by the end of the century.

"If nothing is done, the earth will have warmed by 2.0 Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by some time between 2026 and 2060," the WWF said in a report.

...New's study projected that the Arctic would warm by 3.2-6.6C if the globe warmed by 2.0C overall.

In the Arctic, such a warming could melt polar ice in summer by 2100, pushing polar bears towards extinction. On land, forests would grow further north, overrunning tundra that is a habitat for birds including snow buntings and terns.

"Global warming threatens to wreak havoc on the traditional ways of life of Inuit, putting an end to our hunting and food sharing culture," said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference.

The Arctic warms faster than the global average because dark water and land, once uncovered, soaks up more heat than snow or ice. A report by 250 scientists last year also projected a fast warming in the Arctic that would also open new shipping routes and make the region accessible for oil and gas exploration.


Some scientists continue to deny the above, accusing those scientist of 'scaremongering'. Sometimes, the truth is scary, but we cannot hide from it, lest we be caught unaware ;-)

1.29.2005

Philosophy 101: How to save our world

More often than not, the reality of our world is much different than what most people believe to be real. Why is that? What is it about life that makes searching for deeper answers so difficult? Ancient civilisations with a technology based upon stones that provided for everyone’s needs. Hyperdimensional realities where space and time can be manipulated for nefarious purposes. Spiritual work that changes your DNA and therefore the very nature of your body. An age-old conspiracy whose goal is
to prevent you from learning about the great cataclysms the Earth will soon
confront. The stuff of fiction? Are you sure? Maybe what we want to be true is only a thought to keep us under wraps, to make sure we don't wake up from our slumber. But, like most things, it is a matter of choice. What do you want, the red pill or the blue pill?

Hah! I know this is not what I typically write about, but I do think that a connection between all the ideas presented above is available. One thing I have found looking into the ideas above is that there is a LOT of BS out there for the average researcher to lose their way. But, if you readers out there are searching for answers, then I hope to be able to shine the light on the road to truth. The work of the Quantum Future Group, demonstrates that the Truth is more fantastic and outrageous than fiction. Laura Knight-Jadczyk, wife of
internationally known theoretical physicist, Arkadiusz Jadczyk, an expert in
hyperdimensional physics, draws on science and mysticism to pierce the veil
of reality.


Writing with sparkling humour and wisdom, she reveals herself to be a New
Pythagorean, a true alchemist on the path toward accomplishment of the Great
Work, sharing over thirty years of research in order that we may learn to
read the signs for ourselves. For the first time, The Great Work and the
esoteric Science of the Ancients have been laid out and explained in terms
accessible to scholar and layperson alike.


Humanity appears to be moving through a grand cycle of change, encompassing chaos and confusion, death and destruction. Look at Iraq, Palestine, the tsunami in Indonesia. Why? Conspiracies have existed since the history. Facts of history have been altered to support the illusion. It’s no longer a question of whether or not deception occurs - it does - but whether a sufficient number of human beings can SEE through the deceptions, thus creating a counter-force for positive change - the “gold of humanity”. This positive change will allow us an extraordinary opportunity for individual and collective renewal: a quantum shift of awareness and perception which could see the birth of true creativity in the fields of science, art and spirituality.

But first, people have to be willing to shed the sacred cows they have been living under. Some must be willing to lose the belief that we are being taken care of, that we will be saved if we follow orders. Why, you say? The God in the Bible is jealous, hateful, and mean-tempered. I have never trusted that God. To me, life is about free-will. We all have the right to choose to love or hate, to create or destroy. That is what God has given us. Whatever path we choose, he/she/it accepts. Or so I think.

Some people argue that humanity is at its current state due to natural evolution. I disagree. If that were indeed true, then half of all actions in our world would be good and half evil. But, it seems as though all the positive thinking and acting in our world is not enough, since most people I meet are not bad, they do not want horrible things to happen. What looks to be true is that our perceptions fool us and our awareness, or lack thereof, keeps us ignorant to certain realities. The work of the Quantum Future Group allows us to redefine our interpretation of the universe, history, and culture and to thereby navigate a path through this darkness. In this way, Laura Knight-Jadczyk shows us how we may extend the possibilities for all our different futures in literal terms.

Throughout the history of the printed word, there have been works which have represented “nodal points” in our collective understanding of our place in the world and, by extension, the human condition. The work of the Quantum Future Group, led by Laura Knight-Jadczyk and Arkadiusz Jadczyk is rapidly being acknowledged as a 21st century Fourth Way Work with profound implications for the destiny of the human race. While possibly the most important cosmological work ever compiled, it also offers the reader practical ways to apply the truths revealed on the websites of Ark and Laura.

With thousands of pages of fascinating reading available for free, the Cassiopaea website, Signs of the Times, and the work of the Quantum Future Group, presents a radical and masterful re-assessment of history, pre-history and myth, revealing the Secrets behind the stories. With painstakingly researched facts and figures, Laura Knight-Jadczyk and the Quantum Future Group overturns long-held conventional ideas on religion, philosophy, Grail legends, science, and alchemy, presenting a cohesive
narrative pointing to the existence of an ancient techno-spirituality of the Golden Age which included a mastery of space and time: the Holy Grail, the Philosopher’s Stone, the True Process of “Ascension.” If one is open to changing their ideas on matters that seem to hold a tight grip on us, if we challenge all that we believe, then possibly the difference could be great not only for you, but for all.


The research of the Quantum Future Group provides the evidence for the
advanced level of scientific and metaphysical wisdom possessed by the
greatest of lost ancient civilizations - a culture so advanced that none of
the trappings of civilization as we know it were needed, explaining why
there is no “evidence” of civilization as we know it left to testify to its
existence.



Laura Knight-Jadczyk's consummate synthesis reveals the “Message
in a Bottle” preserved for humanity, including the Cosmology and Mysticism
of mankind “Before the Fall” when, as the ancient texts tell us, man “walked
and talked” with the gods. Laura shows us that the upcoming shift is that
point in the vast cosmological cycle when mankind - or at least a portion of
mankind - has the opportunity to regain his standing as “The Child of the
King” in the Golden Age.




The present situation in the world is such that America is being ripped apart internally. I found an interesting commentary on this dynamic:

At the present time, it seems that much of the outside world is watching America in the same way an audience watches a horror movie. The audience, of course, has the benefit of a "bird's eye view," and all the clues of music and privileged perspective granted by the movie maker. The actors are in a state of "fantasy," or "wishful thinking," if you like. They have agreed, individually and collectively, to engage in acting out the drama. They have agreed to "forget" all they know about the script so as to more effectively "get into" their roles. When the movie making is over, they all have a cast party, toast each other for how well they managed to fool the audience, and agree that it was a great movie and go home to read another script.

The audience, on the other hand, if they are knowledgable, will agree that their favorite actors sure had them going there for a bit! They will declare sagely how good the monster was, and how evil the villian was because the actor or actress was such a master of their craft.

Such analogies as audience and movie are often used by philosophers as a way of suggesting that all that happens on earth is exactly that: a grand play and everybody is all the same when the show is over: actors and audience are simply two sides that have agreed to play "parts" in the life of humanity. Certainly, at some ultimate "level" of reality, this may be true in a certain way, but we suspect that it is not at all exactly that simple.


The key to the above analogy seems to be how each person sees itself, and the rest of the world. Again, I will quote from the above link,

"We must regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. Consider an intelligence which, at any instant, could have a knowledge of all forces controlling nature together with the momentary conditions of all the entities of which nature consists. If this intelligence were powerful enough to submit all this data to analysis it would be able to embrace in a single formula the movements of the largest bodies in the universe and those of the lightest atoms; for it, nothing would be uncertain; the future and the past would be equally present to its eyes." Pierre Laplace

Certainly, such an intelligence as Laplace describes would be "Godlike," you agree? And certainly, no one of us human beings is capable of such "seeing," you will also agree. However, what does seem to be true is that this is a significant clue to the solutions to the pressing issues of our day: knowledge that leads to awareness.

Here I will insert a major clue: As the brain interacts with its environment, synaptic circuits combine to form synaptic maps of the world perceived by the senses. These maps describe small segments of that world - shape, color, movement - and these maps are scattered throughout the brain. As the brain's synaptic network evolves, beginning at birth - or even before - these maps process information simultaneously and in parallel.

Based on our synaptic maps of the world, we are enabled to have a more or less objective view of reality.


Yes, knowledge leads to awareness, if it is sufficiently objective. If one is aware of something, then they can protect against it or act to align with it.

There is a striking similarity between life and thought. Just as there are more potential life forms than the planet can hold, there are more potential ideas than our minds can possibly absorb and remember.

Just as evolutionary natural selection may generate change by choosing from among the many potential forms of life, so may thought be able to generate evolutionary change by choosing among many potential thoughts.

The master evolutionary mechanism is found in the wave function of the universe. The observer guides the selection from an infinite number of potential arrangements that the universe may assume from moment to moment.

The universe has many possible future states or potentialities represented by the wave function. The wave function is constantly collapsing into the present as the many possible states become a single state as the present unfolds and possibilities become actualities.

Many individuals have decided that this Quantum Uncertainty means that you can "create your own reality" by what you believe, or depending upon what you give your attention to. This is a popular idea among many New Age types, and is actually the foundation of most religions whether they realize it or not.


So, the idea is that an objective observor can, if properly aligned, create evolutionary change. We cannot create what we want, only to see what IS. And, if enough people are doing this, then it is indeed possible to not only change the individual, but humanity will collectively be changed. Since our time is one of change, it is up to every person to choose which future to become, life or death.

All creation is a result of the engendering command. So, in this respect, there is no Evil. But the second, prescriptive law determines to which "Face of God" one will return: Life or Death.

There ARE such things as "evil planets," and dark stars. And the real question at this time is: Is Mother Earth about to become one?
LKJ

1.27.2005

Scientists underestimate threat of global warming

Even more evidence of how much the temperature is going to force a dramatic climate change within 10 years, but what is Bush and Co. doing to combat this?

Scary' science finds Earth heating up twice as fast as thought
Leigh Dayton, Science writer
January 27, 2005

THE largest ever climate-change experiment reveals that scientists may have dramatically underestimated the threat of global warming.

The study by British scientists, which is published today, found the planet's global temperature could climb by between 2C and 11C because of skyrocketing levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

That more than doubles the current prediction of a 1.4C to 4.5C rise this century.

"When we started out we didn't expect anything like this," said Oxford University's David Stainforth, chief scientist for climateprediction.net.

The project is a collaboration of experts at Oxford and Reading universities, The Open University, London School of Economics, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

The findings are published in the journal Nature.

"If this is the case, it's very dramatic and very scary," Mr Stainforth said.

Even rises that are more modest are expected to trigger disastrous changes, including melting glaciers, sea-level rises, shut-down of the Gulf Stream, and increases in droughts, cyclones and other extreme weather events. The new results follow two reports in last week's edition of Science, showing that global warming probably caused the "Great Dying".

Although that was the worst extinction in Earth's history – wiping out more than 90 per cent of all life – it involved gradual extinctions over about 10 million years, culminating in a sharp extinction pulse 250 million years ago. Further concern comes from an international report released in London last Monday. It warned that climate change could kick in within 10 years, unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut.

The initial goal of climateprediction.net was to evaluate the sensitivity and variables of the Hadley computer model of climate change.

In order to obtain their findings, Mr Stainforth and his colleagues ran 50,000 climate simulations.

Because so much computing power was needed, they relied on help from 90,000 people from 150 countries to run the programs on their personal computers.

More than 1200 Australians, sych as Melbourne academic Nick Hoffman, participated. "I'm interested in the dynamics of planetary atmospheres, so it was well worth supporting (the project)," Dr Hoffman said.

According to Neville Nicholls, head of climate forecasting at the Bureau of Meterology in Melbourne, climateprediction.net is a "terrific project" that tackles the uncertainty of climate predictions. He agreed with CSIRO climate modeller Tony Hirst that: "This may mean that the world could warm up faster than most of us are happy anticipating.

1.26.2005

Mount Everest shrinking and both poles melting

Scientists are making the trek to the top of the world's tallest mountain. The 30-year affects of global warming are also going to be measured. The article below is from Channel News Asia.

BEIJING : China plans to send a scientific team to Mount Everest this year to remeasure the height of its peak and track the impact of global warming, state media said on Tuesday.

The team, jointly organised by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM), will work on the world's highest mountain from March 20 to June 20, China Central Television reported.


It will be China's fourth such expedition following others in 1959, 1966 and 1975.

This time, the scientists will focus on the damage caused to the area by global warming over the past 30 years, CCTV said.

Mount Everest, which straddles the border of Nepal and Chinese-controlled Tibet, is believed to have shrunk by as much as 1.3 metres due to global warming and the melting of glaciers, it said.

The mountain's official height is currently 8,848 metres.

Chinese state media last year reported that a staggering seven percent of the country's glaciers are vanishing annually under the sweltering sun, including those covering Everest.

Leading glacier expert Yan Tandong said that as many as 64 percent of China's glaciers may be gone by 2050 if current trends continue. - AFP


The makeup of the world is a-changin', rather rapidly I might add. This is in contrasts to the numerous reports that claim climate change is gradual and deliberate. The changes that occur when the polar caps and glaciers melt are quite drastic. The world's ocean currents control the climate of most highly populated areas. When the freshwater from the caps flows into the oceans, this changes the currents. The affects of this can change Western Europe to an Arctic atmosphere.

I found another article that talks about the warm temperatures in typically cold environments, in Russia.

MOSCOW - As snow and ice melt away into puddles of dirty water months earlier than usual, Russians are asking what’s happened to their once-dreaded winter.

“Temperatures have been eight to nine degrees (Celsius) higher than normal,” said Roman Vilfant, head of Russia’s Gidromettsentr weather monitoring center.

The Izvestia daily reported that St Petersburg’s river Neva, normally locked under ice until spring, had broken its banks and reached the walls of the world-famous Hermitage art gallery.

March has appeared in mid-winter,” said the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, alongside a story about an ice sculpture exhibition being cancelled when the exhibits melted.

The ferocious conditions of a Russian winter suffered by invading armies under Napoleon and Hitler have made the country’s winters legendary and earned them the nickname “General Winter” among military historians.

But Vilfant said winters in Russia had grown milder in recent years, and no longer fit the old stereotype.

For the last 20 or 30 years winter in the Moscow region has been getting warmer. Compared to the 1900-1960 period, average temperatures have increased by three degrees C and more ... It is now closer to the idea of a European winter,” he said.

“It is hard to give a single explanation for this, although you can link it to global warming. However, summers have not been getting warmer, they are the same as they were in the middle of the last century.”


The same thing seems to be ocurring around the South Pole, where ices sheets are thinning at an alarming rate. Again, this is going to displace the climate status quo that has been in place for thousands of years.

Antarctica, Warming, Looks Ever More Vulnerable
By LARRY ROHTER
Published: January 25, 2005

OVER THE ABBOTT ICE SHELF, Antarctica - From an airplane at 500 feet, all that is visible here is a vast white emptiness. Ahead, a chalky plain stretches as far as the eye can see, the monotony broken only by a few gentle rises and the wrinkles created when new sheets of ice form.

Under the surface of that ice, though, profound and potentially troubling changes are taking place, and at a quickened pace. With temperatures climbing in parts of Antarctica in recent years, melt water seems to be penetrating deeper and deeper into ice crevices, weakening immense and seemingly impregnable formations that have developed over thousands of years.

As a result, huge glaciers in this and other remote areas of Antarctica are thinning and ice shelves the size of American states are either disintegrating or retreating - all possible indications of global warming. Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey reported in December that in some parts of the Antarctic Peninsula hundreds of miles from here, large growths of grass are appearing in places that until recently were hidden under a frozen cloak.

"The evidence is piling up; everything fits," Dr. Robert Thomas, a glaciologist from NASA who is the lead author of a recent paper on accelerating sea-level rise, said as the Chilean Navy plane flew over the sea ice here on an unusually clear day late in November. "Around the Amundsen Sea, we have surveyed a half dozen glaciers. All are thinning, in some cases quite rapidly, and in each case, the ice shelf is also thinning." [...]

For most parts of Antarctica, reliable records go back less than 50 years, and data from satellites and overflights like the ones going on here have been collected over only the past decade or so. But that research, plus striking changes that are visible to the naked eye, all point toward the disturbance of climate patterns thought to have been in place for thousands of years.

1.24.2005

Flooding and global warming

The huge blizzard that welcomed my weekend in Wisconsin and the rest of the Eastern upper half of the US is going to cause record flooding.


The Canadian storm that battered the Midwest and the Northeast brought frigid temperatures and left some areas buried under two to three feet of snow.

But advance notice of the storm and its timing — on the weekend, when people were home from work — dampened its impact. Officials said cities had ample warning to call out snow crews, and customers had plenty of time late Friday and Saturday morning to stock up on food and other necessities.

Officials from Illinois to New York were increasingly concerned about a new threat as all the snow from what the National Weather Service said could end up as one of the five biggest storms in a century began to melt later in the week.

The storm hit first last week in the Midwest, where jostling ice jams in partly frozen rivers had already been causing localized flooding. The foot of snow that fell on parts of the region was expected to significantly worsen by midweek, when rain and temperatures above freezing begin melting the ice.

Ideally, a gradual thaw would allow jammed-up ice to recede safely, but the weather service said the rain and warmer temperatures could create “the worst-case scenario”: a quick breakup of the ice jams, potentially causing record floods.

The weather service issued flood warnings and watches along several rivers in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and Indiana. Affected rivers included the Kankakee, St. Joseph, Ohio, Tuscarawas, Grand and Mississippi.

Floods caused by melting snow were already being reported Sunday along the Kankakee River in Indiana, particularly in Lake and Porter counties and at the Illinois state line. Several homes were surrounded by water in the resort area of Shelby and Sumava, where the river reached 2 feet above flood stage over the weekend.

In Michigan, a large ice jam formed by previous storms reached at least 5 miles, from Grand Rapids into Grandville. The weather service said it would reach far up the river, threatening an untold number of communities with floodwaters; some residents along the river could reach their homes only on foot. The plows could not keep up” with the snow, Sweeney said. “We were getting 60-mph winds.”

The National Weather Service noted that many areas saw the most snowfall ever recorded there for a Jan. 22 and 23. By the time the total snowfall is tabulated, the storm could take its place as one of the five largest snowfalls in the Northeast in a century.

“Accumulations over the two-day period not only surpassed the average snowfall for the entire month of January but will also equal a great percentage of the annual average” in those areas, the weather service said. “For southern New England, this will be a historic snowstorm that ranks among the storms with the highest total accumulations.”


What exactly is making the weather go to such extremes? Despite the claims of some world leaders, the past can be a sign of things to come. Our current president chooses business over environment, saying the Kyoto protocol would damage the American economy(Read: some companies are paying him big bucks to make sure the Kyoto treaty is not endorsed by the American gov't.) But, their are plenty of people voicing the need to make drastic changes.

Report: Global warming approaching critical point
'An ecological time-bomb is ticking away'

Monday, January 24, 2005 Posted: 3:59 PM EST (2059 GMT)

LONDON, England (AP) -- Global warming is approaching the critical point of no return, after which widespread drought, crop failure and rising sea-levels would be irreversible, an international climate change task force warned Monday.

The report, "Meeting the Climate Challenge," called on the G-8 leading industrial nations to cut carbon emissions, double their research spending on green technology and work with India and China to build on the Kyoto Protocol.

"An ecological time-bomb is ticking away," said Stephen Byers, who co-chaired the task force with U.S. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, and is a close confidant of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "World leaders need to recognize that climate change is the single most important long term issue that the planet faces."

The independent report, by the Institute for Public Policy Research in Britain, the Center for American Progress in the United States and The Australia Institute, is timed to coincide with Blair's commitment to advance international climate change policy during Britain's G-8 presidency.

Byers said it was vital Blair secured U.S. cooperation in tackling climate change. U.S. President George W. Bush has rejected the Kyoto accord, arguing that the carbon emission cuts it demands would damage the U.S. economy.

"What we have got to do then is get the Americans as part of the G-8 to engage in international concerted effort to tackle global warming," said Byers. "If they refuse to do that then other countries will be reluctant to take any steps."

According to the report, urgent action is needed to stop the global average temperature rising by 2 degrees Celsius above the level in 1750 -- the approximate start of the Industrial Revolution when mankind first started significantly polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.

Beyond a 2 degrees rise, "the risks to human societies and ecosystems grow significantly" the report said, adding there would be a risk of "abrupt, accelerated, or runaway climate change."

It warned of "climatic tipping points" such as the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets melting and the Gulf Stream shutting down.

No accurate temperature readings were available for 1750, the report said, but since 1860, global average temperature had risen by 0.8 percent to 15 degrees Celsius.

The two degrees rise could be avoided by keeping the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere below 400 parts per million (ppm). Current concentrations of 379 ppm "are likely to rise above 400 ppm in coming decades and could rise far higher under a business-as-usual scenario," the report warned.

The task force urges all G-8 countries to agree to generate a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and to shift agricultural subsidies from food crops to biofuels.

The report recommends wider international use of emission trading schemes which are already in use in the European Union, under which unused carbon dioxide quotas are sold. The profit motive is expected to drive investment in new technology to cut emissions further.

The task force of senior politicians, scientists and business figures was established in March 2004. Its chief scientific adviser is Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The British government welcomed the report, which mirrors many of the suggestions already floated by Blair in the build up to Britain's G-8 presidency.

Blair has acknowledged the importance of U.S. cooperation, but conceded Washington is unlikely to sign up to Kyoto. Instead he is pursuing international commitment to developing new environmentally friendly technology.


So, Washington will not change their policy of business over climate change, and the rest of the world knows and does nothing. The 2 degree threshold is particularly interesting given that in my previous post a prominent scientist testified to Congress that the minimum increase projected in the century is 2 degrees. The minimum! What does the American government have planned for the near future? Is it possible the furthering restrictions of civil liberties and increasingly intolerant neo-conservative policies are planned with the knowledge that in the future, a lockdown will occur when the @#*! hits the fan?

1.23.2005

Extreme weather in Asia, Americas on '04

The amount of natural disasters in 2004 is really staggering, both in its amount and severity. I found this article that summed up what it meant to the Asian continent.

Extreme weather and disaster wreak death and destruction in Asia
(AFP)

15 December 2004

DHAKA - Natural disasters and extreme weather—from quakes and floods to some of the worst typhoons in decades—claimed 4,000 lives and left a 22-billion-dollar trail of destruction across Asia in 2004.

Incessant monsoon rains that lashed Bangladesh, northeast India and parts of Nepal in July and August killed at least 1,240 people.

The heaviest downpours in years set off landslides, washed away homes and livelihoods, and spelt ruin for thousands of South Asia’s poorest people.

Large swathes of Bangladesh, which suffered the heaviest inundation since the worst-ever floods of 1998, were submerged for weeks. At least 700 people died and many were stranded, often with little or no fresh water or food.

The low-lying country, criss-crossed by a network of 230 rivers, is one of the world’s most densely populated nations. Pressure on land leads thousands to eke out a fragile existence on flood plains.

Development has increased the impact of flooding as water runs off urban settlements more quickly than it runs off agricultural land, increasing the likelihood of flash flooding.

Experts predict that annual flooding, which already affects at least 20 percent of the country, will worsen over coming decades unless development becomes more “disaster sensitive”.

“The consensus among aid agencies and other organisations is that these factors mean flooding will increase in severity,” said Charlie Higgins, the World Food Programme’s Bangladesh adviser.

“The number of people dying is now a fraction of what it was in comparable floods from previous years but development is going to increase vulnerability because as you develop there is more damage,” he said.

The World Bank estimated the cost to the impoverished nation at 2.2 billion dollars this year.

“Farmers have had huge losses and siltation of much land means that many areas will be barren for around 10 years,” said Dilruba Haider, assistant representative at the United Nations Development Fund.

Months after the floodwaters subsided, aid agencies have described the increased hardship endured by millions already living on less than a dollar a day as a “quiet disaster”.

Elsewhere, an unusual high pressure system in the Pacific was the main reason for a record 10 typhoons that hit Japan and the heaviest rain in 29 years, the country’s Meteorological Agency said.

About 216 people died and damage reached one trillion yen (9.7 billion dollars), government agencies said.

Tokyo is now racing to develop new measures to better warn senior citizens, who accounted for most of the victims, and to improve evacuation orders.

Many elderly were swept away in floods or buried alive in landslides. Of the 93 killed by Typhoon Tokage, which struck in October, 60 victims were aged over 60. It was Japan’s deadliest typhoon in a quarter-century.

Japan also suffered its most deadly earthquake in a decade in October.

Forty people died in an initial tremor of 6.8 on the Richter scale followed by hundreds of aftershocks.

China suffered too. Floods, typhoons and drought marked 2004. Large swathes of southern and eastern China are still in the grip of their worst drought in more than 50 years.

More than 1,000 people died in weather-related incidents but the toll was lower than the previous year’s figure of 1,900 because of better emergency planning, officials said.

Total economic losses for the year were put at 10 billion dollars.

In Taiwan, massive floods brought by storm Mindulle killed 29 and caused 4.07 billion Taiwan dollars (126 million US) in losses to agriculture and fisheries.

Sudden mudslides triggered by Typhoon Aere in August claimed 15 lives and 767 million dollars in losses, prompting government officials and experts to restrict farming and land use in some conservation and landslide prone areas.

“Mudslides are natural phenomena and people should not fight against mother nature. It is also against economic values if we forcefully build houses and plant crops in mudslide routes,” said Chen Cheng-yu of the Social and Water Conservation Bureau’s disaster response division.

Powerful storms in the Philippines in early December spawned flash floods and landslides that swept away whole villages, leaving 1,600 dead or missing.

The United Nations is urging countries to follow Japan’s lead in disaster management.

“Too much money is spent tackling the consequences of hazards instead of reducing people’s vulnerability in the first place,” said Salvano Briceno, director of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction secretariat.

In January, officials from about 120 countries will gather in the Japanese city of Kobe—wrecked by an earthquake in 1995 -- to thrash out life-saving strategies for the future.

Meteorologists say the outlook for Asia in 2005 is uncertain because of the unreliability of long-term forecasts.


I also found the annual US study regarding climate change for 2004, and while American infrastructure can handle weather much better than the poorer Asian nations, there is some important factors to consider,

The last five 5-year periods (2000-2004, 1999-2003, 1998-2002, 1997-2001, 1996-2000), were the warmest 5-year periods (i.e. pentads) in the last 110 years of national records, illustrating the anomalous warmth of the last decade. The 6th warmest pentad was in the 1930s (1930-34), when the western U.S. was suffering from an extended drought coupled with anomalous warmth. The warmest year on record for the U.S. was 1998, where the record warmth was concentrated in the Northeast as compared with the Northwest in 1934.

2004 was much warmer than average for Washington and Oregon, and Idaho, while 33 other states were warmer than average during 2004.Only Maine averaged below the long-term mean.


So it seems we are warming up at an alarming rate. The biggest issue is the warmth felt in the northern areas, affecting the forests of Alaska. I found this from the National Interagency Fire Center,


According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), wildland fires in 2004 had consumed over 8 million acres across the U.S. as of early December, which was well above the 10-year average of over 5.5 million acres. By far the majority of this year's fire activity in the U.S. occurred in Alaska, which had over 6.6 million acres consumed across the state this year, making the 2004 fire season the worst on record for Alaska for acreage burned. Extensive fire activity also occurred in the adjacent Yukon territory of Canada, where over 1.8 million hectares (over 4.5 million acres) had burned as of the end of September (as reported by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center-CIFFC


The next idea I am led to is, what are the scientists who study the weather telling the government about what is to happen in the future. I found a Senate committee interview with Tom Karl, Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The NCDC is the largest archive of weather and climate data in the world and it is one of three data centers operated by NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Services line office, within the Department of Commerce. In it he gives a partial answer to my question,

There is a growing set of observations that yields a collective picture of a warming world over the past century. The global-average surface temperature has increased over the 20th Century by 0.4 to 0.8° C (0.7 to 1.4°F). This occurred both over land and the oceans.

The average temperature increase in the Northern Hemisphere over the 20th Century is likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years, based on "proxy" data (and their uncertainties) from tree rings, corals, ice cores, and historical records. The 1990s are likely to have been the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year of the past 1000 years. Other observed changes are consistent with this warming. There has been a widespread retreat of mountain glaciers in non-polar regions. Snow cover, sea ice extent and sea ice thickness, and the duration of ice on lakes and rivers have all decreased. Ocean heat content has increased significantly since the late 1940s, the earliest time when we have adequate computer compatible records. The global-average sea level has risen between 10 to 20 centimeters (4 to 8 inches), which is consistent with a warmer ocean occupying more space because of the thermal expansion of sea water and loss of land ice.

Scenarios of future human activities indicate continued changes in atmospheric composition throughout the 21st century. The atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols over the next 100 years cannot be predicted with high confidence, since the future emissions of these species will depend on many diverse factors, e.g., world population, economies, technologies, and human choices, which are not uniquely specifiable. Rather, the IPCC assessment aimed at establishing a set of scenarios of greenhouse gas and aerosol abundances, with each based on a picture of what the world plausibly could be over the 21st Century.

Based on these scenarios and the estimated uncertainties in climate models, e.g., feedback effects, the resulting projection for the global average temperature increase by the year 2100 ranges from 1.3 to 5.6° C (2.3°to10.1°F). Approximately half of the uncertainty in this range is due to model uncertainties related to feedback effects and half is due to different scenarios of future emissions. Regardless of these uncertainties, such a projected rate of warming would be much larger than the observed 20th Century changes and would very likely be without precedent during at least the last 10,000 years.

The corresponding projected increase in global sea level by the end of this century ranges from 9 to 88 centimeters (4 to 35 inches). Uncertainties in the understanding of some climate processes make it more difficult to project meaningfully the corresponding changes in regional climate. Future climate change will, of course, depend on the technological developments that enable reductions of greenhouse gas emission


So, we have a good overview of weather on a global level by Mr. Karl, and, along with the previous articles, paints a picture that, at the very least, the temperature increases are expected to double, which can only mean more melting of the polar caps, more water in the oceans, and worsening events like typhoons, monsoons, floods, hurricanse, and such. The Powers-That-Be have known about this long enough, to me it underscores the need to assimilate as much power and control as possible. Once the weather starts to go haywire, the masses will be looking to their "leaders" for answers. As information is more tightly controlled, the only view most have in America is from the people who do not have their best interests at heart. That is not a good thought at all.

We need to wake up, to see everything for what it is, not how we want it to be. The fact is that there is a group of people who know what is coming, yet the message is not being delivered. Do these people have a soul? Or are they without the capacity to care for others?

1.20.2005

Animals are even confused

The weather in Russia has been so warm that a bear in a zoo woke up from its hibernation 2 months early. Also, another bear has yet to fall asleep at all. The unusually mild temperatures is a stark contrast to the typically ferocious Russian winter.

1.18.2005

Droughts and Earthquakes

The Cuban province of Las Tunas is facing its worst drought on record, where water reservoirs contain only 24% of their capacity. The drought is doing a number on their agriculture production in the mode of grain, root crops, and green vegetables. Also, milk output was reduced by 2.5 million liters and 11,000 cattle died in the last year. The main issue here is the affect on food production this is having. In the US, for the first time we imported more food than we exported in 2004. We really have no food reserves to speak of, our production is a demand then supply system. Imagine a prolonged drought to one of our breadbaskets. What if when we went ot the store there was no bread, milk, eggs, cheese? How would most people react? That is the false security that most people live with, that everything will be OK, all the problems are "out there". I don't mean to panic people, to send one into a fit that we are going to starve tomorrow, but there is plenty of evidence that nature is planning a restructuring of certain ecosystems. To protect against it, we must arm ourselves with awareness of what is happening, NOW.

Also, Japan was hit with a 6.3 quake Tuesday night on the island of Hokkaido. Since the Indonesain tsunami, most quakes that have ocurred have also issued a statement saying either there are no chances of a tsunami, or that there is a small chance of a wave. The Japanese quake was said to have no chance of a wave building. This sort of reminds me of the reaction people had to seeing a plane fly overhead post 9-11. There was almost this instinctual, fear-based reaction to seeing this event post-mortem. One can only hope that a cataclysmic event will cause people to become more aware of what might happen in the future.

1.17.2005

Oooh Boy it' cold!

Today, at 1pm here it was -20 degrees. I walked outside and within five minutes my skin was burning. There has been a large arctic blast of cold air from Minnesota and Wisconsin, where I live, extending to the Northeast. The worst seems to have been in Embarass, MInnesota, where the thermometers read -54 degrees! Geez, with this weather, one can only be happy that there is still a place to go with heat and a roof. I don't want to take anything for granted, just imagine having to live with no heating, or even worse, living like Adrien Brody in The Pianist. I think we would all wear a Nazi jacket if we were in his shoes. I think that is one of the reasons I am so fond of that movie, it really provides perspective. How can I be bothered by my petty problems, when I have all the necessities to survival? It seems as though we have many programs in us that just don't do us any good.


1.13.2005

Climate change in Arctic

Scientists are worried about the affects of melting glaciers on drinking water and the mountain ecosystem in Canada. Glaciers in the Canada Rocky Mountains have melted 70% in the last 100 years. One environmental factor is the rise in temperature 1.5 degrees this century, causing a massive retreat. The affects of this have come in the form of massive summer forest fires and invasive species such as the pine beetle.

Meanwhile, California is recovering from the huge mudslides that have killed 10 people. Overall death count from the storms stands at 28. The storms are sweeping across other Western states, with Clark County in Nevada having received 40 tons of sand in preparation for mass flooding. Also, some 350 homes have been evacuated. Across Arizona, storm-related damages have totaled $6 million. A town in Utah was isolated due to flooding of both bridges that led out of town.

What these two stories are showing is that on both a micro and macro-cosmic level, nature is being forced to extremes and causing not only problems to our species, but also to the entire flow of ecosystems. What I then think, is this purely coincidental, or is there a method to the madness? Where can one look to find where the gradual steps of evolution are interrupted by a much quicker, forceful shift of the Earth's complex ecosystems? A book called "The Coming Global Superstorm", written by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber, is an excellent source of what could occur in the near future. I remember purchasing it from a local bookstore and reading it in about three days! It was a much needed eye-opener. Interestingly enough, this book was the inspiration for a recently released movie, "The Day After Tomorrow". Much of what is seen in that movie is hypothesized by Bell and Strieber as being probable, based on a wealth of data that is presented in the book. This is not to say that I endorse all that these two writers say. A sharp discernment of what is true and what is false is very important. It seems these fellas play their own part in the act of disinformation.

1.09.2005

Far East still buzzing

Japan was hit with a magnitude 4.4 quake Sunday evening, most likely due to continued aftershocks from the Indonesian quake. Also, the island of Anatahan is off limits due to volcanic eruptions intensifying. The island is about 200 miles north of Guam and the volcano has been billowing ash as high as 30,000 feet. It does seem as though the entire Pacific Ring has been releasing pressure since the huge quake.

It is easy for people to feel at ease in America when these things are so far away, but there seems to be a cyclic nature to all things weather related. This is even more relevant to those on the West Coast, who are living with the enormous pressure of two tectonic plates pushing against each other and building energy. Also, Mt. Rainier was billowing smoke and ash just this past year. Watch for more activity along the Ring of Fire, I think the after-effects of the Indonesian tsunami will not only last weeks but months and possibly years down the road. Perhaps we can learn enough to be able to prevent another disaster, but perhaps I may be giving too much credit to the powers-that-be.

There are many Internet discussions regarding some governments having advance knowledge of the quake but witholding the information. While many mainstream outlets would prefer to claim this idea a "conspiracy theory", I do not doubt that a very small group of people would have access to any such knowledge. But, making it public is most likely not what they wish to do, for they might be further questioned about any other unknown technologies. So, the main point here is that IF their were some who had advance knowledge, it was a small number of people, probably not connected to any public governemnt agency. These kinds don't like having such information seeing the light of day, unless other information they also possess might also be made known.

"It is dangerous to be right in matters in which the established authorities are wrong."--Voltaire

1.08.2005

Snow in Vegas, flooding in Ohio River region

From the Las Vegas Sun, for the second time in the last five years is snowed in Las Vegas. I actually had a friend call up from Vegas and said it was snowing as we spoke. Looks like the system affecting California is doing more work. Vegas is going to remain wet and windy throughout the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Ohio River is flooding from Kentucky to the Cincinnati suburbs. By Sunday the river will have received over a month's worth of rain in a week, pushing the river over its 52 foot flood stage. Many people are being forced to evacuate their homes.

Going back to the West Coast, northern California was hit with a moderate quake Jan. 6 in Fontana. Many of the residents of the area are anticipating a much bigger quake due to the tsunami/earthquake. Public consciousness of disasters seems to be increasing due to the disaster in Indonesia, maybe that is one way Mother Nature gets the attention of a sleeping populace.

Regarding the pacific northwest subduction zone, a team of scientific forecasters believe a rather large quake could occur before August. They go on to say the Fontana quake was a rare event, due to what is called swarm quakes. Remember, this quake occurred on the San Jacinto Fault, which is under increasing pressure. Also, the Indonesian quake involved what they termed swarm quakes, so two earthquakes thousands of miles apart within a month of each other are both termed "rare events" by scientists. Both of the fault lines that the earthquakes occurred on are essentially under the same type of pressure, one tectonic plate is sliding under another. It really seems to me that our respective seismologists are only labeling these events as rare to calm the public into thinking everything is going to be OK. But, if people were properly forewarned, couldn't the Indonesian quake help us prepare against any extreme loss of life that might occur? Looks as though this is another Sign of the Times.


1.07.2005

Weather Irregularities Ocurring

Extreme weather, from all points of the globe, are a signal of many things. The fact that many horrible things are done to our planet seems to suggest that nature has a way of balancing things out. Hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes are the worst of these kinds, but there are many other irregularities ocurring with regard to normal conditions.

One report from The Scotsman issued today regarding extreme weather is worrisome. Wind gusts of 75-80mph along with heavy rain and potential flooding. All of the UK and Ireland have also issued extreme weather warnings.

From the San Fran Gate
Rain and snow is being dumped onto California, closing highways and making mudslides. Los Angeles and Orange counties have erected sand to protect against flooding, the Sierras are expecting 3 to 5 feet of snow, and gale force winds are producing waves of up to 17 feet high. California is not expected to be dry until the middle of next week.

All emergency systems in Trinidad have been put on full alert, as rain is threatening rivers and caused the closing of North Coast Road. Landslides are causing damage to homes and roads alike. Supporting article is the Trinidad and Tobago Express.

Not only is daily weather becoming more extreme, but also yearly comparisons are quite revealing. In 2004, there were more tornadoes reported in America than in any other year since records were kept. The online article, from Yahoo, makes an attempt to calm the reader by explaining it is due to technology. I see this more and more often these days that scientists are quick to point out to most people that things are not as bad as one might think. Often times, these events are explained away as being freak events that only ocurred randomly and are not indicative of an overall pattern.

But, just from the articles presented above, the weather is routinely bouncing from one extreme to the next. Also, the earthquake and tsunami disaster is a prime example of what was thought is a freak event, but now many scientists are stating that the same thing could occur along the Pacific Northwest subduction zone. Is it possible that as more chaos is ocurring regarding the peoples of the Earth that Nature itself is going to feel the effects of this?