Saturday, June 13, 2009

GLOBAL WARMING: Is The Idea Of Global Warming Warming Up?

Instrumental temperature record of the last 15...Image via Wikipedia

by Knight Pierce Hirst

According to a survey based on opinions of 3,146 earth scientists, human-induced global warming is real. Two key survey questions were "Have mean global temperatures risen compared to pre-1800s levels?" and "Has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures?"

About 90% of the scientists agreed with the first question and 82% agreed with the second. Among climatologists, however, the consensus on human involvement was 97%; among meteorologists it was 64% and among geologists it was 47%. It seems the more you know about climate science, the more likely you are to warm up to the idea of global warming.

The 340 residents of Alaska's coastal village Newtok were ordered to move to new homes 9 miles away because of flooding that has been caused by climate change. Warming temperatures are melting coastal ice shelves and frozen sub-soil that act as barriers against ocean storm surges.

Indigenous people in Asia, Central America and Africa are also threatened by shifting environments attributed to climate change. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this is part of a growing crisis that will displace 150 million people by the year 2050. Obviously, it's time for the United Nations to unite against global warming.

A new study predicts warming oceans fed by greenhouse-gas emissions will affect the distribution of more than 1,000 species of commercial fish and shellfish. Using data from fisheries and computer models, researchers predict these species will migrate from tropical seas to cooler waters - specifically the Arctic and Southern Oceans - resulting in the global distribution shifting 60% by the year 2050. This migration could cause food shortages for people in developing countries near the equator and migration across countries' fishing boundaries could have economic and political implications. Unfortunately, the effect of global warming on fish isn't a fishy story.

A study done by the University of Arizona uprooted 20 mature pinyon pine trees from New Mexico and moved them to climate-zoned Biosphere 2 in Arizona. Some of the trees were put in an area that simulated the trees' native temperature and the others were put in an area that was 8 degrees warmer. Half the trees in both areas weren't watered. The trees in the warmer area died on average 30% faster, predicting massive die-offs of trees in global warming. Warmer temperatures make trees more susceptible to drought - a fact that can't be watered down.

Knight Pierce Hirst has written for television, newspapers and greeting cards. Now she writes a 400-word blog. KNIGHT WATCH, a second look at what makes life interesting, takes only seconds to read at

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