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PROJECT ON GLOBAL WARMING

INTRODUCTION Global warming is the current rise in the average temperature of Earth's oceans and atmosphere and its projected continuation. The scientific consensus is that global warming is occurring and was initiated by human activities, especially those that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels. This finding is recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized countries and is not rejected by any scientific body of national or international standing. During the 20th century, global surface temperature increased by about 0.74 C (1.33 F) Using computer models of the climate system based on six greenhouse-gas emission scenarios, the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that global surface temperature is likely to rise 1.1 to 6.4 C (2.0 to 11.5 F) by 2100. An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts.Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers,permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include more frequent

occurrence ofextreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainfall events, species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional changes is uncertain.] In a 4C world, the limits for human adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world, while the limits for adaptation for natural systems would largely be exceeded throughout the world. Hence, the ecosystem services upon which human livelihoods depend would not be preserved. The Kyoto Protocol is aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas concentration to prevent a "dangerous anthropogenic interference".[12] As of May 2010, 192 states had ratified the protocol.[13] The only members of the UNFCCC that were asked to sign the treaty but have not yet ratified it are the USA and Afghanistan. Proposed responses to global warming include mitigation to reduce emissions, adaptation to the effects of global warming, and geoengineering to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or reflect incoming solar radiation back to space. According to a recent Gallup poll, people in most countries are more likely to attribute global warming to human activities than to natural causes. The major exception is the U.S., where just under half the US population (47%) attributes global warming primarily to natural causes despite overwhelmingscientific opinion to the contrary.[14] WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?

While some would call global warming a theory, others would call it a proven set of facts. Opinions differ vehemently. Let us consider global warming to be both a premise that the environment of the world as we know it is slowly, but very surely increasing in overall air and water temperature, and a promise that if whatever is causing this trend is not interrupted or challenged life on earth will dynamically be affected.

The prevailing counter opinion is that all that is presently perceived to be global warming is simply the result of a normal climactic swing in the direction of increased temperature. Many proponents of this global warming ideology have definitive social and financial interests in these claims. Global warming and climate change are aspects of our environment that cannot be easily or quickly discounted. Many factions still strongly feel that the changes our Earth is seeing are the result of a natural climatic adjustment. Regardless of ones perspective the effects of global warming are a quantifiable set of environmental results that are in addition to any normal changes in climate. That is why the effects of global warming have catastrophic potential. Global warming may well be the straw that breaks the camels back. It could turn out to be the difference between a category three hurricane and a category four. Global warming as caused by greenhouse gas emissions can lead us to a definite imbalance of nature. The premise of global warming as an issue of debate is that industrial growth coupled with nonstructured methods we as humans use to sustain ourselves has created a situation where our planet is getting progressively hotter. We have seemingly negatively effected our environment by a cycle of harmful processes that now seem to be feeding upon themselves to exponentially increase the damage to our ecosystem. CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING

Causes of Global Warming Let us start our examination of Global warming with a study of its causes. Global warming is an overall state of existence that is the cumulative effect of hundreds of environmental factors. All of these join together in both a linear and random model to show global warming as a chain of events. Most modern attention to the problem of global warming began with discussion of depletion of the Earths Ozone layer. Ozone (O3) is a molecular form of Oxygen. The Ozone layer is a relatively thin strata of these molecules set in the lower portion of the Earths stratosphere. Depletion of the Earths Ozone layer has resulted in a large increase in Ultra Violet Radiation reaching the surface of the earth. Does this increase in UV rays equate to global warming? Not really. In fact most scientific opinion is that depletion of the Ozone layer results in cooling of both the stratosphere and troposphere. So why mention depletion of the Ozone layer as regards to global warming? Because it represents a needed balance between harmful radiation being

allowed to reach the earths surface and our desire to stem the rapid increase in our air and water temperature. Remember, we are viewing global warming as a chain of events.

What is the most significant cause of global warming? The primary cause of global warming is Carbon Dioxide emissions. CO2 is being pumped into our atmosphere at an insane pace; 8 billion tons of CO2 entered the air last year. Of course some of this is due to natural activity such as volcanic eruptions and people breathing. But the Earth is equipped to easily absorb those into the normal regenerative process. No, the beginning of global warming was caused by fossil fuels being burned and emitting plenty of CO2. Currently in the world 40% of all CO2 emissions are caused by power plants. These are burning coal, natural gas and diesel fuel. Some power plants burn garbage. Some burn methane made from garbage. And discounting those super green electrical generating plants designed to issue negligible pollutants, all of our power plants let loose into the atmosphere CO2. 33% of all the CO2 sent forth is the product of cars and trucks. Internal combustion engines burning fossil fuelsgasoline and diesel spew forth a retching amount of CO2. 3.5% of all CO2 emissions are released from aircraft traveling our friendly skies. Unfortunately, jets and other aircraft deliver their payload of pollutants directly into the troposphere.

The numbers can be confusing 12% of all CO2 released into the atmosphere is related to buildings. This figure varies from one source to the next. Some place the percentage of emissions from buildings as high as 33%. What most of these figures do not address is the actual cause of the CO2 emissions. In newly constructed buildings, production of materials used in building and energy used during construction are sited as the cause of carbon dioxide emissions. In existing buildings the CO2 created by the energy upkeep of the building is the root of the emissions quotient. The general comparison is that buildings consume energy in the way that cars burn fuel. But the pollutants created in providing power for heating, air-conditioning, lights and other usage in buildings has

already been factored. Honestly this double billing accounting is more the product of auto manufacturers looking to point the blame for global warming away from gas guzzling cars. The point to remember is that 98% of all CO2 emissions are related to energy production and 80% of these emissions become greenhouse gases.

Continuing the chain Which now mentioned allows us to follow our chain of events leading to global warming into the next most defined cause Methane gas. Methane is released into the atmosphere from a dozen major sources. These include natural and man made emissions. Natural release of Methane is primarily from wetlands, (including agriculture) termites, the ocean, and hydrates. Nonorganic releases are based from, landfills, livestock, waste treatment, and biomass burning. (More energy production). Almost all of this is offset by the Earths ability to absorb around 97% of the methane released into the air. But that remaining 3% is a serious problem. The molecular structure of Methane makes it 20 times as powerful a Greenhouse gas than CO2. So while there is a great deal less Methane to contend with than CO2, it is still the second largest link in the global warming events chain. Not every Greenhouse gas is as obvious a villain as Methane. The next most potent problem is simple H2O water. How can water be a cause of global warming? Our atmosphere contains a set parameter of water as vapor. This vapor absorbs and radiates heat as does every molecule in the air. But when the lower atmosphere (troposphere) has excess water vapor that gaseous H2O is a potent greenhouse gas. Another of the more commonplace greenhouse gases is Nitrous Oxide. NO2 can make your car go faster, or make you relax at the dentist. It has quite few beneficial uses. But as a greenhouse

gas all it manages to accomplish is to be one more ingredient in out atmospheric soup. Cars using catalytic converters, fertilizer plants, manufacture of nylon, and nitric acid as well as being produced naturally in our oceans and rain forests, produce Nitrous Oxide. All of the above plus quite a few other greenhouse gases comprise the foundation of global warming. As above and in all discussion of global warming they are cumulatively referred to as greenhouse gases. To understand the importance of these as the start and endpoint of global warming we must digress into a brief explanation of the greenhouse effect. The Greenhouse Effect

Anyone who has either spent time in a greenhouse for plants or simply gotten into a car on a hot summer day has personally experienced the greenhouse effect. Heat enters an enclosed area and then reflects back and forth building upon itself. While the ambient temperature outside might be 85 degrees Fahrenheit, inside an automobile the temperature easily zooms upward to 130F. Simply put, the greenhouse effect is what happens when heat is trapped in one way or another and then increases as more heat radiation is added. This is fine if you are an orchid or other tropical plant. But living things, including people, require set parameters of climate. When we discuss the greenhouse effect as regarding global warming we place the effect into a specific environment. That is the Earths atmosphere. When referencing the Earth, our entire planet becomes the interior of an automobile in the heat of summer. The Earth of course does not have a metal roof or a glass dome around it to trap heat and reflect solar radiation back to its surface. Indeed when drawings depict and descriptions

explain the greenhouse effect the principle is simplified to imply that this is the case. Actually the greenhouse effect for the Earth is somewhat different. When solar radiation passes through out atmosphere the molecules that constitute our air absorb it. The majority of solar heat is absorbed by our planets surface. Different types of surfaces absorb or reflect heat in different ways. A white blanket of snow will reflect much more heat than freshly paved asphalt. Still everything that the suns rays fall upon either absorbs or reflects heat. In the case of out snowy Polar Regions that heat is reflected back from the planet. In the case of our cities it is trapped on the surface. From there it radiates outward where living things attempt to adjust to the relative heat or cold. Our planets original design was for a balance of all the components. Our atmosphere absorbs enough heat to keep us warm but hopefully not bake us. The angle of the sun in areas such as the poles creates an environment suited to North and South Pole inhabitants. The people, creatures and plant life at the Earths equator have acclimated to their section of the world. The greenhouse effect occurs planet wide when solar radiation either bounces off of or is radiated forth from the earth and instead of passing through our atmosphere and outward into space, is absorbed by all kinds of extra amounts of and extraneous gases and particles. These gases et al absorb heat and then radiate it outward in all directions, one of those directions, being the surface of the Earth. From there the process repeats itself until we have a global version of a car with the windows rolled up parked in the noonday sun. Global warming as a chain of events Once again remember we are attempting to define global warming as a chain of events. The first several of these links is an over abundance of solar radiation absorbing gases and other particles floating about in our atmosphere. The next grouping of events concerns what happens when the small percentage of increased heat on our planets surface and in our air begins to effect long standing conditions. Currently the measured effect of global warming as caused by the greenhouse effect on the planet overall is approximately a 1 degree Celsius increase over the last 50 years. This would seem to mean nothing. One asks, How could one degree more or less effect anyone or anything. In terms of that anyone, the effect of a one-degree difference in ambient temperature will probably go unnoticed. Our bodies are designed to adjust to a huge range of climatic conditions. No one of us will notice that today it is 71 degrees outside and fifty years ago it would have been 70. The human body will adjust and adapt even if the average temperature globally were to increase by ten degrees. Chances are we would set off a huge oblivious migration to more temperate areas. But that little one-degree change manages to set out of kilter an incredible array of environmental forces.

Permafrost While that one-degree of heat made you take off a sweater, segments of the Earth known as permafrost began a meltdown. Permafrost is a condition whereby sections of the Earths surface have remained at a temperature below freezing (0 degrees Celsius) for at least two years. Literally, it means permanently frozen soil. In actuality, most permafrost regions have been frozen for thousands of years. A large portion of the Arctic is permafrost. During summer months these areas seem to be thawed as they permit a two to twelve foot layer of soil to grow vegetation. But beneath that summer season lays a still frozen core. These frozen strata of the Earth lock away huge amounts of gaseous content with the highest concentrations of gases held in check by permafrost being Carbon dioxide and Methane gas. That one-degree increase in overall temperature is allowing millions of underground acres of permafrost to defrost and release even more greenhouse gas. Tundra In a similar vein frozen areas know as Tundra are also experiencing a subtle warming. Tundra describes the soil above permafrost that is frozen for most of the calendar year but thaws for allowance of small amounts of vegetation growth. Areas of Tundra throughout the world serve as sinks for absorption of massive amounts of Carbon. As these areas begin to exist for more months of the year above freezing they both release their stores of Carbon and cease to function as greenhouse gas depositories. The extremist view is that within another half century global warming will simultaneously melt the arctic tundra releasing billions of tons of harmful greenhouse gases and ignite the worlds rainforests destroying our planets ability to create oxygen. Such a viewpoint is falsely alarming and without basis. The real danger of global warming is sufficient without need to exaggerate.

Polar meltdown The increase, albeit slight in overall temperature the planet is now in the midst of, is more than sufficient to cause catastrophic effect. Take for example our next link in the chain of events feeding the effect of global warming. That is the warming of our polar caps and oceans. An increase in overall temperature for the troposphere allows that segment of the atmosphere to absorb more water vapor. Much as we set a dew point for condensation of moisture on the earths surface, the atmosphere has an evaporation point allowing a larger volume off gaseous H2O to exist. A simple linear logic would allow that a 1 percent increase in overall water temperature throughout the earths atmosphere might allow a corresponding 1% increase in airborne vapor. In truth there is a non-linear curve to this dialectic, but the general principle follows suit and allows for our explanation. A 1% increase in water vapor is a huge increase to the overall amount of greenhouse emissions. The problem however is not caused by the increase whether it is 1% or 1000th of one percent. The problem is that each release of an unchecked amount of greenhouse gas precipitates a further release. So if we add excess water vapor to our ecosystem it then further heats the atmosphere so as to allow even more water vapor to encroach. Ocean Temperatures and Positive Feedback Our oceans digest most of the carbon footprint needing to be absorbed into our ecosystem. But, if we raise the temperature of the oceans by as little as 1/10th of one percent that ability to absorb and neutralize excess CO2 is compromised. Currently greenhouse gas emissions from production of energy and internal combustion engines results in a 36% increase in carbon dioxide over that which the planets normal balance can support. This results in a subtle increase in temperature that just happens to be enough to melt some of the Earths permafrost, which then releases even more CO2. The CO2 then slightly raises the Earths temperature resulting in an endlessly looping progression. This situation and scenario is known as positive feedback and this is the real danger inherent as global warming. We can follow our ever-expanding chain of events further to a point where man is more directly affected.

Environmental causes Gaseous emissions are the largest issue as a cause for global warming. But simple environmental issues still manage to total together and create a factor that is in no way to be discounted as unimportant. The greenhouse effect has caused our Polar Ice Caps to reduce in size by 20% since 1979. This has resulted in more land and sea area being exposed to absorb heat from the sun and as our continual cycle suggests create more excess heat, which in turn melts more polar ice. Not all of global warming is the result of greenhouse gases and the ensuing greenhouse effect. As the population of the earth has increased mankind has brought civilization to almost every corner of the globe. Civilization includes buildings, highways, land cleared for agriculture, cities built where once stood deserts. Almost everything that we build absorbs more heat than its natural predecessor. For hundreds of years we have sheared the tops off of mountains and burned down millions of acres of forest just to look for precious metals. We clear ten thousand year old growth areas just find hardwoods for lumber. We are still clearing the Brazilian Rain Forests so cattle can be raised on the grassy plains we create. And the semi-comical side of this is that we have simultaneously destroyed lush plant life that would have through photosynthesis turned CO2 into oxygen, so as to grow cattle, which are raised in such abundance that their flatulence (Methane) is a measurable greenhouse emission. This is not to suggest that we tear down all of our houses to plant a forest of trees and carve up the superhighways and replace them with lovely green meadows. What we do need is an awareness of our situation. We need to realize that every move we make as a result of industrialization has a corresponding consequence. Primary effects of global warming The effects of global warming are in some ways less definable than the causes. It seems odd that such huge manifestations of change such as rising sea levels, glacier retreat, and Arctic shrinkage somehow manage to filter down so that when members of western civilization safely tucked

away in homes and apartments look at the effects they are so remote as to become invisible. What we may well bear watching are the effects of the effects of global warming. These secondary results are so non-linear as to be a random harvest of environmental and economic dilemmas that, when fully formed and in place present a definitive short-term danger. Still, let us once again follow a chain of events so as to be able to completely envision the scale and scope of the problem.

Rising sea levels Rising sea levels are an easily measurable effect of global warming. As Polar ice melts down the water created obviously must go somewhere. Aside from that ice which joins inland fresh water reservoirs, the vast majority of melted ice joins the pool of the oceans. Most people misunderstand the effect of polar meltdown and consider that this addition to our oceans creates the overall rise in sea levels. This is hardly the case. The rise in sea levels due to global warming is primarily caused by thermal expansion. In short when you heat a liquid (such as sea water) it expands. Sea levels are currently on a pace to rise at a rate of approximately 1 inch every ten years. Such a small change seems as if it could never affect quality of life for people living in such distant from the oceans locations as Denver, Colorado. Yet this is precisely the scenario by which we are all affected. Obviously people living in low laying areas such as coastal Florida and Louisiana will most directly be affected. A one hundred year model that allows for the current progression of global warming factors would result in millions of acres of land mass lost in these areas. Still we have set our viewpoint in the Rocky Mountains not Holland or the eastern coast of England, both of which are teetering at or below sea level. Salt water intrusion Our Denver citizen might enjoy bottled water from Zephyrhills, Florida or any of the hundreds of fresh water springs gushing forth in the sunshine state. Salt-water intrusion as a result of rising sea levels could easily destroy a huge percentage of the potable water available in this and other coastal states. Agricultural products of low-lying areas around the world will face shortfalls. Production of fruits and vegetables is dependent on a stable set of environmental conditions.

Ever hear of the Indian River? Well most of Americas grapefruit is grown there along the Florida coast and should we follow the expected loss of coastline for all of the Southern US which is projected at a possible 2 mile inward loss of coastline over the next 75 years. Both the Indian River and Indian River Grapefruit will no longer exist. 50% of American produce is grown in our low laying areas. A major effect of global warming is that agricultural production will be decreased. Our planet will be unable to grow as much food. Beach erosion A major secondary effect of rising sea levels is massive beach erosion. Our Colorado vacationer will find the endless stretches of sandy beaches he enjoys on his winter vacation have withered away to a few hundred yards here and there. But a shortened tourist base is hardly a world catastropheis it? Tourism pumps over 50 Billion dollars a year into Floridas economy. North Carolina and Louisiana earn 15 billion dollars each through tourism. In fact every US state and every nation on Earth with mild climate and a sandy shore depends upon financial gain from tourism to sustain its economy. Lest we dwell only on financial impact consider that loss of coastal acreage will displace thousands of species of animal and plant life.

Extreme weather Perhaps the most commonly conceived notion as to the effects of global warming is that of cataclysmic weather. In fervor to promote the cause, too often we see graphic depictions of raging floods, category 12 hurricanes and dozens of tornadoes sweeping the landscape. These same depictions seem to serve those who accept the threat of global warming and those who reject the possibility. One agenda hopes to frighten the world into an austere program of selfdenial so as to instantly curb global warming causes. The other faction points out that currently there are no typhoons sweeping across Kansas so therefore global warming is a but a myth. As always when dealing with scientific anomalies the truth lies nicely hidden in between. Category 4 and 5 hurricanes have risen in frequency from 20 to 35% over the last 30 years. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, frequency of hurricanes overall has risen by almost 40%

and the those hurricanes now making landfall deposit almost 10% more rainfall than their pre 1970 counterparts. As an effect of global warming hurricanes are stronger, wetter and more numerous. Hurricane Fay from 2007 created massive flooding over a dozen states. This increase in storm activity is directly related to a wider variance between warm and cold ocean waters. Consider that the measurement of temperature rise in ocean waters is based on an overall average. Storms are created by the extremes that create that average. Global warming produces as byproducts, variance in the jet stream, wind sheer, greater quantity of cyclones, and drought.

Increased rainfall If we increase the temperature of the air it is able to absorb more moisture in the form of water vapor. If we cool the air that vapor becomes liquid and falls to the earth as rain. The greater the amount of water vapor the atmosphere absorbs the greater the amount of rainfall we will receive during the normal process of reaching a dew point or other yard stick of precipitation. This increased rainfall results in drastically increased erosion. Areas such as Colorados Platte River long noted for the devastation following its hundred-year floods can in no way accommodate that same volume of water arriving every decade. Erosion is vulnerable tropical areas such as Africa results in native plant life dying off and a resultant desertification. Evaporation, by definition is a cooling process. So why then is this increased evaporation not countering global warming? Because the water vapor that enters the atmosphere counters the cooling process while acting as a greenhouse gas. It should be pointed out that change in climate for targeted areas can often result in a plus side modification meaning that adding water to dry areas usually results in those areas being able to support vegetation.

Destabilization of local climates The overall destabilization of local climates is a major effect of global warming. The Arctic is home to over 4 million people. Canada, Russia, and Alaska are dealing with a tremendous rise in bacterial growth as permafrost regions warm. Glaciers in the northern hemisphere have decreased in size by 50% over the last 100 years. This particular meltdown has resulted in landslides; flash floods and lake overflow through out the Andes, Alps, Pyrenees, Himalayas, and Rocky Mountains. These seasonal meltdowns are followed by seasonal droughts. Global warming creates climate extremes. We may measure the average but we live with the outcome of the extremes. The slow steady melting of the Himalayas results in the steady flow of water of the Ganges River. The Ganges is the lifeblood of over 500 million people. To say this plainly, if we melt all of our fresh water too quickly and send it out to blend with the ocean billions of people, including our friend in Denver, Colorado will go thirsty.

Acidic Oceans Our Oceans are the Earths largest sink for the absorption of CO2 from our atmosphere. As excess CO2 is dealt with, the oceans in an effort to balance the ecosystem have become saturated with CO2. This has resulted in production of mild carbonic acid and is known as ocean acidification. While this is an extremely slight change in the ph (acid to base) balance of the seas it does result in damage to corals. Coral reefs are home to the vast majority of undersea life. Ocean acidification coincides with Oxygen depletion in our oceans. Heavier CO2 molecules are supplanting oxygen. Less oxygen equals less fish.

Drought As temperature swings increase we are left with flooding in some areas and drought in others the drought creates correct conditions for forest fires. These fires, like our hurricanes, are suddenly emerging on a much grander scale. The 2009 fires raging through Australia and the 2002 fires in Florida serve as excellent examples. Massive fires release much more carbon as both particle and molecule than can readily be absorbed. Once again prevalent anti global warming as reality belief is that these fires can only be considered a natural effect of the ecosystem and as the forests are a naturally renewing resource should be discounted as an effect of global warming. However with global warming defined as a premise of additional stress on our environment we come to realize that it is not the existence of a naturally made fire but the scale of that event that matters. Secondary effects of global warming All of the above initial effects of global warming set into motion the following more directly adverse effects. Every human being, animal and plant on planet Earth feels these second tier effects.

Decreased crop yields For a short time it was hoped that a byproduct of global warming would be increased yields of agriculture. The obvious conclusion was that plant life through photosynthesis would make good use of the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and produce a lush abundance of flora. Certainly areas such as Iceland, which due to an overall warmer climate can now support the growth of crops such as barley, have benefited from global warming. Regions such as Siberia are now able to produce food. But overall the effect of global Warming on agriculture is decidedly negative. Floods and droughts do not make suitable growing fields. In Africa, areas that historically received two rain falls yearly now receive more resulting in increased yields, but areas receiving one rainfall per annum now receive less. This of course results in a non existent growing season and a 33% decrease in harvestable crops. While an increase in rainfall may increase yields for those already able to produce a harvest a decrease in rainfall results in a complete lack of food for others. Flooding of coastal areas results in coastal growing plains being destroyed. For many poorer countries these are the only fertile areas accessible to transportation via waterways. Poor countries like Bangladesh are completely at risk to massive starvation caused by coastal flooding. Many Pacific Island nations will be completely eliminated as sea levels rise. It is already planned to evacuate the peoples of Tuvalu to nearby New Zealand as flood defense in not economically or agriculturally possible.

Species Migration and Extinction People will not be the only living things on the move due to global warming. As regional ecosystems change many species will be unable to find historical food sources. This will result in mass migrations to climates hoped to support those species as well as mass extinction of those animals unable to migrate an /or adapt. Polar bears, emperor penguins, gyrfalcons and snowy owls are just a few of the species current in peril in the new warmer Arctic and Antarctic regions. Longer warm seasons result in such basic changes as a Polar bears loss of natural camouflage. A white bear on brown earth is easy for a seal to avoid. Birds and butterflies have shifted the range of their migrations almost 200 kilometers in North America and Europe. Plant life is unable to shift regions as quickly and as such will die out unless manually replanted in more conducive settings. When herbivores migrate to find a genetically compatible climate they face the risk of starvation when their traditional foodstuffs have not migrated with them. Many species are simply unable to migrate to better climes and as such will suffer the fate of Australias white possum. Unable to survive in temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius the entire species was destroyed during a surprisingly excessive heat wave during 2005. Their loss is directly attributed to global warming. Severe winters in British Columbia have always managed to keep in balance the voracious effect of the Pine Beetle. Warmer temperatures have now allowed the beetles to profligate and destroy 33 million acres of Canadian pines. Mountain run off of melting snows is expected to result in seasonal flooding followed by seasonal drought in every mountain range in the world. Mountains cover one fourth of the

Earths land mass. As upper mountain areas warm it is expected that over heated lower level animals and plants will simply move up to a higher elevation. But what of life already situated at the upper threshold? Once they reach the top of the mountain where will they move up to? The Human Condition Of course we tend to realize the plight of animals as we can easily see their need to migrate to better stomping grounds. But, what are the direct effects of increased temperature on homosapiens? Disease spreads in an overheated environment. Ever notice that there isnt a lot of malaria in Buffalo, New York or Moscow, Russia. Cold kills germs. Global warming will extend the favorable zones for many infectious diseases. Encephalitis, Lyme disease and the aforementioned malaria will join with other bacteria based carriers of illness to spread throughout areas previously thought of as safe zones. Our bodies must work harder to cool off when placed in a higher ambient temperature. Cardiovascular function is directly reduced by even a 1-degree temperature increase. Higher concentrations of greenhouse gases in the air we breathe are also directly damaging to lung tissue and lung capacity. Record amount of carbon dioxide spewed into the air from energy generation in 2010; 44 percent was from coal, a third from petroleum.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy generation in 2010 were the highest in history, according to the latest estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The total was five percent higher than the previous record, set in 2008; in 2009 emissions were slightly lower due to the world recession. The agency's chief economist, Fatih Birol, called the rebound "a serious setback to our hopes of limiting the global rise in temperature" to a moderate amount. Emissions from power plants, transportation, manufacturing, heating and other fossil fuel uses are estimated to have climbed to a record 30.6 Gigatonnes (Gt), said the IEA. Forty percent of this total came from the developed industrial nations of the world, but these countries only accounted for 25 percent of emissions growth compared to 2009. Nations considered to be developing led by China and India saw much stronger increases in emissions as their economic growth accelerated, the IEA report said. In terms of fuels, 44 percent of the estimated total CO2 emissions in 2010 came from coal, 36 percent from oil, and 20 percent from natural gas. Land use changes, agriculture and emissions from landfills and forest fires also add to the burden of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere but were not included in the report. This IEA report indicates the major source for the steadily increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as measured by NOAA and Scripps Institute of Oceanography on Mauna Loa in Hawaii. The level reached beyond a record 390 parts per million (ppm) last year, and climbed to nearly 395 ppm in late May. Scientists have continually stated that the world faces disastrous

changes from rapid warming if CO2 concentrations exceed 450 ppm -- and many scientists urge a reduction down to 350 ppm.

In addition, the IEA estimated that the fossil fuel power plants which are already built or being constructed now make up 80 percent of projected emissions from the power sector in 2020. The power sector is the largest source of CO2. These plants are unlikely to be decommissioned, said the agency, making it very difficult to reduce emissions in the coming decade. China is estimated to be building more than one new coal power plant weekly, even as it becomes a world leader in wind and solar energy. In the US, the Sierra Club and other groups and state officials have successfully blocked plans for more than 150 new coal plants, and more are being challenged even as Congress has decided to take no actions to limit greenhouse gas output. "Our latest estimates are another wake-up call," said Dr Birol on the IEA website. "Unless bold and decisive decisions are made very soon, it will be extremely challenging to succeed in achieving this global goal" of keeping extremely disastrous climate change effects from happening. Already, with just over a degree of temperature change from added CO2, there has been a measurable increase in sea level rise, the amount of rainfall per storm, the extent of drought and heatwaves, and loss of glacier and polar ice, and harmful effects on habitats and species (see this website and reports from the EPA and NOAA). The rise in world average temperature by the end of the century projected from our current increasing production of greenhouse gases ranges from 4 to 11 degrees F. For more international information on the IEA report, see the Guardian.

Chicago's experience with a killer heat wave in 1995 and its actions to get ready for increases in heat and rainfall brought on by climate change are the subjects of these photographs from my book Earth Under Fire. Climate scientists and medical leaders warn that more and more urban areas will cook under much higher summer temperatures. Changes in rainfall and seasons already affect city health and livability. In response, many cities are taking action to both reduce their greenhouse emissions and to get ready for now-inevitable climate shifts. Chicago installed one of the first large public building green roofs to cool and insulate City Hall; a 20,000- squarefoot garden which includes 100 types of native plants. The city has programs to encourage many more green roofs, plant trees, control rain deluges, and change the way buildings are constructed. This and other adaptations to a changing climate are the subject of a NY Times series. Examples of other technologies and community changes are illustrated here in Solutions.