The Great Debate UK

from Environment Forum:

“The Harry Potter theory of climate”

USA/Climate doesn't change by magic.

Just ask Mark Serreze, director of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. On a conference call with other scientists and reporters, Serreze and others linked climate change to the last two harsh winters over much of the United States and Europe. And they squarely blamed human-caused greenhouse gas emissions for the rise in world temperatures that got the process going.

"Climate doesn't change all by itself," Serreze said. "It's not like the Harry Potter theory of climate, where he flicks his magic wand and the climate suddenly changes. Climate only changes for a reason."

He crossed off other possible drivers for climate change one by one.

"Could it be that the Sun is shining more brightly than it was? No, that doesn't work. We've been monitoring energy coming from the Sun and apart from the 11-year sunspot cycle, there's not much happening.

USA/"Is it that the warming is coming from the oceans -- the oceans are releasing heat into the atmosphere? ... Well, if that were the case, we'd have to observe that the oceans are cooling ... but oceans are not cooling, the oceans are warming like the atmosphere.

from Environment Forum:

Cancun talks ignore intrusive aspect of climate change

pine beetle

One pesky aspect of climate change is that rising temperatures  and stronger storms may increase  invasions of non-native species to places that have no natural defenses against them.

The issue is mostly being ignored at the annual U.N. climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, California's Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura said.

Why we should still be constructive about Cancun

Lord Professor Julian Hunt is Vice President of GLOBE (Global Legislators for a Balanced Environment), Visiting Professor at Delft University, and former Director-General of the UK Met Office. The opinions expressed are his own.

Ahead of the UN Summit in Cancun, legislators from across the world, ranging from United States Congressman Bart Gordon to Chinese Congressman Wang Guangtao, met in China earlier this month at the GLOBE Climate Change Symposium.  While the prospects for a comprehensive deal being reached in Mexico have been widely talked down, much progress can still be made and there remains substantial room for optimism.

from Reuters Investigates:

Weird weather and the Amazon

As scientists from around the world gather in Cancun for the latest U.N. conference on climate change, Stuart Grudgings reports from Caapiranga, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, for his special report "Weird weather leaves Amazon thirsty."

This year's drought in the Amazon was the kind of thing experts call a "once in a century" event. Unfortunately, it was the second one in five years.

Why Pakistan monsoons support evidence of global warming

Photo

-Lord Julian Hunt is visiting Professor at Delft University, and former Director-General of the UK Met Office. The opinions expressed are his own.-

The unusually large rainfall from this year’s monsoon has caused the most catastrophic flooding in Pakistan for 80 years, with the U.N. estimating that around one fifth of the country is underwater.  This is thus truly a crisis of the very first order.

from Environment Forum:

Global warming accelerates; Climategate rumbles on

A report by a group of leading scientists that global warming is accelerating and that world sea levels could rise at worst by 2 metres by 2100* is grim reading.

But sceptics are using a flood of leaked e-mails from a British University -- dubbed "Climategate" -- to question the findings.

from UK News:

‘Green’ expert sees red over UK climate pledges

Professor Sir David King, the British government's former top scientific adviser, is no stranger to controversy.

 

He ruffled feathers on both sides of the Atlantic in 2004 when he described climate change as a more serious threat to the world than terrorism.

from Environment Forum:

Ice Age or global warming?

It looks more like an Ice Age than global warming.

There is so much snow in Oslo, where I live, that the city authorities are resorting to dumping truckloads of it in the sea because the usual storage sites on land are full.

That is angering environmentalists who say the snow is far too dirty -- scraped up from polluted roads -- to be added to the fjord. The story even made it to the front page of the local paper ('Dumpes i sjøen': 'Dumped in the sea').

from The Great Debate:

A stimulating energy policy

rengle_alternate11

- Robert Engle is the Michael Armellino Professor of Finance at New York University Stern School of Business and a Nobel Laureate. His views are his own. -

We have faced energy crises before. The last energy crisis was about running out of oil. This one is about the fear that we might not. The future health of our planet is jeopardized by the greenhouse gases emitted by our industrial society. But can we afford an expensive energy policy in this time of economic distress?

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