September 2008

Another effect of climate change September 8, 2008 : 12:26 PM

Skeptics and deniers might still be closing their eyes and holding their hands over their ears, but everyday more and more effects of the climate crisis appear. The Wall Street Journal, reporting on mud slides in Los Angles this week wrote,

“Mudslides often follow big fires as part of a natural process that has gone on for millennia in the West. But forestry experts are increasingly concerned about a noticeable upswing in torrential downpours in California that threatens to send even more mud and debris cascading into downstream communities.

The most likely culprit, scientists and other experts say, is climate change. Increased downpours are consistent with the predicted impacts of global warming, as higher temperatures cause more ocean water to evaporate, making for stronger storms.”

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Growing Hotter in the West September 12, 2008 : 11:34 AM

According to a new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization the western United States is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world.

“For the five-year period 2003-2007 the average temperature in the Colorado River Basin, which stretches from Wyoming to Mexico, was 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the historical average for the 20th Century. The temperature rise was more than twice the global average increase of 1.0 degree during the same period. The average temperature increased 1.7 degrees in the entire 11-state western region.”
The West is one of the fastest growing regions of the country and the climate crisis will play a critical role in its development. As temperatures continue to rise, draughts and water shortages will be come more common, inhibiting further growth.
“We are seeing signs of the economic impacts throughout the West,” according to the author, Stephen Saunders. “Since 2000 we have seen $2.7 billion in crop loss claims due to drought. Global warming is harming valuable commercial salmon fisheries, reducing hunting activity and revenues, and threatening shorter and less profitable seasons for ski resorts.”

These states will also be critical in our efforts to Repower America. The bright sunshine of the American west can produce enormous quantities to of energy to power our cities, without harmful climate crisis causing pollution.

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Hockey Stick September 16, 2008 : 8:29 PM

Contrary to what the skeptics and deniers will tell you, the Hockey Stick graph, similar to the one I featured in "An Inconvenient Truth", is proving to be completely true.

Basically the graph shows the temperatures remain consistent for 1,000 years, and then, when the industrial revolution took place, temperatures spiked. A number of research groups have produced records of temperatures of centuries before thermometers were in use using the growth patters of corals and trees, temperature changes in boreholes, ice cores and sediments.

According to researcher Mike Mann in an interview with the BBC, "Ten years ago, the availability of data became quite sparse by the time you got back to 1,000 AD, and what we had then was weighted towards tree-ring data; but now you can go back 1,300 years without using tree-ring data at all and still get a verifiable conclusion." The results were reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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