To educate people to the reality of global climate change, its impacts not just to our land, but to our oceans. To continue to push for moving towards the removal of fossil fuels, and moving towards an alternative energy future, one that does not include nuclear power.
While many refer to it as perhaps the most complicated issue facing our modern world, in reality Global Climate Change is a straight forward warming of atmosphere, the result of human-related greenhouse gases, the result of burning our forests and relying on fossil fuels. The emissions of carbon dioxide hit record levels in 2011. The only complicated is man, the continued use of fossil fuels, the political lack of leadership and finally, the neocons committed to denying the existence of man’s role in climate change and working to defeat any effort to protect the earth long-term that would impact their short-term profits. Nowhere is that more apparent than with the use of coal, which is used by many power companies as a means of creating electricity. Cheap coal, in reality, is coasting us a fortune! It is in effect, costing us our future. It is resulting in rising temperatures and rising seas. In developing countries coal is the order of the day with plants exploding in China, India, and places like Mongolia to supply these hungry nations.
In the US coal fired power plants in Ohio, impact the air quality as far away as Big Bend National Park in Texas. Storms of unparalleled magnitude of stuck not only the US, but internationally as hurricanes, tornados, typhoon’s, record cold, drought and record snows continue to represent the earth crying out for help.
For more than twenty years UN led efforts to reach an international agreement have shown developed nations reluctant to yield, while developing countries are beginning to wonder why they should try.
An International goal of limiting the planet to warming only 3.6 degrees established three years ago, is close to becoming unattainable according to the Global Climate Project, a network of scientists that track emissions.
In 2012, the US recorded its hottest year in history, severe drought in the Mid-West and Southwest. The impact are not just impacting the land, they are having an impact on our oceans.
According to National Geographic. For tens of millions of years, Earth's oceans have maintained a relatively stable acidity level. It's within this steady environment that the rich and varied web of life in today's seas has arisen and flourished. But research shows that this ancient balance is being undone by a recent and rapid drop in surface pH that could have devastating global consequences.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the early 1800s, fossil fuel-powered machines have driven an unprecedented burst of human industry and advancement. The unfortunate consequence, however, has been the emission of billions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases into Earth's atmosphere.
CHECK IT OUT: THE DEFINITIVE CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT LIST
Scientists now know that about half of this anthropogenic, or man-made, CO2 has been absorbed over time by the oceans. This has benefited us by slowing the climate change these emissions would have instigated if they had remained in the air. But relatively new research is finding that the introduction of massive amounts of CO2 into the seas is altering water chemistry and affecting the life cycles of many marine organisms, particularly those at the lower end of the food chain.
When carbon dioxide dissolves in this ocean, carbonic acid is formed. This leads to higher acidity, mainly near the surface, which has been proven to inhibit shell growth in marine animals and is suspected as a cause of reproductive disorders in some fish.
On the pH scale, which runs from 0 to 14, solutions with low numbers are considered acidic and those with higher numbers are basic. Seven is neutral. Over the past 300 million years, ocean pH has been slightly basic, averaging about 8.2. Today, it is around 8.1, a drop of 0.1 pH units, representing a 25-percent increase in acidity over the past two centuries.
The oceans currently absorb about a third of human-created CO2 emissions, roughly 22 million tons a day. Projections based on these numbers show that by the end of this century, continued emissions could reduce ocean pH by another 0.5 units. Shell-forming animals including corals, oysters, shrimp, lobster, many planktonic organisms, and even some fish species could be gravely affected.
Equally worrisome is the fact that as the oceans continues to absorb more CO2, their capacity as a carbon storehouse could diminish. That means more of the carbon dioxide we emit will remain in the atmosphere, further aggravating global climate change.
Scientific awareness of ocean acidification is relatively recent, and researchers are just beginning to study its effects on marine ecosystems. But all signs indicate that unless humans are able to control and eventually eliminate our fossil fuel emissions, ocean organisms will find themselves under increasing pressure to adapt to their habitat's changing chemistry or perish.
Big Melt Expected for Canadian
protection vanishes, too. The ground will then absorb more sunlight, increasing local temperature. In a 3-degree Celsius warmed world, the temperature around the Canadian ice caps is expected to rise more like 14.4 degrees F (8 degrees C), due to that feedback.
If a fifth of the Arctic Archipelago glacial ice melts, the resulting sea-level rise would be 1.4 inches (3.5 cm), the researchers found. It's a significant contribution from an area that doesn't always get much attention in climate discussions.
"Most attention goes out to Greenland and Antarctica, which is understandable, because they are the two largest ice bodies in the world," study researcher Michiel van den Broeke of Utretcht University said in a statement. "However, with this research we want to show that the Canadian ice caps should be included in the calculations."
‘Huge consequences’ of climate change, Syrian crisis must be faced, Ban tells think tank
“Fighting rages. Sectarian hatred is on the rise. The catalogue of war crimes is mounting. Sexual violence is widespread,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking of the conflict in Syria in an address to a major United States think tank on Monday.
In his remarks, Ban Ki-moon highlighted Syria and climate change as two major issues that threatened huge, global consequences and called for the international community to uphold its responsibilities in facing them.
“In both cases, the international community is not upholding its responsibilities,” Mr. Ban told the Council on Foreign Relations as he delivered the Sorensen Distinguished Lecture of that group, in an event moderated by news anchor Christiane Amanpour.
“Both risk the harsh judgement of history should present trends continue. And both require collective action that must involve the United States,” Mr. Ban said in the talk, during which he announced plans to visit Washington D.C. later this week for talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and other government officials.
“Syria is self-destructing,” he said of the nearly two-year old conflict between President Bashar al-Assad and its opposition, which has left more than 60,000 people, mostly civilians, dead and more than four million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
“The situation cries out for action by the Security Council in particular,” he said. “The Security Council must no longer stand on the sidelines, dead-locked, silently witnessing the slaughter. It must be willing, at long last, to come together and establish the parameters for the democratic transition that could save Syria.”
Urging both the Security Council and Syrian authorities to respond positively to the offer tendered by opposition leader Moaz al Khatib to open discussions with the Assad government, he said: “We need to find a way towards negotiations between empowered Government and opposition delegations that can make key decisions about the country’s future.”
In that light and in the context of the broader Arab world and elsewhere, he cautioned, however, that “people want real change, not grudging, cosmetic adjustments,” and that current troubles in Egypt and Libya should not be seen as proof that the old order was a better one.”
A positive outcome to such changes required “close and patient engagement,” he said: “The international community has a duty to accompany these transitions with meaningful contributions.”
Turning next to what he called “the gathering threat of climate change,” he noted that scientists have long sounded the alarm on what he called the gathering threat,” stressing that the potential consequences were well known, including “a downward global spiral of extreme weather and disaster,” along with development reversals, increased displacement, aggravated tensions over resources and destabilization of fragile states.
Despite the dire possibilities, he said, however that, “Too many leaders seem content to keep climate change at arm’s length, and in its policy silo. Too few grasp the need to bring the threat to the centre of global security, economic and financial management.”
“It is time to move beyond spending enormous sums addressing the damage, and to make the investments that will repay themselves many times over,” he said, noting the potential of the renewable industry to do that and to spur the world economy, as proposed in his Sustainable Energy for All initiative.
“A global climate change agreement would give us the engine we need to advance us decisively on this path,” he stressed, welcoming US President Barack Obama’s “new resolve” to address climate change and give it high political priority.
Calling for government and business leaders to mobilize the political will for a global, legally binding climate change agreement by 2015, he said. “World leaders have pledged to reach an agreement, and we must hold them to that promise.”
Urging world leaders to strengthen and utilize the United Nations in facing both urgent challenges and others facing the world, he warned, however, that “International machinery does not operate on its own. Hardware requires programmers.”
“We need national leaders who think globally. We need a stronger sense of collective responsibility. And we need the United States,” he said.
Climate change deniers 'dogmatic and blinkered'
Evidence for man-made global warming "screams out from decade upon decade of research" and people who still deny it are "dogmatic and blinkered", the Climate Change secretary will claim today.
By Nick Collins, Science Correspondent
Speaking at a Royal Society symposium, Ed Davey will argue that the science of climate change is "irrefutable" and man is making a "significant" contribution to rising global temperatures.
He will also attack man-made climate change deniers, claiming they "want us to take a huge gamble with the future of every human being on the planet, every future human being, our children and grandchildren, and every other living species."
The Lib Dem MP will say: "Two hundred years of good science – teasing out uncertainties, considering risk – has laid the foundation of what we now understand. It screams out from decade upon decade of research.
"The basic physics of climate change is irrefutable. Greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere and cause changes to the climate. Human activity is significantly contributing to the warming of our planet."
The AVOID symposium will see leading scientists debating the likely impacts of climate change on the planet, and will also feature a speech by Sir John Beddington, the government's chief scientist.
Experts will emphasise the importance of preventing any global temperature increase above 2C, and warn that emissions must begin to drop within the next few years to have a chance of reaching that goal.
Calling for greener energy and transport systems, Mr Davey will praise international efforts to reach an agreement on carbon emissions and describe the next three years as "critical" in the attempt to reduce greenhouse gases.
But he will also play down the role of politicians, arguing that the public and in particular scientists must take responsibility for "saving the planet".