Earth News: Climate Change Alert
From the CBC & Associated Press
Jan 23, 2007
Human-caused global warming is here — visible in the air, water and melting ice — and is destined to get much worse in the future, an authoritative global scientific report will warn next week. "The smoking gun is definitely lying on the table as we speak. The evidence...is compelling." The February report will have "much stronger evidence now of human actions on the change in climate that's taken place." Global warming is already changing health, species, engineering and food production. The scientists are gloomy about the future and the even hotter weather and higher sea level rises expected. The future is bleak, scientists said. "We have barely started down this path." 'When you look at the temperature of the Earth, it's pretty much a no-brainer.'-Jerry Mahlman, U.S. climate scientist.
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CLIMATE CHANGE REPORTS AROUND THE GLOBE
ICELAND could be looking at a new January heat record Wednesday after the end of the cold wave that hit Iceland in early January and stayed until last week. There is currently very warm air above the country, which could result in temperatures up to 20°C in south and southeast Iceland, which is VERY UNUSUAL at this time of year. Even last summer the temperature never reached 10°C 1,400 meters above ground.
BRAZIL - meteorologists affirm that the amount of rain in the country in November and December is already impressive. In the beginning of December - the first Thursday, it rained 51 mm (the equivalent of 51 liters per square meter) in four hours. Places in Sao Paulo city that had never been flooded were submerged. Meanwhile Guaruja, a famous beach in Sao Paulo is facing some problems with strangely high tides. The sea level has risen so that where they used to have 200 meters of sand between the water and the sidewalk now they have almost none. Photo:Waves reach as far as the sidewalk at high tide.
FINLAND - after the very warm year they are having extremely warm winter. "No snow, no ice, instead green grass and buds in bushes - and because there is no snow the darkness is unbelievable!" The changes are just more than enormous. By this time of the year, the temperature in Helsinki normally ranges between -10°C to -22°C, coupled with severe wind. All trees are normally dry and white with snow. The sea and lakes are usually all frozen. But almost all of the above have changed this year around Helsinki. The temperature has ranged between -1 to +11, the trees are unbelievably so green, and no single lake or sea is frozen or appears to show signs of being so at all this year. Photo:No snow on this Helsinki street in January 2007
JAPAN - From mid-January to mid-April, the Sea of Okhotsk is choked with ice fragments drifting their way south to oblivion in warmer climates. The Hokkaido coast is the southernmost area in the Northern Hemisphere to experience drift ice. Hokkaido's drift ice has unfortunately become a casualty of global warming. In the last twenty years the amount and thickness of the drift ice has lessened. The season for viewing drift ice has shortened, as well. Photo: Northern coast city of Abashiri.
CHILE - In the central region of Chile, where most of the country's population is concentrated, the global warming phenomenon has caused abnormally high temperatures during winter, from May to September, and through mid-November some lower temperatures and cloudier days had been experienced since October, when the temperatures are normally higher. The higher temperatures have caused an increase in the rat population in rural areas. This has provoked the appearance of the hanta virus, which is contracted when humans come into contact with areas infested by rats. The levels of solar radiation for January 2006 were higher than in January 2005, and the color used for this period was violet (extremely dangerous). The estimates are that due to the reduction in the ozone layer, by the age of 18, a Chilean has already been exposed to radiation that normally would have been received in 50 years. Sheep farmers in Patagonia noticed that high levels of exposure to UV rays were blinding many of their animals. In the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, glaciers are constantly melting at an alarmingly fast rate, creating large blocks of ice that increase the level of the seas.
SOUTH AFRICA - in central South Africa, they are experiencing incredibly high temperatures. "At the moment the land is screaming for rain, and the statistics are starting to look ominous. The average rainfall measured over 30 years for January here is about 90mm (3.54 inches). So far we've had 0mm, and it's mid-month. In November we had a month's rainfall in a single day and then no rain after that."
Adapting to the damaging effects of climate change, plants are gradually moving to where temperatures are cooler, rainfall is greater, f...