April 05, 2007

Fierce Scientific Debate Over Global Warming

This is it, all you climate do-nothings and species traitors. The admission. There is serious scientific debate over global warming. Emphasis mine:

... Mr Verolme said that the fact that world leaders would read the report's summary had added pressure for consensus on the wording. "There is discussion whether something is 'likely' or 'very likely', and my sense is that is because people are aware here that heads of state are paying attention. If the text says this is very likely, the response has to be very significant."

... The draft argues: "Impacts of unmitigated climate change will vary regionally but, aggregated and discounted to the present, they are very likely to impose costs." It adds that "roughly 20 to 30 per cent of species are likely to be at risk of irreversible extinction" if the global average temperature rises by 1.5-2.5degC (2.7-4.5 degrees Fahrenheit). ...

Gosh. I feel so dang silly for hyping the coming catastrophic climate disruption all this time. If I had a ruler nearby, I'd smack my own hand. [/snark]

In other news, the already changing climate will be putting nearly a billion people at risk of water shortages, and the impacts of climate change overall are likely to fall hardest on the world's poorest citizens. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. delegation is helping hold up the draft, joining in the carping of the Russians and Chinese over the final wording.

The Christian Science Monitor's evaluation of the report points out that plants and animal species are going to be hit bad, losing habitats to the point of facing extinction:

... What's worrisome is if heat-trapping greenhouse-gas emissions continue to accumulate under the IPCC's "business as usual" scenario, says John Williams, who studies plant dynamics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. If that happens, up to 48 percent of Earth's land surface will lose existing climate zones, he and two colleagues recently calculated.

... In general, "With the small climate change we've already had, 59 percent of the world's species have shown a response on all continents, in all major oceans, and across taxonomic groups," says Dr. [Camille Parmesan, a biologist at the University of Texas in Austin.] Some 70 species have become extinct, largely at the poles or on mountaintops, where cold-adapted organisms have no place left to go as warmth creeps into higher latitudes and altitudes. Others, such as polar bears, are threatened. In other cases, rising CO2 levels are forcing organisms into a new regime where they have to compete for resources. In California, for example, researchers have found that higher CO2 levels have delayed flowering in some wild grasses but accelerated it in wild herbs that share the same turf. This is forcing the plants to compete directly for nutrients ultimately changing the character of the ecosystem. ...

But they're just animals and plants, you know. Screw 'em. We only depend on them for our very lives.

Posted by natasha at April 5, 2007 08:26 PM | Environment | TrackBack(2) | Technorati links |