The Middle Eastern View of Copenhagen

copenhagen

Today opens the two-week round of climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark. From this corner of the world the conference is a meeting of giants – literally, the giant polluters like the U.S. and China, which make it seem like there is little the small countries of the Middle East can do to stop global warming. But Middle East policy makers still have serious goals for reducing dependence on fossil fuels at home. Here’s a brief of the messages coming out of Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Egypt on the opening day of the 192-country Copenhagen conference. Statistics are from the International Energy Agency.

Lebanon: 2007 carbon emissions: 11.4 million metric tons.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced in November he would attend. Lebanon’s tiny coastal location makes it vulnerable to rising seas, and the already dry climate would be battered if the rivers dried up. Environmentalist Wael Hmaidan from the IndyACT green organization (which we covered here) told the Daily Star that even though Lebanon is small, the country must devise renewable energy solutions to reduce its carbon footprint. Further, he said Lebanon has to recycle more than its paltry 8 percent of waste. Regarding Lebanon’s other issues – namely, internal division, Hmaidan said, “If we don’t work on climate change there is no need to work on anything else.”

Lebanon also issued a plea to the rest of the world to get its act together before it’s too late, including reducing emissions by 40 percent in the next eleven years. In a meeting of the Lebanese Parliament and the United Nations Development Program, Lebanon demanded that industrial countries donate to the developing world to lower their carbon footprint, and called for a halt to all ad hoc subsidies of dirty fuels like coal.

Jordan: 2007 carbon emissions: 19.2 million metric tons.

Queen Rania has taken a strong stand on the need for solutions to global warming, and Jordan is sending Environmental Minister Khalid Irani to Copenhagen. The Jordan Times reports the possible consequences to the Hashemite Kingdom: “If climate change continues at its current pace, Jordan is expected to witness a 1-2°C increase in temperatures by 2030-2050, diminished aquifers and oases, reduced green cover and the transformation of semi-arid lands, some 80 per cent of the country’s total area, into arid deserts, according to environment experts.”

But the paper’s environmental writer Hana Namrouqa, while pointing out the catastrophic effects of the industrialized world, didn’t shy away from digging into Jordan’s problematic carbon profile. In November, Namrouqa reported that 74 percent of Jordan’s carbon emissions come from energy production, with most of the rest from waste disposal. Jordanian environmental officials want to jack up renewable energy to ten percent of the national budget by 2020.

Israel: 2007 carbon emissions: 65.9 million metric tons

For the first time, Israel is sending a government representative to a climate change conference (until now green NGOs represented Israel). Environmental Minister Gilad Erdan has decided to tackle Israel’s large per capita carbon footprint (Israel is ranked 30th per capita) by encouraging renewable energy at home and slamming the Ashkelon coal-fired power plant expansion. He also hired the international consulting company McKinsey & Co. to analyze Israel’s emissions; they found that with no further action, Israel’s carbon dioxide levels will double by 2030. Like its Arab neighbors, Israel can expect sparser and less predictable rainfall if temperatures rise. Yet Erdan has not issued any firm commitments on how much the country will shrink its carbon profile.

What the Minister has done, according to the Jerusalem Post, is try to get Israel out of its current “developing country” status – which carries no obligations – and into the industrialized category of Annex 1. This would make any agreements signed in Copenhagen binding for Israel.

Egypt: 2007 carbon emissions: 168.7 million metric tons.

According to a Pew research poll, which surveyed global attitudes toward global warming, Egypt’s population has gotten much more worried about climate change in the last few years: Last year, just 38 percent of Egyptians thought it was a major issue, and this year the figure stands at 54 percent.

Still the Hurriyet Daily News reports that Egypt’s controversial new project to green the desert has raised the hackles of both environmentalists and its upstream neighbors; at a time when global warming may decrease the surface water across Africa, Egypt’s move to divert the Nile to fields has been seen as short-sighted.

For more information, check out the Arab Forum for Environment and Development, which has issued joint pan-Arab statements on climate change here.

(Photo from International Land Coalition)

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27 thoughts on “The Middle Eastern View of Copenhagen”

  1. vbm2424 says:

    very funny. you are the creator of lies….you remind me of Al Gore. How much money are you set to make on this global warming lie? Jesus is more than a prophet….He is the Messiah! Nothing belongs to you except what GOD allows you to have. He can take it all away in the blink of an eye; including your life. AMEN

  2. vbm2424 says:

    very funny. you are the creator of lies….you remind me of Al Gore. How much money are you set to make on this global warming lie? Jesus is more than a prophet….He is the Messiah! Nothing belongs to you except what GOD allows you to have. He can take it all away in the blink of an eye; including your life. AMEN

  3. amenronaldoberhollenzer says:

    ClimatChange is as Vital to Humanity as are >The Four Seasons<, >EcoLogicActivity<, >CleaWater<, >Instinct to Animals< and >The Cognition< that ALL BELONGS TO ME. amenfrom: >The Creator – i know – is also a learned EnvironMentalist<.

  4. vbm2424 says:

    Man made global warming is does not exist. We have climate change and have since the earth was created. God is the creator and only he can destroy it. Cimate change is a liberal lie, nothing more.

  5. vbm2424 says:

    Man made global warming is does not exist. We have climate change and have since the earth was created. God is the creator and only he can destroy it. Cimate change is a liberal lie, nothing more.

  6. tomtruth says:

    I see MSN and MSNBC are posting a story that the AP has reviewed the emails that were made public that the Climate Change people had altered the data to prove there position on Climate Change. Where in the hell did the AP find 9 scientists on it's staff to do this review in order to Poo Poo the story of how the ideaologs promote Climate Change findings. Here read sa real scientific review that refutes the so called consensus on the issue.FAQs and MythsWeather extremes such as droughts, floods, hurricane, tornadoes, and heat waves have become more common. In his recent movie, former Vice President Al Gore, said: “If you look at the ten hottest years ever measured, they all occurred in the last fourteen years, and the hottest of all was 2005.” Climate has been stable for a long time but now is getting increasingly extreme. CO2 is a pollutant. CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas. The greenhouse effect is a bad thing. Modeling the earth’s climate is nearly an exact science. Summers will be extremely hot and dry. The sun is a constant source of energy. Glaciers all over the world are letting because of global warming. Gore claims that sea level rise could drown the Pacific islands, Florida, major cities the world over, and the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. It’s getting hot in here… In 2003 the hottest European summer on record caused more than 20,000 deaths. Extreme heat waves also caused more than 1500 deaths in India. Gore lists ways the United States could reduce emissions of greenhouse gases back to the levels of 1970. The number of category 4 and 5 storms has greatly increased over the past 35 years, along with ocean temperature. Warmer water in the oceans pumps more energy into tropical storms, making them more intense and potentially more destructive. Warmer temperatures could also increase the probability of drought. Greater evaporation, particularly during summer and fall, could exacerbate drought conditions and increase the risk of wildfires. More frequent and more intensive heat waves could result in more heat-related deaths. These conditions could also aggravate local air quality problems, already afflicting more than 80 million Americans. Global warming is expected to increase the potential geographic range and virulence of tropical diseases as well. Is global warming really impacting polar bears? Conclusions Global Warming Quiz Weather extremes such as droughts, floods, hurricane, tornadoes, and heat waves have become more common. Scientists have studied this issue and come to the opposite conclusion: extreme events are becoming LESS common. Atlantic hurricanes were much more numerous from 1950 to 1975 than from 1975 to present. Hailstorms in the US are 35% less common than they were fifty years ago. Extreme rainfall in the US at the end of the 20th century is comparable to what it was at the beginning of the 20th century. Roger Pielke, Jr, in the journal Climatic Change (1999) said “it is essentially impossible to attribute any particular weather event to global warming.” For flooding, Pielke did list a number of important non-climatic factors that have the potential to influence flooding in the future, including deteriorating dams and levees, changes in land use, building in flood-prone areas, governmental policies, as well as other societal influences. Pielke, R.A., JR. 1999. Nine fallacies of floods. Climatic Change 42: 413-438. In his recent movie, former Vice President Al Gore, said: “If you look at the ten hottest years ever measured, they all occurred in the last fourteen years, and the hottest of all was 2005.” The ten hottest years ever measured happened thousands of years ago and 2005 was not one of them. Gore must be using only temperature readings from the 125 year thermometer set, a very short time to look at when one is trying to understand Global Warming, but this period of time suits the environmentalists because it is a time in which temperatures happened to be wandering up. Alarmists refuse to look at the big picture because it shows what they refuse to believe. For the US, the recently revised NASA GISS Annual Mean temperatures show 6 of the 10 warmest years were from the 1920s to the 1950s and only 4 since 1990. The big picture is that for the last eleven thousand years, Global Temperatures have been going sideways while wandering up and down between 54 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In this eleven thousand years there have been five up-spikes hotter than the year 2005. The current rise in temperature is merely a medium size upward movement; of more importance, is the current high spike in CO2 levels, which is the real Hockey Stick of Global Warming. Renowned climatologist Roger Pielke, Sr. has used IPCC’s estimates of climate forcing to calculate the contribution of CO2 to recent climate change. Pielke makes very conservative (worst-case) assumptions in considering the impacts of greenhouse gases, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and solar radiation. This analysis ignores land use changes, which have been demonstrated to affect climate in a significant way, and cosmic rays, which affect cloud cover and thus can lead to significant climate changes. Pielke’s estimate is that CO2 is responsible for 28% (at most) of the human-caused changes. If natural variations do occur (and it’s very hard to argue that they do not) then this value decreases. But even if one assumes that the entire 0.6 deg C increase since 1900 is due to human effects, Pielke’s estimate would suggest a CO2 contribution of only 0.17 deg C. Modern temperatures remain lower than other periods within the Holocene (since the last Ice Age). Geologists and paleoclimatologists believe that the warmest conditions in the Holocene occurred several thousand years before Christ, and that several such episodes occurred. The most recent warm period occurred in medieval times 800-1200 years ago. Richard A. Muller and Gordon J. MacDonald, “Chapter 1: Brief Introduction to the History of Climate” Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes 2000) Climate has been stable for a long time but now is getting increasingly extreme. Climate swings are nothing new. Between 800 and 1300 AD, much of the world was several degrees warmer than today. People grew wine grapes in England, figs in Germany, assorted crops in Greenland. Then came the Little Ice Age, and temperatures considerably colder than today persisted until the climate warmed again around 1900. The likely cause? Changes in the sun’s energy output, or perhaps the Earth’s orbit, say Harvard-Smithsonian scientists Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon. CO2 is a pollutant. CO2 is an essential nutrient for plants. Plants absorb CO2 and release oxygen, while animals inhale oxygen and exhale CO2. Researchers have proven that higher CO2 concentrations enable plants to grow faster and give them better drought tolerance. CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas. Not even close. Most of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor, which is about 100 times as abundant in the atmosphere as CO2 and thus has a much larger effect. The greenhouse effect is a bad thing. The greenhouse effect is necessary for life on earth as we know it, were it not for the greenhouse effect, temperatures on Earth would be about 60 degrees F (33°C) colder than they are at present. The global warming discussions center on the claims that human enhancement of the greenhouse will raise temperatures, and that these will be large compared with natural variations. (http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/ and Sherwood B. Idso, Craig D. Idso and Keith E. Idso, “The Specter of Species Extinction: Will Global Warming Decimate Earth’s Biosphere?, http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/150.pdf) Modeling the earth’s climate is nearly an exact science. General Circulation Models (GCMs) vary by a factor of 3 in their forecasts; they require arbitrary adjustments; and they cannot properly simulate clouds. Their forecasts of substantial warming depend on a positive feedback from atmospheric water vapor (WV). Many of the natural variations (sunlight, El Niño, volcanoes, and so on) cannot be predicted with any skill in the future. (George Taylor, “Science Wake Up Call: There is More Hype Than Truth,” National Association of Manufacturers, May 2004) Summers will be extremely hot and dry. According to greenhouse physics, the effects of increases in greenhouse gases will be much more significant in the driest air. This occurs in the coldest regions (cold air is able to hold much less water, in the form of water vapor, than warm air) ¯ the polar regions, in winter, at night. Temperature effects in tropical or mid-latitude regions and in summer are expected to be much less significant. (George Taylor, “Science Wake Up Call: There is More Hype Than Truth,” National Association of Manufacturers, May 2004). Also see how most all midwest summer heat records are still back in the 1930s 0r 1940shere and here. The sun is a constant source of energy. The sun’s radiation varies over many time scales, from short (11 year sunspot cycle, 20-27 year magnetic field) to medium (170- and 210-year cycles) to long (tens of thousands of years). Northern hemisphere temperature variations over the last 200 years closely match estimated solar intensity, as one would expect. (George Taylor, “Science Wake Up Call: There is More Hype Than Truth,” National Association of Manufacturers, May 2004) Glaciers all over the world are shrinking because of global warming. Actually, this is somewhat true, but it is unlikely that changes in glaciers are affected by recent climate changes. According to the Glacier Program at Rice University (http://www.glacier.rice.edu), the response time to climate changes for different sizes of glaciers are as follows: ice sheet: 100,000 to 10,000 years large valley glacier: 10,000 to 1,000 years small valley glacier: 1,000 to 100 years For very large glaciers such as the Antarctic Ice Sheet, considerable time is needed for the ice sheet to respond to any environmental changes. Changes in climate may take tens of thousands of years before the entire ice sheet has adjusted to changing, and by that time, the climate may have changed again. Gore claims that sea level rise could drown the Pacific islands, Florida, major cities the world over, and the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. Sea level has been rising at a rate of 1.8 mm per year for the past 8,000 years. The IPCC notes that “No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected.” Unless there is another Little Ice Age, they will continue rising at roughly this rate for centuries to come. As to open water in the Arctic, it happens every year in late summer—following weeks in the 40s and 50s. It’s getting hot in here… In 2003 the hottest European summer on record caused more than 20,000 deaths. Extreme heat waves also caused more than 1500 deaths in India. Many of the deaths reported in 2003 were not from the heat. J.R. Stedman, and air quality scientist, reported that 21-38% of the total excess deaths in the United Kingdom claimed to be due to high temperatures were actually the result of high levels of the pollutants ozone and PM10. P.H. Fischer determined that 33-50% of the deaths attributed to the same heat wave in the Netherlands were caused by the same two air pollutants. In the Czech Republic, J. Kysely and R. Huth found that a large portion of the mortality increase that is often attributed to heat waves is actually due to a harvesting effect, which “can be estimated to account for about 50% of the total number of victims.” In other words, as they put it, “people who would have died in the short term even in the absence of oppressive weather conditions made up about half of the total number of deaths.” The real killer in Europe is not heat but cold. According to the UK Department of Health, average winter excess mortality in a normal year in the UK alone is approximately 35,000. There is strong scientific evidence that normal cold temperatures kill far more people than summer heat waves, even severe ones, almost everywhere in the world. And since the primary effect of global warming is expected to be an increase in the coldest winter temperatures, moderate global warming may actually SAVE lives. (George Taylor, “Science Wake Up Call: There is More Hype Than Truth,” National Association of Manufacturers, May 2004) Gore lists ways the United States could reduce emissions of greenhouse gases back to the levels of 1970. Even if the US reduced greenhouse gas emissions to zero it would have no immediate impact on climate. China, India and many other countries are significantly increasing their emission levels, and global concentrations of CO2 may double this century. Even if the Kyoto Protocol could be fully implemented the globe would be spared no more than a few hundredths of a degree of warming. The number of category 4 and 5 storms has greatly increased over the past 35 years, along with ocean temperature. Warmer water in the oceans pumps more energy into tropical storms, making them more intense and potentially more destructive. The 1940s were rather busy, the 70s the quietest, and the 1990s pretty close to the long-term average. A simple linear fit suggests a decrease over time. This is a result echoed by Easterling, et al (2000), who said, “the number of intense and landfalling Atlantic hurricanes has declined.” In the Gulf of Mexico there is “no sign of an increase in hurricane frequency or intensity,” according to Bove, et al (1998). For the North Atlantic as a whole, according to the United Nations Environment Programme of the World Meteorological Organization, “Reliable data … since the 1940s indicate that the peak strength of the strongest hurricanes has not changed, and the mean maximum intensity of all hurricanes has decreased.” Granted, there has been an upswing in the Atlantic since 1995, and since 2004, the bumper crop of storms has struck Florida in numbers and intensities seldom occurring before. A sign of things to come, especially in a warmer world? Not according to Bill Gray’s Tropical Forecast group at Colorado State University. Gray, who has developed successful methods for predicting hurricane activity, said, “Various groups and individuals have suggested that the recent large upswing in Atlantic hurricane activity (since 1995) may be in some way related to the effects of increased man-made greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). There is no reasonable scientific way that such an interpretation of this recent upward shift in Atlantic hurricane activity can be made.” And there is no reason to expect increases in hurricanes due to greenhouse warming. Climate models, for all their problems, are unanimous in at least one respect: they predict that most of the future warming will be in high latitudes, in the polar regions. This will reduce the north-south temperature gradient and make poleward transfer of heat less vigorous—a task in which tropical storms play a major role. All other things being equal, a warmer world should have fewer, not more, hurricanes. Zhang, et al (2000) examined storm activity along the US East Coast over the twentieth century. After stating, “it has been speculated that future global warming will change the frequency and severity of tropical and extratropical storms,” the authors used historical data in an attempt to help predict future trends. Using a variety of indices, including storm surge water levels, the authors found “no significant trend in storm
    activity during this century along the East Coast.” The real problem along the coastline, they say, is not changing climate but changing land use, as more and more development occurs along the shorelines, creating greater susceptibility to storm damage. Gulev, et al (2000) employed NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data since 1958 to study the occurrence of winter storms over the northern hemisphere. They found a statistically significant (at the 95% level) decline of 1.2 cyclones per year for the period, during which temperatures reportedly rose in much of the hemisphere. Warmer temperatures could also increase the probability of drought. Greater evaporation, particularly during summer and fall, could exacerbate drought conditions and increase the risk of wildfires. Kunkel et al. (1999) concluded, they saw “no apparent trend in climatic drought frequency” and “no evidence of changes in the frequency of intense heat or cold.” Climate change is not a major factor because “trends in most related weather and climate extremes do not show comparable increases with time.” More frequent and more intensive heat waves could result in more heat-related deaths. These conditions could also aggravate local air quality problems, already afflicting more than 80 million Americans. Global warming is expected to increase the potential geographic range and virulence of tropical diseases as well. Malaria, yellow and dengue fever are related to the absence of vaccines, pesticides, screens and other health care measures, not to temperatures, tropical disease expert Dr. Paul Reiter points out. Wisconsin had malaria outbreaks in the 1880s; yellow fever claimed 19,000 lives in Memphis in 1878; and 2,000 people got dengue fever in one Mexican border town in 1995, while Texas reported only seven cases. Is global warming really impacting polar bears? In An Inconvenient Truth, the polar bear drowning on a sole melting piece of ice moved a lot of people and public and political pressure encouraged the US Fish and Wildlife Service to add polar bears as “threatened” animals to the endangered species list. In 2002, the US Geological Survey in the Arctic Refuge Coastal plain reported the polar bear population was near historic highs. Biologist Mitchell Taylor of the Arctic community of Nunavit who tracks 13 of those colonies, says 11 are stable or thriving with populations that have increased 25%. There are approximately 19 worldwide polar bear populations, the Fish and Wildlife action was based solely on reviewing data for only one of those populations in western Hudson Bay which has declined by 259 bears in last 17 years. The decline is due to hunting to prevent overpopulation and ironically the Canadian government is looking to increase the quota. (US Geological Survey in Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain 2002, and Dr. Mitchell Taylor, Polar Bear Biologist, Department of Environment, Government of Nunavut , Igloolik , Nunavut , Canada “Last Stand of our wild polar bears” 5/1/06) Conclusions The CO2-induced global warming extinction hypothesis claims that as the world warms in response to the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content, many species of plants and animals will not be able to migrate either poleward in latitude or upward in elevation fast enough to avoid extinction as they try to escape the stress imposed by the rising temperature. With respect to plants, however, we have shown that as long as the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration rises in tandem with its temperature, most of them will not “feel the heat,” as their physiology will change in ways that make them better adapted to warmer conditions. Hence, although earth’s plants will likely spread poleward and upward at the cold-limited boundaries of their ranges in response to a warming-induced opportunity to do so, their heat-limited boundaries will probably remain pretty much as they are now or shift only slightly. Consequently, in a world of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, the ranges of most of earth’s plants will likely expand if the planet continues to warm, making plant extinctions even less likely than they are currently. Animals should react much the same way. In response to concurrent increases in atmospheric temperature and CO2 concentration, they will likely migrate poleward and upward, where cold temperatures prevented them from going in the past, as they follow earth’s plants. Also as with earth’s plants, the heat-limited boundaries of their ranges should in many cases be little affected, as has been observed in several of the real-world studies that have been wrongly cited as providing evidence for impending species extinctions, or their entire ranges may simply shift with the rising temperature, as has been observed in many real-world studies of marine ecosystems. To summarize, both theory and observation paint the same picture. A goodly portion of earth’s plants and animals should actually expand their ranges and gain a stronger foothold on the planet as the atmosphere’s temperature and CO2 concentration continue to rise. If the air’s CO2 content were suddenly to stop increasing, however, the biosphere could find itself facing a significant challenge, as the world’s plants would cease acquiring the extra physiological protection against heat stress that is afforded them by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Consequently, the end result of curtailing anthropogenic CO2 emissions might well be just the opposite of what many people are hoping to accomplish by encouraging that policy, i.e., many species might actually be driven to extinction, rather than being saved from such a fate. 1. “Global warming” is a real phenomenon: Earth's temperature is increasing.a) True b) FalseGlobal Warming” is something that has been happening for a long time. The temperature of the earth has been increasing more or less continuously since the time of the cave man.Approximately 18,000 years ago the earth began a gradual process of warming up after more than 100,000 years of Ice Ages. Much of North America, Europe, and Asia lay buried beneath great sheets of glacial ice. By about 15,000 years ago the earth had warmed sufficiently to halt the advance of glaciers, and sea levels worldwide began to rise. By 8,000 years ago the land bridge across the Bering Strait was drowned, cutting off the migration of men and animals to North America. Since the end of the Ice Age, Earth's temperature has risen approximately 16 degrees F and sea levels have risen a total of 300 feet! Forests have returned where once there was only ice.From a geological perspective, global warming is the normal state of our accustomed natural world. Technically, we are in an “interglacial phase,” or between ice ages. The question is not really if an ice age will return, but when.Don't panic when you hear global alarmists warning the earth may have warmed almost 1 degree in the last 200 years. Although this still hasn't yet been proven, it is in fact exactly what should be happening if everything is normal. If Global Warming stops, then you can start worrying! It means our warm interglacial phase is over and we may be heading into another Ice Age!The “Greenhouse Effect” is real.TrueFalse 2. The “Greenhouse Effect” is real.TrueFalse The “greenhouse effect” helps to moderate temperatures — especially nighttime temperatures. Without the greenhouse effect, the average temperature of the Earth would be -18 degrees C. Greenhouse gases allow sunlight to pass through Earth's atmosphere, but as sunlight strikes the earth it is partially changed to radiant heat. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane help inhibit the escape of radiant heat back into space. That is why the danger of nighttime frost is greater when the skies are clear than when skies are cloudy.3. The main cause of Global Warming
    is:a) pollution from factories and automobilesb) orbital eccentricities of Earth and variations in the Sun's outputc) the Greenhouse Effect How did you know that? Tom Brokaw or Dan Rather certainly didn't tell you. You are obviously up on your climatology!Global Warming occurs in cycles caused mainly by changes in the sun's energy output and the sun's relative position to the earth. Major Causes of Global Temperature Shifts (1) Astronomical Causes· 11 year and 206 year cycles: Cycles of solar variability ( sunspot activity ) · 21,000 year cycle: Earth's combined tilt and elliptical orbit around the Sun ( precession of the equinoxes ) · 41,000 year cycle: Cycle of the +/- 1.5° wobble in Earth's orbit ( tilt ) · 100,000 year cycle: Variations in the shape of Earth's elliptical orbit ( cycle of eccentricity ) (2) Atmospheric Causes· Heat retention: Due to atmospheric gases, mostly gaseous water vapor (not droplets), also carbon dioxide, methane, and a few other miscellaneous gases– the “greenhouse effect” · Solar reflectivity: Due to white clouds, volcanic dust, polar ice caps (3) Tectonic Causes· Landmass distribution: Shifting continents (continental drift) causing changes in circulatory patterns of ocean currents. It seems that whenever there is a large land mass at one of the Earth's poles, either the north pole or south pole, there are ice ages. · Undersea ridge activity: “Sea floor spreading” (associated with continental drift) causing variations in ocean displacement. For more details see:http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/milankovitch.htmlhttp://www.abc.net.au/science/news/enviro/Envir… 4. The Greenhouse Effect is caused primarily by:a) water vapor b) carbon dioxidec) ozone-destroying aerosol sprays Over 95% of the greenhouse effect is the result of atmospheric water vapor in Earth's atmosphere. But because water droplets held in suspension (clouds) make almost as good a reflector as they do a thermal insulator, there is little rise in daytime temperatures due to the greenhouse effect. Any greenhouse warming, if it does occur, is limited to primarily increasing nighttime temperatures, which provides beneficial moderation of nighttime low temperatures, but no increase in daytime high temperatures. Dr. Patrick Michaels, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, has demonstrated this phenomenon very effectively.Did you know…The world's natural wetlands produce more greenhouse gas contributions annually than all human sources combined. 5. Which most accurately describes the effects of Global Warming in the United States over the last 100 years?a) temperatures have risen > 5° C b) temperatures have risen > 2° Cc) temperatures have risen < 1° CTemperatures have gone through nearly two complete cycles of warming and cooling over the last 100 years. During the period 1900 to 1940 temperatures were increasing. Then from 1940 to 1973 temperatures were decreasing. Currently, temperatures are increasing back to about where they were in the 1930's.Overall, the total average annual temperature increase in the last century is so slight the actual amount is uncertain– maybe 1/2° C. 6. How much Carbon dioxide (CO2) is in Earth's atmosphere today?a) 10% or greaterb) 2% to 10%c) less than 1/10th of 1%Carbon dioxide is such a small component of Earth's atmosphere (380 parts per million or 0.038%) that it shows up on the chart below as only a thin line (shown at 2x actual thickness, just so you can see it!). Compared to former geologic times, Earth's atmosphere is “CO2 impoverished.”In the last 600 million years of Earth's history only the Carboniferous Period and our present age, the Quaternary Period, have witnessed CO2 levels less than 400 ppm. Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time Late Carboniferous to Early Permian time (315 mya — 270 mya) is the only time period in the last 600 million years when both atmospheric CO2 and temperatures were as low as they are today (Quaternary Period ).Temperature after C.R. Scotese http://www.scotese.com/climate.htmCO2 after R.A. Berner, 2001 (GEOCARB III) There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example:During the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today.The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm — about 18 times higher than today.The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today– 4400 ppm.According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.7. Carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants damages forests.TrueFalseCarbon dioxide (CO2) is the principal gas that trees and other plants need to survive, just like oxygen (O2) is the principal gas that humans and other animals require. Trees absorb CO2 and release O2– animals inhale O2 and exhale CO2. See how nice this all works!Earth's first, primitive forests made their prolific debut 300 million years ago during the Carboniferous Period . Before then, the atmosphere held far more CO2 but concentrations declined throughout the Carboniferous Period as plants flourished. During the Carboniferous Period the atmosphere became greatly depleted of CO2 (declining from about 2500 ppm to 350 ppm) so that by the end of the Carboniferous the CO2-impoverished atmosphere was less favorable to plant life and plant growth slowed dramatically. Today, CO2 concentrations are barely at 380 ppm (0.038% of our atmosphere) and most of that comes from entirely natural sources.Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not to be confused with its poisonous evil cousin carbon monoxide (CO), which can kill humans and animals in just a few minutes. Life as we know it could not exist without carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.Recent studies indicate CO2 enrichment of 1.5 times the present amount in the atmosphere increases photosynthesis by 45%. Did you know …Carbon dioxide is invisible. The puffs of clouds you see from coal-fired power plants are just that– clouds. Powerplants use steam to drive the turbines which generate electricity. Steam must be cooled and condensed to water to reuse it to make more steam. The fat, curvy towers that look like they are belching white smoke are really only emitting pure water vapor. They are in effect making clouds. The actual exhaust emissions come from the smokestack, which is the tall skinny tower. Because modern technology makes it possible to remove much of the fly ash and sulfur before releasing smokestack gases to the air, smokestack emissons today are often almost invisible.8. Which answer below provides the best explanation for the following temperature record?Industrial pollution from factories, power plants, and cars caused global warmingNatural variations in global temperatures may occur in roughly 500-years cyclesGlobal cooling occurred as a result of the Renaissance
    PeriodThe primary cause of variations in global temperature is due to the cycles of the sun and Earth's orbit about the sun. In addition to 40-year cycles and 500-year cycles, other temperature cycles include:· 21,000 year cycle: Elliptical orbit of the Earth around the Sun (precession of the equinoxes) · 41,000 year cycle: Cycle of the +/- 1.5 degree wobble in Earth's orbit · 100,000 year cycle: Variations in the shape of Earth's elliptical orbit ( cycle of eccentricity )9. Which of the following is not true about an increasing greenhouse effect?a) the consensus of scientists is that the problem warrants drastic actionb) nighttime temperatures may increase, but daytime temperatures will notc) the coldest, driest regions of the planet will warm first In 1989 as the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war were winding down, the Union of Concerned Scientists began to circulate a petition urging recognition of global warming as potentially the great danger to mankind. The petition was eventually signed by 700 scientists. Only three or four of the signers, however, had any involvement in climatology. Richard S. Lindzen, MIT”When a bureaucracy's reason for existence is threatened, it typically generates new missions.” Desperately Seeking Mission: Why the State Department's Gone Green — Peter VanDorenPresident Clinton and others cite a letter signed by 2600 scientists that global warming will have catastrophic effects on humanity. Thanks to Citizens for a Sound Economy, we know now that fewer than 10% of these “scientists” know anything about climate. Among the signers: a plastic surgeon, two landscape architects, a hotel administrator, a gynecologist, seven sociologists, a linguist, and a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. Global Warming Treaty is All Pain, No Gain —Malcom WallopOver 17,000 scientists have signed the Global Warming Petition to express their view that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate.” The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine”It's unfortunate that many people read the media hype before they read the (IPCC) chapter ” on the detection of greenhouse warming. “I think the caveats are there. We say quite clearly that few scientists would say the attribution issue (the argument that global warming is caused by human industrial activity) was a done deal.” Dr. Benjamin Santer, climate expert and contributor to the UN- sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 10. What relationships between sun, temperature, and CO2 are indicated by the chart below?a) Rising CO2 concentrations may have caused atmospheric temperatures to increase. b) Changes in solar activity may have caused atmospheric temperatures to increase.c) Solar activity and Temperature are strongly correlated, indicating CO2 causes global warming and solar variations.CO2 and temperature are increasing, but correlate with one another only in a general way. A much better correlation exists between temperature and solar activity– specifically in the length of the sunspot cycle. For example, between 1940 and 1973 temperatures actually declined nearly 0.2 deg. C, matching a corresponding decrease in solar activity, while CO2 levels were accelerating. CO2 increases may be an “effect” of temperature increases, but are not the cause of them. Variations in atmospheric temperature follow variations in solar activity much more closely than changes in CO2 concentrations. Courtesy of Dr. Tim Patterson, Professor of Geology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada; The Geologic Record and Climate Change. For the same reason that humans are not the cause of the retreating polar ice on Mars, the observed changes taking place with our sun are not caused by humans either. Sunspot cycle length is a measure of solar activity, and appears to correlate closely with temperature. Since the end of the “Little Ice Age,” which spanned the years 1400-1860 AD, Earth temperatures have recovered about 0.5 degrees C, closely following observed changes in the sun.Ice core records spanning the last 400,000 years show that CO2 and temperature have varied and moved together with periods of glacial expansion and retreat. Former Vice President Al Gore relies heavily on the chart below to make the case that this proves that increasing CO2 leads to global warming. However, he consistently omits the well-established (but little-publicized) fact that the temperature changes occur first– on average 800 years earlier than CO2. The CO2 increases are clearly an effect of global warming– not the cause of it! Analyses of ice cores dating back to 400,000 years ago show that CO2 and temperature variations are part of the natural cycle of Earth's climate. But CO2 changes lagged behind temperature changes– not the other way around– by an average of approximately 800 years. Courtesy of Dr. Tim Patterson, Professor of Geology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada; The Geologic Record and Climate Change. CO2 and temperatures have been rising and falling together long before humans built their first campfire. They will continue to do so long after we are gone. Human activity has likely added to the CO2 in our atmosphere but this is not raising temperatures. In Earth's distant past there were ice caps and periods of glacial expansion when CO2 was over 10 times today's concentrations. Increasing CO2 is an “effect” — not the cause– of global warming.Next time someone tells you that increasing CO2 is a threat to Earth's climate, you might just ask:1) “If CO2 is the cause of global warming on Earth, is it changing the sun and melting the ice caps on Mars, too?” 2) “Why, when Earth's atmosphere contained 12X more CO2 than today (4400 parts per million) was Earth's average temperature no warmer than today– about 12 deg. C?WARNING: Be sure not to attempt this if you want to attend a Climate Change conference!Former Vice President Al Gore standing next to his electrically-illuminated chart captioned “600,000 Years of CO2 and Temperature,” which is featured in his road show and movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” and used to illustrate how CO2 drives Earth's temperature.Two important points to ponder:1) CO2 was increasing and decreasing dramatically, long before modern humans appeared on the scene. Why?2) The actual data behind these graphs shows CO2 follows temperature– not the other way around.Mr. Gore is currently the chairman and co-founder of Generation Investment Management– a London-based business that sells carbon credits.

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    Unfortunately climate change, like a lot of other things tends to be discounted until it begins to affect each person in a country or region. Any loss of rainfall could be devastating in the middle east so it makes some sense for them to worry about climate change, even if that puts part of their oil business in jeopardy since it looks like the world is slowly moving to different power sources anyway.

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