Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekly Global Warming News

It boggles the mind how climate science deniers can sleep at night. I find myself wondering do they have children? Do they want grandchildren? Are they heartless, mindless whores? Do they beat their wives? I can understand why the fossil fuel companies are in there fighting but not the right-wingers who blindly support them selectively choosing the bits of science they're going to believe (peer reviewed or not) as long as it support what they already believe.

 A case in point would be Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli who has used his position to continually attack scientist Michael Mann claiming he used falsified data. he is essentially still arguing about the manufactured scandal referred to as climategate and even though it's been proven that no scientists falsified any data yet Cuccinelli can’t let it go. Cuccinelli claims the scientist Michael Mann abused taxpayer funds, but  it is Cuccinelli who is using taxpayer money to continue this attack with no merit -- his investigation into the distribution of a $214,700 research grant to Mann from the University of Virginia has cost $350,000 so far. Over at the Discover science blog they call it a witch hunt.

Mann's editorial response in the Washington Post to this is whithering, aptly comparing the attacks to ...the pseudo-science that questioned the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer, and the false claims questioning the science of acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer.

As for Cuccinelli's motives for the fishing expedition he writes, The truth is that they don't expect to uncover anything. Instead, they want to continue a 20-year assault on climate research, questioning basic science and promoting doubt where there is none.

The basic physics and chemistry of how carbon dioxide and other human-produced greenhouse gases trap heat in the lower atmosphere have been understood for nearly two centuries. Overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is heating the planet, shrinking the Arctic ice cap, melting glaciers and raising sea levels. It is leading to more widespread drought, more frequent heat waves and more powerful hurricanes. Even without my work, or that of the entire sub-field of studying past climates, scientists are in broad agreement on the reality of these changes and their near-certain link to human activity.

Sadly, Cuccinelli is part of a party that as the National Journal writes, ...is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones. For example British Foreign Secretary William Hague visited the U.S. last week and said, "Climate change is perhaps the 21st century's biggest foreign-policy challenge." He went further noting, "the broad patterns of abnormality seen this year are consistent with climate-change models." Hague it should be noted is the former Conservative Party leader in Britain.



New research by University at Buffalo marine biologists published this week shows ...that certain types of coral will not be able to adapt rapidly enough to survive global warming, says the study's lead author, Mary Alice Coffroth, PhD, UB professor of geological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. Coral reefs are home to 25% of the ocean's marine life and their demise would deprive fish of food and shelter, which reduces reef fish populations and marine diversity. One way to mitigate the effects of climate change on coral is improving the quality of local water:
Florida Institute of Technology coral reef ecologist Robert van Woesik and his student Dan Wagner led the study, which provides concrete evidence for a link between environmental health and the prospects for reefs in a rapidly changing world.
In another study on global warming and the effects on coral just published it was found that tropical corals in the western Pacific Ocean revealed that the depth where warm surface water and colder, deeper water meet, known as the thermocline, is getting shallower. The new study is the first physical evidence supporting what climate modelers have been predicting as the effects of global climate change on the ocean circulation below surface waters. The report by researchers from Ohio State University and the University of Toronto was published in the latest online edition of the journal Geophysical Review Letters.

The latest version of the WWF's flagship biodiversity study called the Living Planet Report which measures the current state of biodiversity, and its ecological footprint assessment was published today.
It warns that a continuation of current trends on a global scale would mean that in 20 years' time we will need the productive capacity of two planets to meet our annual demands.



The report represents one of the most extensive audits of biodiversity carried out anywhere in the world and is based on assessments of almost 8,000 populations of over 3,500 different species.
That's all for now.

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