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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(4)
Plague/Virus:(4)
Climate Chaos:(9)
Resource Depletion: (7)
Biology Breach:(14)
Recovery:(4)
This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
climate impacts  ~ contamination  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ carbon emissions  ~ water issues  ~ ocean warming  ~ pandemic  ~ toxic water  ~ invasive species  ~ capitalist greed  ~ airborne pollutants  



ApocaDocuments (9) for the "Climate Chaos" scenario from this week
[see full week] ~ [see full Climate Chaos scenario and stories]
Sun, Aug 16, 2009
from BusinessGreen:
UN climate change chief: If we continue at this rate, we won't make it
Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate change official, has today closed the latest round of talks in Bonn with the stark warning that a deal will not be reached at the Copenhagen meeting this December unless the pace of negotiations increases significantly.... He said that negotiators could not afford to lose sight of the scale of the challenge that they faced, reminding them that they needed to recognise that "serious climate change is equal to game over". De Boer also offered a stinging rebuke to those critics arguing action on climate change could be delayed, saying that Copenhagen offered the last best chance of avoiding catastrophe. "As Copenhagen approaches, I keep hearing those who say we can delay action on climate change, that we can survive a rise of more than two degrees in temperature, that we can safely cut costs and safely cut corners, and that there are other priorities that we need to be focusing on," he said. "I believe this is a way to a global disaster. A climate change deal in Copenhagen this year is simply an unequivocal requirement to stop climate change slipping out of control." ...


Do we then get to push "restart" on this game?

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Sun, Aug 16, 2009
from Newsweek:
Birds vs. Environmentalists?
... a growing number of species are finding themselves at the epicenter of a new battle being waged by environmentalists and developers... The encroachers aren't the usual suspects -- say, a sprawling McMansion community developer -- but the environmentally friendly wind-energy industry.. Critics charge that wind-energy development can cause habitat fragmentation -- a displacement of a species that can eventually reduce its numbers -- as well as the deaths of birds and bats (a species that is especially vulnerable due to its low reproductive rates) that collide with the wind turbines' massive rotor blades. A 2007 study by the National Academy of Sciences puts the number of birds killed each year at about 20,000 to 30,000. That's a low estimate, says Michael Fry of the American Bird Conservancy. According to his group, turbines kill three to 11 birds per megawatt of wind energy they produce. ...


If only dead birds could be turned into biofuels...

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Sun, Aug 16, 2009
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Geothermal power search holds promise, threat
On a high ridge in the Mayacamas Mountains, a drill slowly bores into the earth to test a new way to generate electricity. The test, by a Bay Area company called AltaRock Energy, could give the world another source of renewable energy, a valuable weapon in the fight against global warming. It could also trigger earthquakes in a corner of California that already shakes most every day, a prospect that is jangling the nerves of some nearby homeowners... AltaRock will drill below the steam pockets, burrowing into deep rocks hotter than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The company, based in Sausalito, will fracture those rocks with high-pressure water, creating a network of cracks. AltaRock will then pump more water into the cracks, using the rocks to heat the water and create steam. Geologists monitoring the $17 million project say it will create earthquakes, but most will be too small to notice. ...


Say, could earthquakes be a renewable energy source?

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Sun, Aug 16, 2009
from Sydney Morning Herald:
Study links drought with rising emissions
DROUGHT experts have for the first time proven a link between rising levels of greenhouse gases and a decline in rainfall. A three-year collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO has confirmed that the drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change. Scientists working on the $7 million South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative said the rain had dropped away because the subtropical ridge - a band of high pressure systems that sits over the country's south - had strengthened over the past 13 years. ...


The rain was full of acid anyway.

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Sat, Aug 15, 2009
from Canwest News:
Experts: Arctic ice experiencing severe summer retreat
As Prime Minister Stephen Harper heads north next week for what's become his annual summer visit to the Arctic, he will encounter a world scientists believe is in the midst of an unprecedented and irreversible transformation, where retreating sea ice and related environmental changes are radically reshaping the region's future.... In the upcoming days, researchers from around the world will reassess the state of the Arctic Ocean ice cover and gauge whether this summer's retreat -- already viewed as another "extreme" thaw -- will surpass the 2007 meltdown that shocked even veteran observers of the polar realm.... [T]he biggest floes now jamming the fabled Arctic shipping corridor are southward-floating, orphaned chunks of the thickest, oldest "multi-year" ice mass that has been steadily disintegrating -- in North America, Europe and Asia -- along the edges of the central Arctic Ocean.... The region is, Howell told Canwest News Service, "past the 'tipping-point,'" when increasing expanses of darker, open water absorb ever more heat and the diminished ice cover -- normally able to reflect sunlight because of its lighter surface -- melts more quickly. ...


It's freakin' chemistry and physics, you idiot deniers!

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Fri, Aug 14, 2009
from University of Leeds, via EurekAlert:
Antarctic glacier thinning at alarming rate
The thinning of a gigantic glacier in Antarctica is accelerating, scientists warned today. The Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica, which is around twice the size of Scotland, is losing ice four times as fast as it was a decade ago. The research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, also reveals that ice thinning is now occurring much further inland. At this rate scientists estimate that the main section of the glacier will have disappeared in just 100 years, six times sooner than was previously thought.... "Because the Pine Island Glacier contains enough ice to almost double the IPCC's best estimate of 21st century sea level rise, the manner in which the glacier will respond to the accelerated thinning is a matter of great concern," says Professor Shepherd. ...


"Great concern" is only one of the things I'm feeling!

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Wed, Aug 12, 2009
from Penn State, via EurekAlert:
Harbingers of increased Atlantic hurricane activity identified
Mann, working with [others,] reconstructed the past 1,500 years of hurricanes using two independent methods. They report their results in today's (Aug. 13) issue of Nature. One estimate of hurricane numbers is based on sediment deposited during landfall hurricanes.... The other method used a previously developed statistical model for predicting hurricane activity based on climate variables.... Both hurricane reconstructions indicate similar overall patterns and both indicate a high period of hurricane activity during the Medieval Climate Anomaly around AD 900 to 1100. "We are at levels now that are about as high as anything we have seen in the past 1,000 years," said Mann.... "It seems that the paleodata support the contention that greenhouse warming may increase the frequency of Atlantic tropical storms," said Mann. "It may not be just that the storms are stronger, but that there are there may be more of them as well." ...


As if the past was any predictor of the future.

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Tue, Aug 11, 2009
from Environmental Research Web:
Scientists expect wildfires to increase as climate warms in the coming decades
In their pioneering work, Logan and her collaborators investigated the consequences of climate change on future forest fires and on air quality in the western United States. Previous studies have probed the links between climate change and fire severity in the West and elsewhere. The Harvard study represents the first attempt to quantify the impact of future wildfires on the air we breathe. "Warmer temperatures can dry out underbrush, leading to a more serious conflagration once a fire is started by lightening or human activity," says Logan. "Because smoke and other particles from fires adversely affect air quality, an increase in wildfires could have large impacts on human health." ... Using a series of models, the scientists predict that the geographic area typically burned by wildfires in the western United States could increase by about 50 percent by the 2050s due mainly to rising temperatures. The greatest increases in area burned (75175 percent) would occur in the forests of the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. ...


If you can't stand the heat, get out of... um...

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Mon, Aug 10, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Ban Ki-moon warns of catastrophe without world deal on climate change
Climate change is "simply the greatest collective challenge we face as a human family", Mr Ban said in a speech on Monday in Seoul. He urged international leaders to reach a deal to limit their countries' carbon emissions at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December.... "The world has less than 10 years to halt the global rise in greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid catastrophic consequences for people and the planet." He called on governments to "seal the deal in the name of humankind" through a "renewed multilateralism, a compassionate multilateralism."... John Prescott, the former deputy Prime Minister, who helped broker the Kyoto deal, warned rich nations would have to make more sacrifices.... "Copenhagen is a much more difficult nut to crack than Kyoto," Mr Prescott warned, adding rich countries faced having to make a "fundamental change" to their economies. ...


Hmmm... fundamental change by choice now, or fundamental change forced upon us by reality later?

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