Global Warming Could Spell Doom for Pasta Lovers

Sure, they may be high in carbs, but who doesn’t love their morning bagel, the pasta at dinnertime and the Mac-and-cheese they serve their kids? If you are among those who have to have a serving of rice or bread with every meal, then you might be alarmed to hear that global warming may soon make it harder to obtain the food that has become such a main staple in our diets.

Pasta and bread are derived from wheat
, and scientists are in near unanimous agreement that climate change can have a drastic impact in its production especially as temperatures continue to rise and droughts become increasing severe.

Global warming is responsible for extreme and violent storms as was evident in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Sandy. However, powerful hurricanes and flash floods are not the only worries. Rice, wheat and corn are the foods that most populations around the world rely on. These three are basically crops that grow optimally during the cool season.

Wheat production has declined by over five percent in the last 50 years. This is believed to be attributed to the one degree Fahrenheit increase in global temperatures. Some experts project that wheat production will decline by another 23 to 27 percent by the year 2050 if no actions are taken to curb the rise of climate change. Currently, there is action that is being taken to develop different crop systems that are able to tolerate and thrive in warmer temperatures.

This past July was the hottest recorded summer in U.S. history. This has led to a decline in soybean and corn production, which has caused massive protests all over the world over rising food costs. Unless swift action is taken, out future may be devoid of the food we take for granted today.

Deforestation Just as Big of a Factor to Global Warming as Vehicles and Factories

Most scientists are in unanimous agreement that emissions from vehicles and factories contribute to carbon emission buildup. However, this is only one side of the equation; there are other attributing causes that hasten the effects of global warming that are often not discussed.

Most experts agree that deforestation actually has a more adverse impact than all the emissions from cars and factories combined. According to a study released by the World Carfree Network, smog emitted from vehicles around the world causes about 14 percent of carbon emissions, while deforestation accounts for over 15 percent.

When a tree is cut down, it releases carbon into the air where it combines with greenhouse gases, which is a prime factor in global warming. The problem is that deforestation is often overlooked with much of the resources being devoted instead to creating fuel efficient vehicles and cutting down on overall automobile usage.

An estimate by the Environmental Defense Fund reveals that over 32 million acres of tropical and forested areas were cut down for industrial use between 2000 and 2009.

Of course, preserving tropical areas is much easier said than done. Most of the locals who live near the tropics and Amazon region rely on cutting down trees for their livelihood. Deforestation allows people to make a living by producing charcoal, pastures and timber. In addition to climate change, deforestation is also detrimental to biodiversity as about half of all wildlife species and plants – most of which are not found anywhere else in the world – thrive in these regions.

The United Nations have addressed the issue by developing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation service. This program provides incentives for those who take measures to adopt more sustainable lifestyles that doesn’t involve cutting down another tree. The aim of the program is to outreach to developing nations that rely heavily on deforestation and provide them with alternatives.

Global Warming may Lead to Depletion in Fish Growth

It has been long suspected that global warming has contributed to rising temperatures. However, not very many scientists have really studied the impact that global warming will have on the ocean and its billions of inhabitants.

A team of ichthyologists from the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia have published studies suggesting that drastic changes in oceanographic conditions could lead to the rapid depletion of fish populations.

The study surmised that if global warming continues at the current rate over the next 40 years, the marine environment could be altered to the extent that most fish species and water invertebrates will no longer be capable of maintaining the energy needed for sustainable growth.

The primary problem is the reduction of oxygen content in the ocean. Rising temperatures decreases the water’s ability to hold onto oxygen. Oxygen is critical for a fish’s metabolic and respiratory functions. Less oxygen also impairs a fish’s behavioral and biochemical processes and impedes its ability to swim and even to lay eggs.

Aside from a decrease in population, the size and weight of fish may also gradually begin to decrease by up to 10 percent within the next 40 years. Scientists project that tropical areas and particularly the Indian Ocean will suffer the gravest consequences. Additional factors such as pollution and overfishing can further exacerbate the problem.

Global Warming continues to be a heated debate. Skeptics claim it is a myth caused by hysteria and the liberal media and has no scientific basis. Believer, on the other hand, have cautioned that climate change is directly responsible for severe droughts and variations in weather patterns.

If global warming is as serious as some scientists contend it is, then our scaly friends in the ocean will suffer the dire consequences just as much as we will.

The Effects of Climate Change becoming a Reality

This year has been marred by unusually hot weather. Scientists are attributing this to climate change that has been brought on by man-made conditions.

The assessment was partly headed by James Hansen, the director of the Nasa Goddard for Space Studies. Hansen was present for a U.S. senate meeting in 1988 where he gave a grim prediction for the environment if changes are not made. Now, more than 20 years later, he is saying that the current condition is worse than his 1988 prediction.

Hansen went on to say that he miscalculated how rapidly the rise of global temperatures would lead to extreme weather. Further studies also show that temperatures have risen by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 100 years.

The assessment supports the findings from a separate research that rising greenhouse gas emissions increased the occurrence of severe heat waves, floods and droughts. Texas and Oklahoma have suffered from extreme droughts in 2011. Similarly, Europe underwent a series of heat waves in 2010 with Russia going through the same back in 2003. This is all due to the effects of climate change, according to Hansen.

Even Richard Muller, a scientist and once die-hard skeptic of global warming, has now completely switched on his position, saying that the new data has convinced him that there is a serious problem being brought on by climate change.

Both Hansen and Muller are in agreement and certain that the climate change is completely man-made and brought on by pollution and the the gargantuan consumption of fossil fuels. They say that natural causes can most certainly be eliminated as the culprit

The findings are disturbing to say the least. Unless drastic measures are taken, one can only imagine how much worse the environment will be by the time we reach the generation of our children and grandchildren.

Earth Potentially headed for Irreversible Climate Change

Global warming is an issue that has been vigorously debated for the past decade. Some scientists believe it is a real threat that can cause irreversible damage to the ecosystem, while others conclude that the severity of global warming has been overblown.

For believers, they certainly have a new study to validate their concerns. Anthony Barnosky, a biologist from the University of California Berkeley, led a study on the impact of the biosphere caused by human activity.

The study concluded that Earth is at its “tipping point,” and catastrophic damage on the environment lies ahead unless action on an international scale is taken. The rise of climate temperatures, rapid population growth and the depletion of irreplaceable energy resources are all contributing factors that are suffocating the ecosystem.

Barnosky believes that if the signs are ignored, the planet could be headed for a major climate shift – the same kind of change that caused mass extinction and created a permanent change in the biosphere during the last ice age. Barnosky estimated that if no modifications are made, this tipping point could occur within a century’s time or perhaps even within the next few decades, perfectly within the lifetime of today’ children.

Barnosky and his colleagues have been studying fossil records for the past two years and will present their findings in the next Earth Summit meeting. Barnosky has made some startling predictions. Among these include a possible population increase to nine billion by the year 2050. He also surmised that within 60 years or so, average temperatures may reach an all-time high – the highest starting from the time the first humans walked the Earth.

It is important to note, however, that not all scientists are in agreement with Barnosky’s analysis. Richard Lindzen, a climate researcher from the Massachusetts Institute, called Barnosky’s claims “highly implausible.”

With such differences in opinion among the experts, it is difficult to form an accurate conclusion. While there is no question that climate change is a serious issue, it is a matter of the degree of severity that mankind faces and in what timeframe if drastic changes are not taken.

Preventing Global Warming through Geoengineering

Most scientists are in unanimous agreement that global warming is a real threat to Earth’s ecosystem. All sorts of plans have been proposed on how to put a halt to the planet’s steadily rising temperature.

Researchers are now turning to solar geoengineering as a possible solution. The plan involves adding aerosol to the atmosphere, which will help to intersperse the sun’s solar energy and minimize its effects when it reaches Earth’s surface. The idea is to block out about two percent of the sun’s rays.

Like most plans, this one is not without its side effects. It is believed that putting such a plan into action could potentially whiten the sky during daylight hours, though there is no danger of having a milkier sky.

The research was headed by Ben Kravitz and Ken Caldeira and is published in the periodical for the American Geophysical Union.

Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere everyday through the use of coal and gas from vehicles and factories. This is causing the planet to heat up. Normally, an eruption from a volcano will counteract this effect. An eruption releases particles into the stratosphere and creates a natural shield from sun rays, though the Earth will reheat once the particles thin out. With geoengineering, the idea is to continuously release the particles into the stratosphere through artificial means.

Geoengineering has been tested on small scale environment models. While the plan seems promising, the sky will take on a lighter shade of blue. The sky will be a tad hazier and whiter with a bit of an afterglow from the sun’s appearance.

The human race has already inflicted an irreversible deal of damage to its only home in the last 50 years alone. Though geoengineering is an artificial solution, it may give the planet a much needed lifeline.

The Truth About Global Warming

For a world already torn by various weather catastrophes, the latest caveat from top climate scientists foresees a decidedly grim future: More heat waves, more floods, more droughts and higher costs to deal with them. A draft summary by an international scientific report explains the extremes caused by global warming could eventually grow so rigorous that some locations become “increasingly marginal as places to live.”

The report from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates a change in climate science; that is, from focusing on subtle shifts in average temperatures to concentrating on the even trickier freak events that grab headlines, injure economies and even kill people. Experts on extreme storms have focused closer on the increasing number of super-heavy rainstorms, and not snow.

By the end of the century, the intense, single-day rainstorms that typically happen only once every twenty years now will happen only twice a decade. The summary chapter did not detail what regions of the world could possibly be afflicted by extremes so very awful that they will leave them habitable, marginally only.

There is an 80 percent chance that the recent Russian heat wave of 2010 would not have happened without the added push of global warming. Scientists think that all future hurricanes and other tropical cyclones to have stronger winds, however they will not increase in number and could actually decrease.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel, who studies the climate’s effects on hurricanes, disagrees and believes more of these intense storms will occur.
Well, global warming is not the only villain that will be responsible for future climate disasters.

Al Gore Does It Again

The time has come for the world to face the impending realities of climate change. That is the message which was expressed by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, that recently launched called “24 Hours of Reality.” This event, beginning at 7pm CT (8pm ET) on September 14, and running for 24 hours straight, is a global event featuring 24 presenters in 24 time zones, who “will connect the dots between recent extreme weather events — including floods, droughts and storms — and the manmade pollution that is changing our climate.”

The event comes on the heels of droughts, hurricanes and other extreme weather events that are slamming the United States, and as the country ended the second-hottest summer ever recorded.

The Climate Reality Project, in anticipation of the event has released video advertisements that suggest that when it comes to the climate crisis, “the fat lady is singing and the shit has hit the fan.”

You can watch the “24 Hours of Reality” event on a livestream in English on starting at 8pm ET.

Free live streaming by Ustream

Here is the write up on the Climate Reality website:

What is 24 Hours of Reality?

24 Presenters. 24 Time Zones. 13 Languages. 1 Message. 24 Hours of Reality is a worldwide event to broadcast the reality of the
climate crisis. It will consist of a new multimedia presentation created by Al Gore and delivered once per hour for 24 hours, representing every time zone around the globe. Each hour people living with the reality of climate change will connect the dots between recent extreme weather events — including floods, droughts and storms — and the manmade pollution that is changing our climate. We will offer a round-the-clock, round-the-globe snapshot of the climate crisis in real time. The deniers may have millions of dollars to spend, but we have a powerful advantage. We have reality.

When is 24 Hours of Reality?

24 Hours of Reality will be broadcast live online from September 14 to 15, over 24 hours, representing 24 time zones and 13 languages.

Where is 24 Hours of Reality?

From Tonga to Cape Verde, Mexico City to Alaska, Jakarta to London, people living with the impacts of climate change every day will tell their story. You can experience as much as you like without even leaving your home. Click here to find the location — or locations — where you would like to watch a presentation. Due to logistical considerations, three of the presentations will be broadcast remotely from New York — Tonga, the Solomon Islands and French Polynesia — but will include local footage and information. All other presentations will be filmed on location around the world.

Irene and Climate Change

Is climate change the driving force behind Hurricane Irene?

Kim Knowlton is a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She told the HuffPo:

“No one is going to point to Irene and say this is climate change…But we can say that we are seeing the fingerprint of climate change this year.”

This is in reference to the growing list of extreme weather events which have run amuck in the U.S. this year.

Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms with “more destructive potential” have been linked to climate change as far back as the 1970s, according to Knowlton. Such higher wind speeds and larger quantities of rain are expected to accompany future storms, similar to the one currently pounding the East Coast.

Global warming apparently also redistributes storms, sending them on a northward trajectory. That means cities such as Boston and New York are in crucial danger.

This vulnerability to hurricanes is increased by other factors, some of which are linked to climate change than hurricanes themselves.

It seems as if some of the storm’s worst consequences, particularly the flooding, are being exacerbated by the long-term trend of rising sea levels. According to one expert:

“Sea levels around New York have gone up 13 inches over last hundred years…What that means is that the five foot wall protecting Manhattan is one foot less able to keep water out than it was a century ago. This is going to be a kind of wake-up call for New York City: It’s the first time they’re going to have to evacuate from Zone A, and it’s not going to be the last.”

A Gallup poll released last Friday reports that Americans considered climate change less of a problem in 2010 than in any year past: only 55 percent of those polled thought that it posed a threat to both they and their families. Perhaps that figure will change when 2011 is finished.

The Problem with British Jelly Fish

A foray of jellyfish into a cooling water pond at a Scottish nuclear power plant kept its nuclear reactors offline last Wednesday, a phenomenon that could become more common in the future.

Two reactors at EDF Energy’s Torness nuclear plant on the Scottish east coast remained closed for one day after they were manually shut down due to masses of jellyfish blocking cooling water filters.

Power plants draw water from nearby rivers or seas to cool down their reactors, however, if the filters that keep out marine animals and seaweed are clogged up, the station shuts down to maintain its temperature and safety standards.

Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation said that power plants follow a pre-planned program when such situations occur.

The most recent plant availability data from network operator National Grid showed Torness reactor 1 would be returning to service on July 5 and reactor 2, July 6, although, operator EDF Energy was unable to give a restart date.

Operators often take the opportunity presented by an unplanned stoppage to carry out maintenance work.

A spokesman for Britain’s largest nuclear power operator, EDF Energy, said:

“We are working to clear the jellyfish from the waters near the power station. This work, as well as monitoring the area for more jellyfish, is ongoing.”


Scientists say jellyfish obstructing power plants is not a common occurrence in England, though it has happened more often in other countries like Japan.

Water temperatures off the east coast of Scotland are currently 13 degrees Celsius, that is one degree above average levels for this time of the year.

Increasing global warming and fishing activity are giving jellyfish populations a boost, potentially making jellyfish invasions at nuclear power plants located near the open sea increasingly common in the future.