NOAA officialy admits significant global warminggreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
CBS Federal officials say we're already seeing the impact, including more floods.
CBS For the first time, scientists are saying there is no other explanation but global warming for record-high temperatures across the country, says a top U.S. official.
January, February, and March temperatures in the United States were the warmest ever in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 106 years of record keeping.
And 30 states - from just west of the Rockies to New England - were much warmer than normal, with many areas still in the grid of a long drought.
NOAA Director James Baker says, "The scientists are now telling us they can't explain what we have seen without including a significant part of global warming. They have never said that before. This is a very significant fact - it's a wake up call really."
Federal officials say we're already seeing the impact, a significant increase in severe weather damage over the past decade. There have been more floods and more droughts, and now scientists say get ready for hurricanes with more destructive power.
Baker says, "Water is the engine of hurricanes so a warmer ocean leads to stronger winds, stronger hurricanes."
And there is another threat for cities on or near the coast, particularly New Orleans, which is already below sea level. Global warming will raise sea levels as much as 5 feet over the next century.
The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, James Lee Witt, says,"If you had a Category 4 hurricane that hit New Orleans, which we have all tried to prepare for, with a 4-foot storm surge, you'd have 20-feet of water in New Orleans - that's frightening."
While there may still be some debate about what is causing global warming, climate watchers have no doubt it's real. Federal officials say it's time now to prepare for the consequences: everything from extended drought, to rising sea levels, that will threaten major cities.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 2000
May 4 2000 UNITED STATES Oceans at hottest for 3,000 years
BY NICK NUTTALL, ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT
MANY of the world's seas are at their hottest for at least 3,000 years, scientists say. They blame man-made global warming on top of the natural phenomenon El Niqo.
A team of American researchers studied corals from South America to Australia. In 1998 high surface sea temperatures bleached a large number of coral reefs and killed many.
El Niqo was a slackening of strong winds that normally pile up warmer waters in the western Pacific, allowing colder water to move in. Without this movement, surface temperatures remained high.
Global warming made the effect worse. The team, from the Smithsonian Institution and the Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory in Alabama, says in the journal Nature: "There is growing concern that global climate change is degrading coral reef ecosystems."
Bleaching is when a reef suffering heat stress expels the algae upon which living corals depend. Some of the worst-hit reefs were in the Caribbean, where sea temperatures rose as high as 31.5C for depths of up to ten metres. The scientists took cores from nine reefs in Belize and radio carbon-dated them, which yielded 3,000 years' worth of information.
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), May 03, 2000.