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Expert Warns World Warming Faster Than Expected

Mon May 13,11:29 AM ET

By Eva Sohlman

LONDON (Reuters) - Planet earth is warming up faster than previously expected, the head of a leading climate research institute said on Monday.

Dying forests, expanding deserts and rising sea levels would wreak havoc to human and animal lives sooner than anticipated as global warming (news - web sites) was accelerating, said Geoff Jenkins, head of the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research.

"It looks like it will be warmer by the end of the century than what we have predicted," he told Reuters in an interview.

Jenkins said recent revisions showed much greater output of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide than earlier estimated. These gases are blamed for global warming.

Warmer weather will generate more droughts, floods and rising sea levels which many fear will create millions of refugees from drowning island-nations and possible wars over increasingly scarce fresh water.

Economies are also likely to take a blow as farming, fishing and business will be affected by the change in climate.

A 2001 United Nations (news - web sites)' report on climate change forecast that global temperatures will rise two to five degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

But recent data suggest temperatures could rise even higher as a worst case scenario shows four times as much emitted CO2 in the atmosphere from today's levels which Jenkins said is significantly higher than previously expected.

Carbon dioxide is blamed for two thirds of all global warming and is largely produced when burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal.


Despite efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent of 1990's levels during 2008-12 under a global Kyoto pact, the amount in the atmosphere is set to rise as warmer temperatures will curb nature's capacity to absorb the gases, Jenkins said.

Half of all CO2 emissions last in the atmosphere for about 100 years, while the rest is soaked up by seas, land and vegetation.

But the opposite effect may kick in as warmer weather and less rainfall in some places will dry out and kill trees which emit CO2 as they decompose, Jenkins said.

CO2-absorbing microbes in the soil are also set to boost emissions as higher temperatures will fuel their activities which produce the greenhouse gas.

"Instead of helping, they will make global warming worse," Jenkins said.

He echoed a warning from the Royal Society, Britain's national academy of science, that present measures to cut greenhouse gases were not sufficient to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

He said temperatures in the UK could rise by seven to eight degrees by 2080 compared with an expected four degree increase.

"We would have to cut emissions by 60-70 percent by the end of the century to stabilize CO2 levels," Jenkins said.

The European Union (news - web sites) has said it will ratify the Kyoto treaty this summer and if Russia and Japan also do so the treaty can come into force without the world's largest producer of man-made CO2 emissions -- the United States.

The U.S., which has the world's biggest economy, rejected the pact in 2001 over worries it would harm its industry.

-- (lots of doom @ coming. soon), May 14, 2002


Antarctic Ice Melt Poses Worldwide Threat

Tue May 14,12:10 AM ET

By Michael Byrnes

HOBART (Reuters) - The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves are cracking up and, on the face of things, it is the most serious thaw since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago.

The break-up of the ice shelves in itself is a natural process of renewal, but the size and rate of production of icebergs -- some the size of major cities -- is alarming scientists, who blame global warming (news - web sites).

The break-off last month of a 500 billion ton chunk of the Larsen Ice Shelf -- 650 feet thick and with a surface area of 1,250 sq. miles -- is the second big break since a giant iceberg broke away in 1995 and is well beyond normal activity, scientists say.

The production of vast amounts of icebergs is a threat to the world's climate and the way the ocean's function, they say. And the process, once started, cannot be reversed.

The fear is that a snowball effect will lead to disintegration of the vast West Antarctic ice shelf, kilometers thick in parts.

"The (first) break-off said 'this is not theory, it's real -- a rapid and dramatic collapse of an ice shelf can happen'," says Neal Young, glaciologist with the Antarctic Cooperative Research Center (CRC) in Hobart.

"This is saying 'that wasn't a one-off thing."'

Significant warming in parts of the pristine Antarctic wilderness is expected to continue to send huge icebergs into the Southern Ocean, and lead to the disintegration of other sections of ice shelves that fringe Antarctica's continental ice cover.

A longer-term effect would be if the disintegration led to a meltdown of the grounded West Antarctic ice sheet, which would cause the world's oceans to rise by up to five meters (17 feet).

-- (humans@committing.suicide), May 14, 2002.

Global Warming Models Labeled 'Fairy Tale' By Team of Scientists

-- hold on (notso@fast.there), May 14, 2002.

LOL, I wonder who funded the research by that "team of scientists". Probably some of Dubya's criminal friends in the oil business.

Computer models cannot possibly predict or prove anything about global warming, we have not been collecting data long enough. What is happening is something that has never been recorded before, but it is happening. Current data shows that, and there's no denying the facts.

-- lol (go ahead @ deny it . until it bites you in the ass), May 15, 2002.

Hows your weather? Same as it was 10 years ago? 30 years ago?

Strange weather patterns in almost every area of the nation, not to mention the world.

As the administration approves more coal fired power plants~~~

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 15, 2002.

LOL, too funny! How stupid can one person be? LOL can be extremely stupid. Let me explain if your puny little brain can comprehend. First you downplay the link above, discrediting a 'team of scientists'. I'm sure you have no clue what a scientist really is, so let me explain that one. They are the ones that specialize in the classes that you ignored in high school. They know more than you, way more than you on the topic of global warming. Second point, why should this 'team' be discredited more than the team who authored the thread's topic? I'll tell you, because they don't support your opinion.

"Computer models cannot possibly predict" Too funny! And you know this because of your vast experience in modeling, right?

"we have not been collecting data long enough." So oh wise one, how does your revered team of scientist collect data to support the doomed view of global warming?

"current data show that [it is happening]" What facts? Weather has always done strange things, nothing new here. Here's a fact, idiot: the Earth has undergone ice ages with incredible cooling. How do you know that we're not in the middle of another ice age coming? You don't moron.

-- Maria (, May 15, 2002.

Congratulations Maria, you've just demonstrated once again what a moron you are! ROTFLMAO!!

-- too funny! (thanks @ for. my morning chuckle!), May 15, 2002.

It's Cherri, allied, if my guess is correct, with LL again.

Assuming it is the same dynamic duo, my fear is that on this thread they are being far less off the wall than on other threads. I fear that we may be playing Russian routette with our future, with whore scientists employed by the energy industry playing a nasty role.

-- Peter Errington (, May 15, 2002.

Just talked Adam down the street into not using his car. He's gonna bike it. Neighbor Amir just smiled at the suggestion. Neighbor Denise listened carefully for awhile but broke out laughing before I could finish. One for 3 ain't bad. Get out there guys!

-- Carlos (, May 15, 2002.

Doc thanks! coming from you it means so much to me.

-- Maria (, May 17, 2002.

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