Global Warming odds and ends

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Living in California, I’m always seeing bumper stickers that say, “Keep Tahoe Blue”.. and well……. looks like they’re losing.

RENO, Nev. – A new study predicts water circulation in Lake Tahoe is being dramatically altered by global warming, threatening the lake’s delicate ecosystem and famed clear waters.

The University of California, Davis study said one likely consequence is warmer lake temperatures that will mean fewer cold-water native fish and more invasive species – like carp, largemouth bass and bluegill.

“What we expect is that deep mixing of Lake Tahoe’s water layers will become less frequent, even nonexistent, depleting the bottom waters of oxygen,” said Geoffrey Schladow, director of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at U.C. Davis.

snip

The changes, the study concluded, could turn Tahoe’s famed cobalt-blue waters to a murky green in about a decade.

A decade. Sad. I hope they’re wrong but we’ll find out soon enough, right? I’ve never really liked going in the water because it’s always crowded (herds of tourists…bleh), but the views from the mountains up above are absolutely beautiful. It’ll probably still be nice, but the fact that we’re damaging one of the landmarks that defines the Sierras is just devastating.

In other global warming news, another hugeass chunk of ice has fallen off the Antarctic shelf. Diarist stormchaser made a deeper post about this earlier.

WASHINGTON – A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said Tuesday.

Satellite images show the runaway disintegration of a 160-square-mile chunk in western Antarctica, which started Feb. 28. It was the edge of the Wilkins ice shelf and has been there for hundreds, maybe 1,500 years.

This is the result of global warming, said British Antarctic Survey scientist David Vaughan.

Vaughan likened the event to a hammer hitting hardened glass. The rest of the shelf is still in danger.

The rest of the Wilkins ice shelf, which is about the size of Connecticut, is holding on by a narrow beam of thin ice. Scientists worry that it too may collapse. Larger, more dramatic ice collapses occurred in 2002 and 1995.

Melting ice, rising sea levels, which takes me to our next story…

A new report warning that 6 coastal cities in India could drown in the next 100 years.

Professor Sudhir Chella Rajan of IIT Madras, in his study report – ‘Climate Migrants in South Asia: Estimates and Solutions’ – says if global temperature continues to rise at the present rate, nearly 10 million people living in coastal areas in Tamil Nadu would be rendered homeless by 2100.

Global NGO Greenpeace released a copy of Rajan’s study report here on Tuesday. Focussing on the report, Greenpeace activist Natasha Chandy said that an exodus of at least 125 million people, 75 million from Bangladesh and 50 million from India, could become a distinct possibility in the not too distant future.

The study says global temperature could rise by five degrees celsius by the end of the century if global warming remains unchecked and lead to a five metre sea-level rise. It says six Indian coastal cities, including Chennai, would be directly affected.

Maybe we should have saved the term “housing crisis” for later…

More information available at Greenpeace India.

Lastly, a new report about how we should approach the problem. To fight the soot or to fight the CO2, that is the question.

Black carbon pollution, or soot, produced by burning wood, coal, cow dung and diesel fuel, may be a much greater contributor to global warming than previously suspected, according to a study released this week.

The report concludes that the atmospheric warming effect of black carbon pollution is as much as three to four times the consensus estimate released last year in a report by the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The findings are of concern to areas such as the Indian subcontinent, where retreating glaciers in the Himalayas have the potential to flood densely populated areas and affect the drinking water of billions of people.

Unlike carbon dioxide, which traps solar energy radiating back from Earth’s surface, black carbon particles absorb solar radiation as it enters Earth’s atmosphere, increasing its heat. In addition, when they precipitate onto snowy areas, they increase heat absorption that leads to glacial melting.

Full report here (warning: heavy science jargon).

Props if you made it through this whole post. I’d like to close with something upbeat, but I got nothin. I see no good news. This issue reminds me of an old Metallica lyric:

Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel

Was just a freight train coming your way

Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel

Was just a freight train coming your way

It’s coming your way

It’s coming your way

Here it comes

5 comments

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  1. also available in blue, not murky green.

    • Mu on March 26, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Maybe Hannity or Boortz or Limbaugh or some other Know-Nothing Global Warming Denier has their 3rd or 4th vacation home (bought with the dollars generated by their sheeple) at Tahoe.  The gene lacking in such assclowns is the empathy one:  not until something directly and negatively impacts on their lives do they give a damn about any given issue or problem.

    Thanks for this.

    Mu . . .

     

  2. Republican MN Congresswoman Michelle Bachman is pro-choice on bulbs. I kid you not!!

    The Minnesota congresswoman says people should be free to use traditional incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs, and she has introduced a bill to halt a phase-out program.

    Titled the “Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act,” the bill seeks to repeal the nationwide phase-out of conventional light bulbs, the kind that have been used for more than a century — pretty much since the invention of the incandescent light bulb.

    Her bill, the first challenge of its kind, raises safety questions about the small amounts of mercury in fluorescent lights. It also lands her squarely in the middle of the debate over global warming. In recent remarks to a gathering of Sherburne County Republicans — reported in the West Sherburne Tribune — Bachmann called any human connection to global warming “voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.”

    If this were a Saturday Night Live skit, it would be hilarious. Unfortunately, she’s serious.  

    • kj on March 27, 2008 at 1:55 am

    has called for residential and businesses to shut off their lights from 8-9 pm next Saturday night.  i think the trend started in Australia.  

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