PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet CLIMATE SCARES & CLIMATE CHANGE - 20 February 2002
--------------------------------------------------------


"2001: The global average annual temperature of the lower atmosphere
was 0.055C above the long-term (1979-1998) mean. The temperature averaged
over the Northern Hemisphere was 0.125C above the 20-year average,
while the temperature averaged over the Southern Hemisphere was
0.015C below the 1979-1998 average. This marked the third year in a row
that temperatures averaged south of the equator were below normal, and the
8th time in the last 10 years. Although the Southern hemisphere
shows a slight cooling trend, and the Northern Hemisphere shows some
warming, none of the trends is statistically significant - meaning that
you cannot reliably rule out the possibility that they result from random
assemblage alone."
--World Climate Report, 25 February 2002


(1) GLOBAL SATELLITE TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS: 2001 WAS UNREMARKABLE YEAR
    World Climate Report, 25 February 2002

(2) CLIMATE VARIABILITY NOT VARYING
    World Climate Report, February 2002

(3) MILLENNIAL-SCALE CLIMATIC OSCILLATIONS IN CENTRAL CHILE
    CO2 Science Magazine, 20 February 2002

(4) GLOBAL CLIMATE SHIFT LINKED TO GREENHOUSE
    Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

(5) GLOBAL SEA LEVELS LIKELY TO RISE HIGHER IN 21ST CENTURY THAN PREVIOUS
PREDICTIONS
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(6) SCIENTISTS SAY POLAR WARMING CONTINUES WITH ICE MASS LOSSES
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(7) IN THE MEANTIME: COLD SPELL THREATENS SIBERIA'S BIG CATS
    BBC Online News, 18 February 2002


==================
(1) GLOBAL SATELLITE TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS: 2001 WAS UNREMARKABLE YEAR

>From World Climate Report, 25 February 2002
http://www.co2andclimate.org/climate/v7n12/track.htm

This temperature update presents an annual summary of the NASA satellite
measurements of monthly temperature anomalies-the difference between the
observed values and the 1979-1998 mean values. Global satellite measurements
are made from a series of orbiting platforms that sense the average
temperature in various atmospheric layers. Here, we present the lowest
level, which matches nearly perfectly with the mean temperatures measured by
weather balloons in the layer between 5,000 and 28,000 feet. The satellite
measurements are considered accurate to within 0.01C and provide more
uniform coverage of the entire globe than surface measurements, which tend
to concentrate over land.

2001: The global average annual temperature of the lower atmosphere was
0.055C above the long-term (1979-1998) mean. The temperature averaged over
the Northern Hemisphere was 0.125C above the 20-year average, while the
temperature averaged over the Southern Hemisphere was 0.015C below the
1979-1998 average. This marked the third year in a row that temperatures
averaged south of the equator were below normal, and the 8th time in the
last 10 years. Figure 1 shows the 23-year annual temperature history of each
of these regions. Although the Southern hemisphere shows a slight cooling
trend, and the Northern Hemisphere shows some warming, none of the trends is
statistically significant-meaning that you cannot reliably rule out the
possibility that they result from random assemblage alone.

Figure 2 [ http://www.co2andclimate.org/climate/v7n12/track.htm ] shows the
spatial patterns of hemispheric (Western and Eastern this time) temperature
departures for 2001. Temperatures in the tropical regions were generally
below average, while temperatures in the temperate regions were typically
warmer than normal. The largest warm anomaly was experienced across most of
Canada, with temperatures anomalies there exceeding 1C. Most of the rest of
the world witnessed temperatures within a degree or so of average. All in
all, 2001 was not a remarkable year (at least in terms of lower atmospheric
temperatures).

===============
(2) CLIMATE VARIABILITY NOT VARYING

>From World Climate Report, February 2002
http://www.co2andclimate.org/climate/v7n12/hot.htm

A favorite scare story among global warming true believers is that climate
is becoming more extreme. But as usual, this tale of climate terror doesn't
have a dollop of data to support it in the refereed literature.

In fact, further confirmation that our climate is not wildly flailing about
comes from a recent paper by climatologists Konstantin Vinnikov and Alan
Robock. They looked at a variety of climate indicators to see if they show
any tendency toward higher variability over the period 1901-2000.

Vinnikov and Robock first calculated the linear trend through their data,
and then the departure of each year's observation from the trend line. The
resulting anomalies, which statisticians call "residuals," essentially
reflect how good the linear trend fits the data.

But if the climate were becoming more variable over time, the departures of
powers (squares, cubes, etc.) of the residuals from the linear trend line
should be generally larger in 2000 than they were in 1901. So if climate
variability really is increasing, there should be evidence in those residual
functions.

Well, they didn't find any trends. For example, Figure 1a shows the linear
trend in 100 years of U.S. annual precipitation totals. Precipitation is
increasing across the United States at a rate of about 5.8 cm (2.28 inches)
per century. But the year-to-year variability of rainfall is unchanged
(Figure 1b). This is clearly good news: Precipitation is no more erratic
from year to year than it was in the early 1900s, and agricultural crops
(and golf course superintendents-see article below) sure do love that extra
bit of moisture.

What about floods and droughts? With all that additional rainfall, isn't
flooding more likely? The authors also examined the Palmer Drought Severity
Index (PDSI), which varies from extreme drought (large negative values) to
extreme wetness (large positive values). Across the United States, there is
no long-term trend in the PDSI (Figure 1c) or in the PDSI variability
(Figure 1d). Those all-too-common cries about increasing floods and droughts
simply aren't supported by the data.

The authors also found no trends or variability changes in the Indian
monsoon or the Southern Oscillation Index, which is linked to El Nio.

>From 1901 to 2000, the global average surface temperature increased by about
0.7C. Part of that increase is likely related to greenhouse gas levels. Yet
despite this warming, which would allegedly produce a more variable climate,
there's no data to support that notion. Next time you hear some fearmonger
blabbing about wild climate variations, remember the difference between
climate extremes and climate extremism.

Reference:

Vinnikov, K.Y. and A. Robock, 2002. Trends in moments of climatic indices,
Geophysical Research Letters, 29, 10.1029/2001GL014025.

==============
(3) MILLENNIAL-SCALE CLIMATIC OSCILLATIONS IN CENTRAL CHILE

>From CO2 Science Magazine, 20 February 2002
http://www.co2science.org/journal/2002/v5n8c1.htm

Reference
Jenny, B., Valero-Garces, B.L., Urrutia, R., Kelts, K., Veit, H., Appleby,
P.G. and Geyh M.  2002. Moisture changes and fluctuations of the Westerlies
in Mediterranean Central Chile during the last 2000 years: The Laguna Aculeo
record (3350'S).  Quaternary International 87: 3-18.

What was done
The authors studied geochemical, sedimentological and diatom-assemblage data
derived from sediment cores extracted from one of the largest natural lakes
in Central Chile (Laguna Aculeo), in order to obtain information about the
hydrologic climate of that region over the past two millennia.

What was learned
>From 200 BC, when the record began, until AD 200, conditions were primarily
dry.  This period of time coincides with the latter part of what is often
referred to as the Roman Warm Period (see our Journal Review of McDermott et
al., 2001). Subsequently, from AD 200-700 - with a slight respite in the
central hundred years of that period - there was a high frequency of flood
events.  This period of time likewise coincides with what is generally
called the Dark Ages Cold Period (see again McDermott et al., 2001). Then
came a several-hundred-year period of less flooding that was coeval with
what is generally referred to as the Medieval Warm Period. This more benign
period was then followed by another period of frequent flooding from
1300-1700 - which picked up again about 1850 - that was of the same
timeframe as the Little Ice Age.

What it means
The striking temporal correspondence of these Central Chile millennial-scale
climatic oscillations and those depicted in proxy climate records from
Europe bear testimony to the global nature of this important aspect of the
planet's natural climate variability over two full cycles of oscillatory
behavior. How can anyone doubt the reality and worldwide nature of these
climatic oscillations? Or the fact that the warming of the past century (and
some possible yet-future warming) is nothing more than the next phase of
this ongoing, and anthropogenically-unaided, cyclical behavior, i.e.,
earth's natural and inevitable ascendancy into what we call the Modern Warm
Period?

Reference
McDermott, F., Mattey, D.P. and Hawkesworth, C.  2001.  Centennial-scale
Holocene climate variability revealed by a high-resolution speleotherm 18O
record from SW Ireland.  Science 294: 1328-1331.
 
Copyright 2002.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


=============
(4) GLOBAL CLIMATE SHIFT LINKED TO GREENHOUSE

>From Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

Dear Benny

see http://www.csiro.gov.au/index.asp?type=mediaRelease&id=WarmingUp
Global climate shift linked to greenhouse
New evidence is emerging that greenhouse gases may have tipped the world
into a changed climate pattern, say CSIRO researchers.

regards
Michael Paine

===============
(5) GLOBAL SEA LEVELS LIKELY TO RISE HIGHER IN 21ST CENTURY THAN PREVIOUS
PREDICTIONS

>From Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

Office of News Services
University of Colorado-Boulder
3100 Marine Street, 5th Floor
584 UCB
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0584
(303) 492-6431

CONTACT:
Mark Meier, (303) 492-6556, Mark.meier@colorado.edu
Jim Scott, (303) 492-3114

Note to Editors: Contents embargoed until 10 a.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 16. The
phone number for the AAAS newsroom in Boston is (617) 236-1550. Meier will
participate in a AAAS press briefing at 10 a.m. Feb. 16.

GLOBAL SEA LEVELS LIKELY TO RISE HIGHER IN 21ST CENTURY THAN PREVIOUS
PREDICTIONS

New calculations by a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher indicate
global sea levels likely will rise more by the end of this century than
predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001.

The projected sea-level rise is due to a revised estimate of the ice melt
from glaciers, said geological sciences Emeritus Professor Mark Meier. Meier
presented the findings Feb. 16th at a meeting of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

Meier and CU-Boulder colleague Mark Dyurgerov have collected new data
showing the world's glaciers and ice caps have exhibited significant ice
loss in the 20th century, which has accelerated since 1988. That loss has
contributed to at least 20 percent of the observed rise in
sea level, said Meier.

"Some glaciers around the world now are smaller than they have been in the
last several thousand years," he said.

"The rate of ice loss since 1988 has more than doubled," said Meier, a
researcher and former director of CU-Boulder's Institute for Arctic and
Alpine Research. Dyurgerov also is an INSTAAR researcher.

Meier said the IPCC report might have underestimated the wastage of glaciers
and ice caps around the word -- excluding Greenland and Antarctica -- for
several reasons. The IPPC did not include increases in ice wastage since the
late 1980s, an apparent increase in the sensitivity of ice wastage to both
temperature and precipitation, and a probable increase in melting from
small, cold glaciers surrounding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, he
said.

In addition, new data from colleagues at the University of Alaska show that
huge glaciers on the West Coast of Alaska and northern Canada are wasting
rapidly, said Meier. The melting of these large glaciers has contributed
roughly 0.14 millimeters per year in sea rise over the long-term, according
to calculations by Meier and Dyurgerov, jumping to more than 0.32
millimeters per year during the last decade.

The IPCC, which estimated global ice wastage of only 0.3 millimeters per
year, probably underestimated the contribution of glacier disintegration to
sea-level rise because little data on the large, maritime glaciers in Alaska
was available, said Meier. But this region is the largest contributor to
sea-level rise, he said.

"The sensitivity of glacier melt to temperature rise depends largely on
precipitation, which in some 'glaciered' areas like southern coastal Alaska
has been greatly under-measured," said Meier.

"The large glaciers of Alaska and adjacent Canada currently are contributing
about half of the rate of global ice loss, exclusive of Greenland and
Antarctic ice sheets," said Meier. "But they contain only 17 percent of the
glacier ice area."

The new data suggests the IPCC calculation for the 21st century -- a total
of 0.16 to 0.36 feet -- was an underestimate, said Meier. He calculated that
glacier melting could contribute 0.65 feet or more to sea level this
century.

The IPCC estimated that other processes such as ocean warming would cause an
additional 0.36 feet to 1.4 feet of sea-level rise by the year 2100, Meier
said.

"These estimates in sea-level rise may seem small, but a 1-foot rise in sea
level typically will cause a retreat of shoreline of 100 feet or more, which
would have substantial social and economic impacts," Meier said.

Meier said that in the United States, some large coastal cities like Houston
"are not much above sea level now." He also said island nations such as
Seychelles off the West Coast of Africa and Kiribati southwest of Hawaii are
within a meter of being inundated by sea rise.

In addition, sea rise of only 1 meter in Bangladesh would put one-half of
the nation underwater, displacing more than 100 million people.

================
(6) SCIENTISTS SAY POLAR WARMING CONTINUES WITH ICE MASS LOSSES

>From Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

Office of News Services
University of Colorado-Boulder
3100 Marine Street, 5th Floor
584 UCB
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0584
(303) 492-6431

CONTACT:
Ted Scambos, (303) 492-1113
Mark Serreze, (303) 492-2963
Annette Varani, (303) 492-5952
Jim Scott, (303) 492-3114

Feb. 17, 2002

SCIENTISTS SAY POLAR WARMING CONTINUES WITH ICE MASS LOSSES

Despite regional differences, continued study of a broad spectrum of
evidence lends credence to climate warming theories, say climatologist Mark
Serreze and glaciologist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data
Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center is part of the Cooperative Institute
for Research in Environmental Sciences, based at CU-Boulder. Serreze and
Scambos presented the finding at a meeting of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science in Boston Feb. 16th.

In summer 2000, an international team of scientists led by Serreze released
results of a study documenting widespread environmental changes over the
Arctic. As part of their study, they noted late 20th century Arctic
temperatures were the warmest in 400 years.

"Recent data show more of the same," Serreze said. "We're seeing significant
surface air temperature increases over the Arctic Ocean, accompanied not
only by an 18-year downturn in ice cover over the Atlantic Ocean but by a
record reduction in ice cover over the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in late
summer 1998." Arctic sea ice cover also is thinning significantly.

Results for 2000 showed that global mean temperatures have risen 1 degree
Fahrenheit over the past 100 years, while parts of northern North America
and northern Eurasia warmed much more in the winter months over the past 30
years.

Funded by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs, the
climate study made a sweeping examination of existing evidence for recent
environmental change in the northern high latitudes. It compared findings to
climate model predictions of human-induced greenhouse warming.

The researchers assessed a wide body of long-term data including
temperatures, sea ice and ocean structure, snow and glacier cover, and
atmospheric circulation.

The picture in Antarctica parallels northern ice reductions. "Ice shelves
that have been stable for centuries are being lost over a spectacularly
short period of time," said scientist Ted Scambos. "After hundreds of years
in the making, it took only one decade of high summer temperatures to see
the destruction of both the Larsen A and Larsen B ice shelves."

Scambos said that this process may indicate that other, larger ice shelves
are more vulnerable than previously believed.

"After several years of gradual reductions in extent, Larsen A was lost in
about a week at the end of January 1995," he said. "Over 1,700 square
kilometers of ice shelf disintegrated in a single storm event. For weeks
afterward, a plume of smaller icebergs was visible in satellite images,
drifting away from the Antarctic Peninsula."

According to Scambos, starting in early 1998 and accelerating in 1999 and
2000, the Larsen B ice shelf also began to retreat, losing more than 2,400
square kilometers.

"The retreats and melting are due to a very strong climatic warming trend,"
Scambos said. "Mean temperatures in the peninsula have increased 2.5 degrees
Celsius over the last 50 years."

After a study funded by NASA's Office of Earth Sciences, Scambos and
colleagues Christina Hulbe of Portland State University and Mark Fahnestock
of the University of Maryland, have proposed that Antarctic ice shelves are
at risk when summer melting reaches the point at which melt-ponds form on
the ice surface.

When ice shelves are not compressed between adjoining land masses, they are
susceptible to surface cracking. Cracks admit water that wedges in and
shatters the ice, rapidly making it weak.

To initiate the extensive melting needed to form ponds, a mean summer
temperature of about minus 1 C is needed -- typical in January in the
Southern Hemisphere.

This model of warming, ponding and disintegration means that several ice
shelves are more at risk than previously believed, Scambos said. In
particular, the giant Ross Ice Shelf, a region of floating ice about the
size of Texas, has areas with mean January temperatures only a few degrees
below the ponding threshold.

If a warming trend similar to that experienced in the Antarctic Peninsula
were to occur for the Ross, the ponding and disintegration process could
begin there. Closer to the threshold are the Wilkins and George VI ice
shelves, where some ponding and retreat have already begun.

For more information on Antarctic ice shelves, see the National Snow and Ice
Data Center Web site at http://nsidc.org/iceshelves/index.html

=============
(7) IN THE MEANTIME: COLD SPELL THREATENS SIBERIA'S BIG CATS

>From BBC Online News, 18 February 2002
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1827000/1827088.stm
 
The tigers' prey could be wiped out by the deep snow

Fears are growing for the survival of endangered leopards and tigers in
Russia's Far East, as freak weather conditions threaten them with
starvation.

Heavy snowfalls in the Primorski region could all but wipe-out the deer and
boar which the Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard feed on.

Only about 350 Siberian tigers and 40 Siberian leopards still exist in the
world - all of them in the region.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has been taking emergency measures to
try to save the Sika deer, Roe deer and wild boars affected by the snows.

Poacher danger

Snow in the region is up to 1.5 metres deep. The deer already find it
difficult to find food in the forest with snow-levels of 40 centimetres.

Up to 100,000 animals have been left without food.

WWF predicts that between 80% and 90% of the deer and boar in the south-west
of the region could die.

Reports also say that the animals, weakened by hunger, have become easy prey
for poachers.

Environmentalists have cleared 150 kilometres of road to bring in several
tonnes of food into the region and have been cutting tree branches to
provide grazing.

Copyright 2002, BBC

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