PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet CLIMATE CHANGE & CLIMATE SCARES - 24 November 2000
--------------------------------------------------------


"Because cloud cover has an impact on both the reflection of solar
radiation and the retention of heat in the atmosphere,
correlation  between GCRs and low level clouds suggests a link between
global climate changes and cosmic ray flux [...]. The discovery
reveals a convoluted connection between solar variability and climate
change. Fluctuations in the sun's radiative output are generally
dismissed as too small to account directly for global warming and other
climate variations. Periods of intense solar activity, however, lead
to powerful solar winds which shield the atmosphere from cloud-forming GCRs,
potentially modulating the global climate."
  -- The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News, 22
November 2000


"If the burning of fossil fuels is forcing the Earth to warm up, the
rapid rise in sea levels that some expect from the thermal expansion
of the oceans has yet to show itself clearly. [...] Dr Wolfgang Scherer,
director of the National Tidal Facility (NTF) of Flinders University,
South Australia, which undertook the review, told BBC News Online that the
much larger increases in global sea level predicted by some climate models
were not apparent in their regional data. 'There is no acceleration
in sea level rise - none that we can discern, at all, he said."
   -- BBC News Online, 22 November 2000


"The world has not warmed since 1940, according to tree rings, coral
reef and ice core boreholes, one of the world's leading "global
warming" sceptics told a meeting at the climate change conference."
-- Charles Clover, The Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2000


(1) COSMIC RAYS, CLOUD COVER & CLIMATE CHANGE
    Physics News <physnews@aip.org>

(2) WORLD 'HAS NOT GOT ANY WARMER SINCE 1940'
    The Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2000

(3) CO2 EMISSIONS TO SOAR
    The Financial Times, 22 November 2000

(4) MELTING ICE SHEETS 'WOULD THREATEN BILLIONS'
    Ananova, 23 November 2000

(5) 'NO ACCELERATION' IN PACIFIC SEA RISE
    BBC News Online, 22 November

(6) PATTERNS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE OVER RECENT CENTURIES
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(7) PLANTS WARM PLANET
    Andrew Yee <ayee@nova.astro.utoronto.ca>

(8) AND FINALLY: SHOCK, HORROR -  'GLOBAL WARMING SHRINKING MOUNT EVEREST'
    Ninemsn News, 23 November 2000

==================
(1) COSMIC RAYS, CLOUD COVER & CLIMATE CHANGE

From Physics News <physnews@aip.org>

PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE                        
The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News
Number 513  November 22, 2000   by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein         


COSMIC RAYS AND CLOUD COVER. Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) play an important
role in controlling global cloud cover on Earth, according to recent studies
by researchers at the Danish Space Research Institute in Copenhagen (Nigel
D. Marsh, 011-45- 35325740). GCRs, consisting principally of energetic
protons emitted from stars within our galaxy, are a primary source of the
atmospheric ionization which affects cloud formation. Because cloud cover
has an impact on both the reflection of solar radiation and the retention of
heat in the atmosphere, correlation  between GCRs and low level clouds
suggests a link between global climate changes and cosmic ray flux (see
figure at http://www.aip.org/physnews/graphics). The discovery reveals a
convoluted connection between solar variability and climate change.
Fluctuations in the sun's radiative output are generally dismissed as too
small to account directly for global warming and other climate variations.
Periods of intense solar activity, however, lead to powerful solar winds
which shield the atmosphere from cloud-forming GCRs, potentially modulating
the global climate.
(N. D. Marsh; H. Svensmark, Physical Review Letters, 4 December.)
Researchers at the University of Leeds (UK), on the other hand, have
observed a direct and rapid connection between atmospheric chemistry and
ultraviolet light from the  sun (Dwayne E. Heard, 44-113-233-6471,
dwayneh@chem.leeds.ac.uk). During the 97% eclipse of the sun over Ascot,
England, local ozone
concentrations fell to 60% of typical daytime levels, and quickly returned
to normal after the event. The study demonstrates the dynamic connection
between sunlight and the photochemistry of
atmospheric gasses which may contribute to global warming, smog formation,
and acid rain. (J. P. Abram; et al, Geophysical Research Letters, 1
November.)

=============
(2) WORLD 'HAS NOT GOT ANY WARMER SINCE 1940'

From The Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2000
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=001800399222797&rtmo=kCA3Nqbp&atmo=tttttttd&pg=/et/00/11/23/wclim23.html

By Charles Clover, Environment Editor, in The Hague

THE world has not warmed since 1940, according to tree rings, coral reef and
ice core boreholes, one of the world's leading "global warming" sceptics
told a meeting at the climate change conference.

Prof Fred Singer, a meteorologist at the University of Virginia, used
temperature data assembled by James Hanson of Nasa, who first highlighted
the problem of climate change, to challenge the findings of the
Inter-governmental Panel on the subject which underpin the Kyoto climate
treaty.

He said: "The climate has warmed in the last century but this took place
before 1940. The hottest years in America were around 1940. We don't know
the cause of the warming but we don't think it was human activity."

Mr Singer says he has found no evidence suggesting future extreme weather
events, such as severe storms or droughts, increases in infectious diseases,
or changes to forests and other ecosystems. He accepts there has been an
increase in greenhouse gases but believes this has led to "a greening of the
planet, improved agricultural yields and more vigorous forest growth".

He also accepts evidence from temperature records all over the world that
there appears to have been a pronounced warming since 1975, with some of the
hottest years in the 1990s. But he says that satellite records of the
temperature three miles up, which should show a warming, do not show a
warming at all.

He said: "One explanation is that the satellites are wrong. The other
explanation - that is my hypothesis - is that the surface appears to be
warming but isn't really warming at all."

Bob Watson, chairman of the IPCC, has used the surface temperature records
of the past 20 years to claim that the 20th century is the warmest for 1,000
years, but Mr Singer disagrees. He places greater faith in the "proxy"
records of temperature, contained in tree rings, ocean sediments, ice cores
and so on, which he says show no warming since 1940.

He said: "Thermometers may not be quite correct. Proxy records say the
global temperature has not increased in the past 20 years." He believes that
"heat islands" caused by urbanisation have distorted thermometer readings.
He produced graphs from research conducted by the University of East Anglia
and analysis of Greenland ice cores over 100,000 years published in
scientific papers to support his point.

Mr Singer is one of several scientists to challenge the broad conclusions of
the IPCC, a distillation of the work of 3,000 scientists from most of the
leading meteorological institutes. He shared a platform with Richard
Coutney, from Britain's Institute of Economic Affairs, who suggested that
the summary and conclusions of the IPCC's assessment of the climate had been
manipulated by politicians.

Geoff Jenkins, head of the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction
and Research, and a leading figure in IPCC, said: "To say that politicians
wrote the summary report of the Inter-govermental Panel on Climate Change is
rubbish." As to satellite data, he said neither this, nor balloon data,
showed the expected warming in the upper atmosphere.

"There is warming but the models say it should be the same as the surface.
Prof Singer has an issue here that we need to resolve. We don't believe it
invalidates the model's predictions of the future. But it's a weakness and
we need to sort it out."

Copyright 2000, Daily Telegraph
 
===========
(3) CO2 EMISSIONS TO SOAR

From The Financial Times, 22 November 2000
http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT37OQI5UFC&live=true&tagid=FTDH5399UDC

By Matthew Jones
 
Carbon dioxide emissions, which are thought by scientists to contribute to
global warming, are set to increase by 60 per cent by 2020, a new study by
the Paris-based International Energy Agency has found.

The IEA's annual World Energy Outlook, published on Tuesday, says energy
demand will grow by a steady 2 per cent a year, swelling carbon dioxide
emissions by 2.1 per cent annually - one third from power generation.

Petroleum will remain the dominant fuel, meeting 40 per cent of energy
needs, while oil use will increase from 76 million barrels a day to 115
million barrels a day.

FULL STORY at
http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT37OQI5UFC&live=true&tagid=FTDH5399UDC


===========
(4) MELTING ICE SHEETS 'WOULD THREATEN BILLIONS'

From Ananova, 23 November 2000
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_123631.html?nav_src=newsIndexHeadline

Large areas of the Earth's most densely population regions could be washed
off the map by future sea level rises, according to a report by climate
scientists.

The process, partly caused by the melting of Greenland's ice sheet, may take
1,000 years or more but once under way will be "irreversible". a report by
the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims.

New Scientist magazine, which mentions the report, says: "If sea levels were
10 metres higher than today by the year 3000, it would cause the inundation
of a total area larger than the US, with a population of more than a billion
people and most of the world's most fertile farmland."

FULL SCARE STORY at
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_123631.html?nav_src=newsIndexHeadline
 
===============
(5) 'NO ACCELERATION' IN PACIFIC SEA RISE

From the BBC News Online, 22 November
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1035000/1035489.stm

If the burning of fossil fuels is forcing the Earth to warm up, the rapid
rise in sea levels that some expect from the thermal expansion of the oceans
has yet to show itself clearly.
Ahead of this week's global warming conference in The Hague, Pacific nations
were told about the results of a scientific reassessment of historical
tide-gauge data in their region.

The study found that Pacific-wide sea levels had risen at an average rate of
about 0.8 millimetres per year. The trend was measured using only those
recording stations with hourly data stretching back more than 25 years.

Dr Wolfgang Scherer, director of the National Tidal Facility (NTF) of
Flinders University, South Australia, which undertook the review, told BBC
News Online that the much larger increases in global sea level predicted by
some climate models were not apparent in their regional data.

"There is no acceleration in sea level rise - none that we can discern, at
all," he said.

FULL STORY at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1035000/1035489.stm

==========
(6) PATTERNS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE OVER RECENT CENTURIES

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

NOAA

Science Contacts:

C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Chief of NOAA Paleoclimatology Program and
Director of the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology
NOAA/National Geophysical Data Center
325 Broadway E/GC
DSRC 1B139
Boulder, CO 80305-3328
Voice: 303-497-6172   Fax: 303-497-6513
Internet: mark.eakin@noaa.gov
http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/paleo.html

Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Phone: (804) 924-7770   FAX: (804) 982-2137
e-mail: mann@virginia.edu
http://www.evsc.virginia.edu/faculty/people/mann.html

Jonathan T. Overpeck
Director, Institute for the Study of Planet Earth
Professor, Department of Geosciences
Mail and Fedex Address:
Institute for the Study of Planet Earth
715 N. Park Ave. 2nd Floor
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721
direct tel: +1 520 622-9065   fax: +1 520 792-8795
e-mail: jto@u.arizona.edu
http://www.geo.arizona.edu/Faculty_Pages/Overpeck.J.html

Malcolm Hughes
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721
978 724-3302 ext. 255 or 413 545-0659
e-mail: mhughes@ltrr.arizona.edu

Media Contact:

Patricia Viets, NOAA Satellite Service, (301) 457-5005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/21/00

NOAA 2000-080

PATTERNS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE OVER RECENT CENTURIES REPORTED BY NOAA AND
UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS

For the first time, year-by-year patterns of global temperature over the past
few centuries have now been revealed. Evidence from ice cores, tree rings,
corals, historical records and sediments in lakes was used by a team of
university and NOAA scientists to obtain the yearly maps, extending the
history of global climate to a time before people began taking measurements with
weather instruments.

Writing in the online journal Earth Interactions, the scientists note that their
work highlights periods of unusual climatic conditions, such as the period of
"dry fogs" that were reported by Benjamin Franklin in the 1780s. The new study
shows that the hazy conditions Franklin described from his home (at that time,
in Paris) were related to a cold episode that affected all of Europe for several
years following the eruption of a volcano in Iceland (Laki) in 1784. Other major
eruptions have had similar climatic effects. After the eruption of Tambora in
Indonesia in 1815, temperatures in North America and Europe fell sharply, and
cool conditions prevailed for several years.

The current study provides an interactive database that can be used to examine
maps of global temperature patterns for any year since 1730. These are based on
natural archives such as ice cores, tree-rings, lake sediments, and corals,
which record seasonal or annual climate conditions. Data from the natural
archives were calibrated by the instrumental surface temperature data available
during the 20th century.

The study also provided a longer-term view of temperatures across the northern
hemisphere. "The best evidence, based on the extension of hemispheric climate
reconstructions back a full millennium is that late 20th century conditions are
probably warmer than those which prevailed any time this millennium," the
scientists wrote. They noted that conditions during the 11th through 14th
centuries appear warmer than those which prevailed during the 15th through 19th
centuries in general.

The scientists also studied the statistical relationship between variations in
the northern hemisphere mean temperatures and estimates of the histories of
solar, greenhouse gas, and volcanic factors. "While the natural -- solar and
volcanic -- forcings appear to be important factors governing the natural
variations of temperatures in past centuries, only human greenhouse gas forcing
alone ... can statistically explain the unusual warmth of the past few decades,"
they wrote.

The scientists are: lead author Michael E. Mann, from the University of
Virginia; Ed Gille and Wendy Gross, NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center;
Raymond S. Bradley and Frank Keimig, University of Massachusetts; Jonathan
Overpeck, formerly of NOAA, now with the University of Arizona, and Malcolm
K. Hughes, University of Arizona.

The publication, titled Global Temperature Patterns in Past Centuries, contains
the latest look at temperatures over the last 600 years, and includes data and
animations of global temperatures from paleoclimatic records starting in 1730,
up through instrumental data through 1993.

Relevant Web Sites

The publication is available at NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center Web site
in PDF format [ http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ei/ei_pdf.html ] and in interactive
form [ http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ei/ei_cover.html ].

The publication can also be found at Earth Interactions,
http://www.earthinteractions.org/

* NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center
  http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/
* NOAA's Paleoclimatology Program
  http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/paleo.html
* Institute for the Study of Planet Earth
  http://www.ispe.arizona.edu/

============
(7) PLANTS WARM PLANET

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

[ http://helix.nature.com/nsu/001123/001123-5.html ]

Tuesday 21 November 2000

Plants warm planet
By VALERIE DEPRAETERE

Global warming doesn't just increase average temperatures. It narrows the
gap between the maximum and the mimimum temperature for a given day in a
given place. In other words, it trims the diurnal temperature range or
'DTR'.

Climate change has probably caused the increase in vegetation in the
Northern Hemisphere that has grown up over the past 20 years. Now, a US
group shows that the reverse could also be happening.

The adaptation of vegetation to reduced DTR may itself have further reduced
the DTR over the past five decades, they announce in Geophysical Research
Letters [1]. This suggests that vegetation parameters should be taken into
account in climate simulation programmes.

"This is really pretty amazing," says Jonathan Foley, a climate modeller at
the University of Wisconsin in Madison. "If the patterns of warming, or the
increases in atmospheric CO2, are by themselves leading to increased growth
of vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere, this points to a very interesting,
potential feedback mechanism."

DTR decreased 3 to 5 degrees between 1950 and 1993 -- owing to increased
minimum temperatures. Changes in CO2 and aerosol levels have raised average
temperatures, but they do not seem to affect the DTR to the extent observed.
Until now there had not been an explanation of this trend.

G. James Collatz and colleagues at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre,
Greenbelt, Maryland monitored the incoming radiation, temperature, water
vapour pressure, wind speed and rainfall over a forested region in
north-central Canada by satellite.

They put these values into a sophisticated climate simulation program to
find out which could be responsible for the observed climate changes.

Incoming radiation, which is primarily affected by aerosol and CO2
concentration, did not cause enough decrease in the DTR relative to the mean
temperature to match observations.

But entering vegetation parameters into the climate simulation program
yielded more consistent results, suggesting that vegetation can depress the
DTR.

To test this hypothesis, the researchers then artificially modified the
simulation program parameters. They looked at conditions that mimic doubling
of the atmospheric concentration of CO2.

Increasing the incoming radiation raised night-time temperatures, reducing
the DTR. Increasing the average temperature, with or without increased
radiation, increased both the maximum and the minimum temperature, with only
small effects on the DTR.

Temperature changes affect respiration, photosynthesis, and leaf area. When
researchers changed these parameters to mimic further warming in the
simulation programme, the DTR significantly decreased, indicating that
vegetation can affect climate.

Because temperature changes can alter rainfall and water availability, these
factors modify the total photosynthetic capacity and the amount of radiation
absorbed by vegetation. This in turn raises the air temperature above green
areas.

[Valerie Depraetere is an Associate Editor of Nature Cell Biology.]

[1] Collatz, G. J., Bounoua, L., Randall, D. A., Fung, I. Y. & Sellers, P.
J. A mechanism for the influence of vegetation on the response of the
diurnal temperature range to changing climate. Geophysical Research Letters
27, 3381-3384 (2000).

Macmillan Magazines Ltd 2000 - NATURE NEWS SERVICE

===================
(8) AND FINALLY: SHOCK, HORROR -  'GLOBAL WARMING SHRINKING MOUNT EVEREST'

From Ninemsn News, 23 November 2000
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/story_4695.asp

Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, was shrinking as a result of global
warming, China's Xinhua news agency reported today.

Researchers at the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping discovered that the
thickness of snow on Everest's peak had decreased during the last 30 years,
the agency said.

"This phenomenon is linked to global warming," researchers said, without
revealing exactly how much height the 8,850-metre high Mount Everest had
lost.

FULL STORY at http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/story_4695.asp

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