"Global Warming cannot be stopped" - GP presentation

A group of students in 07S25 had created a presentation regarding Global Warming for their General Paper class presentation.

The question is "Global Warming cannot be stopped".
Please leave a comment.


Global warming is fueling nastier storms, expert says

By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
Hurricanes have grown fiercer in recent decades, spurred by global warming, and even tougher storms are likely on the way, a researcher predicts.

In his new study, ocean climatologist Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, suggests that the power of big ocean storms has increased and will continue to do so, even if their numbers stay the same.
The analysis, released online Monday by the journal Nature, confounds some past studies that had indicated that increasing average temperatures worldwide over this century — a United Nations climate panel has projected that temperatures will rise from 2 to 10 degrees worldwide by 2100 — would have little effect on hurricanes.

"The best way to put it is that storms are lasting longer at high intensity than they were 30 years ago," says Emanuel.
In an analysis of sea surface temperatures and storms since 1930, he found that a combined measure of duration and wind speeds among North Atlantic hurricanes and North Pacific cyclones has nearly doubled since the 1970s. "I was quite surprised by the magnitude of the increase," he says by e-mail.
Scientists had not correlated the frequency, intensity and duration of the storms until now, he says, but past reports have raised questions:

• Hurricane and cyclone reported durations have increased by roughly 60% since 1949.

• Average peak storm wind speeds have increased about 50% since the 1970s.

• Sea surface temperatures have swung upwards since 1975 at rates that exceed normal swings from regular El NiƱo or Atlantic cycles.

Cyclones and hurricanes do follow decades-long cycles of strengthening and weakening, Emanuel says. But the study effects are above and beyond the current cycle, which has seen stronger hurricanes in recent years.
The report serves as a warning about future global warming effects, says atmospheric scientist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. Dollar losses from storms rise with hurricane wind speeds, the study notes. And inland damage from flooding and heavy rains also results from more intense storms, Trenberth says.

"I think that this is very good science and a very important paper, but I don't think it settles every question," says National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane expert Chris Landsea. He wants researchers to delve further back into past hurricane records to verify the trend.

"It's a bit of a surprise," he says, given that earlier studies had suggested a warming climate would lead to only small changes in storm wind speeds.
With more people living on coasts in more expensive housing, Landsea says, the study underlines the importance of five-day hurricane forecasts, better building codes and homeowners buying shutters and storm doors.


Global warming(adapted from The New York Times)

On Feb. 2, 2007, the United Nations scientific panel studying climate change declared that the evidence of a warming trend is "unequivocal," and that human activity has "very likely" been the driving force in that change over the last 50 years. The last report by the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2001, had found that humanity had "likely" played a role.
The addition of that single word "very" did more than reflect mounting scientific evidence that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from smokestacks, tailpipes and burning forests has played a central role in raising the average surface temperature of the earth by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1900. It also added new momentum to a debate that now seems centered less over whether humans are warming the planet, but instead over what to do about it. In recent months, business groups have banded together to make unprecedented calls for federal regulation of greenhouse gases. The subject had a red-carpet moment when former Vice President Al Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," was awarded an Oscar; and the Supreme Court made its first global warming-related decision, ruling 5 to 4 that the Environmental Protection Agency had not justified its position that it was not authorized to regulate carbon dioxide.


Senate committee tackles hot topic: global warming

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
By Juliet Eilperin
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — As 600 scientists meet this week in Paris to finalize the first worldwide assessment of the evidence on global warming in six years, lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday searched for a political consensus on how to address climate change.

In a prolonged Senate hearing that one senator compared to "open-mic night," several lawmakers spoke in passionate terms about the need to put a cap on U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions before global warming's effects become irreversible, while others sketched out possible policy compromises on the contentious issue.

In a separate House hearing, a bipartisan group of lawmakers questioned whether the Bush administration has been suppressing climate science.

Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said he did not want his children and grandchildren chastising him for inaction in decades to come.

"I don't want them to say, 'What did you do about it? What did you do about it when you had an opportunity? Weren't you in the Senate?' " Carper said.

The panel's chairwoman, Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said several hours into the hearing that lawmakers would heed the warnings of Carper and others. "I think this is the moment we will take a stand," she said.

Several lawmakers said they felt a new sense of urgency in light of the mounting scientific evidence indicating the globe cannot sustain an additional temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Report to be released
On Friday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body, will release its first report since 2001 on the current state of science on global warming. According to scientists who have read the latest draft, it will conclude there is at least a 90 percent chance that human activity accounts for much of Earth's warming over the past half-century.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who testified before the Environment and Public Works Committee on her proposal to "cap and trade" carbon-emission credits, said that the U.S. political debate on global warming has "shifted considerably because people know it's real. The science has coalesced."

Advocates of action on global warming said the IPCC will further strengthen the public perception that the United States must move more aggressively to curb carbon-dioxide emissions.

The report will outline how climate change will transform the planet — with summer sea ice virtually disappearing from the Arctic by the end of the century — as well as assess the spike in global temperatures in the past 15 years, in which Earth has experienced a dozen of the hottest years on record.

"The timing of this report is critical for the debate that's taking place in Congress, in the business community and in the evangelical community," said Robert Watson, who chaired the IPCC during its last round and now serves as the World Bank's chief scientist.

In the House hearing, lawmakers questioned whether the White House had altered reports by government scientists over the past several years to mask the problems.

They highlighted a survey published Tuesday by two advocacy groups, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Government Accountability Project (GAP), which found that 46 percent of the federal scientists they polled reported they had experienced or perceived pressure to eliminate the words "global warming" or "climate change" from their writings, and roughly the same percentage had experienced edits that changed the meaning of their findings.

Science "manipulated"
The survey "has brought to light numerous ways in which U.S. federal climate science has been filtered, suppressed and manipulated in the last five years," Francesca Grifo, a senior scientist at the UCS, told lawmakers.

"It appears there may have been an orchestrated campaign to mislead the public about climate change," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the panel's top Republican, Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, sent a letter to the White House on Tuesday demanding the administration hand over documents that could shed light on whether political appointees had altered federal climate reports.

Material from The Associated Press is included in this report.

Copyright © The Seattle Times Company

The Task

Groups working on this task are reminded that they must first offer an abstract or summary to introduce / induct the reader to the event before offering their answers to the questions.


1. Why was Global Warming the year’s hottest topic?
2. What implications does this have for man’s lifestyle?