[permaculture] CNN.com - Scientists: Humans cause global warming - Jul 21, 2005

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Thu Jul 21 23:39:11 EDT 2005


http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/07/21/global.warming.ap/index.html

SCIENCE & SPACE <http://www.cnn.com/TECH/space>


  Scientists: Humans cause global warming

Thursday, July 21, 2005; Posted: 10:07 a.m. EDT (14:07 GMT)

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      SPECIAL REPORT

• A changing Earth's challenges 
<http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/04/08/earth.overview/index.html>
• Climate change's science debate 
<http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/04/08/earth.science/index.html>
• *Flash:* Hot spots around the globe 
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• *Explainer:* Global warming 
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• Special Report <http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2005/changing.earth/>

*WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming is caused primarily by humans and 
"nearly all climate scientists today" agree with that viewpoint, the new 
head of the National Academy of Sciences -- a climate scientist himself 
-- said Wednesday.*

Ralph Cicerone's views contrasted with Bush administration officials' 
emphasis on uncertainty about how much carbon dioxide and other 
industrial gases warm the atmosphere like a greenhouse.

"Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now at its highest level in 400,000 
years and it continues to rise," said Cicerone, an atmospheric scientist 
who left as chancellor of University of California-Irvine to become 
academy president this month. "Nearly all climate scientists today 
believe that much of Earth's current warming has been caused by 
increases in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mostly 
from the burning of fuels."

Cicerone, testifying before a Senate Commerce subcommittee on global 
climate change, cited data from weather stations and ships indicating 
the surface of the Earth is generally hotter by about seven-tenths of 1 
degree Fahrenheit just since the early 1970s.

The administration officials stressed the $5 billion spent yearly on 
U.S. climate programs, mostly research. David Conover, a principal 
deputy assistant energy secretary, said President Bush would lead on the 
issue though "the scientific and technology challenges are considerable."

James Mahoney, assistant commerce secretary for oceans and atmosphere, 
said, "We know that the surface of the Earth is warmer, and that an 
increase in greenhouse gases caused by humans is contributing to the 
problem." But he did not go further than that.

"We see economic growth, addressing the climate change problem and 
energy security as integrally related," said Daniel Reifsnyder, director 
of the State Department's Office of Global Change.

Just three senators -- David Vitter, R-Louisiana, Frank Lautenberg, 
D-New Jersey, and Ted Stevens, R-Alaska -- were at the hearing. All 
three shared concerns about coastlines disappearing.

Cicerone also bolstered a 2004 Pentagon report that two private 
consultants prepared on potential global impacts of an abrupt and severe 
change in the world's climate. When the report was issued, it was met 
with some skepticism and disbelief -- even by the Pentagon official who 
commissioned the study.

Among the dire consequences sketched out were surging seas breaking down 
levees in the Netherlands in 2007, making the Hague "unlivable," and 
Europe's climate becoming "more like Siberia's" by 2020. They saw 
possible "mega-droughts" in southern China and northern Europe.

"It was well done," Cicerone said of the report. "I didn't think it was 
fictional."

Last month, the National Academy of Sciences -- an independent 
organization chartered by Congress to advise the government on 
scientific matters -- joined with similar groups from 10 other nations 
in calling for prompt action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Those 
nations were Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, 
Italy, Japan and Russia.

Bush said earlier this month he recognizes that human activity 
contributes to a warmer Earth. But he continues to reject the Kyoto 
treaty on global warming that all other G-8 industrialized nations 
signed, because developing nations weren't included in it.

His administration has argued strongly against mandatory climate-related 
emissions caps, contending that its voluntary program is countering the 
growth of those emissions, but not actually reducing the tons annually 
being released into the atmosphere.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press 
<http://www.cnn.com/interactive_legal.html#AP>. All rights reserved.This 
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.






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