CLIMATE CHANGE #3
DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION
SCIENCE: ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE
Recent climate change research uncovered a disturbing feature of
the earth's climate system: it is capable of sudden, violent
shifts. This is a critical important realization. Climate change
will not necessarily be gradual, as assumed in most climate
change projections, but may instead involve sudden jumps between
very different states.
No such shift has occurred over the duration of human
civilization, yet records of prehistoric shifts are clear. A
mounting body of evidence suggests that continued greenhouse gas
emissions may push the oceans past a critical threshhold and into
a drastically different future. Abrupt, hard-to-predict climate
change will present an enormous challenge to human societies and
the global environment as a whole.
A Legacy of Abrupt Change
Paleoclimatology is the study of past changes in the climate
system. By studying a range of long term natural records -
including tree rings, cave deposits, ice cores and deep-sea
sediments - scientists have begun to assemble an almanac of
global change spanning hundreds of thousands of years.
One of the most important findings to come from these records is
that the climate system has undergone many sudden shifts.
Computer models and paleoclimate evidence both suggest that
increases in freshwater supply to the North Atlantic periodically
make the surface waters too buoyant to sink. As a result, the
northward transport of heat stops abruptly, and temperatures
around the North Atlantic suddenly drop by as much as 10 degrees
Researchers believe global oceanic circulation may have more than
one stable configuration - and once the configuration has
changed, it's difficult to change it back.
As an analogy, consider a topheavy bookshelf. If you push it
lightly, nothing happens. If you push it somewhat harder, nothing
happens. But if you push it beyond a certain point, it will
suddenly fall over. Once the bookshelf has fallen over, it's
extremely difficult to put it upright again (and there are books
all over the floor).
Recent climate modelling suggests that accumulating greenhouse
gases could trigger a future collapse of the NADW and bring a
rapid, severe cooling - a little Ice Age - to the North Atlantic
and surrounding land masses.
Climate Change: Forests and Sinks
The natural greenhouse effect is being intensified as humans
alter the global carbon cycle Forests, soil, oceans, the
atmosphere, and fossil fuels are important stores of carbon.
Carbon is constantly moving between these different stores, that
act as either "sinks" or "sources"
A sink absorbs more carbon than it gives off, while a source
emits more than it absorbs. Before the Industrial Revolution, the
amount of carbon moving between trees, soil, oceans, and the
atmosphere was relatively balanced.
Burning fossil fuels tips this balance. Oil, coal, and gas
combustion introduced 8.5 billion tonnes of carbon to the carbon
cycle in 2007 -- carbon that was stored underground, separated
from the atmosphere for millions of years.
Living forests absorb carbon dioxide and through photosynthesis
convert it to biomass. Forest soils also store large amounts of
carbon in their organic layer. Deforestation alters the carbon
cycle by eliminating trees and disturbing forest, soils,
releasing the carbon stored in both to the atmosphere. Forest
fires and decomposing wood waste and wood products also add
significant amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Forests
and soils store large amounts of carbon.
Until the 1980s, Canadian forests were a sink, according to the
Canadian Forest Service. Through increased fires, insect
infestation, and harvesting, they have now become a net source.
Modem farming practices also disrupt the carbon cycle. Soils,
which contain about 75 per cent of carbon found on land are
excellent sinks. Once cultivated, the amount of organic matter
that soils contain drops by 20-50 per cent.
Intensive farming releases carbon from the soil to the atmosphere
Intensive farming, erosion, and salinization, accentuate the
problem. Government and industry should be cautioned against
exploiting provisions of the Kyoto Protocol related to forests
and sinks as a way to avoid meeting commitments to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Although many projects, such as tree
planting may enhance carbon sinks and biodiversity they could
also diminish the impetus for long-term solutions to climate
change energy conservation and efficiency, and renewable energy
sources. This is because they do not target the source of the
emissions which will continue to rise without additional
measures. Unless fossil fuel use is reduced air quality-related
health impacts will also not be addressed.
"Taking Credit Canada and the Role of Sinks in International
"Credit Check: A Comparative Evaluation of Tree-Planting and
Forrest-Fuel Emission Reduction Offsets."
"Forests and Climate Change" blog by Chris Henschel
Climate change is already having a significant impact on
ecosystems economies and communities.
Rising average temperatures do not simply mean balmier winters.
Some regions will experience more extreme heat, while others may
cool slightly. Flooding, drought and intense summer heat could
result. Violent storms and other extreme weather events could
also result from the increased energy stored in our warming
The world's leading scientists report that to prevent dangerous
levels of global warming governments should act to limit global
warming to less than 2 C by taking concerted action to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
The sooner we act to reduce greenhouse gases, the less severe
future impacts will be. Now is the time to implement solutions.
* Extreme Weather: Climate change will increase the potency of
storms, floods, droughts, and other weather disasters as explored
* Water Impacts: Climate change will seriously affect water
resources around the world, which will in turn affect food
supply, health, industry, transportation, and ecosystem
* Forest Impacts: Canada's forests are expected to be among the
most vulnerable in the world to climate change.
* Imperilled Ecosystems: Ecosystems in Canada and around the
world will be damaged by climate change. This section examines
some of the most vulnerable systems.
* Global Meltdown: Alpine glaciers, arctic ecosystems and ice
sheets are all at risk of succumbing to climate change, with
* Health: Climate change threatens the health of future
generations through increased disease, freshwater shortages,
worsened smog, and more.
* Economic Risks: Rapid climate change poses incalculable
economic risks for the future, which far outweigh the economic
risks of taking action today.
* British Columbia: Climate change impacts, solutions, and issues
in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.
The above with * is a link on Suzuki's Website - Keith Hunt
Throughout the 10,000 year history of human civilization,
(yes it is correct and you need to know it - mankind has been on
this earth for at least 10,000 years. The 7,000 year plan of God
that some like to teach, is no where found in the Bible. Other
studies on this Website explain it all - Keith Hunt)
weather patterns have remained relatively constant. Though
floods, droughts, storms, and other extreme weather events have
always been a reality, they have been rare occurrences
interrupting long periods of calm - sudden outbursts of violence
marring a gentle rhythm.
Now, because of human induced climate change, that gentle rhythm
is breaking up.
The frequency of extreme weather events has increased steadily
over the last century. The number of weather-related disasters
during the 1990s was four times that of the 1950s, and cost 14
times as much in economic losses. The economic toll from extreme
weather events in Canada in recent years has been significant;
examples include Hurricane Juan in Halifax ($200 million) the
2003 summer wildfires in British Columbia and Alberta ($400
million) and the 2001-2002 droughts which impacted much of the
country ($5.8 billion reduction in GDP).
These trends confirm the predictions of computer models as the
atmosphere warms, the climate will not only become hotter but
much more unstable.
(And that is exactly what Jesus said would happen before He came
again - Matthew 24. There would be more violence in wars, more
famine, more pestilence, all the effects of a disturbed world,
much of it, if not most of it, caused because of human activity -
* Rewiring the Weather Machine
* The El Nino Connection
* Extreme Weather Events on the Rise
* Extreme Economic Impacts
* A Nurturing Past
The above * are links on Suzuki's Website - Keith Hunt
Impacts - Water
Climate change will seriously affect water resources around the
world. Changing water levels, temperatures, and flow will in turn
affect food supply, health, industry, transportation, and
Ontario's quarter-million lakes and countless rivers and streams
hold about one-third of the world's fresh water. The provinces 11
million people rely on these waters, as well as on groundwater
and rainfall, for drinking, agriculture, and industrial uses.
Forty-five percent of Quebec residents take their water from the
St Lawrence River, which flows from the Great Lakes. Projected
changes in rainfall evaporation, and groundwater recharge rates
will affect all freshwater users.
+ Lake levels are expected to decline in both inland lakes and
Ontario's four Great Lakes as more moisture evaporates due to
warmer temperatures and less ice cover.
+ Reduced summer water levels are likely to diminish the recharge
of groundwater, cause small streams to dry up, and reduce the
area of wetlands, resulting in poorer water quality and less
+ Climate change will also mean an increase in the frequency and
seventy of droughts and flooding.
Glacial melting is one of the most striking and visual signs of
the impacts of climate change. During the last century, the
southern Canadian Rockies have shown remarkable loss in glacial
In B.C.'s Glacier National Park, scientists believe more than 50
per cent of the glacier ice has melted away in the last century -
enough melted ice to fill a reservoir at least five kilometres
tall by five kilometres wide.
+ Fact: Scientists estimate that globally glaciers are losing 92
cubic kilometres of ice per year - that is as much water used by
Canada's homes, farms and factories over six years.
Glaciers store snow like bank accounts store money - they hold
snow in the winter and release water when its most needed, during
hot dry summers and periods of drought. However, global warming
is cashing in on a bank account that has been built over
thousands of years but isn't being replenished.
Annual water flows from glaciers are diminishing as less ice
remains every year. Late summer flows of the Mistaya River in
Banff National Park have decreased 39 per cent over the last 50
years alone. Experts say that communities as far as 3,000
kilometres from the mountains - such as those on Hudson Bay -
will be affected in the decades to come if warming continues.
See our interactive map on * water resource impacts in North
The above * is a link on Suzuki's Website - Keith Hunt
Climate change is threatening the health of forests around the
world. As temperatures rise, weather patterns and the
availability of water also change, altering the ability of trees
to survive. This could force forest types to shift their ranges
faster than they may be able to.
In Canada forests cover almost half of the landmass and make up
10 per cent of the worlds forest cover. Forests are a crucial
part of Canada's natural heritage wilderness areas and economy.
Although more in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may encourage
tree growth, the negative impacts of climate change are expected
to far outweigh any benefits.
Forest dispersion and shifting
Canada forests are expected to be among the most vulnerable in
the world to climate change because temperatures are expected to
increase more in the arctic, bringing with it changes in
precipitation. Although scientists do predict an increase in
precipitation, it will likely not be sufficient to keep up to
increased evaporation for rising summer temperatures - leading to
decreased soil moisture. This will cause more drought-resistant
trees or grasslands to replace existing forest ecosystems.
During the last 50 years, summer temperatures frequently exceeded
the critical threshold of the most valuable timber species of the
North American boreal forest, the white spruce. Over the coming
decades, scientists predict continued hot summer temperatures
associated with climate change would force this species into
sharp decline, potentially to extinction.
The alpine treeline is one of the most distinctive habitat
transitions, separating continuous subalpine forest from the
Treeline elevation is determined by growing season temperature.
As global temperatures rise treetines are expected to advance
upsiope, shrinking the alpine environment (e.g. invading alpine
meadows) and fragmenting wildlife habitat. Climatologists believe
that a rise in global temperatures of 3.25 degrees Celsius would
be equivalent to an ecological shift upwards of about 500 metres
in altitude. Alpine species confined to the tops of low-lying
mountains risk extinction as the habitat is taken over by
Extensive upsiope migration of treeline has been documented in
areas of Jasper National Park during the last century.
Hotter, drier summers are expected to increase evaporation and
generally worsen the severity of fire seasons and increase the
risk of forest fires across most of Canada.
According to the government of Canada, both fire frequency in
Canada's boreal forest and total area burned have increased over
the last 20 to 40 years.
Forest disease and pest infestations
Warmer temperatures are also expected to expand the ranges and
enhance the survival rates of forest pests such as the spruce
budworm and the mountain pine beetle.
Infestations of the mountain pine beetle are normally controlled
by intense cold snaps in the winter, but warmer winters have been
one of the factors enabling the infestation to grow into an
epidemic in British Columbia's interior forests. Over the next 10
years 80 per cent of B.C.'s mature pine forest is expected to be
lost due to the infestation of the mountain pine beetle.
http://adaptation nrcan.gc.ca/perspective/summary-06 e.asp
http://adaptation nrcan.gc.ca/perspective/forest-01 e.asp
The above http is given as a direct link on Suzuki's Website -
Glaciers, ice sheets and arctic ecosystems will be severely
affected by climate change. Glaciers around the world are already
shrinking, threatening wildlife and freshwater supplies. Global
climate models predict extreme warming in the arctic if
greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Meanwhile warmer ocean
temperatures will transport large amounts of heat to coastal
Antarctica. Local impacts will be severe, but these changes will
be felt throughout the world.
* Arctic Thaw: In the arctic, warmer temperatures will bring a
loss of sea ice and permafrost, disrupt ecosystems and
traditional lifestyles as well as wreak havoc with modern
* Collapsing Ice Sheets: Enormous land-based ice sheets perched
near the poles appear to be vulnerable to human-caused climate
change. If these ice sheets collapse, adding their bulk to the
oceans, sea level could rise by many metres in a matter of
* Melting Mountains: The extraordinary Canadian alpine wilderness
is threatened by climate change. Ecosystems will undergo severe
upheaval, challenging their ability to adapt while shrinking
snowpack will reduce the freshwater supplies humans depend on.
The above * are given as links on Suzuki's Website - Keith Hunt
Snow-capped mountains, rivers teeming with wild salmon,
spectacular valleys and lush forests are among the defining
features of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.
But the health of this unique region is threatened by climate
change. Warmer drier winters mean lighter snowpacks in the
mountains. Less snow means less runoff to the rivers that depend
on melting mountain snow. Warmer streams with less water affect
the spawning and migration of salmon. Warmer temperatures also
mean forests are drying out, becoming more vulnerable to fires
and disease outbreaks.
Climate change threatens not just the Pacific Northwest
environment but its economy and quality of life too. Now that
Canada has ratified the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. British
Columbia has a responsibility to meet the challenges of climate
change, air pollution and sensible energy choices.
The province can make clean, renewable energy and energy
efficiency its policy cornerstones - key elements to cut
pollution bring energy price stability and stimulate new jobs.
* Impacts: Climate change impacts in B.C.
* Enemy Policy: B.C.'s energy and climate policies
* Offshore Oil: Offshore oil and gas: Issues and impacts
* Solutions: Climate solutions and benefits for the Northwest
* Links: B.C. /Northwest climate and energy links
The above * are given as links on Suzuki's Website - Keith Hunt
Do you remember the many years of FIGHTING that the Tobacco
Industry put on, with their so-called "experts" - they fought
tooth and nail - they went down screaming and shouting - they
bowed out of the debate over the bad health that "smoking"
caused, not with humble admitting to the HUGE majority of
science, that had PROVED cigarette smoking was not only bad for
your health (which common logic should have told them) but it was
also causing CANCER! They did not bow out but with FLINGING ARMS
AND KICKING FEET!!
SO IT SEEMS TODAY! THERE ARE STILL SOME FEW (INDIVIDUALS AND SOME
FEW SCIENTISTS WHO HAVE THEIR SCIENCE FROM PLANET PLUTO), WHO
DENY CLIMATE CHANGE!
SUCH SEEM TO PURPOSELY DENY THE CLEAR AND MOUNTAINOUS FACTS FROM
THE 99.9 PER CENT OF SCIENTISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, THAT AGREE
THAT THE DEBATE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IS ***OVER*** AND AGREE THAT IT
IS A FACT, AND HAS BEEN A FACT SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION!
I KNOW A FEW PEOPLE, ONE IS VISITING WITH ME (FOR 4
DAYS) AS I WRITE THIS, WHO BELIEVES JUST ABOUT ANYTHING
THAT GOES ON, LIKE THE TWO TOWERS FALLING IN 9/11 AND
THE RECENT FELLOW WHO TRIED TO BLOW UP A USA PLANE
WITH EXPLOSIVE POWDER IN HIS UNDERWEAR, IS ALL GOVERNMENT
PLANNED CONSPIRACY. IT GOES FROM THE DEATH OF J.F.KENNEDY
IN 1963 TO DIANA IN 1997, TO 9/11 TO THE UNDERWEAR BLOW
UP GUY. AND SOME I GUESS THINK THE CLIMATE CHANGE
PREACHING IS ALSO A CONSPIRACY BY ..... WHOEVER .....
GOVERNMENT USUALLY, TO CONTROL YOU OR BRING ABOUT ONE
I ATTENDED IN 1992 IN FLORIDA (I WAS LIVING THERE AT THE
TIME) A WEEK-END CONFERENCE ON PROPHECY. THIS GUY AND THAT
GUY WAS THERE, GIVING LECTURES, SELLING THEIR BOOKS AND
TAPES. THERE WAS THIS ONE FELLOW, A PROFESSOR AT SOME
UNIVERSITY IN THE USA. HE GAVE A LECTURE ON THE SUPPOSED
TRUTH THAT THE U.S.S.R. NEVER HAD "THE BOMB" - NEVER HAD
ROCKETS - NEVER HAD SPACE SHIPS, THE PHOTOS YOU SAW OF
THEM WERE ALL MADE OF WOOD AND PAPER - JUST PROPAGANDA
FROM THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT!
THE GUY WAS A NUTTY-FRUIT-CAKE - FROM PLANET PLUTO WHICH
THEY SAY IS NO LONGER A PLANET. AFTER HEARING HIM SPEAK
I WALKED OUT - I WAS NOT GOING TO WASTE MY TIME
LISTENING TO OTHER NUTS AND BOLTS SPEAKERS FROM ANOTHER
GALAXY BILLIONS OF LIGHT YEARS FROM EARTH.
SOME PEOPLE HAVE A TERRIBLE TIME WITH FACTS - I HOPE YOU
ARE NOT ONE OF THEM!!
To be continued