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AN INTERNET TOUR OF GLOBAL WARMING

By

Fred (Woody) Hendrick

© July 2006

 

The Internet offers an opportunity to research the history and theory of Global warming.  The following is by no means meant to be the only source of useful URL’s.  It is easy to google or surf from link to link without using this list; this is only suggested starting points.

Woods Hole Research Center has a good site to start with http://www.whrc.org/resources/online_publications/warming_earth/index.htm
Be sure to check out every link.  You may wish to copy out some sections.  Be sure to look at the “Published Literature”.

Once your feet are wet, try out http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/index.html
This site is a little odd getting into it.  On the left the menu doesn’t look like a menu and once you put the cursor over one of them, the drop down menu does something weird: the one you click on is invisible!  Try to over look the esthetics; this site is good with lots of detail and links to supporting documents.

For a gateway to NASA Global Change Master Directory go to http://gcmd.gsfc.nasa.gov/

A report done for the PEW Center , OBSERVED IMPACTS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE  CHANGE IN THE UNITED STATES, can be found at http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/final%5FObsImpact%2Epdf  This is good because it is not theory; it is observations.  In fact, a look at the PEW CENTER is worth a couple of hours, http://www.pewclimate.org/

Before you go to the next section, be sure you know about carbon sink http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_sink , carbon bank http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/feb01/bank0201.htm
and carbon bomb http://dieoff.org/page129.htm

In AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, there were scenes of “drunken trees”, undulating roads and homes dropping into thawing permafrost.  These are just the sign of the thawing permafrost: the problem of the thaw is that the permafrost is made up of thousands of years of biomass.  As it thaws and rots, it releases carbon dioxide and methane from this enormous carbon bank.  There are a few researchers who believe this positive feed-back loop has put the Earth over the tipping point.

If your interest is specific to the Arctic , then http://www.acia.uaf.edu/  is the place to down load ARCTIC CLIMATE IMPACT ASSESSMENT.  Not only is this well written and documented, it is stunning in its presentation of data, charts and maps.  You will be affected even if you do not read a single word.

For a national security aspect, look at http://www.environmentaldefense.org/documents/3566_AbruptClimateChange.pdf
My own work in writing a GW novel deals with this type of reactions to GW: scary stuff.  Entire nations will find its food the old fashioned way; take it from those who have it.

Some good maps of sea rise effects are at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/warnings/waterworld/
Be aware that these maps are based solely on elevations.  That is, if the seas rise 6 meters, then the new mapped shoreline follows that elevation line.  This is wrong.  At six meters, the soils will be virgin as far as waves and storms are concerned; the erosion patterns will bring the shoreline further inland than the six meter mark and in some areas, this increase loss of soil will be great.

It took some work to find this fact sheet.  It had disappeared from the USGS web site.  I’m glad someone made it available.  http://www.smith.edu/libraries/research/class/idp108USGS_99.pdf
That’s 264 feet!  The reason these numbers are important is simple: most of the papers written have discussed the carbon dioxide doubling from pre-industrial times.  This would be around 500 to 600 parts per million.  Thus far, I have not found ANY paper that has attempted to say why the CO2 would stop at that point.  Even if it did stop increasing by some magic, it is possible centuries from now that ALL the ice will melt.  With the CO2 going even higher, ALL the ice WILL melt.

Well, by now you have familiarized yourself with the inter workings of Global Warming and Sea Level Rise.  Continue on the net; play at surfing from one link to another.  You never know what the next page will show you.

Before I finish, think of two questions: Could it be worse?  Should it be worse?

Could it be worse? As the CO2 levels in the atmosphere increases and the temperature increases, the oceans, which are both a carbon sink and carbon bank, get warmer and more acidic.  These two changes have an effect on clathrates.  Fasten your seat belt and goto
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_hydrate and then http://www.mindfully.org/Air/2004/Methane-Arctic-Warming16dec04.htm

Google “Methane” and “Clathrates” and determine if there is a reasonable argument for this possibility.

Should it be worse?  Well yes, at least according to researchers into the little known “Global Dimming.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming is a starting point.  Some scientist questioned for some time the degree (no pun intended…no pun obtained) of this known effect.  Then, 9-11.  http://facstaff.uww.edu/travisd/pdf/jetcontrailsrecentresearch.pdf
This proved without any doubt that aerosols were having a bigger effect than earlier thought.

By helping you scratch the surface, I hope you will continue doing your own net-research.  There is a world to be found at http://.... Don’t dip your toe in, jump in with both feet and with eyes wide open.  The only thing that can happen is knowledge.

If you have questions or find a great URL you want to share, don’t hesitate to email me at woody@woodlyn.net