“The end is near!”, or so one might think if keeping up with the apocalyptic headilines of this recent string of articles from Science Daily. A closer look reveals what appears to be wild speculation. Now, maybe there is a threat, but this smacks of propaganda.
Nov. 1: Children At Increased Risk From Effects Of Global Climate Change, Report Says
Direct health impacts from global warming include injury and death from more frequent extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and tornados. For children, this can mean post-traumatic stress, loss of caregivers, disrupted education and displacement. Increased climate-sensitive infectious diseases, air pollution-related illness, and heat-related illness and fatalities also are expected.
As the climate changes, the earth’s geography also will change, leading to a host of health risks for kids. Disruptions in the availability of food and water and the displacement of coastal populations can cause malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies and waterborne illness, the statement said.
Nov. 1: Climate Change Threatens Human Health, According To Australian Report
Released by Research Australia, the ‘Healthy Planet, Places and People’ Report found that:
Deaths from heart attacks, strokes and respiratory disease, from increases in heatwaves, could double or triple by 2050;
Asthma — already affecting 3 in 20 children and 1 in 10 adults — is likely to increase in some groups;
The incidence and geographic range of some mosquito-borne infectious diseases will increase;
Food poisoning — with 5.4 million cases reported each year — is also likely to rise;
Viral infections such as avian flu and SARS will spread more readily as population density, people movement, trade and land clearing increase.
Oct. 29: Arctic Ice Breaking-up Faster Than Predicted, Icebergs Risk To Shipping
“The Arctic is already experiencing an increase in shipping, primarily for oil and gas development and tourism, and we can expect to see further increases as diminishing ice extent makes Arctic marine transportation more viable. The International Ice Charting Working Group (IICWG) cautions that sea ice and icebergs will continue to present significant hazards to navigation for the foreseeable future.”
Oct. 26: Methane Bubbling From Arctic Lakes, Now And At End Of Last Ice Age
Methane bubbling from arctic lakes could have been responsible for up to 87 percent of that methane spike, said UAF researcher Katey Walter, lead author of a report printed in the Oct. 26 issue of Science. The findings could help scientists understand how current warming might affect atmospheric levels of methane, a gas that is thought to contribute to climate change.
Oct. 25: Volcanic Eruptions And Global Warming Likely Cause Of Great Dying 250 Million Years Ago
Those studies, combined with the new data from Powers and Bottjer, support a model that attributes the extinction to enormous volcanic eruptions that released carbon dioxide and methane, triggering rapid global warming.
The warmer ocean water would have lost some of its ability to retain oxygen, allowing water rich in hydrogen sulfide to well up from the deep (the gas comes from anaerobic bacteria at the bottom of the ocean).
If large amounts of hydrogen sulfide escaped into the atmosphere, the gas would have killed most forms of life and also damaged the ozone shield, increasing the level of harmful ultraviolet radiation reaching the planet’s surface.
Oct. 24: Massive California Fires Consistent With Climate Change, Experts Say
“This is exactly what we’ve been projecting to happen, both in short-term fire forecasts for this year and the longer term patterns that can be linked to global climate change,” said Ronald Neilson, a professor at Oregon State University and bioclimatologist with the USDA Forest Service.
Oct. 17: Hidden Costs Of Climate Change In US: Major, Nationwide, Uncounted
“The true economic impact of climate change is fraught with ‘hidden’ costs,” the report concludes. It adds that these costs will vary regionally and will put a strain on public sector budgets. For example, even under current conditions, the combined storm impact for the nation since 1980 has surpassed $560 billion. More frequent and intense storms would raise the price tag even higher.
All of this is speculation, of course, but it is being sold to us as hard data. In fact…
Oct. 27: Like It Or Not, Uncertainty And Climate Change Go Hand-in-hand
Despite decades of ever more-exacting science projecting Earth’s warming climate, there remains large uncertainty about just how much warming will actually occur. . .
In essence, the scientists found that the more likely it is that conditions will cause climate to warm, the more uncertainty exists about how much warming there will be.
“Uncertainty and sensitivity have to go hand in hand. They’re inextricable,” said Gerard Roe, a UW associate professor of Earth and space sciences
And, despite the fact that it was a major premise of Al Gore’s argument in Inconvenient Truth…
Oct. 2: Carbon Dioxide Did Not End The Last Ice Age, Study Says
“There has been this continual reference to the correspondence between CO2 and climate change as reflected in ice core records as justification for the role of CO2 in climate change,” said USC geologist Lowell Stott, lead author of the study, slated for advance online publication Sept. 27 in Science Express.
“You can no longer argue that CO2 alone caused the end of the ice ages.”
Deep-sea temperatures warmed about 1,300 years before the tropical surface ocean and well before the rise in atmospheric CO2, the study found. The finding suggests the rise in greenhouse gas was likely a result of warming and may have accelerated the meltdown — but was not its main cause.
But of course…
The study does not question the fact that CO2 plays a key role in climate
“I don’t want anyone to leave thinking that this is evidence that CO2 doesn’t affect climate,” Stott cautioned. “It does, but the important point is that CO2 is not the beginning and end of climate change.”.
All in all, I’m not sure were getting a clear picture of what’s going on with the climate. It seems to me that there are hidden (or not so hidden) agendas at work that are obscuring the truth. It’s true that there may be agendas on both sides of teh issue, but when I read a string of headlines like the first seven above over a two week span, I feel like I’m being sold something.