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Global Warming Study Melts Away Blair Doubts

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    Fw: [fuelcell-energy] ... Global Warming Study Melts Away Blair s Doubts It seems that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is taking climate change a lot more
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2006
      Fw: [fuelcell-energy]

      ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
      Global Warming Study Melts Away Blair's Doubts

      It seems that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is taking climate change
      a lot more seriously than his old buddy President George Bush Jnr.,
      with Blair showing concern over the data contained in a major British
      government study on global warming. A major finding of the study
      states that global warming could trigger melting at both poles this
      century, causing a dramatic rise in sea levels.

      The findings from an international conference on climate change,
      Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change, organized by the UK's Department
      for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), have been launched
      today. In the study's forward, Prime Minister Blair writes: "It is
      clear from the work presented that the risks of climate change may
      well be greater than we thought," which makes him one of the first of
      the Western leaders to lend his name in support of the problem. This
      latest document is consistent with an ongoing push by the British
      government to address climate change, as they did at the 2005 Group
      of Eight (G8) summit.

      The document is a long-term projection on climate change that
      encompasses many scenarios related to how global warming will impact
      ecosystems, human systems and terrestrial systems as a whole.
      Suggestions for new threshold levels developed in order to
      characterize "dangerous" warming levels has exposed policy makers to
      a more cohesive set of models of climate change than they had
      previously seen.

      The study states that the consensus view among scientists is that
      human activities "have caused a discernible impact on observed
      warming trends," and that if this trend continues, and temperatures
      rise another few degrees Celsius, that there will be wide-spread,
      irrevocable disruption to the planet's climate system. "Results from
      30 years of research by the scientific community now convincingly
      suggest it is fair to call the detection and attribution of human
      impacts on climate a well-established conclusion," said the study's
      authors. "Most potentially serious climate change impacts typically
      occur after only a few degrees Celsius of warming," they added.

      The study also states that rising sea levels will have a significant
      impact, claiming that: "If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt it
      would raise global sea levels by around 7 meters [22 feet]." It also
      explains that the main causes of increased global average sea levels
      during the 21st century are likely to be "thermal expansion of the
      ocean, melting of small glaciers, and the melting of the Greenland
      and Antarctic ice sheets."

      The study predicts that over several hundred years, "Deglaciation of
      polar ice sheets like Greenland or the West Antarctic would cause
      many meters of additional sea level rise on top of that caused by the
      thermal expansion from the direct warming of the oceans." The
      researchers say that the Greenland ice sheet can only remain intact
      as long as the loss of ice by ablation and iceberg discharge is
      balanced by accumulation. However, in a warmer climate it is likely
      that the increase in ablation will outweigh the increase of
      accumulation and the ice sheet will shrink. This does not bode well
      for many global communities, as the Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
      says that: "for a mean temperature rise of 2.7�C the ablation is
      predicted to increase beyond the accumulation."

      Additional findings in the report show that an increase of acidity in
      the ocean could reduce its capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the
      atmosphere and affect the entire marine food chain. And even a small
      rise in temperature could activate undesirable effects that would
      likely cause extensive coral bleaching. The major thrust of the
      symposium, held early in 2005, was to advance scientific
      understanding of, and encourage international scientific debate on,
      the long-term implications of climate change, the relevance of
      stabilization goals, and options to reach such goals.

      Source: Met Office UK



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