The biospherical switch-over is speeding up. "Climate change is going faster than our worst-case scenarios five or six years ago." The United Nations, by the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), and via the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued the Fourth Assessment Synthesis Report (AR4). Here's the draft copy of the AR 4 Summary for Policymakers. News reports are by AP, NYT, Spiegel, IHT, and Nouvel Obs. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon sums up: we're at the tipping point. Immediate steps are needed to avert a global climate disaster.
(1) 11 of the past 12 years rank among the 12 warmest since 1850.
(2) The science is now as solid as it'll ever get.
(3) The expert consensus is unanimous.
(4) Climate change is accelerating ever faster.
(5) Climate change can't be stopped anymore. We can slow it down.
(6) We have 2-3 years to engineer radical, revolutionary change.
(7) AR4 is conservative: expect worse.
(8) By 2020, African crops will be down 50%.
(9) By 2020, up to 250 billion Africans will suffer water shortages.
(10) In 2006, 8.4 gigatons of carbon were put into the air. That is almost identical to the worst case prediction for that year.
(11) If all emissions stopped now -- no more cars anywhere/immediately -- global sea levels would rise 1.5 m (4.8 ft).
(12) If/When Greenland & West Antarctia melt off, global sea levels will rise 12 m (40 ft).
(13) By 2100 temps will rise at least 2-4 C (3.6-7.2 F) with high probability.
(14) By 2100 temps may rise 6.4 C (11.5 F) with some probability.
(15) Up to 70% of all life on Earth may go extinct.
(16) The US tried to get rid of a section of AR4 titled "Reasons for Concern" that offered a litany of likely or possible consequences. (see also here.) Not only is the Bush administration largely responsible for this impending planetary catastrophe; they also tried to cover it up. And yet, no impeachment. Bizarre.
Florida's landmass will shrink, either significantly or dramatically. The Everglades will salt up. We'll lose all the beaches. All of them. The remainder of dry land will convert into scrubland. The regional biome won't absorb the predicted change in precipitation patterns. Today, waiting in some office, I sat near a TV monitor; the talking head called what's happening a "century drought". Florida's rainy season has turned into a bizarre dry season. Things are getting worse in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. There's also a drought in Montana. And in Virginia. The water crisis is on. For the same anthropogenic reasons, climate-change induced precipitation shifts, droughts are hitting South Australia, Western Australia, North New Zealand, and South China's crop-producing regions. There's a suicide wave among Australian farmers. Here's some basic info on climate change and food production, in an interview in the Washington Post.
Meanwhile cyclone Sidr wreaked havoc in Bangladesh.
And the worst power plant with the highest carbon emission of any point source on the planet (43 megatons/year), pollutes in Taizhong, Taiwan.
40 % of Tampa water is used to water lawns.
17 % of Tampa water is lost in leaky pipes.