Global warming or global cooling?!

After reading a few articles on global warming and the environment, I came to ask this question. It is similar to the title of one of the articles I’ve read.

I’ve leanrt that the notion of a  global climate change is on question. Some are saying that the climate research is not totally accurater and we might not be really experiencing a global warming – we might actually be experiencing a global cooling.

While the global ice caps are melting, suggesting a global warming, some countries are freezing, suggesting a global cooling. Debates about the climate change are existent.

There was this Kyoto Protocol, an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 3–14 June 1992.* This was to reduce the use of some greenhouse gases and two more gases. Scientists state that these gases are the ones worsening our climate. But some people counters this notion and states that we can do nothing about this global warming and this might actually be a case of global cooling.

My question is which side is right? Is there really a global warming or a global cooling?

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U.S.official warns of global warming

WASHINGTON (UPI) — A U.S. energy official has acknowledged that responding to global warming while meeting energy needs will be one of the greatest challenges faced by humanity.

Raymond L. Orbach, the U.S. Department of Energy’s undersecretary for science, reaches that conclusion in a two-part podcast entitled “Confronting Climate Change,” published Tuesday as part of the American Chemical Society’s Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions series.

Orbach says this challenge will require “transformational breakthroughs in basic science” — meaning revolutionary discoveries rather than common step-by-step scientific advances.

As an example he cites the development of artificial photosynthesis, the natural process used by plants to produce energy from water and sunlight. Artificial photosynthesis, or “photosynthesis without the plant,” as Orbach put it, could potentially open the door to fueling cars of the future with water rather than gasoline. Water could be split by artificial photosynthesis into hydrogen and oxygen, allowing clean-burning hydrogen fuel, Orbach explains in the podcast.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

from Arcamax Science and Technology e-zine, 08-28-2008

Bering glacier melting at a faster rate

HOUGHTON, Mich. (UPI) — New measurements show the Bering Glacier in Alaska is melting at double the rate that scientists had thought, researchers said Friday.

Robert Shuchman, co-director of the Michigan Tech Research Institute, said the glacier, the largest in North America, is releasing about 30 cubic kilometers of water a year — more than twice the amount of water in the entire Colorado River.

“This could potentially change the circulation of coastal currents in the Gulf of Alaska,” Shuchman said.

The measurements were made with a new sensor — designed by Michigan Tech, the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Bureau of Land Management — that provides a more accurate measurement of glacial ice melt, the university said Friday in a release.

“Our glacier observations are 10 times better and 10 times less costly than data collected the old way,” Shuchman said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

from Arcamax Science and Technology e-zine, 08-19-2008

Greenland glaciers still disintegrating

COLUMBUS, Ohio (UPI) — U.S. scientists monitoring Greenland’s glaciers say they expect two of the largest glaciers to disintegrate within the next year.

Ohio State University Associate Professor Jason Box of the school’s Byrd Polar Research Center says a massive 11-square-mile piece of the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland broke away last month.

Box and graduate students Russell Benson and David Decker say they’re even more concerned about what appears to be a massive crack farther back from Petermann’s margin. They said that crack, seen in satellite images, might signal an imminent and much larger breakup.

“If the Petermann glacier breaks up back to the upstream rift, the loss would be as much as 60 square miles,” said Box. That would represent a loss of one-third of the massive ice field.

At the same time, the scientists say the margin of the immense Jakobshavn glacier has retreated farther inland than it has during 150 years of observation. The researchers believe the glacier hasn’t retreated to where it is now in at least the last 4,000 to 6,000 years.

The scientists are using data from National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellites and from cameras that monitor global warming effects on Greenland’s glaciers.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

from Arcamax Science and Technology e-zine, 08-25-2008

Year 3000

Did the Jonas Brothers talk about global warming intentionally or not? Or did they want to mention it or not?I mean, I just noticed something in their song Year 3000.

“I’ve been to the year 3000
Not much has changed but they lived under water.
And your great great great grand daughter,
Is doing fine (is doing fine).”

The second line of the chorus kinda sounds like something that can probably happen when this global warming-thing continues.

I don’t know…

Somehow it sounds like so.

Biodiversity on Earth is declining

GLAND, Switzerland (UPI) — The WWF, also known as the World Wildlife Fund, says more than a quarter of the Earth’s wildlife has been lost during the last 35 years.

The organization’s Living Planet Index — produced for the WWF by the Zoological Society of London — shows populations of marine species, such as swordfish and scalloped hammerhead, were particularly hard hit, falling by 28 percent between 1995 and 2005. Seabird populations have suffered a 30 percent decline since the mid-1990s.

The index said land-based species’ populations fell by 25 percent between 1970 and 2005, and populations of freshwater species by 29 percent between 1970 and 2003.

Scientists said habitat destruction and wildlife trade were among the major causes of population declines but climate change is expected to become an increasingly important factor.

“No one can escape the impact of biodiversity loss,” said James Leape, WWF’s director general, “because reduced global diversity translates quite clearly into fewer new medicines, greater vulnerability to natural disasters and greater effects from global warming.”

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

from Arcamax Science and Technology e-zine, 05-19-2008