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The UN has nominated the years 2021-2030 the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration
Restoring all kinds of ecosystems and degraded land in particular shall help both provide a massive amount of ecosystem services and remove up to 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the air.
The dedication of 2021-2030 to certain themes is more ideological than practical. The fact that the next decade has been declared the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration means that more attention and sponsorship will be given to projects related to this topic. At the end of the decade such tasks must be accomplished:
Anything from planting coral on the seafloor or ocean floor and revitalizing hillside vegetation to large-scale restoration of a plateau or mountain range landscape is ecosystem restoration. It manifests itself in actions as varied as creating new mangroves, agroforestry, measures to improve soil and water quality, and even making urban economies more sustainable.
Every government, community, conservation organization, and private enterprise will play a role in achieving the goals of the Decade. Any degraded ecosystem, including agricultural areas, savannahs, wetlands, protected reserves, fisheries, managed plantations, riverbanks, coastal areas, and many others, can offer opportunities for restoration. FAO) and UNEP, both UN agencies, as well as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with the Global Landscapes Forum, will help realize these goals.
Scientists say the next 10 years will be the most important in the fight to prevent climate change and to combat the extinction of millions of species. The UN Decade Strategy suggests 10 actions that can build #GenerationRestoration:
1. Empower yourself.
The main goal of the UN Decade is to stop and reverse the destruction and degradation of billions of hectares of ecosystems. This is not an easy task. The situation is even more challenging, given the enormous diversity of ecosystems and the threats they face: from lush forests threatened by illegal logging and wildfires, to agricultural soils so eroded that they will yield crops for a couple of years at most. No one organization can determine where to go, so the UN Decade is designed to be a cooperative effort: groups and individuals can learn about the opportunities for ecological restoration in their area. They can join an initiative already underway or start their own.
2. Help fund projects
Restoration requires resources. Organizations that operate on the ground are often unfunded or face prolonged financial instability. While the benefits of recovery far outweigh the costs, an initial investment of billions of dollars is needed. Governments, international lenders, development agencies and private businesses will have to step up their support. People may consider donating their time or their expertise to a worthy initiative.
Agricultural and fishing subsidies, which are often used to fund environmentally indefensible projects, can be used to support restoration. In the long run, healthier ecosystems can bring more crops, more reliable income, and a healthier environment for people.
4. Be proactive.
In recent years, we’ve seen incredible momentum for restoration. Trillion tree planting campaigns have inspired many, and companies have banded together to hold mass planting festivals. As part of the Bonn Challenge, more than 60 countries have pledged to bring 350 million hectares of forested landscapes back to life. The UN Decade will encourage initiative and encourage others to be more proactive.
5. Change your consumption habits
Although ecosystem restoration is site-specific, the forces causing ecosystem destruction are often linked to global trends. Deforestation, food stock depletion, and agricultural soil degradation are all caused by global consumption patterns. The UN Decade will strive for the practice of mindful consumption. This can be as much about changing diets as it can be about popularizing processed foods.
6. Invest in research
Practices that work in one ecosystem can cause adverse effects in another. As the climate changes, new uncertainties arise, and a return to the old one can lead to high temperatures or changing rainfall patterns requiring new crops. The scientific understanding of how to restore and adapt ecosystems is still evolving, so significant investment is needed to determine the best methods for restoring our planet, one site at a time.
7. Build capacity
The UN urges everyone — absolutely everyone — who is already working to restore the planet’s ecology to keep going and work even harder.
8. Embrace the culture of restoration
Revitalizing the environment is a cultural challenge. That’s why the UN Decade strategy encourages artists, storytellers, producers, musicians, and partners to join #GenerationRestoration.
9. Shape these ideas in the minds of the younger generation
It is young people and future generations who will suffer the most from the consequences of the current rapid destruction of ecosystems. The UN Decade Strategy makes a direct link between the well-being of youth and the goals of restoration. Education for recovery will turn today’s children into ecosystem ambassadors, give them the skills to work sustainably, and ensure that the achievements of the UN Decade will survive its timeline.
10. Listen and learn
Also, look for additional ways to help your projects.
The environmental organization Germanwatch
CANADA HEARINGS ON CLIMATE CHANGE
2 January 2011: The Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources held hearings on climate change on December 15, 2011. The testimonies are an excellent summary of scientific evidence showing that man-made emissions are not the primary cause of global warming.
Four scientists presented realistic science to the committee:
Ross McKitrick, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Guelph
Ian D. Clark, Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa
Jan Veizer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa
Timothy Patterson, Professor of Geology, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University
Professor McKitrick stated:
The global warming issue is often described with emphatic claims that the "science is settled," the situation is urgent, and the necessary actions are obvious. The reality is that there are deep disagreements about underlying scientific issues, there is reason to believe the problem has been exaggerated, and most policy proposals simply do not pass objective cost-benefit tests."
Professor McKitrick's excellent written testimony can be found here and a video of the hearings can be found here. Both the testimonies and question sessions are well worth the viewing time.
Last Updated ( Monday, 02 January 2012 17:05 )
11 November 2011: Matt Ridley, renowned British author, recently delivered the Angus Millar Lecture of the Royal Society of the Arts in Edinburgh. The subject of his speech was scientific heresy and the "pseudoscience" of climate change, as he calls it. Matt is a self-described "lukewarmer," accepting that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that the climate has been warming, and that man is at least partly responsible.
Matt succinctly summarizes the bankruptcy of the theory of man-made global warming:
"...there is no evidence that climate is changing dangerously or faster than in the past, when it changed naturally. It was warmer in the Middle Ages and medieval climate change in Greenland was much faster.
Stalagmites, tree lines and ice cores all confirm that it was significantly warmer 7000 years ago. Evidence from Greenland suggests that the Arctic ocean was probably ice free for part of the late summer at that time. Sea level is rising at the unthreatening rate about a foot per century and decelerating. Greenland is losing ice at the rate of about 150 gigatonnes a year, which is 0.6% per century. There has been no significant warming in Antarctica, with the exception of the peninsula. Methane has largely stopped increasing. Tropical storm intensity and frequency have gone down, not up, in the last 20 years. Your probability of dying as a result of a drought, a flood or a storm is 98% lower globally than it was in the 1920s. Malaria has retreated not expanded as the world has warmed.
And so on. I've looked and looked but I cannot find one piece of data - as opposed to a model - that shows either unprecedented change or change is that is anywhere close to causing real harm."
Ridley attacks the heart of the issue with a discussion about climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity is usually defined as the amount the Earth will warm from a doubling in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Climate sensitivity includes not only the affects of CO2 increase, but also the additional warming or cooling from other forces as Earth reacts to the doubling of CO2.
Ridley points out that climate scientists generally agree that the warming from a doubling of CO2 alone would warm global temperatures about 1.2 degree C. This rise by itself is not enough to cause the catastrophic impacts projected by many global warming doomsayers. The big disagreement is in the size of the feedback, that is, how Earth reacts to the doubling. The Global Circulation Models on which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change rely all conclude that a positive feedback will be added to CO2 rise, boosting global temperatures from 1.2 degrees C to an average of 3 degrees C.
But, our modern rise in global temperatures does not support model predictions. As the graph to the right shows, surface temperatures have risen about 0.6-0.7 degrees C in the last 150 years as atmospheric CO2 levels have risen from a pre-industrial level of about 285 ppm to today's level of 390 ppm.
Click on image above to see a larger view of this graph.
If the entire temperature rise is assumed to be due to CO2 and not natural climatic cycles, then the Earth's temperature is rising along the 1.2 degrees C per doubling curve, not the 3 degrees C per doubling curve called for by the models. This is yet another indication that the models are overstating climate sensitivity.
See the rest of Ridley's speech here.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 November 2011 05:14 )
THE EVER-CHANGING IPCC CARBON CYCLE
11 October 2011: An article recently published in the journal Nature casts doubt on the IPCC's Carbon Cycle Model. Researchers at the Scripps Institute of Oceanograpy find that previous estimates of the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed annually by global vegetation may be low by as much as 45%.
A cornerstone of the theory of man-made global warming is the concept that emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are accumulating in the atmosphere. In its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC states:
"The additional burden of CO2 added to the atmosphere by human activities ... leads to the current 'perturbed' global carbon cycle ... these perturbations to the natural carbon cycle are the dominant driver of climate change because of their persistent effect on the atmosphere."
The IPCC further claims that carbon dioxide remains for a long time in the atmosphere:
"About 50% of a CO2 increase willl be removed from the atmosphere within 30 years, and a further 30% will be removed within a few centuries. The remaining 20% may stay in the atmosphere for many thousands of years."
The IPCC bases its conclusions on the Carbon Cycle Model shown at right, which was published in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report. The model estimates that annual emissions of carbon from the land and biomass is 122 gigatons of carbon, with an annual absorption by the land and biomass of 123 gigatons. Annual man-made emissions are estimated at 6 gigatons. The model also shows that about 215 of the 750 gigatons of carbon in the atmosphere is exchanged with the biosphere and oceans, or about 29% of the carbon in the atmosphere each year. Many skeptical scientists have questioned the IPCC Carbon Cycle Model, pointing out that the uncertainties in the carbon flows are very large--much, much larger than yearly human emissions.
The scientists at the Scripps Institute recently found that yearly uptake of global vegetation is probably in the range of 150 to 175 gigatons of carbon, or up to 45% more than in the current IPCC models. This 45% error in one of the carbon cycle flows is 8 times more than total annual human industrial emissions. Read more about it here.
The article calls into question the accuracy of the whole Carbon Cycle Model. It's clear that climate science really doesn't have a good handle on the estimates of global carbon flows.
The Carbon Cycle According to the IPCC. Numbers in billions of tons of carbon. The numbers shown are estimated carbon totals residing in each climate subsystem. The numbers next to the arrows are estimates of annual transfers of carbon in the form of CO2. Diagram from Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century's Hottest Topic.
Should these new estimates be true, we can conclude that 1) annual emissions by mankind are a yet smaller part of Earth's carbon cycle, only about 2% of the flows, and 2) about 34% of all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is exchanged with the biosphere and oceans each year. These findings further challenge the IPCC's assertions that mankind's relatively small emissions have "perturbed the carbon cycle" and that CO2 "remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years."
Last Updated ( Friday, 18 November 2011 05:12 )
CERN CLOUD EXPERIMENT CONFIRMS SOLAR INFLUENCE ON CLIMATE
31 August 2011: CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has reported results that will shake the foundation of the theory of man-made global warming that has been accepted by most of the world. Results from the CLOUD experiment show that cosmic rays boost formation of aerosols in the atmosphere. Since aerosols are critical to cloud formation and clouds are key to the amount of solar radiation that reaches Earth's surface, cosmic rays, a natural effect, are therefore a key component of climate change. This finding counters the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the primary driver of global warming.
Researchers at CERN bombarded a chamber of gas with a stream of high-energy ions, simulating Earth's atmosphere under bombardment from cosmic rays. They then studied the new particles formed during the experiment.
In a press release on August 25, CERN announced that "We found that cosmic rays significantly enhance the formation of aerosol particles in the mid-troposphere and above. These aerosols can eventually grow into the seeds for clouds." See the press release here. The CERN announcement is a confirmation of a theory by Dr. Henrik Svensmark and other researchers at the Danish Space Research Institute that was proposed in the 1990s.
It had been known for many years that the level of cosmic rays reaching Earth's surface was inversely related to the level of sunspot activity on the sun. Svensmark noted also that recent satellite data showed that low-level cloudiness varied with the level of cosmic rays measured at Earth's surface. Svensmark hypothesized that cosmic rays collided with aerosols in our atmosphere, forming ions that then served as cloud condensation nuclei, stimulating the formation of clouds. He then concluded that solar sunspot activity was affecting the level of cloudiness on Earth. Therefore, a higher level of sunspots could be the cause of global warming.
When first announced, Svensmark's theory was heavily criticized by the IPCC and the climate science community. Bert Bolin, former chairman of the IPCC, pronounced Svensmark's theory "extremely naive and irresponsible." But now, CERN has confirmed that sunspot activity may indeed be a significant factor in climate change.
See further excellent commentary by Lawrence Solomon here.
More Sunspots Cause Global Warming. The diagram shows the mechanism for global warming from increased sunspot activity. More sunspots increase the solar wind, reduce cosmic rays, and reduce low-level cloudiness, which reflects less sunlight, causing Earth to warm. Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century's Hottest Topic
Last Updated ( Saturday, 03 September 2011 17:55 )
SPENCER ON CLIMATE MODELS
29 July 2011: Dr. Roy Spencer, Chairman of the CSCA Technical Advisory Board, along with William Braswell, published an article this week in the Journal of Remote Sensing containing new information on climate feedbacks and the climate models relied on by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In a press release from the University of Alabama, Huntsville, Dr. Spencer stated: "The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show. There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans." See the press release here.
Spencer and Braswell compared temperature data from the Hadley Centre Climate Research Unit in Great Britain with radiated energy measurements collected by the Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments aboard NASA's Terra satellite. Time-lagged regression analysis showed that climate feedbacks proposed by the climate models were not able to explain changes in measured radiation after temperature changes, particularly over the oceans. The analysis indicates the presence of natural forcing factors due to changes in clouds, solar radiation, heat rising from the oceans or other factors that are not described by the models.
According to Spencer: "The main finding from this research is that there is no solution to the problem of measuring atmospheric feedback, due mostly to our inability to distinguish between radiative forcing and radiative feedback in our observations." Since climate models do not account for these natural forcings, they likely overstate the temperature changes caused by CO2 emissions. See the full technical article here.
Last Updated ( Friday, 29 July 2011 18:06 )
HAPPER ON THE DUBIOUS SCIENCE OF THE CLIMATE CRUSADERS
23 May 2011: Dr. William Happer, Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University, provides an excellent analysis of current misguided climate science. He was formerly Director of Research for the U.S. Department of Energy, but fired by Vice President Al Gore in 1993 over his skepticism regarding assumptions regarding the Ozone Hole. Dr. Happer has testified before Congress on several occasions on the topic of climate science.
Dr. Happer points out:
"A normal human exhales around 1 kg of CO2 (the simplest chemically stable molecule of carbon in the earth's atmosphere) per day. . .Now the Environmental Protection Agency wants to regulate atmospheric CO2 as a 'pollutant'. . .As far as green plants are concerned, CO2 is not a pollutant, but part of their daily bread--like water, sunlight, nitrogen, and other essential elements. Most green plants evolved at CO2 levels of several thousand ppm, many times higher than now. Plants grow better and have better flowers and fruit at higher levels. Commercial greenhouse operators recognize this when they artificially increase the concentrations inside their greenhouses to over 1000 ppm."
"Other things being equal, doubling the CO2 concentration from our current 390 ppm to 780 ppm will directly cause about 1 degree Celsius in warming. At the current rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere--about 2 ppm per year--it would take about 195 years to achieve this doubling."
"The existence of the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period were an embarrassment to the global-warming establishment, because they showed that the current warming is almost indistinguishable from previous warmings and coolings that had nothing to do with burning fossil fuel."
Dr. Happer provides an excellent summary discussion of CO2, temperature and climate, the IPCC, emails from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University (Climategate), the American Physical Society, and other topics. This article is well worth the read. Find the complete text at First Things here.