Minggu, 27 April 2008

Entries of Global Warming

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America and Global Warming

America is in the throes of a major housing and financial downturn, soaring food and energy costs, rising unemployment and near recession. But many legislators and bureaucrats are falling all over themselves to restrict fossil fuel use, advance climate change legislation – and thereby increase oil imports, energy prices, and impacts on families and businesses.
Even President Bush has called for action on climate change. “Reasonable and responsible” legislation is needed, the White House asserts, to avert a “regulatory nightmare” that from overlapping state and federal rules. One shudders to think the “preferred solution” could be a costly federal regulatory nightmare of emission mandates and hidden taxes in the form of cap-and-trade schemes.

Earth did warm slightly over the last quarter century, as it emerged further from the Little Ice Age, and humans likely played a role. However, literally hundreds of climate scientists say catastrophic climate change and dominant human influence are over-hyped myths.

Our planet has experienced numerous climate shifts, they point out, including prolonged ice ages, a 400-year Medieval Warm Period and a 500-year Little Ice Age. Climate scientists still don’t understand what caused these events – or the temperature roller coaster of the last century, as carbon dioxide levels rose steadily: temperatures climbed from 1910 to 1945, fell between 1945 and 1975, and increased again from 1975 to 1998, notes Syun-Ichi Akasofu, founding director of the International Arctic Research Center.

Five of the ten hottest years in US history were in the 1920s and 1930s. Average global temperatures stabilized in 1998, and then fell 1.1 degrees F the past twelve months, satellite measurements show. Ice core data demonstrate that, over thousands of years, rising temperatures preceded higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, by hundreds of years – the exact opposite of climate chaos hypotheses. Interior Greenland and Antarctica appear to be gaining ice mass; they’re certainly not melting.

These inconvenient facts have forced alarmists to rely on computer models that generate Frankenclime monsters realistic enough to scare people into believing climate Armageddon is nigh.

Climate models do help scientists evaluate possible consequences of changing economic growth, emission, cloud cover and other variables. But they can’t reproduce the actual climate of the past century. They cannot make accurate predictions, even one year in the future, much less fifty. They do not represent reality, and should not be relied on to guide public policy.

Models reflect the assumptions and hypotheses that go into them – and our still limited understanding of complex, turbulent climate processes that involve the sun, oceans, land masses and atmosphere. They do a poor job of dealing with the effects of water vapor, precipitation and high cirrus clouds on temperatures and climate, because the underlying physics aren’t well understood, notes MIT meteorology professor Richard Lindzen.

Like the UN’s politicized climate control panel, the IPCC, models also place too much emphasis on carbon dioxide. They pay insufficient attention to extraterrestrial factors like changes in the Earth’s irregular orbit around the sun, solar energy levels, and solar winds that appear to influence the level of cosmic rays reaching Earth, and thus the formation of cloud cover and penetration of infrared radiation from the sun. They likewise fail to incorporate the profound effects that periodic shifts in Pacific Ocean currents have on temperatures and sea ice in the Arctic.

When the US National Assessment compared the results of two top-tier computer models for various regions of the United States, the models frequently generated precisely opposite rainfall scenarios, University of Alabama at Huntsville climatologist John Christy points out. Depending on which model was used, the Dakotas and Rio Grande valley would supposedly become complete deserts or huge swamps; the Southeastern US would become a jungle or semi-arid grassland.

Activists, journalists, politicians, AlGoreans, and even scientists and corporate executives then select the scariest scenarios, call them evidence, trumpet them with hysterical headlines – and insist on drastic cutbacks in CO2 emissions and energy use. They’ll likely make millions, while other families and businesses suffer. Many are big on wind and ethanol, but not thrilled about nuclear power.

Fully 85 percent of all the energy Americans use comes from fossil fuels. Less than 0.5% is wind power, which generates electricity only eight hours a day, on average. Over half of our electricity is produced by coal, because it is plentiful and affordable, and modern power plants emit few pollutants, but do generate abundant plant food (the same carbon dioxide we exhale every time we breathe).

Any climate change regime would impose new restrictions on coal-fired power plants, oil and gas drilling, air and ground transportation, and heating, air conditioning and manufacturing. In fact, any facility or activity that generates more than 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year could be heavily regulated: bakeries, breweries, soft drink makers, factories, apartment and office buildings, dairy farms and countless others. Permit, regulatory, oversight, anti-fraud monitoring and polar bear endangerment rules would cost billions in still more highly regressive, hidden taxes

Top 10 about Global Warming

You've probably heard about the global warming song and dance: rising temperatures, melting ice caps and rising sea levels in the near future. But Earth's changing climate is already wreaking havoc in some very weird ways. So gird yourself for such strange effects as savage wildfires, 25-mile long icebergs, disappearing lakes, freak allergies, and the threat of long-gone diseases re-emerging.

10. Aggravated Allergies
Have those sneeze attacks and itchy eyes that plague you every spring been worsening in recent years? If so, global warming may be partly to blame. Over the past few decades, more and more Americans have started suffering from seasonal allergies and asthma. Though lifestyle changes and pollution ultimately leave people more vulnerable to the airborne allergens they breathe in, research has shown that the higher carbon dioxide levels and warmer temperatures associated with global warming are also playing a role by prodding plants to bloom earlier and produce more pollen. With more allergens produced earlier, allergy season can last longer. Get those tissues ready

9. Heading for the Hills
Starting in the early 1900s, we've all had to look to slightly higher ground to spot our favorite chipmunks, mice and squirrels. Researchers found that many of these animals have moved to greater elevations, possibly due to changes in their habitat caused by global warming. Similar changes to habitats are also threatening Arctic species like polar bears, as the sea ice they dwell on gradually melts away.

8. Arctic in Bloom
While melting in the Arctic might cause problems for plants and animals at lower latitudes, it's creating a downright sunny situation for Arctic biota. Arctic plants usually remain trapped in ice for most of the year. Nowadays, when the ice melts earlier in the spring, the plants seem to be eager to start growing. Research has found higher levels of the form of the photosynthesis product chlorophyll in modern soils than in ancient soils, showing a biological boom in the Arctic in recent decades.

7. Pulling the Plug
A whopping 125 lakes in the Arctic have disappeared in the past few decades, backing up the idea that global warming is working fiendishly fast nearest Earth's poles. Research into the whereabouts of the missing water points to the probability that permafrost underneath the lakes thawed out. When this normally permanently frozen ground thaws, the water in the lakes can seep through the soil, draining the lake, one researcher likened it to pulling the plug out of the bathtub. When the lakes disappear, the ecosystems they support also lose their home.

6. The Big Thaw
Not only is the planet's rising temperature melting massive glaciers, but it also seems to be thawing out the layer of permanently frozen soil below the ground's surface. This thawing causes the ground to shrink and occurs unevenly, so it could lead to sink holes and damage to structures such as railroad tracks, highways and houses. The destabilizing effects of melting permafrost at high altitudes, for example on mountains, could even cause rockslides and mudslides. Recent discoveries reveal the possibility of long-dormant diseases like smallpox could re-emerge as the ancient dead, their corpses thawing along with the tundra, get discovered by modern man.

5. Survival of the Fittest
As global warming brings an earlier start to spring, the early bird might not just get the worm. It might also get its genes passed on to the next generation. Because plants bloom earlier in the year, animals that wait until their usual time to migrate might miss out on all the food. Those who can reset their internal clocks and set out earlier stand a better chance at having offspring that survive and thus pass on their genetic information, thereby ultimately changing the genetic profile of their entire population.

4. Speedier Satellites
A primary cause of a warmer planet'scarbon dioxide emissions is having effects that reach into space with a bizarre twist. Air in the atmosphere's outermost layer is very thin, but air molecules still create drag that slows down satellites, requiring engineers to periodically boost them back into their proper orbits. But the amount of carbon dioxide up there is increasing. And while carbon dioxide molecules in the lower atmosphere release energy as heat when they collide, thereby warming the air, the sparser molecules in the upper atmosphere collide less frequently and tend to radiate their energy away, cooling the air around them. With more carbon dioxide up there, more cooling occurs, causing the air to settle. So the atmosphere is less dense and creates less drag.

3. Rebounding Mountains
Though the average hiker wouldn't notice, the Alps and other mountain ranges have experienced a gradual growth spurt over the past century or so thanks to the melting of the glaciers atop them. For thousands of years, the weight of these glaciers has pushed against the Earth's surface, causing it to depress. As the glaciers melt, this weight is lifting, and the surface slowly is springing back. Because global warming speeds up the melting of these glaciers, the mountains are rebounding faster.

2. Ruined Ruins
All over the globe, temples, ancient settlements and other artifacts stand as monuments to civilizations past that until now have withstood the tests of time. But the immediate effects of global warming may finally do them in. Rising seas and more extreme weather have the potential to damage irreplaceable sites. Floods attributed to global warming have already damaged a 600-year-old site, Sukhothai, which was once the capital of a Thai kingdom. '

1. Forest Fire Frenzy
While it's melting glaciers and creating more intense hurricanes, global warming also seems to be heating up forest fires in the United States. In western states over the past few decades, more wildfires have blazed across the countryside, burning more area for longer periods of time. Scientists have correlated the rampant blazes with warmer temperatures and earlier snowmelt. When spring arrives early and triggers an earlier snow-melt, forest areas become drier and stay so for longer, increasing the chance that they might ignite.

The Basic of Global Warming

We've put together these basic frequently asked questions to give you a starting point in your global warming education. When you're done reading up on the basics, check out our solutions page to learn more about how you can curb global warming.

What causes global warming? Is it part of a natural cycle?Global warming is caused by the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide and methane, which form a sort of blanket over the Earth, trapping in heat that would normally escape the atmosphere. The leading greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, a pollutant emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. While it is true that there has always been some natural climate variability, record levels of carbon dioxide are having a far reaching change over our weather, sea levels, and climate.

Throughout ice ages, higher concentrations of carbon dioxide have corelated with higher temperatures. Humans are exacerbating global temperatures through industrial activity which dramatically increases carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. In its recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that 2005 carbon dioxide levels significantly exceed average concentration levels over the past 650,000 years.

Click here to read the report on global warming science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's leading scientific body on global warming.

How can Global Warming affect our lives?We do not yet fully know how radical climate change will affect our way of life, but we do know that the effects of growing carbon dioxide emissions already occurring are staggering: the eleven years ranging between 1995 and 2006 rank among the twelve warmest years recorded since 1850. Sea level rise will likely increase 20-50 inches (.5-1.4 m) above 1990 levels by 2100, dramatically altering coastal communities and natural habitats.

Leading scientists assert that a rise of 2º C over pre-industrial temperatures would leave hundreds of millions of people around the world "exposed to increased water stress," decrease air quality in cities, increase ocean acidification leading to the destruction of calcifying marine life (including coral and dependent species), negatively impact farmers and fishers, increase the likelihood and severity of wildfires, and dramatically escalate mortality rates resulting from drought, floods, and heat waves. Few ecosystems could adapt to such a dramatic temperature change, potentially resulting in the extinction of 30% of species and the loss of 30% of coastal wetlands. In North America specifically, higher temperatures will decrease snow pack in the western mountains, reducing summer water supplies and exacerbating chances of drought.
To avoid such catastrophes, scientists say that we must reduce our carbon emissions by at least 80% by 2050 to prevent global temperatures from rising above 2º C over pre-industrial averages.Read the IPCC's definitive report on the possible impacts of global warming.

Does the rise in the earth's temperature cause more intense storms and hurricanes? If so, how? Yes. Hurricanes are powered by warm water on the surface of the ocean. As global warming heats the surface of the water, hurricanes will increase in speed, power, and severity.
In its most recent report, IPCC found that tropical storms have become more intense in the North Atlantic since 1970, during which time period carbon dioxide levels have increased by 80%. The report also found that future tropical typhoons and hurricanes will likely become more intense as measured by higher wind speeds and heavier precipitation. More powerful cyclones will lead to crop damage, power outages, increase risk of food and water-borne diseases, population migration, and property loss.

What are the largest sources of global warming pollution in the world and in the United States?According to the 2005 figures by the Department of Energy, the US produces 21.1% of all CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, at 5,957 million metric tons. That is more than China (18.9%), India (4.1%), Russia (6%), Japan (4.4%), Australia (1.4%) and the whole of Europe put together (16.6%).

The U.S. emits roughly 30% of its carbon dioxide from the transportation sector and 40% from power plants. We burn coal and natural gas to produce electricity for our homes, businesses, and factories. Most of the oil is burned to power transportation - planes, buses, and cars. Unfortunately, nearly all of the technology that produces this energy is outdated and inefficient. We can continue to live our lives by putting more efficient technology to use, and by generating more energy from clean sources like wind and solar.

Can we curb our emissions of global warming pollution without hurting our economy?Absolutely. America's current energy policy is terribly expensive, requiring large subsidies while taking a heavy toll on consumers. Studies show that by investing in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency, we can reduce our greenhouse emissions the necessary 80% by 2050 while creating new jobs and saving consumers money, and we can do so without producing dangerous and expensive electricity from nuclear reactors.

While many countries in Europe and Asia are recognizing the need to curb emissions, America's industries are falling behind. America needs policies and programs that will stimulate green power industries so we can ensure that America will once again lead the world in technology and manufacturing. And by making simple choices in the kinds of products we buy, such as compact florescent light bulbs and hybrid cars, we can all save money and protect the environment by consuming less energy.

Read the latest report that proves we can curb global warming and create jobs.
Read the Sierra Club's official roadmap to achieving 80% carbon reductions by 2050 without nuclear power.

Read Energy [R]evolution: a Blueprint for Solving Global Warming
Read the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research's Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap For U.S. Energy Policy
Find out how many jobs a robust investment in renewable energy can create in your state.
How is the International Community Addressing Climate Change?Recognizing the urgency of the threat posed by climate change, developing countries agreed at recent UN climate change negotiations in Bali to complement developed country mitigation targets with nationally appropriate mitigation actions of their own. This represents a significant change of position on the part of developing countries. The U.S. has the opportunity to capitalize on the momentum of Bali if we act quickly to put in place the necessary legislation to reduce domestic emissions.
Read the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Bali Final Results
Read the Club of Madrid and United Nations Foundation Framework Proposal
Is it too late to stop Global Warming?While it is true that global warming is already occurring and affecting the way we live, we can prevent global temperatures from reaching dangerous levels if we take steps now to begin dramatically reducing our carbon emissions. If we do not begin to shift to clean energy, the heat waves and hurricanes that we have already suffered through will worsen. Thankfully, we have all the tools necessary to curb our emissions of greenhouse gases - tools like clean energy, energy efficiency, and cars that go farther on a gallon of gas. Click here to learn more about global warming solutions.

Learn the Physics

Prof. Yohanes Surya menyatakan metode Gasing (gampang, asyik, dan menyenangkan) yang dapat digunakan untuk mengerjakan soal-soal fisika menjadi efektif dan tidak menyita waktu. Metode ini diajarkan Prof. Yohanes ini dalam rangka menghadapi ujian nasional fisika yang bakal berlangsung Mei ke depan.

"Dengan metode Gasing (Gampang, Asyik dan Menyenangkan) belajar fisika tidak usah menggunakan rumus tapi bisa mengerjakan soal, metode ini dibuat dalam rangka membantu para siswa/i dalam menghadapi ujian nasional fisika, karena belajar fisika cukup dengan logika”. menurut Prof. Yohanes Surya Ph.D

Prof. Yohanes mengatakan bahwa, selama ini banyak orang yang merasa kesulitan dalam mengerjakan soal-soal fisika, karena banyak guru mengajarkan rumus yang panjang dan sulit. Akibatnya, banyak waktu tersita dan tidak efektif. Melalui metode ini, pengerjaan soal fisika tidak perlu lagi menggunakan rumus tetapi menggunakan logika. Tak mengherankan , para siswa/i begitu antusias mendengarkan penjelasan guru besar fisika ini.

anna, salah satu siswa dari SMU kelas 2 IPA, merasa senang sekali dengan metode ini dalam mengerjakan soal-soal fisika menjadi sangat menyenagkan dan memudahkan.

“Metode Gasing lebih mudah dibandingkan dengan menggunakan rumus-rumus fisika yang panjang, dan metode ini juga mudah dimengerti. Rata-rata mereka mengatakan, sebelum mengenal metode ini, mereka merasa kesulitan dalam mengerjakan soal fisika karena rumus yang begitu panjang dan banyak. banyak waktu dan usaha untuk menghafal rumus dan mengerjakan soal-soal fisika.(dni/mi)

Stephen Hawking Dorong Era Baru Taklukkan Antariksa

(ivan / MI)

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WASHINGTON--MI: Astrofisikawan Stephen Hawking menyerukan dibukanya era baru penaklukan antariksa, serupa dengan penemuan dunia baru yang dilakukan Christopher Columbus, dalam pidatonya menyambut setengah abad badan antariksa AS, NASA.
"Situasinya sama seperti Eropa sebelum 1492. Orang mungkin berpikir buat apa membuang-buang uang untuk mengirim Columbus bagi perburuan angsa liar," ujar ilmuwan Inggris itu di Georgetown Washington University, Senin (21/4).

"Menyebar ke antariksa akan membawa dampak yang besar. Langkah ini akan engubah sama sekali masa depan umat manusia dan boleh jadi menentukan apakah kita punya masa depan atau tidak," kata ilmuwan berusia 66 tahun itu, yang dikenal berkat berbagai karyanya dalam kosmologi dan gravitas kuantum.

Hawking telah membayangkan proyek penjelajahan antariksa jangka panjang yang kan mencakup pembangunan pangkalan percobaan di Bulan dalam 30 tahun, dan erencanakan sistem propulsi baru untuk membawa kita ke perburuan antar-planet di uar tata surya dalam 200-500 tahun ke depan.

"Penjelajahan ini tak akan menyelesaikan berbagai masalah mendesak di planet umi," katanya, "namun akan memberikan kita perspektif baru mengenai benda-benda langit dan mudah-mudahan, itu akan mempersatukan kita dalam menghadapi tantangan bersama."
"Pergi ke antariksa biayanya tidak murah, tetapi biaya tersebut hanya engambil bagian kecil dari sumberdaya dunia," tambahnya.

Hawking menderita penyakit amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), yakni gangguan syaraf motor degeneratif sejak berusia 20 tahun. Penyakit ini membuat dirinya hampir lumpuh sama sekali, dan ia hanya dapat berbicara dengan bantuan voice synthesizer.

Namun demikian, setahun yang lalu ia dapat meninggalkan kursi rodanya dan mengambang dalam kondisi tanpa gaya berat di dalam pesawat khusus.

Ia berharap dapat mengulangi lagi pengalamannya di antariksa, di atas atmosfir dalam penerbangan perdana suborbital. (AFP/Ant/OL-2)

Ikan Purba Indonesia Dipamerkan di Jepang

(ivan / MI)

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TOKYO--MI: Ikan purba Indonesia yang berusia 35 juta tahun dan dikenal dengan nama sebutan ‘Raja Laut’ atau Coelacanth, dipamerkan kepada publik Jepang di Aquamarine Fukushima, selama dua hari sejak Sabtu (12/4) lalu.
Menurut Direktur Eksekutif Aquamarina Fukushima, Yoshotaka Abe, pihaknya meminjam ikan yang berasal dari perairan di Teluk Manado, Sulawesi Utara, untuk melengkapi sementara koleksi yang ada dan memberikan pengetahuan kepada masyarakat Jepang mengenai kekayaan alam dan ikan di laut.
Selain itu, kata Abe, pameran mengenai ikan Raja Laut itu juga bertepatan dengan peringatan 50 tahun hubungan Indonesia Jepang, sehingga melalui pameran keilmuan dan rekreasi ini bisa diperkenalkan mengenai Indonesia dan kekayaan alamnya yang luar biasa.
"Ini tentu saja amat menarik masyarakat Jepang yang juga merupakan negara kelautan," katanya.

Pengunjung yang datang ke kompleks bernama resmi Fukushima Ocean Scientific Museum itu, terlihat antusias menyaksikan ikan purba yang berusia 35 juta tahun tersebut.
Meskipun tidak lagi dalam keadaan hidup, ikan dengan nama Latimeria menadoensis itu tetap banyak menarik minat orang sehingga berdesak-desakan hanya untuk menyaksikan jasad ikan purba yang amat langka tersebut.

Menurut Prof DR Kawilatang Masengi, Dekan Fakultas Perikanan dan Kelautan Universitas Sam Ratulangi Manado, upaya mendatangkan ikan Coelacanth merupakan kerja sama yang kesekian kalinya dengan pihak Jepang, khususnya Aquamarine Fukushima, yang juga memiliki banyak perhatian terhadap konservasi hewan langka dan juga menjadi pusat penelitian masalah kelautan.
"Kerja sama lainnya yang sudah dilakukan selama ini adalah untuk riset dan saat ini semakin dirasakan penting. Apalagi dengan terjadinya pemasanan global seperti sekarang ini," katanya.
Ia menambahkan bahwa Indonesia dan Jepang juga perlu bersama-sama meningkatkan kegiatan riset sehingga bisa memperkaya kegiatan konservasi kelautan kedua negara.

Aquarium Fukushima yang berlokasi di pusat kota Fukushima (sekitar 250 km utara Tokyo) itu juga ikut melestarikan spesies ikan langka dan tumbuhan langka lainnya. Selain sebagai museum dan tempat rekreasi, Aquamarine juga menjadi pusat riset kelautan di Jepang.

Ikan Coelacanth memiliki habitat di lautan dalam, 700 meter di bawah laut, namun kadang-kadang bisa berada di kedalam laut 200 meter. Ikan yang biasa hidup sekitar 360 juta tahun lalu itu rata-rata memiliki panjang1-2 meter dan berwarna biru. Ia ditemukan juga di sejumlah perairan dunia seperti di Komoro, Madagskar, Tanzania, dan Afrika Selatan.

Raja laut versi Indonesia ini juga tergolong sebagai spesies yang unik karena warna kulitnya bukanlah kebiruan, seperti umumnya ikan Coelacanth, melainkan berwarna coklat. (Ant/OL-2)