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horse with no name
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PostFri Apr 20, 2007 10:05 pm 
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http://www.livescience.com/environment/070419_earth_timeline.html

Timeline: The Frightening Future of Earth

By Andrea Thompson
and Ker Than
posted: 19 April 2007
08:32 am E.T.

Our planet's prospects for environmental stability are bleaker than ever with the approach of this year’s Earth Day, April 22. Global warming is widely accepted as a reality by scientists and even by previously doubtful government and industrial leaders. And according to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is a 90 percent likelihood that humans are contributing to the change.


The international panel of scientists predicts the global average temperature could increase by 2 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 and that sea levels could rise by up to 2 feet.


Scientists have even speculated that a slight increase in Earth's rotation rate could result, along with other changes. Glaciers, already receding, will disappear. Epic floods will hit some areas while intense drought will strike others. Humans will face widespread water shortages. Famine and disease will increase. Earth’s landscape will transform radically, with a quarter of plants and animals at risk of extinction.
While putting specific dates on these traumatic potential events is challenging, this timeline paints the big picture and details Earth's future based on several recent studies and the longer scientific version of the IPCC report, which was made available to LiveScience.


2007
More of the world's population now lives in cities than in rural areas, changing patterns of land use. The world population surpasses 6.6 billion. (Peter Crane, Royal Botanic Gardens, UK, Science; UN World Urbanization Prospectus: The 2003 Revision; U.S. Census Bureau)


2008
Global oil production peaks sometime between 2008 and 2018, according to a model by one Swedish physicist. Others say this turning point, known as “Hubbert’s Peak,” won’t occur until after 2020. Once Hubbert’s Peak is reached, global oil production will begin an irreversible decline, possibly triggering a global recession, food shortages and conflict between nations over dwindling oil supplies. (doctoral dissertation of Frederik Robelius, University of Uppsala, Sweden; report by Robert Hirsch of the Science Applications International Corporation)


2020
Flash floods will very likely increase across all parts of Europe. (IPCC)
Less rainfall could reduce agriculture yields by up to 50 percent in some parts of the world. (IPCC)
World population will reach 7.6 billion people. (U.S. Census Bureau)


2030
Diarrhea-related diseases will likely increase by up to 5 percent in low-income parts of the world. (IPCC)
Up to 18 percent of the world’s coral reefs will likely be lost as a result of climate change and other environmental stresses. In Asian coastal waters, the coral loss could reach 30 percent. (IPCC)
World population will reach 8.3 billion people. (U.S. Census Bureau)
Warming temperatures will cause temperate glaciers on equatorial mountains in Africa to disappear. (Richard Taylor, University College London, Geophysical Research Letters
In developing countries, the urban population will more than double to about 4 billion people, packing more people onto a given city's land area. The urban populations of developed countries may also increase by as much as 20 percent. (World Bank: The Dynamics of Global Urban Expansion)


2040
The Arctic Sea could be ice-free in the summer, and winter ice depth may shrink drastically. Other scientists say the region will still have summer ice up to 2060 and 2105. (Marika Holland, NCAR, Geophysical Research Letters)


2050
Small alpine glaciers will very likely disappear completely, and large glaciers will shrink by 30 to 70 percent. Austrian scientist Roland Psenner of the University of Innsbruck says this is a conservative estimate, and the small alpine glaciers could be gone as soon as 2037. (IPCC)


In Australia, there will likely be an additional 3,200 to 5,200 heat-related deaths per year. The hardest hit will be people over the age of 65. An extra 500 to 1,000 people will die of heat-related deaths in New York City per year. In the United Kingdom, the opposite will occur, and cold-related deaths will outpace heat-related ones. (IPCC)
World population reaches 9.4 billion people. (U.S. Census Bureau)


Crop yields could increase by up to 20 percent in East and Southeast Asia, while decreasing by up to 30 percent in Central and South Asia. Similar shifts in crop yields could occur on other continents. (IPCC)


As biodiversity hotspots are more threatened, a quarter of the world’s plant and vertebrate animal species could face extinction. (Jay Malcolm, University of Toronto, Conservation Biology)


2070
As glaciers disappear and areas affected by drought increase, electricity production for the world’s existing hydropower stations will decrease. Hardest hit will be Europe, where hydropower potential is expected to decline on average by 6 percent; around the Mediterranean, the decrease could be up to 50 percent. (IPCC)
Warmer, drier conditions will lead to more frequent and longer droughts, as well as longer fire-seasons, increased fire risks, and more frequent heat waves, especially in Mediterranean regions. (IPCC)


2080
While some parts of the world dry out, others will be inundated. Scientists predict up to 20 percent of the world’s populations live in river basins likely to be affected by increased flood hazards. Up to 100 million people could experience coastal flooding each year. Most at risk are densely populated and low-lying areas that are less able to adapt to rising sea levels and areas which already face other challenges such as tropical storms. (IPCC)


Coastal population could balloon to 5 billion people, up from 1.2 billion in 1990. (IPCC)


Between 1.1 and 3.2 billion people will experience water shortages and up to 600 million will go hungry. (IPCC)


Sea levels could rise around New York City by more than three feet, potentially flooding the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. (NASA GISS)


2085
The risk of dengue fever from climate change is estimated to increase to 3.5 billion people. (IPCC)


2100
A combination of global warming and other factors will push many ecosystems to the limit, forcing them to exceed their natural ability to adapt to climate change. (IPCC)


Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will be much higher than anytime during the past 650,000 years. (IPCC)


Ocean pH levels will very likely decrease by as much as 0.5 pH units, the lowest it’s been in the last 20 million years. The ability of marine organisms such as corals, crabs and oysters to form shells or exoskeletons could be impaired. (IPCC)
Thawing permafrost and other factors will make Earth’s land a net source of carbon emissions, meaning it will emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than it absorbs. (IPCC)


Roughly 20 to 30 percent of species assessed as of 2007 could be extinct by 2100 if global mean temperatures exceed 2 to 3 degrees of pre-industrial levels. (IPCC)
New climate zones appear on up to 39 percent of the world’s land surface, radically transforming the planet. (Jack Williams, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)


A quarter of all species of plants and land animals—more than a million total—could be driven to extinction. The IPCC reports warn that current “conservation practices are generally ill-prepared for climate change and effective adaptation responses are likely to be costly to implement.” (IPCC)


Increased droughts could significantly reduce moisture levels in the American Southwest, northern Mexico and possibly parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, effectively recreating the “Dust Bowl” environments of the 1930s in the United States. (Richard Seager, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Science)


2200
An Earth day will be 0.12 milliseconds shorter, as rising temperatures cause oceans to expand away from the equator and toward the poles, one model predicts. One reason water will be shifted toward the poles is most of the expansion will take place in the North Atlantic Ocean, near the North Pole. The poles are closer to the Earth’s axis of rotation, so having more mass there should speed up the planet’s rotation. (Felix Landerer, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Geophysical Research Letters)
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Magellan
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PostFri Apr 20, 2007 10:22 pm 
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Death, disaster, crisis, bad hair, blah, blah, blah.

Edit: Maybe I should have read it...Naw.
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touron
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PostFri Apr 20, 2007 11:25 pm 
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There's a bad m moon.gif  moon.gif n on the rise.

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WTM
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PostSat Apr 21, 2007 7:52 am 
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Who cares.  This is somebody else's problem.
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treeswarper
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PostSat Apr 21, 2007 9:15 am 
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Does this mean I can get ripe tomatoes before October this year?

Gloom Despair, and agony on me.
Deep dark depression, excessive misery.
If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all.
I can't remember the rest.   rolleyes.gif

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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Scrooge
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PostSat Apr 21, 2007 10:17 am 
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Cross Revelations with Nostradamus and get yourself a webpage. Phooey!

We've had some great discussions of the scientific elements of climate change and some good discussions of the ideas surrounding global warming, but this is just doom and gloom extremism suitable only for the check-out-stand tabloids ........ or the uncontrolled corners of the internet.

Thanks so much for lowering our standards.      irked.gif

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jenjen
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PostSat Apr 21, 2007 5:47 pm 
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30 years ago, if you had asked scientists to project into the future they would have told you we were rapidly heading into an ice age.

Nobody has a functional crystal ball.  Weather forecasters can't even tell us what the weather will be tomorrow with any sort of accuracy. (I live in the N. Cascade foothills, I don't even bother listening to the weather reports anymore.)  People with PhDs in Climatology and Atmospheric Chemistry are split among those who have faith in the current computer models and those who consider the computer models unreliable.

-- btw, I take the opinions of people with advanced degrees in the Atmospheric Sciences seriously and give them a lot of thought.  Talking heads with no in depth knowledge of science in general but lots of opinions on how everyone else should live -- well, I don't even listen to them.

-- Oh, and it should be noted that the author of the beginning poster's article, Andrea Thompson, holds a Masters degree in Atmospheric Chemistry.  She's someone who's opinions on climate stuff I'd give some thought too.

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If life gives you melons - you might be dyslexic
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peltoms
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PostSun Apr 22, 2007 4:35 am 
Global cooling was the gospel, not.
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Ok, I have been a scientist studying climate and glaciers for 27 years, but no serious scientist talked then about the next ice age from the few cool years in the 1970's.  I went to a global warming conference in 1981 and many names you would recognize still today were there, and global cooling was,not in the past few years nor in the future on the minds of any of these climate scientists, you will find no publications in the science literature examining that issue.
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yew
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PostMon Apr 23, 2007 8:35 pm 
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Quote:
More of the world's population now lives in cities than in rural areas, changing patterns of land use...In developing countries, the urban population will more than double to about 4 billion people, packing more people onto a given city's land area. The urban populations of developed countries may also increase by as much as 20 percent

If there are so many people, isn't this a good thing?  Packing most people into cities is efficient for land use and frees up open space for agriculture, open space and wildlife habitat.   Most cities are beehives of economic/business activity .  That's why so many people live in them.

With so many projected deaths due to diarrhea-related diseases, heat-related deaths, hunger, flooding, Dengue fever, one would think that it would significantly lower worldwide human population growth.  I suppose the demographers built these into their forecasts.  But then again, there can be high mortality at the same time as high population growth, like in Africa for the last few decades.

Like Julian Simon I have a hunch people will be OK for many, many years and am optimistic about people's material welfare overall.  But...I think Mother Nature is screwed.  For example, western Washington will become like southern California.
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lookout bob
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PostTue Apr 24, 2007 8:28 am 
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if one is seriously interested in causes and effects, one might read The Weather Makers by Tim Flanery. Consideration of many of these subjects are discussed and pursued therein.  A great read without being extremist.  Makes one ponder before sleep.... rolleyes.gif

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weatherman
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PostTue May 15, 2007 6:40 pm 
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Looks to me like some folks took the cooling pretty seriously.   Check this
out from Newsweek in 1975:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>
There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production– with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and Russia in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

For the full article from Newsweek:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/993807/posts
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue May 15, 2007 7:38 pm 
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Pretty pathetic when you have to go to freerepublic to find a 32 yr old Newsweek article.
Is that what you consider peer reviewed?
I guess slugman is right shakehead.gif

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mgd
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PostTue May 15, 2007 7:43 pm 
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Today was reasonably warm and felt like we might finally make the transition from Spring to Summer on time for once.  Skoal! drink.gif

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weatherman
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PostTue May 15, 2007 9:12 pm 
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I have never read freerepublic.com and did not even stop and reflect
on the political leanings of the source.  Not that it should matter anyway.
I did read the article though, and am certain it is legit.  Apparently, Newsweek has even gone so far as to bring out the old article to
use as a note of caution.  During those days I
worked in Arctic sea ice research for a project called AIDJEX.
I don't remember anyone ever bringing up the topic of climate change.
How times have changed since the mid 70s!
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touron
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PostSun Jun 03, 2007 11:01 pm 
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NASA Administrator asks if this is a problem we should be working on...

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Touron is a nougat of Arabic origin made with almonds and honey or sugar, without which it would just not be Christmas in Spain.
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