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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:46 PM
Original message
Alaska landscape transformed by warmer climate
Sinking villages perched on thawing permafrost, an explosion of timber-chewing insect populations, record wildfires and shrinking sea ice are among the most obvious and jarring signs that Alaska is getting warmer as the global climate changes, scientists say.

"We are the canary in the mine, unfortunately, and the harbinger of what is yet to come for the rest of the world," said Patricia Cochran, executive director of the Anchorage-based Alaska Native Science Commission.

Atmospheric temperatures in the remote state have risen 3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 3 degrees C) over the past five decades, according to the recently released Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, a comprehensive study by scientists from eight nations.


http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N28320335.htm
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Alpharetta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Republican rebuttal:

Oh it's nothing. Sure the earth has global warming. It happens every 10,000 years. It's just a COINCIDENCE that the latest swing is happening concurrently with human impact, rapid deforestation, and industrialization.

Don't worry. After the weather changes cause catastrophic health concerns for the poor people, it means more land and influence for rich Republicans.
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UncleSepp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. It still might be a coincidence. Environmentalism has failed ...
... in making global warming a reason for cleaning up our act, reducing fossil fuel use, and reforestation. All of those things are good because they are good. In my opinion, linking the two issues instead of teaching environmentalism for its own sake leads to exactly the kind of thought you've described - we don't have to do anything about human impact because it's not what's causing global warming, instead of let's do something about human impact because we have to live here. Global warming can be dealt with in a different way - let's figure out how we're going to live through this coming climate change, and study how (and how much) we can do to slow or reverse the change.
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sdfernando Donating Member (421 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Not good!
I lived in Alaska for three years, from 1970 thru 1973 while my dad was the IG stationed at Ft Richardson, just outside of Anchorage. I remember the weather well (who wouldn't having been moved there from Panama!). If it got to be in the low 70s during the peak summer months, that was a hot day. Now, I had a co-workder go on a cruise there this past August. She related how they went to Fairbanks, which is several hundred miles north of Anchorage and they experienced 80 degree days. 80 freaking degrees, in Alaska! I couldn't believe it. She also told me they were able to see a lot of ice falling from the different glaciers they visited. When I lived there, we use to go see glaciers all the time and I never ONCE saw any ice falls. The viewing stations also have picutres which show just how far the glaciers have retreated in the last 30 years or so. It was shocking to see. This not good folks, not good at all!
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lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Was raised in Fairbanks.
It was not unusual for summer temperatures to reach 80 degrees. It is much more temperate in the interior of Alaska. Other than that the permafrost is melting, houses are slumping, swamps showing up in forest areas that are killing the trees, glaciers melting at a record level.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. Come to think of it, how fast IS the Amazon being cut down?
I know there are funds to preserve some of the rainforest from being cut down, but it seems like only a fraction of the Amazon can be saved at this rate.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. Faster now than before
rainforests in Brazil have been cut at around three times the rate they were ten or less years ago. The government is corrupt; the President of Brazil, for instance, is a soybean farmer (with Big Ag).

All rainforests on earth are expected to disappear in 40-45 years. And with them, our ability to breathe. :-(
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Lula is slowing the rate n/t
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. Nome Alaska has mid latitude cyclone hit last Friday.....
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AK_NOME_STORM_AK...


*snip*

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The storm that hammered Nome and other Western Alaska communities had tapered off to a light rain by Saturday, officials said.

Winds had calmed although seas were still choppy, according to the National Weather Service, which called off a coastal flood warning by midmorning Saturday.

The storm arrived Thursday night and continued Friday. Winds reaching 65 mph lashed Nome and sent water flooding into Front Street businesses.

Twelve-foot waves on top of a 10-foot storm surge slammed against the town's seawall, littering Front Street with rocks and debris.

_______________________
http://www.weatherunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show...

Jeff Masters WunderBlog

We don't talk much about these states in my tropical blog, but Nome, Alaska had a huge mid-latitude cyclone hit them Friday. The storm brought sustained tropical storm force winds gusting to 52 mph, a 10-foot storm surge, and a pressure of 972 mb! This was in essence a Category 1 hurricane, as far as the storm surge and pressure go. Thanks to wunderphotographer Destiny, who brought this newspaper article to my attention.

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. HUH?
A cyclonic storm in Nome? In frickin' NOME?
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
6. Well, cheer up -- there's a silver lining:
before they can start drilling in the ANWAR reserve, first they'll have to clear away the palm trees.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Interesting point
Climate change could lead to adaptations which would be protected species.
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
9. This all has to wait until the official investigation by Exxon Mobil is
complete.
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. Wel theres lots of beachfront property up there in Alaska!!!
Its going to definitely get more populated!!!
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