The BBC news website has a photo essay
of our changing world, including the photo below:
(Click to enlarge, and for text source.)
As the climate warms up, mountainous regions may experience lower levels of snowfall.
This image shows Mount Hood in Oregon at the same time in late summer in 1985 and 2002.
Glacier National Park might have to change its name, and those jet-setting skiers headed for the Alps will someday have to find another way to spend their money.
Everyone knows that "greenhouse gases" are part of the reason our world is warming up (click here for a nice flash animation demo). All industrialized nations produce "greenhouse gases" (like carbon dioxide), but the biggest producer is the US:
(Click to enlarge.)
Well, guys, we beat our own horrible emissions record in 2004. The UK Independent reported last week:
The United States emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world's biggest polluter. Latest figures on the US contribution to global warming show that its carbon emissions have risen sharply despite international concerns over climate change.
The figures, which were quietly released [by the EPA] on Easter Monday, reveal that net greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 per cent on the previous year, equivalent to a rise of 110 million tons of carbon dioxide.
This is the biggest annual increase since 2000 and means that in 2004 - the latest year that full data is available - the US released the equivalent of nearly 6,300 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
This is really pathetic, especially since we all know what the primary source of the emissions is:
The figures show that the total US emissions have risen by 15.8 per cent from 1990 to 2004, mainly due to increased consumption of electricity generated by burning fossil fuel, a rise in energy demands caused by increased industrial production and a rise in petrol consumption due to increased travel. Fossil fuel combustion alone accounted for 94 per cent of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the US during 2004, the figures show.
Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are now a third higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century, and probably higher than they have been for at least 10 million years.
Yes, I know, it's all so boring... you hear it all the time: the Earth is warming, we're using too much gas, no more glaciers in a century or less, Greenland is melting...
Well, how many more times will people have to hear it before they'll do something? Maybe the prices at the gas pump will slow down fuel consumption, but I'm not holding my breath when it comes to the folks who are renting stretch Lincoln Navigators to go to their high school proms.
So, it's time for a little community participation here:
- What sort of changes have you noticed in your world? Has it been consistently warmer each year where you live? Have you noticed less snow where you used to hike/ski/etc. than there was 20 years ago? If you have photos, post them.
- What are you doing to change your fossil fuel consumption? Are you driving less? What sort of alternative energy sources are you using, if any?
Fill the thread with comments, stories, your favorite alternative energy websites and solutions, and rants if you've got 'em (click here for my stretch limo rant, with photos).