Climate Change Threatens National Security, Says CIA-Commissioned Study

Climate Change Threatens National Security, Says CIA-Commissioned Study

November 29, 2012  College Park, Maryland – On October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy – the largest storm in American recorded history – slammed the New Jersey and New York coasts killing more than 100 people, damaging or destroying an estimated 72,000 houses and buildings in New Jersey alone, and according to the governors of New Jersey and New York will cost at least $71 billion for reconstruction.

Ironically, on the same day that the Superstorm hit the East Coast, a study commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies was supposed to be released from the National Academy of Sciences and its National Research Council about “Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis” chaired by Prof. John D. Steinbruner, University of Maryland. But Superstorm Sandy interrupted.

Finally after two weeks of East Coast power outages that persisted after the violence of the monster storm, the study to determine what the threat to national security will be in the coming decades from global climate change and warming was released on November 10, 2012. The following paragraphs are from the summary and conclusions:

Given the available scientific knowledge of the climate system, it is prudent for security analysts to expect climate surprises in the coming decade, including unexpected and potentially disruptive single events as well as conjunctions of events occurring simultaneously or in sequence, and for them to become progressively more serious and more frequent thereafter, most likely at an accelerating rate, the climate surprises may affect particular regions or globally integrated systems, such as grain markets, that provide for human well-being. … This will produce consequences that exceed the capacity of the affected societies or global systems to manage and that have global security implications serious enough to compel international response … and that such consequences will become more common further in the future.

Source: “Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis” by National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committee On Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change On Social and Political Stresses chaired by John D. Steinbruner, Ph.D., Prof. of Public Policy, School of Public Policy, and Director, Center for International and Security Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

Click here for more and an audio interview on Earthfiles

Polar Ice Sheets Shrinking Worldwide, Study Confirms

Rapid loss already contributing to sea level rise.

Source: National Geographic

The polar ice sheets are indeed shrinking—and fast, according to a comprehensive new study on climate change.

And the effects, according to an international team, are equally clear—sea levels are rising faster than predicted, which could bring about disastrous effects for people and wildlife.

Rising seas would increase the risk of catastrophic flooding like that caused by Hurricane Sandy last month in New York and New Jersey. Environmental damage may include widespread erosion, contamination of aquifers and crops, and harm to marine life. And in the long term, rising seas may force hundreds of millions of people who live along the coast to abandon their homes.

By reconciling nearly two decades of often conflicting satellite data into one format—in other words, comparing apples to apples—the new study, published in the journal Science, made a more confident estimate of what’s called ice sheet mass balance.

That refers to how much snow is deposited on an ice sheet versus how much is lost, either due to surface melting or ice breaking off glaciers.

Between 1992—when polar satellite measurements began—and 2011, the results show that all of the polar regions except for East Antarctica are losing ice, said study leader Andrew Shepherd, a professor of earth observation at the University of Leeds in the U.K.

In that 20-year span, Greenland lost 152 billion tons a year of ice, West Antarctica lost 65 billion tons a year, the Antarctic Peninsula lost 20 billion tons a year, and East Antarctica gained 14 billion tons a year. (See an interactive map of Antarctica.)

“When we did the experiments properly using the same time periods and same maps, the riddles did all agree,” Shepherd said.

According to glaciologist Alexander Robinson, “We’ve had a good idea of what the ice sheets are doing, but it seems this study really brings it all together in one data set that gives a much clearer picture.

“It’s one more piece of supporting evidence that shows there are some dramatic changes happening, and we know that’s being driven mainly by a warmer climate and warmer ocean—but there’s still a lot we don’t know about these regions and how they’re changing,” said Robinson, of the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain, who was not involved in the research.

(Read “The Big Thaw” in National Geographic magazine.)

Shrinking Ice Consistent With Warming

For the study, Shepherd and his team took data from three fields of satellite research: Altimetry, which measures the shapes of ice sheets and how they change over time; interferometry, which tracks the speed of ice sheets; and gravimetry, which calculates the weight of ice sheets by measuring Earth’s gravitational field.

“Up until now there have been more than 30 studies that have each produced their own estimates of changes in ice sheets,” Shepherd said.

“What we did was try to take the strengths of each approach and combined all the satellite technology together to get a better estimate of how ice sheets are changing,” he said.

The results are also consistent with observations of climate change at the poles, Shepherd noted.

For instance, Greenland is shedding five times as much ice as 20 years ago, which fits with a trend of rising air temperatures in the Arctic.

(Pictures: “Changing Greenland” in National Geographic magazine.)

In West Antarctica, glacier loss is accelerating in an area where the ocean is getting warmer. East Antarctica is experiencing a slight increase in the amount of ice stored there, but that dovetails with higher rates of snowfall expected with climate change.

However, the growth isn’t enough to compensate for the larger losses in the rest of Antarctica, the researchers say. (Related: “Why Antarctic Sea Ice Is Growing in a Warmer World.”)

“The fact that Antarctica is definitely losing ice is a novel conclusion when we compare it to the last IPCC report in 2007, when scientists weren’t sure if Antarctica was growing or shrinking,” Shepherd said.

“Our data are now two to three times as accurate as those that were available at the time of the last IPCC report.” The IPCC, or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is the leading international body for the study of climate change.

Rising Seas

Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the Boulder, Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research, who was not involved in the study, said the new study’s “evidence is very compelling that global warming is playing a role in massive ice losses on land that contribute to sea level rise.”

(Also see “Sea Levels Rising Fast on U.S. East Coast.”)

Overall, polar ice loss has contributed about 11.1 millimeters to global sea level since 1992—roughly 20 percent of the total global sea level rise during that period, according to the study.

What’s more, a study published earlier this week in Environmental Research Letters shows that sea levels are rising at a rate of 3.2 millimeters a year. That’s 60 percent faster than the latest estimate of 2 millimeters a year projected by the IPCC. (See sea level rise pictures.)

“These results should be a major concern for politicians and climate talks in Doha, as they show that global warming is real and having major consequences that will only get bigger over time,” Trenberth said by email.

As the World Meteorological Organization put it in a report released Wednesday during this week’s UN climate change talks in Doha, Qatar, “climate change is taking place before our eyes.” (See a map of global warming impacts worldwide.)

In addition to displacing millions, sea level rise may also supercharge large storms. For example, when a storm like Hurricane Sandy makes landfall, higher seas may boost storm surges that can strip away everything in their path and create damaging floods.

Sandy left at least 157 people dead and caused up to $80 billion in damage in hard-hit New York and New Jersey alone.

Predicting Future Climate Change

Study leader Shepherd hopes that climate modelers will be able to use this new data to better predict these consequences.

Until now, a modeler had to “choose an estimate of sea level rise from a pot of 40 ones with some uncertainty,” he said.

Such a reconciled data set has been sorely needed, agreed Walt Meier, of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

“You have this huge range of estimates of ice mass loss from Antarctica and Greenland—they’re such a large range that you get to the point of you don’t know what to trust,” said Meier, who was not involved in the new study. (See pictures of shrinking ice sheets.)

The new study is in “a much more manageable range, and provides much better guidance in terms of future projections.”

What’s more, the study may even usher in a stronger model of another kind—scientific cooperation, Meier noted.

Instead of myriad groups working quasi-independently, the new study’s co-authors “came together and sat down—at least figuratively—and came to a consensus for the best estimate that they can,” he said.

“It’s a great example,” he said, “that in climate science and science in general, you can’t do these kind of big things on your own anymore.”

 

 

Timeline: How the World Found Out about Global Warming

Timeline: How the World Found Out about Global Warming.

Re-post from Scientific American

(Reuters) – A U.N. conference in Qatar next week is the latest attempt to combat global warming after mounting evidence that human activity is disrupting the climate.

 

Here is a timeline of the road to action on global warming:

300 BC – Theophrastus, a student of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, documents that human activity can affect climate. He observes that drainage of marshes cools an area around Thessaly and that clearing of forests near Philippi warms the climate.

1896 – Sweden’s Svante Arrhenius becomes the first to quantify carbon dioxide’s role in keeping the planet warm. He later concluded that the burning of coal could cause a “noticeable increase” in carbon levels over centuries.

1957-58 – U.S. scientist Charles Keeling sets up stations to measure carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere at the South Pole and at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. The measurements have shown a steady rise.

1988 – The United Nations sets up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to assess the scientific evidence.

1992 – World leaders agree the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets a non-binding goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions by 2000 at 1990 levels – a target not met overall.

1997 – The Kyoto Protocol is agreed in Japan; developed nations agree to cut their greenhouse gas emissions on average by at least 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. The United States stays out of the deal.

2007 – The IPCC says it is at least 90 percent certain that humans are to blame for most of the warming trend of the past 50 years. It also says signs that the planet is warming are “unequivocal”.

2009 – A conference of 193 countries agrees to “take note” of a new Copenhagen Accord to fight climate change, after U.N. talks in Denmark. The accord is not legally binding and does not commit countries to agree a binding successor to the Kyoto Protocol when its first stage ends in 2012.

2011 – U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa, agree to negotiate a new accord by 2015 that is “applicable to all” and will come into force from 2020.

Sources: Reuters, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Why We Disagree about Climate Change” by Mike Hulme, founding director of the Tyndall Center.

(Reporting By Alister Doyle and David Cutler; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

World Bank Warns Global Climate Change Serious Threat

November 21, 2012.

World Bank Warns Global Climate Change Serious Threat and Scientists Say Earth Warming Likely  Greater in Future Than Predicted.

“The lack of action on climate change not only risks putting prosperity
out of reach of millions of people in the developing world,
it threatens to roll back decades of sustainable development.”
– Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
in Boulder, Colorado, reports in the Nov. 9, 2012, journal Science that climate models
most accurately predicting atmospheric moisture linked to cloud cover now predict
global warming the rest of this century will likely reach 5 degrees F. and could
go as high as 8 degrees F. in contrast to the 4 degrees F. predicted by the
U. N.’s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change. A 5-8 degree F. global
warming increase over the next 90 years will mean more frequent and violent
weather such as Hurricane Sandy and even drought in the Amazon rain forest that
will turn that huge CO2-absorbing lung of Earth into near-desert.
See: AAAS Journal Science.

 

70% of Venice, Italy, Flooded While CIA-Financed Climate Change Study Warns of Increasing Weather Perils.

November 12, 2012.

70% of Venice, Italy, Flooded While CIA-Financed Climate Change Study Warns of Increasing Weather Perils.

“We’re saying climate extremes are going to be more frequent,
and Hurricane Sandy was an example of what that could mean.
We’re also saying it could get a whole lot worse than that.”

– John D. Steinbruner, Ph.D., Director,
Center for Int’l. and Security Studies, Univ. of Maryland,
Lead Author, CIA’s National Research Council Study
Also 70 percent of Italy’s Venice has flooded after severe
rains and winds with sea levels reaching a peak of five
feet (1.5 meters) above normal. In Tuscany, around 200 people
were evacuated as floods and mudslides threatened homes.

Welcome to the Project Climate Change 2013 – website

Welcome to our new website.

During 2008 eight Remote Viewers from three separate Remote Viewing schools participated in a joint public project to study climate and planetary change between the years 2008 and 2013.

Nine geographic earth locations were chosen for two time periods: 2008 (a baseline) and the later date of 2013 to see if the remote viewing data could discern any changes in climate.

The predictive Remote viewing data seems to indicate serious global climate changes across all nine target locations chosen for the project.

Within this website we will present an overview of the project and will also gather &  present the climate change news  during 2013 as a form of feedback as it happens so that we can all compare against the predicted Remote Viewing data for overall accuracy.