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Scientist issues warning about climate change

Stanford's Chris Field speaks on global warming at national meeting in Chicago

A Stanford University scientist speaking at a national meeting in Chicago Saturday morning warned that climate change in the 21st century is going to be more accelerated and create more environmental damage through global warming than previously thought.

Accelerated global warming could ignite tropical forests and melt the Arctic tundra, releasing billions of tons of greenhouse gas that could raise global temperatures even more, according to Chris Field.

The net result could be a cycle that spins out of control by the end of the century.

Field, a Stanford professor of biology and environmental Earth system science and of the Carnegie Institute for Science, is also a member of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Field talked about the latest findings of the panel during a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"There is a real risk that human-caused climate change will accelerate the release of carbon dioxide from forest and tundra ecosystems, which have been storing a lot of carbon for thousands of years," Fields said. "We don't want to cross a critical threshold where this massive release of carbon starts to run on autopilot."

The IPCC was established by the United Nations in 1988, bringing together hundreds of experts from around the world to assess climate change and its policy implications.

In 2007, the IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to assess climate change. Field was one of 25 IPCC scientists who attended the Nobel ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

The latest findings on climate change are disturbing, Fields said.

"We now have data showing that from 2000 to 2007, greenhouse gas emissions increased far more rapidly than we expected, primarily because developing countries, like China and India, saw a huge upsurge in electric power generation, almost all of it based on coal," he said.

The IPCC had estimated in 2007 that the earth's temperature is likely to increase 2 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius) by 2100, depending on how much greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere. That estimate may now be conservative, given the most recent data.

Of particular concern is the effect of global warming in tropical climates.

"Tropical forests are essentially inflammable," Field said. "You couldn't get a fire to burn there if you tried. But if they dry out just a little bit, the result can be very large and destructive wildfires."

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Comments

Like this comment
Posted by its
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 14, 2009 at 10:49 am

its called critical mass ,a concept thats lost on most of homo sapiens of modern times.the ancients knew of balance,not to poison environs...


Like this comment
Posted by R Wray
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Here are some quotes from another Stanford "scientist". The guy above must have taken some lessons from Ehrlich.
The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer.
—Paul Ehrlich, in The Population Bomb (1968)
I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.
—Paul Ehrlich in (1969)
In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.
—Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)
Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity…in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion.
—Paul Ehrlich in (1976)


Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm

When you sell yourself for money, what is it called? I wonder how much money he gets for spouting this "sky is falling" doomsday stuff?


Like this comment
Posted by Glad I'm Here
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 14, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Visit China and you will taste metal in your mouth from all the air pollution from the factories. I am embarassed that my heritage allows this and other lack of quality control.


Like this comment
Posted by Argeos
a resident of Meadow Park
on Feb 15, 2009 at 3:38 am

Oh ! In less than 3 years, you will see effects of global warming going up, up and up !


Like this comment
Posted by Bruce Stults
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 15, 2009 at 4:38 am

Why we know more today than in the 70's is because of Dan Goldin, NASA Administrator, 1992-2001. During this time Nasa created & launched the first satellite/instrument constellation to monitor & measure planet Earth--"New Millenium Satellite Program." These use a new micro-technology called MEMS (micro electrical mechanical sys)that allows unprecedented monitoring/measurement & analysis of our Earth and it's ecosystems. Vice President Al Gore was Goldin's boss during this time which is how he knows so much about this issue.


Like this comment
Posted by Reasonable
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2009 at 11:22 am

Oops we forgot to provide scientific evidence linking CO2 to warming. Well why do the messy science stuff since we know what result we want to spout.. lets just say "its a fact, the debate is over, CO2 does drive climate" and then build thousand year models on marshmallowy data. After all we know that humans must pay for leaving the garden of Eden and building a brave new world. Stop the technology and go back. Not my fault if my hysterica; predictions cause mal-investment and result in 3rd world starvation. objective responsible science and debate is needed.


Like this comment
Posted by Jarred
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm

The argument for atmospheric Co2 causing warming seems to be:
1. It seems to be getting warmer, and there is more Co2 in the air
2. Personally, I can't think of any other reason it could be getting warmer besides Co2. Besides, it's fun--and profitable--to scare people!
3. Having exhausted all other alternatives, and finding this Co2 thing to be just great at parties, I conclude that Co2 causes warming.

This confuses correlation and causality, but that's just for starters. All said, this is perhaps the least compelling "chain" of reasoning in recorded history. I rate it slightly below the creation myths of antiquity for scientific validity.

All the Warmists can cling to for support at this point is Goebbels dictum: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

It would be funny if it weren't so sad. And potentially wasteful, if we actually spend significant $$$ or increase the role of the State in free enterprise so as to effect Co2 reduction.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2009 at 3:42 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Yes, the air in industrial China is foul, like the air used to be in Pittsburgh and Akron. Like us, China is catching up with abatement and controls. Interestingly, the controls themselves take energy and so, like much of the auto emission controls, arbitrarily high standards increase energy requirements.
One can only surmise at the cut this latest Gore spear carrier is getting of the Global Panic pie.


Like this comment
Posted by Carlos
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 16, 2009 at 4:25 am

www.jpl.nasa.gov

Look for yourself.

Turn off Fox News & start here on your way out of denial.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2009 at 8:12 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

NASA - That is the outfit where et al and Sagan propounded "Nuclear Winter" with an atmospheric model that did not take oceans into consideration, and the current employer of Hansen and his "hockey stick" and "Urban Heat Island Correction Factors".
I have little need for regurgitated opinions from pretty boys and girls, so Fox needs to get along without me - I was on line with Little Green Footballs the night the Bush ANG letter fell apart, and I was assessing pollution and developing data gathering before Hansen was. As a not great but pretty good man said about this Brave New World of Global Whatever, p-f-f-f-f-t!


Like this comment
Posted by 2nd law
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 16, 2009 at 9:49 am

Walter:
Carl Sagan died over 10 years ago.
The nuclear Winter theory is over 30 years old.

Find some new strawmen; you have become quite boring.


Like this comment
Posted by ohyeah!
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 16, 2009 at 1:05 pm

have you seen the price of food,i mean real food that tastes like food and makes you feelmhealthy.it costs mucho much,thats the evidence that chemical agriculture cant save you froim diseases.all these modern cancers asnd the like are result of low quality genetics brought on by overpopulation and the resultant reliance on chemicals to meet population needs.yeah ,you got plenty of people and plenty of bad food for them to eat.one theory why african americans are jailed.to save the good food for those deemed allowable to survive to eat brew pub burgers and pizza, you dont get that in jail.going to jail also means you get worst poison food. no one needs to get pregnant noiw.just too many resource wars pollution etc. erlichs dates might not be exact but iots cumulatively happening now.dont get hung up on particular dates to porove the planet isnt poisoned now...


Like this comment
Posted by Sooth sayer
a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm

>> it's fun--and profitable--to scare people!

True

Ever since caveman time you have to be fearful of something.

Funny Al Gore doesn't look like a sabertooth tiger, more like a bloated baboon.


I'm still waiting for the tide tables to show an ocean rise.




Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Sagan gone 10 years? Funny, the stench of his lying science "for the public good" lingers on. And the nuclear winter methodology of neglecting real world experience that belies theory is alive and grantsucking. The Kuwait oil field fires would have sent scientists back to Burger King if anyone remembered their scams. But as Ehrlich proved, being tenured means never having to say you are sorry.
2nd law, perhaps I am motivated by the zeroth law. Are you motivated by a Gresham's law of science?


Like this comment
Posted by An Engineer
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 16, 2009 at 10:00 pm

"I'm still waiting for the tide tables to show an ocean rise."

Stop waiting. It won't happen. The tide tables measure the water level fluctuations due to lunar and solar gravity, not the secular rise due to melting ice. They are referenced to the mean lower low water level, which rises as the ocean water volume increases.


Like this comment
Posted by CyberSee
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Feb 17, 2009 at 2:59 am

Here at IBM we call the "Walter mind-set" THE NOT INVENTED HERE
SYNDROME..(if he did not think of it,then, it's not a good idea)

Sort of reminds me of the people at the Hoover Institute for War, Revolution, & Peace...you know, the ones who brought us Nixon, Reagan,
and the Bushies.

Get use to it...they are history! Science is back in the lead of human endeavor...wish granted, world saved.

Go NASA & Gore!!!


Like this comment
Posted by bruce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 17, 2009 at 11:48 am

Sorry but anyone who can attack Carl Sagan who did lots more for the public and the country and who is not here to defend himself, is not worth wasting time on. By attacking the false straw man of Carl Sagan based on Al Gore shows a hysterical non-linear thinking process ( if you can call it a thinking process) built for the likes of Fox News and Limbaugh.

Funny how when a system is very complex and not completely understood, like Global Warming or the Global Economy, those who try to figure it out, instead of asking themselves what would Ronald Reagan have done, are attacked merely for the effort.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 17, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

NASA, the outfit that kills to be politically correct? That stayed with M/T and their segmented booster when democrat Aerojet offered a unitary booster rafted to the cape, an outfit that refused to revert to the proven blowing agent for insulation on the tank, thus condemning a crue to incineration. As for Sagan, when you ride his coattails then you have to carry his demerits, too. I am not a follower of any credo other than the rational freedom of thought and action. What would Reagan do? He gave California withholding and he "Took full responsibility" for the Marine barracks bombing" then wimped out. Church9ill at least laid bricks and drank a quart of whiskey a day.


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