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World is at its warmest for a millennium

Steve Connor, UK Independent via Common Dreams
The entire northern hemisphere is experiencing a sustained period of warming that is unprecedented in the past millennium, a study has found.

A review of a range of temperature records, from tree rings and ice cores to historical documents, has found that at no time since the 9th century have temperatures been so consistently high. The study, published in the journal Science, found that the late 20th century was the warmest period for the northern hemisphere since at least 800AD, eclipsing the well-known medieval warm period when vines were cultivated successfully in northern Europe and the Vikings exploited the ice-free seas to colonise Greenland.

Timothy Osborn and Keith Briffa, climate scientists from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, analysed 14 sets of temperature records from America, Europe and East Asia. Each record covered a relatively wide region, such as northern Sweden or the low countries of the Netherlands and Belgium, and extended back at least several centuries.
(10 February 2006)
Many more articles on this subject are online.

Mercury levels rising: report release

Greenpeace, Energy Resources
For almost two years, we’ve been gathering hair samples from Greenpeace supporters across the country. On February 8, we released the results of our nationwide mercury study, ( and the results are alarming. Over *one in five* women of childbearing age tested above the limit the Environmental Protection Agency set as safe.

The even more chilling news is that earlier this year in his State of the Union speech ( to Congress, President Bush called for more energy investment in dirty fossil fuels, including coal, the largest source of mercury pollution in the country.

Tell Congress that America doesn’t need more coal and mercury ( to be spewed into our environment, our waterways and our bodies. A healthy, sustainable energy futures begins with increased investments in clean, renewable energy, not dirty fossil fuels.
(8 Feb 2006)

Climate Change: Senators and utility executives debate carbon policy options, nuclear power
During a panel held Wednesday morning in Washington by the Sustainable Energy Institute and Fleishman-Hillard, senators and utility executives discussed changing attitudes towards climate change in both the energy industry and among Republican lawmakers. Are mandatory limits on carbon dioxide emissions gaining support in Congress? And is nuclear power poised for a resurgence? During today’s E&ETV Event Coverage, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Cinergy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers and PSEG Services Corp. President Robert Busch weigh in on these questions and more.
(8 February 2006)

Global warming: passing the ‘tipping point’

Michael McCarthy, UK Independent
A crucial global warming “tipping point” for the Earth, highlighted only last week by the British Government, has already been passed, with devastating consequences.

Research commissioned by The Independent reveals that the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has now crossed a threshold, set down by scientists from around the world at a conference in Britain last year, beyond which really dangerous climate change is likely to be unstoppable.
(11 February 2006)
Also posted at Common Dreams.