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Climate - Oct 21

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Rising seas threaten 21 mega-cities

Associated Press
BANGKOK, Thailand - Cities around the world are facing the danger of rising seas and other disasters related to climate change.

Of the 33 cities predicted to have at least 8 million people by 2015, at least 21 are highly vulnerable, says the Worldwatch Institute.

They include Dhaka, Bangladesh; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Shanghai and Tianjin in China; Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt; Mumbai and Kolkata in India; Jakarta, Indonesia; Tokyo and Osaka-Kobe in Japan; Lagos, Nigeria; Karachi, Pakistan; Bangkok, Thailand, and New York and Los Angeles in the United States, according to studies by the United Nations and others.
(20 October 2007)


Oceans act as global warming 'safety valve'

Chad Skelton, Vancouver Sun
But they are getting less efficient at storing C02: study
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A new study by researchers at the University of B.C. has found that today's oceans are less effective at storing carbon dioxide than they were during the last ice age, raising fears that if temperatures continue to rise, global warming could accelerate much faster than previously thought.

Eric Galbraith, one of the authors of the study appearing in today's edition of the journal Nature, said that until now, the Earth's oceans have acted as a kind of safety valve for global warming, absorbing about one-quarter of human-created CO2.

This takes place in two ways.
(18 October 2007)


The meltdown of Greenland's way of life

Colin Woodard, Chronicle
In the Arctic, a shockingly sudden retreat of the ice is changing everything
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Seen from the air, Greenland's massive ice cap is clearly taking a beating.

Lakes and ponds of open water are scattered across its cracking surface, some feeding streams that vanish into moulins - drain-like cavities about 40 feet across that pierce the bottom of mile-thick ice. Approaching the edge of the ice, mountain summits poke out like islands. Glaciers tumble toward the sea, where this year they discharged ice at an unprecedented rate in this self-governing province of Denmark. Melting at the top of the ice sheet was the greatest ever recorded, 150 percent more than average, according to a new NASA-sponsored study.

"The rate of melting is just phenomenal," said Robert Correll, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, an international scientific monitoring project. "We're adding freshwater to the ocean at a much more rapid rate than predicted" by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's most recent estimates, which are based on data through 2005.
(19 October 2007)

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