Page 1

GLOBAL

WARMING THE BATTLE OF THE 21ST CENTURY

YEAR 2100 INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD ALLEY EUROPE FOOD PRODUCTION DECREASED BY 10% IN 2010

DROUGHT BRINGS DEPRAVATION 1999-2009: THE WARMEST DECADE ON RECORD 5 GREEN PROJECTS WITH BIG IMPACTS


GLOBAL

WARMING THE BATTLE OF THE 21ST CENTURY

CLOUDS & GLOBAL WARMING ANTARCTICA

GOING UNDER 8 Countries in Danger

INTERVIEW WITH ALL GORE

HOW WARM WAS SUMMER 2010?

POSSIBLE FOOD SAFETY IMPACTS

IMPACTS OF GLOBAL WARMING


GLOBAL

WARMING THE BATTLE OF THE 21ST CENTURY

INTERVIEW WITH JON FOLEY TOP 100 EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING AQUATIC DEAD ZONES 10 GREEN PROJECTS THAT JUST MIGHT SAVE THE WORLD

U.S. TO REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS BY 42% HOW IS TODAY’S GLOBAL WARMING DIFFERENT FROM THE PAST?

ALASKA + 4°F


GLOBAL

WARMING THE BATTLE OF THE 21ST CENTURY

JAPAN: LAND OF GREEN GIZMOS MELTING ICE WILL TRIGGER WAVE OF NATURAL DISASTERS ALGAE AS RENEWABLE ENERGY?

GLOBAL WARMING & FOOD PRODUCTION INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES VOROSMARTY

THE BIG MELT


GLOBAL

WARMING THE BATTLE OF THE 21ST CENTURY

INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE TAYLOR CALIFORNIA APPROVES CARBON CAP-AND-TRADE WARMING COULD DOUBLE FOOD PRICES CLIMATE CHANGE INDICATORS IN THE U.S.

WILDFIRES AND CLIMATE CHANGE CAN CHINA FUEL GROWTH WITHOUT WARMING THE WORLD? GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE FACTS: THE TRUTH THE CONSENSUS AND THE SKEPTICS


GLOBAL

WARMING THE BATTLE OF THE 21ST CENTURY

INTERVIEW WITH IAN MCEWAN THE HUMAN COST OF CLIMATE CHANGE THE CASE FOR GLOBAL WARMING STRONGER THAN EVER WILL RUSSIA’S HEAT WAVE END ITS GLOBAL-WARMING DOUBTS?

1 BILLION PEOPLE WILL BE DISPLACED BY 2050 SCIENTISTS: NOT TOO LATE FOR POLAR BEARS HOW CLIMATE CHANGE WILL IMPACT ANIMALS


GLOBAL

WARMING THE BATTLE OF THE 21ST CENTURY

FEATURES 09 THE BIG MELT 19 GLOBAL WARMING & FOOD PRODUCTION 25 JAPAN: LAND OF GREEN GIZMOS 31 MELTING ICE WILL TRIGGER WAVE OF NATURAL DISASTERS 37 ALGAE AS RENEWABLE ENERGY? 43 INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES VOROSMARTY


37

19 DEPARTMENTS HEALTH GOING GREEN WHAT CAN I DO? GEOGRAPHY BOOK REVIEW Q&A

03 05 07 50 51 52

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GLOBAL WARMING • VOLUME 1 • NOVEMBER 2010 • WWW.GLOBALWARMINGMAGAZINE.COM • PAGE 2


GLOBAL

HEALTH

10

WAYS GLOBAL WARMING COULD HURT YOUR HEALTH It's not just a political and economic issue: a warmer planet could impact your physical well-being. By SARAH BALDAUF

Scientists the globe over have observed changes that are impacting individuals’ health and have also created models to predict where we might be headed. Here’s a sampling of what we could be discussing with our doctors in the decades to come.

1. Stepped-up sniffling. Allergies—from ragweed in the fall to tree pollen in the spring—are predicted not only to become stronger but also to enjoy lengthened seasons because of less frost and earlier blooming. Fungal spores (those outdoors and in moist basements) will most likely thrive, tickling the throats of many. 2. Algae-related complaints. Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, thrive and bloom in the rising temperatures of bodies of water, from municipal water systems to the Great Lakes and Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. The algae have been linked to digestive, neurological, liver, and dermatological diseases. 3. Painful kidney stones. Because of higher temps and more dehydration, the crystallized calcifications that must be passed—often painfully—through the urinary tract could plague an additional 2.2 million people a year by 2050, researchers estimate. The current “kidney

stone belt,” which includes southern states like Florida, the Carolinas, and Arkansas, could extend up into Kentucky and northern California. 4. Exotic infections. Dengue fever, malaria, and encephalitis, while not exactly household names, have seen U.S. outbreaks and upticks in incidence in recent years. Mosquitoes and plankton, which flourish in warmer water temperatures, play a key role in transmitting such diseases. 5. Itchier cases of poison ivy. Poison ivy appears to become more potent as carbon dioxide levels rise, research has suggested. 6. Surplus of stings. Alaska’s warming has heralded a sixfold rise in severe stings reported, and the buzzing bees, wasps, and yellow jackets are showing up in spots never before seen. Alaska may be a harbinger for the rest of us, as its temperature changes have been the most significant in the U.S.


7. Fewer fruits available. The value of crops produced in the Yakima River Valley—more than 6,ooo square miles of orchards and farmland east of Seattle—may drop almost a quarter as temperatures rise over the coming decades. Less water for irrigation from nearby mountain snowpack could drive down fruit availability and drive up the cost of the produce. 8. Upsurge in summertime hacking and wheezing. Cool breezes coming down from Canada could diminish, driving up ozone pollution at ground level—particularly in the Northeast and Midwest—say some Harvard scientists. Possible result: irritated lungs, especially in people with respiratory illness. 9. Deluge of heat-wave deaths. Already a risk to the very young and the very old in the summer months, strings of hot and humid days are expected to become more frequent and more severe, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In California, for example, such deaths could double by 2100. 10. Bigger coastal storms. The flooding associated with the likes of Katrina and Ike and the physical and mental stresses that ensue are expected to occur more frequently as storms surge around the world. By 2050, a 1-foot rise in sea level is predicted, which could worsen flood damage by 36 to 58 percent.

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 03


GLOBAL

GREEN

A Brief Review of the Cooper-Hewitt’s Current Exhibition the National Design Terminal

WHY DESIGN NOW Masdar Development Masdar is a brand-new, self-contained, sustainable city of forty thousand residents currently being built on the desert outskirts of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. A vast experiment, its design pushes ideas of alternative energy, aiming to be the world’s first car-free, carbon-neutral, zero-waste city powered by renewable energy sources.

E/S Orcelle Cargo Carrier Shipping and air travel have been challenging to regulate in terms of new environmental standards. A dramatic step forward is the E/S Orcelle (E/S stands for environmentally sound; orcelle is French for an endangered type of dolphin), a sustainable vessel proposed by the Swedish/Norwegian transportation company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. The concept is based on zero emissions and the premise that by 2025 ships will be propelled without oil.

Hope Solar Tower Solar towers are among the more ambitious attempts being made to capture solar energy more effectively than through photovoltaic panels. The Australian company EnviroMission is currently commercializing solar-tower technology, originally conceptualized by the German structural engineering firm Schlaich Bergermann and Partner. The Hope solar tower operates by collecting the sun’s radiation to heat a large body of air under an expansive collector zone, which acts as a giant greenhouse.


GLOBAL

GREEN SolPix™ and GreenPix Zero-energy Media Wall Using building façades as canvases for advertising or public art space is not new, but today, LED lighting can be embedded into glass curtain walls, transforming them into interactive, programmable spectacles. Recently, New York–based architect Simone Giostra pushed the technology further when he created Zero-energy Media Wall, a carbon-neutral LED display for the Xicui Entertainment Complex in Beijing. Developed in collaboration with British engineers Arup and manufacturers Suntech and Thorn Lighting, the wall behaves like an organic system, absorbing solar energy during the day to power LED videos at night.

HydroNet: San Francisco 2108

MIT CityCar San Francisco–based designers IwamotoScott created HydroNet as an experimental project in response to the design challenge of conceiving the city one hundred years in the future. Predicated on the belief that future circulation networks in cities will be more connected but also more self-sufficient, the project proposes a citywide, multi-scale transportation network that collects, distributes, and stores fresh water, geothermal energy, and hydrogen fuel. For areas along the San Francisco Bay impacted by a five-meter water level rise predicted as a result of global climate change, algae ponds occupy a new aquaculture zone that provides the raw material for the production of hydrogen fuel.

San Francisco–based designers IwamotoScott created HydroNet as an experimental project in response to the design challenge of conceiving the city one hundred years in the future. Predicated on the belief that future circulation networks in cities will be more connected but also more self-sufficient, the project proposes a citywide, multi-scale transportation network that collects, distributes, and stores fresh water, geothermal energy, and hydrogen fuel. For areas along the San Francisco Bay impacted by a five-meter water level rise predicted as a result of global climate change, algae ponds occupy a new aquaculture zone that provides the raw material for the production of hydrogen fuel. The HydroNet’s tunnels form an underground circulation infrastructure that stores and distributes the fuel for hydrogen-powered hover cars, which reduce the number of cars on the streets.

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 05


SMALL &

GREEN 5 GREEN PROJECTS FOR UNDER $500

1

Build a clothesline Next to your refrigerator, your dryer is likely the biggest energy-guzzling appliance in your house. And while we wouldn’t ask you to store your food in a vintage icebox, an oldfashioned clothesline is actually a pretty good idea. You can buy a pulley kit like the one pictured above at the hardware store. Or you can order the components online—clotheslineshop.com for instance, will ship you two Ts made of metal pipe, plus the fittings and rope. But it’s easy to make a traditional clothesline yourself, using 4x4 or 6x6 pressure-treated posts for the uprights and 2x8s for the cross arms (which don’t need to be pressuretreated). Simply notch the posts to receive the cross arms, set them in concrete, and run the lines on eye hooks between them. A 4- or 5-foot cross arm should give you enough room for five lengths of line, nicely spaced. Lumber: $42 Hardware: $10 100 feet of line and 100 wood clothespins: $17 *Total: $69

2

Add a tube-type skylight There’s at least one place in your house—a dark stairwell, a north-facing bathroom, a rear hallway—where you can’t see what you’re doing without turning on a light, even in the daytime. That’s the ideal spot for a light tube, which lets you bring in the sun’s rays without the hassle or expense of installing a conventional skylight. These so-called “sun tunnels” capture light through a plastic lens mounted on the roof, bounce it down through the attic inside a reflective tube, and beam it out through a plastic diffuser in the ceiling. From the inside looking up, you see what appears to be a no-frills light fixture. True, you don’t get a sky view, but you also don’t have the energy loss associated with standard roof windows. Tubular skylights are much easier to install, because the tubing fits between roof rafters and frees you from having to build a shaft to get the light through the attic. If you’re handy, it’s a half-day project. And if you’re not, you can hire a pro and still come in under the $500 cap. 14-inch tube kit with flashing, sealant, and 4 feet of duct: $229 Extension tubes: Two 20-inch sections at $40 each *Total: $309


SMALL &

GREEN 5 GREEN PROJECTS FOR UNDER $500

3

A recirculating pump under the sink As you stand around waiting for hot water to arrive at your bathroom sink—or, worse, wander off to do something else while the tap is running—watch what’s flowing down the drain: not just water, but all the energy that went into heating it. But let’s say you could press a button and have hot water in an instant. That’s the work of a clever device called an on-demand recirculation pump. Installed under the sink, the pump captures the not-yet-hot water before it exits the tap and shoots it back to the water heater. The process repeats until the water gets hot enough, at which point the pump shuts off, you turn on the tap, and the steamy stuff flows. Obviously, this setup saves water. Less intuitively, it also saves energy. That’s because the water going back to the heater is usually slightly warm, so reheating it takes less energy. *Metlund D’Mand S50 Recirculating Pump: $268

4

Insulate hot-water pipes Without insulation, your house’s hot-water pipes act as a gigantic radiator, transferring heat to the air so efficiently that any water in the pipes—even if it left the boiler at a toasty 105 degrees—is barely lukewarm 15 minutes later. So if you wash your hands to prep dinner, then need to rinse a pot, you’ll have to wait

for hot water all over again. The solution: Insulate pipes wherever you can reach them by encasing them in rubber or polyethylene foam tubes. The tubes come with an adhesive-coated slit down the middle, so you just ease them over the pipe and press the ends closed. Seal the seams with duct tape. Tests show that insulation can double the cool-down time in 1/2-inch pipe and triple it in 3/4inch pipe. Tubes to cover 45 feet of 3/4-inch pipe: $55. Roll of duct tape: $5 *Total: $60

5

Plant deciduous trees Plant trees now on the south, east, and west sides of your house, and you can picnic under them in a couple of years. In five years, they may provide enough shade to let you run your air conditioner less frequently. And when the trees mature, they could save you as much as 40 percent on your cooling costs. Beyond shading your property, trees also help combat the “heat island” effect that occurs in urban areas, where concrete and asphalt absorb and hold in heat. Two popular varieties are red oak for large lots and trident maple for small ones. But before you buy any saplings, check with your city’s public works department; some trees have invasive roots that plug water or sewer lines. *Total: $35-$50 per tree

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 07


THE BIG MELT Glaciers in the high heart of Asia feed its greatest rivers, lifelines for two billion people. Now the ice and snow are diminishing.

By Brook Larmer Photograph by Jonas Bendiksen


T The gods must be furious. It’s the only explanation that makes sense to Jia Son, a Tibetan farmer surveying the catastrophe unfolding above his village in China’s mountainous Yunnan Province. “We’ve upset the natural order,” the devout, 52-year-old Buddhist says. “And now the gods are punishing us.” On a warm summer afternoon, Jia Son has hiked a mile and a half up the gorge that Ming yong Glacier has carved into sacred Mount Kawagebo, looming 22,113 feet high in the clouds above. There’s no sign of ice, just a river roiling with silt-laden melt. For more than a century, ever since its tongue lapped at the edge of Mingyong village, the glacier has retreated like a dying serpent recoiling into its lair. Its pace has accelerated over the past decade, to more than a football field every year a distinctly unglacial rate for an ancient ice mass.


This all used to be ice ten years ago, said Jia Son, as he scrambles across the scree and brush. He points out a yak trail etched into the slope some 200 feet above the valley bottom. “The glacier sometimes used to cover that trail, so we had to lead our animals over the ice to get to the upper meadows.” Around a bend in the river, the glacier’s snout finally comes into view: It’s a deathly shade of black, permeated with pulverized rock and dirt. The water from this ice, once so pure it served in rituals as a symbol of Buddha himself, is now too loaded with sediment for the villagers to drink. For nearly a mile the glacier’s once smooth surface is ragged and cratered like the skin of a leper. There are glimpses of blue-green ice within the fissures, but the cracks themselves signal trouble. “The beast is sick and wasting away,” Jia Son says. “If our sacred glacier cannot survive, how can we?” It is a question that echoes around the globe, but nowhere more urgently than across the vast swath of Asia that draws its water from the “roof of the world.” This geologic colossus— the highest and largest plateau on the planet, ringed by its tallest mountains—covers an area greater than western Europe, at an average altitude of more than two miles. With nearly 37,000 glaciers on the Chinese side alone, the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding arc of mountains contain the largest volume of ice outside the polar regions. This ice gives birth to Asia’s largest and most legendary rivers, from the Yangtze and the Yellow to the Mekong and the Ganges—rivers that over the course of history have nurtured civilizations, inspired religions, and sustained ecosystems. Today they are lifelines for some of Asia’s most densely settled areas, from the arid plains of Pakistan to the thirsty metropolises of northern China 3,000 miles away. All told, some two billion people in more than a

dozen countries—nearly a third of the world’s population—depend on rivers fed by the snow and ice of the plateau region. But a crisis is brewing on the roof of the world, and it rests on a curious paradox: For all its seeming might and immutability, this geologic expanse is more vulnerable to climate change than almost anywhere else on Earth. The Tibetan Plateau as a whole is heating up twice as fast as the global average of 1.3°F over the past century—and in some places even faster. These warming rates, unprecedented for at least two millennia, are merciless on the glaciers, whose rare confluence of high altitudes and low latitudes make them especially sensitive to shifts in climate. For thousands of years the glaciers have formed what Lonnie Thompson, a glaciologist at Ohio State University, calls “Asia’s freshwater bank account”—an immense storehouse whose buildup of new ice and snow (deposits) has historically offset its annual runoff (withdrawals). Glacial melt plays its most vital role before and after the rainy season, when it supplies a greater portion of the flow in every river from the Yangtze (which irrigates more than half of China’s rice) to the Ganges and the Indus (key to the agricultural heartlands of India and Pakistan). But over the past half century, the balance has been lost, perhaps irrevocably. Of the 680 glaciers Chinese scientists monitor closely on the Tibetan Plateau, 95 percent are shedding more ice than they’re adding, with the heaviest losses on its southern and eastern edges. “These glaciers are not simply retreating,” Thompson says. “They’re losing mass from the surface down.” The ice cover in this portion of the plateau has shrunk more than 6 percent since the 1970s—and the damage is still greater in Tajikistan and northern India, with 35 percent and 20 per-

Ihit placcullant, conempedi dolori simus sed mosaecatem quaspis exeritistiis quos

cent declines respectively over the past five decades. The rate of melting is not uniform, and a number of glaciers in the Karakoram Range on the western edge of the plateau are actually advancing. This anomaly may result from increases in snowfall in the higher latitude—and therefore colder—Karakorams, where snow and ice are less vulnerable to small temperature increases. The gaps in scientific knowledge are still great, and in the Tibetan Plateau they are deepened by the region’s remoteness and political sensitivity—as well as by the inherent complexities of climate science. Though scientists argue


37,000

Tibetan glaciers and its surrounding arc of mountains contain the largest volume of ice outside the polar regions.

6%

of the ice cover portion of the plateau has shrunk since the 1970s

95%

are shedding more ice than they’re adding

1.3°F

has raised on an average in the world.

about the rate and cause of glacial retreat, most don’t deny that it’s happening. And they believe the worst may be yet to come. The more dark areas that are exposed by melting, the more sunlight is absorbed than reflected, causing temperatures to rise faster. (Some climatologists believe this warming feedback loop could intensify the Asian monsoon, triggering more violent storms and flooding in places such as Bangladesh and Myanmar.) If current trends hold, Chinese scientists believe that 40 percent of the plateau’s glaciers could disappear by 2050. “Fullscale glacier shrinkage is inevitable,” says Yao Tandong, a glaciolo-

gist at China’s Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research. “And it will lead to ecological catastrophe.” The potential impacts extend far beyond the glaciers. On the Tibetan Plateau, especially its dry northern flank, people are already affected by a warmer climate. The grasslands and wetlands are deteriorating, and the permafrost that feeds them with spring and summer melt is retreating to higher elevations. Thousands of lakes have dried up. Desert now covers about one-sixth of the plateau, and in places sand dunes lap across the highlands like waves in a yellow sea. The herders who once thrived here are running out of options.

Along the plateau’s southern edge, by contrast, many communities are coping with too much water. In alpine villages like Mingyong, the glacial melt has swelled rivers, with welcome side effects: expanded croplands and longer growing seasons. But such benefits often hide deeper costs. In Mingyong, surging meltwater has carried away topsoil; elsewhere, excess runoff has been blamed for more frequent flooding and landslides. In the mountains from Pakistan to Bhutan, thousands of glacial lakes have formed, many potentially unstable. Among the more dangerous is Imja Tsho, at 16,400 feet on the trail to Nepal’s Island Peak. Fifty years ago

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 06


300 feet

Along with acute water and electricity shortages, experts predict a plunge in food production, widespread migration in the face of ecological changes, even conflicts between Asian powers. the lake didn’t exist; today, swollen by melt, it is a mile long and 300 feet deep. If it ever burst through its loose wall of moraine, it would drown the Sherpa villages in the valley below. This situation—too much water, too little water—captures, in miniature, the trajectory of the overall crisis. Even if melting glaciers provide an abundance of water in the short run, they portend a frightening endgame: the eventual depletion of Asia’s greatest rivers. Nobody can predict exactly when the glacier retreat will translate into a sharp drop in runoff. Whether it happens in 10, 30, or 50 years

depends on local conditions, but the collateral damage across the region could be devastating. Along with acute water and electricity shortages, experts predict a plunge in food production, widespread migration in the face of ecological changes, even conflicts between Asian powers. The nomads’ tent is a pinprick of white against a canvas of green and brown. There is no other sign of human existence on the 14,000-foot-high prairie that seems to extend to the end of the world. As a vehicle rattles toward the tent, two young men emerge, their long black hair horizontal in the wind.

Ba O and his brother Tsering are part of an unbroken line of Tibetan nomads who for at least a thousand years have led their herds to summer grazing grounds near the headwaters of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. Inside the tent, Ba O’s wife tosses patties of dried yak dung onto the fire while her four-yearold son plays with a spool of sheep’s wool. The family matriarch, Lu Ji, churns yak milk into cheese, rocking back and forth in a hypnotic rhythm. Behind her are two weathered Tibetan chests topped with a small Buddhist shrine: a red prayer wheel, a couple of smudged Tibetan texts, and several yak butter candles whose flames are never allowed to go out. “This is the way we’ve always done things,” Ba O says. “And we don’t want that to change.” But it may be too late. The grasslands are dying out, as decades of warming temperatures—ex-


1921

2008

acerbated by overgrazing—turn prairie into desert. Watering holes are drying up, and now, instead of traveling a short distance to find summer grazing for their herds, Ba O and his family must trek more than 30 miles across the high plateau. Even there the grass is meager. “It used to grow so high you could lose a sheep in it,” Ba O says. “Now it doesn’t reach above their hooves.” The family’s herd has dwindled from 500 animals to 120. The next step seems inevitable: selling their remaining livestock and moving into a government resettlement camp. Across Asia the response to climate-induced threats has mostly been slow and piecemeal, as if governments would prefer to leave it up to the industrialized countries that pumped the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the first place. There are exceptions. In Ladakh, a bone-dry region in northern India and Pakistan

that relies entirely on melting ice and snow, a retired civil engineer named Chewang Norphel has built “artificial glaciers”—simple stone embankments that trap and freeze glacial melt in the fall for use in the early spring growing season. Nepal is developing a remote monitoring system to gauge when glacial lakes are in danger of bursting, as well as the technology to drain them. Even in places facing destructive monsoonal flooding, such as Bangladesh, “floating schools” in the delta enable kids to continue their education—on boats. But nothing compares to the campaign in China, which has less water than Canada but 40 times more people. In the vast desert in the Xin jiang region, just north of the Tibetan Plateau, China aims to build 59 reservoirs to capture and save glacial runoff. Across Tibet, artillery batteries have been installed to launch rain-inducing silver iodide into the clouds. In Qinghai

New River Imja Tsho Formed at

16,400

Feet on the Trail the government is blocking off degraded grasslands in hopes they can be nurtured back to health. In areas where grasslands have already turned to scrub desert, bales of wire fencing are rolled out over the last remnants of plant life to prevent them from blowing away. Along the road near the town of Madoi are two rows of newly built houses. This is a resettlement village for Tibetan nomads, part of a massive and controversial program to relieve pressure on the grasslands near the sources of China’s three major rivers—the Yangtze, Yellow, and Mekong—where nearly half of Qinghai Province’s 530,000 nomads have traditionally lived. Tens

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 08


Tibetan Prayer Flags Can Be Seen Everywhere Even Though There Is No Way To Stop The Big Melt.


of thousands of nomads here have had to give up their way of life, and many more—including, perhaps, Ba O—may follow. The subsidized housing is solid, and residents receive a small annual stipend. Even so, Jixi Lamu, a 33-year-old woman in a traditional embroidered dress, says her family is stuck in limbo, dependent on government handouts. “We’ve spent the $400 we had left from selling off our animals,” she says. “There was no future with our herds, but there’s no future here either.” Her husband is away looking for menial work. Inside the one-room house, her mother sits on the bed, fingering her prayer beads. A Buddhist shrine stands on the other side of the room, but the candles have burned out.

her stumbling in a panic through the slum’s narrow corridors. Now, with her containers still empty and the sun blazing overhead, she has returned home for a moment’s rest. Asked if she’s eaten anything today, she laughs: “We haven’t even had any tea yet.” Suddenly cries erupt—a water truck has been spotted. Chaya leaps up and joins the human torrent in the street. A dozen boys swarm onto a blue tanker, jamming hoses in and siphoning the water out. Below, shouting women jostle for position with their containers. In six minutes the tanker is empty. Chaya arrived too late and must move on to chase the next rumor of water. Delhi’s water demand already exceeds supply by more than 300

It is not yet noon in Delhi, just 180 miles south of the Himalayan glaciers. But in the narrow corridors of Nehru Camp, a slum in this city of 16 million, the blast furnace of the north Indian summer has already sent temperatures soaring past 105° Fahrenheit. It is not yet noon in Delhi, just 180 miles south of the Himalayan glaciers. But in the narrow corridors of Nehru Camp, a slum in this city of 16 million, the blast furnace of the north Indian summer has already sent temperatures soaring past 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Chaya, the 25-year-old wife of a fortune-teller, has spent seven hours joining the mad scramble for water that, even today, defines life in this heaving metropolis—and offers a taste of what the depletion of Tibet’s water and ice portends. Chaya’s day began long before sunrise, when she and her five children fanned out in the darkness, armed with plastic jugs of every size. After daybreak, the rumor of a tap with running water sent

million gallons a day, a shortfall worsened by inequitable distribution and a leaky infrastructure that loses an estimated 40 percent of the water. More than two-thirds of the city’s water is pulled from the Yamuna and the Ganges, rivers fed by Himalayan ice. If that ice disappears, the future will almost certainly be worse. “We are facing an unsustainable situation,” says Diwan Singh, a Delhi environmental activist. “Soon—not in thirty years but in five to ten—there will be an exodus because of the lack of water.” The tension already seethes. In the clogged alleyway around one of Nehru Camp’s last functioning taps, which run for one hour a day, a man punches a woman who cut in

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 10


line, leaving a purple welt on her face. “We wake up every morning fighting over water,” says Kamal Bhate, a local astrologer watching the melee. This one dissolves into shouting and fingerpointing, but the brawls can be deadly. In a nearby slum a teenage boy was recently beaten to death for cutting in line. As the rivers dwindle, the conflicts could spread. India, China, and Pakistan all face pressure to boost food production to keep up with their huge and growing populations. But

but oil-rich neighbours (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan). In the future, peace between Pakistan and India may hinge as much on water as on nuclear weapons, for the two countries must share the glacierdependent Indus. The biggest question mark hangs over China, which controls the sources of the region’s major rivers. Its damming of the Mekong has sparked anger downstream in Indochina. If Beijing follows through on tentative plans to divert the Brahmaputra, it could provoke its rival,

Delhi’s water demand already exceeds supply by more than 300 million gallons a day, a shortfall worsened by inequitable distribution and a leaky infrastructure that loses an estimated 40% of the water. More than two-thirds of the city’s water is pulled from the Yamuna and the Ganges, rivers fed by Himalayan ice. If that ice disappears, the future will almost certainly be worse. climate change and diminishing water supplies could reduce cereal yields in South Asia by 5 percent within three decades. “We’re going to see rising tensions over shared water resources, including political disputes between farmers, between farmers and cities, and between human and ecological demands for water,” says Peter Gleick, a water expert and president of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California. “And I believe more of these tensions will lead to violence.” The real challenge will be to prevent water conflicts from spilling across borders. There is already a growing sense of alarm in Central Asia over the prospect that poor but glacier-heavy nations (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan) may one day restrict the flow of water to their parched

India, in the very region where the two countries fought a war in 1962. For the people in Nehru Camp, geopolitical concerns are lost in the frenzied pursuit of water. In the afternoon, a tap outside the slum is suddenly turned on, and Chaya, smiling triumphantly, hauls back a full, ten-gallon jug on top of her head. The water is dirty and bitter, and there are no means to boil it. But now, at last, she can give her children their first meal of the day: a piece of bread and a few spoonfuls of lentil stew. “They should be studying, but we keep shooing them away to find water,” Chaya says. “We have no choice, because who knows if we’ll find enough water tomorrow.” Fatalism may be a natural response to forces that seem beyond our con-

trol. But Jia Son, the Tibetan farmer watching Mingyong Glacier shrink, believes that every action counts— good or bad, large or small. Pausing on the mountain trail, he makes a guilty confession. The melting ice, he says, may be his fault. When Jia Son first noticed the rising temperatures—an unfamiliar trickle of sweat down his back about a decade ago—he figured it was a gift from the gods. Winter soon lost some of its brutal sting. The glacier began releasing its water earlier in the summer, and for the first time in memory villagers had the luxury of two harvests a year. Then came the Chinese tourists, a flood of city dwellers willing to pay locals to take them up to see the glacier. The Han tourists don’t always respect Buddhist traditions;


in their gleeful hollers to provoke an icefall, they seem unaware of the calamity that has befallen the glacier. Still, they have turned a poor village into one of the region’s wealthiest. “Life is much easier now,” says Jia Son, whose simple farmhouse, like all in the village, has a television and government-subsidized satellite dish. “But maybe our greed has made Kawagebo angry.”

He is referring to the temperamental deity above his village. One of the holiest mountains in Tibetan Buddhism, Kawagebo has never been conquered, and locals believe its summit—and its glacier—should remain untouched. When a SinoJapanese expedition tried to scale the peak in 1991, an avalanche near the top of the glacier killed all 17 climbers. Jia Son remains convinced the deaths were not an accident but an act of divine retribution. Could Mingyong’s retreat be another sign of Kawagebo’s displeasure? Jia Son is taking no chances. Every year he embarks on a 15-day pilgrimage around Kawagebo to show his deepening Buddhist devotion. He no longer hunts animals or cuts down trees. As part of a government program, he has also given up a parcel of land to be reforested. His family still participates in the village’s tourism cooperative, but Jia Son makes a point of telling visitors about the glacier’s spiritual significance. “Nothing will get better,” he says, “until we get rid of our materialistic thinking.” It’s a simple pledge, perhaps, one that hardly seems enough to save the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau— and stave off the water crisis that seems sure to follow. But here, in the shadow of one of the world’s fastest retreating glaciers, this lone farmer has begun, in his own small way, to restore the balance.

5%

Farmland Will be Reduced in the Next 3 decades.

1962

(War Between China and India) might re-occur Over the Control of the Rivers.

17

Climbers Were killed in 1991, When a Sino-Japanese Expedition Tried to Scale the Pick.

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 12


JAPAN: LAND OF GREEN GIZMOS


New Bio-Gasoline Fits into Japanese Culture, Where Green Gadgets Are Definitely In


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The new fuel mixes gasoline with ethanol made from corn and sugar cane. It costs more to make, but the Japanese government and the oil industry are picking up the extra cost, so the bio-fuel costs the same as gasoline at the pump. That's more than $5 a gallon, but Japanese have been paying that for years without complaint.

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 24


HOW WI GLOBAL WARMIN AFFECT FOOD PRODUC


ILL L NG

CTION? By Katie Howell


“Global warming is an environmental threat unlike any other the world has faced,” Christopher Flavin wrote in his book, Slowing Global Warming: A Worldwide Strategy. “While human activities during the past century have damaged a long list of nature systems, most of these problems are local or regional in scope and can be revered in years to decades if sufficient effort is exerted.” “The global warming is very simple,” said Dr. Robert Watson, chairman of the Nobel-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “We are increasing emissions of greenhouse gases and thus their concentrations in the atmosphere are going up.” Greenhouse gases produce the greenhouse effect, which traps heat near the earth’s surface, maintaining a relative constant temperature. However, many human activities increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As concentrations increase, the temperature

of the earth also rises. Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution an estimated 350 billion tons of car-

bon dioxide have been released through the burning of fossil fuels. Other greenhouse gases are chlorofluorocarbons, methane, nitrogen compounds, and ozone. Fresh data has shown that greenhouse gas emissions have grown by an average of 3.5 percent a year from 2000 to 2007. That’s “far more rapid than we expected” and more than three times the 0.9 growth rate in the

1990’s, according to Chris Field, coordinating lead author of the IPCC report. “Climate change means much more than higher global temperatures,” pointed out Heherson T. Alvarez, who convened the Asia-Pacific Leaders Conference on Climate Change in Manila

Fresh data has shown that greenhouse gas emissions have grown by an average of 3.5% a year from 2000 to 2007.


IPCC member. “These could adversely affect millions of hectares of farm lands. In the rainy season, there will be more frequent floods and in dry season, there will be less water available for irrigation.

when he was still with the Senate. “Global warming could result in a wide range of catastrophic consequences.” Rising temperatures is expected to spur changes in rainfall patterns. “Weather patterns (in the Philippines) may change with projections of higher rainfall and drier summers,” said Dr. Rodel D. Lasco, the Filipino

Overall, it threatens food security of our country.” “Global warming is more disastrous to the agricultural industry of the Philippines and its neighboring Asian countries than in other parts of the world,” noted

Dr. David Street of the US Argonne National Laboratory. The Laguna-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said global warming can reduce rice yields. Rice is the principal food for over 60 percent of mankind. It is particularly important to Asia where over half of the world’s population lives. An IRRI study showed that rice plants could benefit from higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but an increase in temperature up to four degrees Celsius would “nullify any yield increase.” Water resources are especially vulnerable to climate change. “In a warmer world, we will need more water – to drink and to irrigate crops,” said the London-based Panos Institute. “Water for agriculture is critical for food security,” points out Dr. Mark W. Rosegrant, a senior research fellow at the Washingtonbased International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

“Weather patterns (in the Philippines) may change with projections of higher rainfall and drier summers” Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 16


“The link between water and food is strong,” says Dr Lester R. Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute, also based in Washington, D.C. “We drink, in one form or another, nearly 4 liters of water per day. But the food we consume each day requires at least 2,000 liters to produce, 500 times as much.” This explains why 70 percent of all water use is for irrigation. An estimated 40 percent of agricultural products and 60 percent of the world’s grain are grown on irrigated land. “Agriculture is by far the biggest consumer of water worldwide,” IRRI said. For instance, to raise a ton of rice, you need a thousand gallons of water. But there could be less water to go round, as underground water reserves in coastal areas are flooded by sea water, as sea levels rise and as evaporation losses from reservoirs and rivers and flooded fields grow. Rising sea levels are seen by many scientists as the most serious likely consequence of global warming. The IPCC predicted in 2007 that sea levels will rise by up to 59 centimeters (23 inches) before 2100 due simply to the expansion of warmer ocean waters. The Philippines ranks fourth in the Global Climate Risk Index. Fifteen of the 16 regions of the country are vulnerable to sea level rise.“Like a ship sinking in slow motions, tens of thousands of square kilometers of coastal lands would be gradually inundated by the ocean,” the IPCC report claimed. “Shallow seas, mangrove forests and coral reefs, containing thousands of varieties of coral and edible fish would be destroyed.” Dr. Josefino Comiso, a senior research scientist at the NASA’s Cryospheric Sciences

branch at the Goddard Space Flight Center, pointed out that slight change in ocean temperature will definitely affect the country’s coral reefs. In a series of journals, Science reported that global warming could trigger the death of coral reefs, with coral bleaching being the clearest sign. “When subjected to extreme stress (like high temperature of surface water),” explains Worldwatch Institute’s John C. Ryan, “corals jettison the colorful algae they live in symbiosis with, exposing the white skeleton of dead coral beneath a single layer of clear living tissue. If the stress persists, the coral dies.” The Philippines has about 27,000 square kilometers of coral reefs, says Dr. Angel C. Alcala, former environment secretary. As fishing grounds, they are thought to be 10 to 100 times as productive per unit area as the open sea. An estimated 10-15 per cent of the total fisheries come from coral reefs. “Coral reef fish yields range from 20 to 25 metric tons per square kilometer per year for healthy reefs,” says Alcala. About 80-90 per cent of the incomes of small island communities come from fisheries. “The fishing communities who depend on the coral for their catch will be affected,” said Abigail Jabines, climate and energy campaigner for the Southeast Asia section of Greenpeace. Unknowingly, agriculture is also a contributor to the global warming problem. Methane is a gas created naturally as a waste product of anaerobic bacteria (living with little or no oxygen). These bacteria produce methane gas in waterlogged soils and wetlands, but

also in human-produced environment such as rice paddies. “An estimated 19 percent of the world’s methane production comes from rice paddies,” said Dr. Alan Teramura, botany professor at the University of Maryland in the United States. “As population increase in rice-growing areas, more rice – and more methane – are produced.” Scientists claim that one molecule of methane from decaying rice paddies is about 10,000 times more efficient in heating up our planet than one molecule of carbon dioxide emitted by a gasoline engine. Aside from rice paddies, cuddling animals like cattle also contribute 14 percent while animal waste is source of 5 percent of the global methane production. IRRI said that concentration of methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled during the past 200 years. As early as 1986, Swedish Nobel Prize laureate Svante Arrhenius sounded the warning of global warming. But he was totally ignored; nobody listened. Today, his alarm has become a global concern. Katherine Richardson, a climate scientist at the University of Copenhagen, urged: “We have to act and we have to act now. We need to realize what a risk it is they are taking on behalf of their own constituents, the world’s societies and, even more importantly, future generations.”


Photograph By Katie Howell

“We have to act and we have to act now. We need to realize what a risk it is they are taking on behalf of their own constituents, the world’s societies and, even more importantly, future generations” Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 18


MELTING ICE WILL TRIGGER WAVE OF NATURAL DISASTERS


Scientists at a London conference next week will warn of earthquakes, avalanches and volcanic eruptions as the atmosphere heats up and geology is altered. Even Britain could face being struck by tsunamis

By Robin McKie


S cientists are to outline dramatic evidence that global warming threatens the planet in a new and unexpected way – by triggering earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches and volcanic eruptions. Reports by international groups of researchers – to be presented at a London conference next week – will show that climate change, caused by rising outputs of carbon dioxide from vehicles, factories and power stations, will not only affect the atmosphere and the sea but will alter the geology of the Earth. Melting glaciers will set off avalanches, floods and mud flows in the Alps and other mountain ranges; torrential rainfall in the UK is likely to cause widespread erosion; while disappearing Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets threaten to let loose underwater landslides, triggering tsunamis that could even strike the seas around Britain. At the same time the disappearance of ice caps will change the pressures acting on the Earth’s crust and set off volcanic eruptions across the globe. Life on Earth faces a warm future – and a fiery one. “Not only are the oceans

and atmosphere conspiring against us, bringing baking temperatures, more powerful storms and floods, but the crust beneath our feet seems likely to join in too,” said Professor Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre, at University College London (UCL). “Maybe the Earth is trying to tell us something,” added McGuire, who is one of the organisers of UCL’s Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards conference, which will open on 15 September. Some of the key evidence to be presented at the conference will come from studies of past volcanic activity. These indicate that when ice sheets disappear the number of eruptions increases, said Professor David Pyle, of Oxford University’s earth sciences department. “The last ice age came to an end between 12,000 to 15,000 years ago and the ice sheets that once covered central Europe shrank dramatically,” added Pyle. “The impact on the continent’s geology can by measured by the jump in volcanic activity that occurred at this time.” In the Eiffel region of western Germany a huge eruption created a vast caldera, or basin-shaped crater, 12,900 years ago, for example. This has since flooded to form the Laacher See, near Koblenz. Scientists are now studying volcanic regions in Chile and Alaska – where glaciers and ice sheets are shrinking rapidly as the planet heats up – in an effort to anticipate the eruptions that might be set off.

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 28


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ast week scientists from Northern Arizona University reported in the journal Science that temperatures in the Arctic were now higher than at any time in the past 2,000 years. Ice sheets are disappearing at a dramatic rate – and these could have other, unexpected impacts on the planet’s geology. According to Professor Mark Maslin of UCL, one is likely to be the release of the planet’s methane hydrate deposits. These ice-like deposits are found on the seabed and in the permafrost regions of Siberia and the far north. “These permafrost deposits are now melting and releasing their methane,” said Maslin. “You can see the methane bubbling out of lakes in Siberia. And that is a concern, for the impact of methane in the atmosphere is considerable. It is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.” A build-up of permafrost methane in the atmosphere would produce a further jump in global warming and accelerate the process of climate change. Even more worrying, however, is the impact of rising sea temperatures on the far greater reserves of methane hydrates that are found on the sea floor.

It was not just the warming of the sea that was the problem, added Maslin. As the ice around Greenland and Antarctica melted, sediments would pour off land masses and cliffs would crumble, triggering underwater landslides that would break open more hydrate reserves on the seabed. Again there would be a jump in global warming. “These are key issues that we will have to investigate over the next few years,” he said. There is also a danger of earthquakes, triggered by disintegrating glaciers, causing tsunamis off Chile, New Zealand and Newfoundland in Canada, Nasa scientist Tony Song will tell the conference. The last on this list could even send a tsunami across the Atlantic, one that might reach British shores. The conference will also hear from other experts of the risk posed by melting ice in mountain regions, which would pose significant dangers to local people and tourists. The Alps, in particular, face a worryingly uncertain future, said Jasper Knight of Exeter University. “Rock walls resting against glaciers will become unstable as the ice disappears and so set off avalanches. In addition, increasing meltwaters will trigger more floods and mud flows.” For the Alps this is a serious problem. Tourism is growing there, while the region’s population is rising. Managing and protecting these people was now an issue that needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency, Knight said. “Global warming is not just a matter of warmer weather, more floods or stronger hurricanes. It is a wake-up call to Terra Firma,” McGuire said.


Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 30


ALGAE THE FUTURE OF BIOFUEL


The tiny plants could provide renewable oil but industry wants a helping hand from government

By Katie Howell


THINKING WITH THE NATURE IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD A GREENER WORLD


T

here are some signs that the algae-based fuel industry might be ready to bloom. One of the nascent industry’s biggest and most well-heeled players, Sapphire Energy, announced last week that it would be producing 1 million gallons of diesel and jet fuel a year by 2011, double its initial estimates. The La Jolla, Calif.-based company – with big-name backers like Bill Gates and the Rockefeller family – says it will be producing more than 100 million gallons a year by 2018 and 1 billion gallons a year by 2020 – enough to meet almost 3 percent of the U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS) of 36 billion gallons. But there’s a hitch: Federal law makes no room for algae-based fuel in the RFS. The 2007 energy law caps corn ethanol production at 15 billion gallons a year by 2015 and has the remaining 21 billion gallons of renewable fuels coming from advanced biofuels, including 17 billion gallons from cellulosic biofuels and biodiesel. “There needs to be policy work done to incorporate these new concepts like algae, which is an organism that actually consumes large amounts of carbon in the process of creating a liquid transportation fuel,” said Tim Zenk, vice president of corporate affairs at Sapphire. Algae-based fuel producers use sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to convert carbon dioxide into sugar, which the algae metabolize into lipids, or oil. The industry says it can do so using non-potable water and without converting more forests into farm fields – thus addressing major criticisms of cornand soy-based biofuels. Sapphire says its technology is

unique because it produces a fuel that can be used with existing U.S. pipelines, refineries, cars, trucks and airplanes. “We are 100 percent convinced that the only way to address climate and energy security is to use the same infrastructure we already have,” Zenk said. Zenk said his company is supported by major oil companies. Its newly appointed president, C.J. Warner, is a 10-year BP executive. “They really like us because we’re providing them with what they do today, which is refining crude oil,” Zenk said. “It’s not ethanol, it’s not biodiesel. It has the same molecules as gas, diesel or jet fuels.” The company’s jet fuel was tested earlier this year by two of three airlines testing the commercial use of algae-based fuels in flight. Continental Airlines reported that the Boeing 737800 test flight on Jan. 7 was successful. That test was the first commercial airline test of algae-based biofuel. “Continental’s primary role in the demonstration was to show that the biofuel blend would perform just like traditional jet fuel in our existing aircraft without modification of the engines or the aircraft,” said Holden Shannon, Continental’s senior vice president for global research and security, during a congressional hearing last month. “This is important because ... the current engine and airframe technology is unlikely to change materially for many years, so it is crucial that alternative fuel be safe for use with the current aircraft technology.” Zenk said the test flight showed that algae fuel gets better mileage than petroleum-based jet fuel. “We noticed a 4 percent increase in energy density in the fuels because of the lowerburning temperatures in the engine itself, which resulted in greater fuel mileage,” he said.

The company’s jet fuel was tested earlier this year by two of three airlines testing the commercial use of algae-based fuels in flight.

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 34


But more work needs to be done. Both Zenk and Shannon noted the long certification process to approve jet fuels for commercial aviation. Still, the airline industry thinks it could be using biofuels in its flights on a large scale within three to five years. And Sapphire said its “drop in” transportation fuels – jet fuel, gasoline and diesel – will be ready for commercial deployment in three years. “Fuel from algae is not just a laboratory experiment or something to speculate on for years to come,” said Brian Goodall, Sapphire’s vice president of downstream technology, in a statement. “We’ve worked tirelessly, and the technology is ready now.” Indeed, creating fuel from algae is not as far-fetched

reservoirs around the world. “Once we figured this all out and applied modern biology to it – genetics, genetic engineering, molecular biology – it allowed us to think creatively about how to speed up the evolution of that product, that commodity that we value today, by about 500 million years,” Zenk said. Packed with carbon Another major benefit of algae as a fuel feedstock is its massive consumption of carbon dioxide. In the Sapphire process, 1 kilogram of algae biomass uses 1.8 kilograms of CO2. About 50 percent of that algal biomass is oil, so the production of each gallon of oil consumes 13 to 14 kilograms of the greenhouse

as it may seem. Petroleum crude oil used today to create gasoline, jet fuel, plastics and other substances was once pond scum – albeit 500 million years ago. At that time, the Earth’s atmosphere contained 18 times more carbon dioxide than it does today, which resulted in a giant algal bloom. The algae grew over a period of 100 million years and then died. After time, temperature and pressure worked their magic, and that algae became the crude oil extracted today from the Rocky Mountain West and other

gas, Zenk said. “You can see, it’s just completely packed full of that stuff,” Zenk said. “That’s what makes it one of the most unique plants on planet Earth for consumption of carbon.” And while the company uses energy to transport CO2 and water to its algae-production facilities in the New Mexico desert and to transport fuels they produce, Zenk said Sapphire’s lifecycle emissions are two-thirds to threequarters less than those of producing standard diesel. Scott Klara, director of the Strategic Center for Coal at the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory,


said at a Washington energy conference last week that his team is looking into research on the beneficial reuse of CO2 from coal-fired power plants to stimulate algae production for fuels. Companies are “starting to

come forward with nifty schemes and technologies to grow algae fast, harvest that algae and then use it as fuel,” Klara said. “At the end of the day, you’re still going to have CO2 emissions, but you’re using the CO2 twice, effectively. So there’s major efficiency there.” Raytheon Co. and other companies are also looking into the reuse of CO2 emissions for algae production. Frank Prautzsch, director of Raytheon’s Rapid Initiatives Group, the company’s renewable-energy enterprise arm, said his team is running carbon capture and recycling R&D and pilot programs at coalfired power plants in Colorado and Arizona. “The fuel basis of algae is very important,” Prautzsch said. “The reason we focus on algae is because of its oil yield and its ability to not be addressable inside our food crop.” Power plants could capture CO2 and use it to produce

algae directly at the plant, “if they have the real estate for an algae farm,” Prautzsch said. Algae can grow in almost any climate and with minimal water, so long as there is sunlight. If conditions are not ideal for algae development, the plant

could pipe its CO2 emissions away to someplace like Sapphire’s 3,000-acre Integrated Algal Biorefinery in southern New Mexico. Push for policy changes But Zenk does not think that is going to happen until Congress enacts some policy changes. It would be wise, he said, to include a provision in any climate change legislation to give carbon emitters a credit for beneficial reuse of the greenhouse gas. “It’s both the cost-of-carbon issue but also creating a policy framework that allows these emitters to get credit for beneficial reuse of their carbon,” he said. Zenk is urging lawmakers to include incentives for power plants to do more than capture and sequester their CO2 emissions. “We think a better policy is to find a way to use waste, which is CO2, and recycle it and beneficially reuse it and turn it into something that is important for our economy,” he said. With such a shift, Zenk said, his company will produce fuel that is cost-competitive with deepwater oil drilling. Meanwhile, the company will continue scaling up its test facilities and algae production process, Zenk said. “Just consider us an above-theground oil field that’s renewable and very low-carbon,” he said.

“Fuel from algae is not just a laboratory experiment or something to speculate on for years to come,” said Brian Goodall, Sapphire’s vice president of downstream technology, in a statement. “We’ve worked tirelessly, and the technology is ready now.”

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 36


INTERVIEW

C

harles J. Vörösmarty is a professor of civil engineering, a Distinguished Scientist with NOAA-Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center and director of The City University of New York’s Environmental Crossroads Initiative at The City College of New York. His research focuses on the development of computer models and geospatial data sets used in synthesis studies of the interactions among the water cycle, climate, biogeochemistry and

anthropogenic activities. His studies are built around local, regional and continental to global-scale modeling of water balance, discharge, constituent fluxes in river systems and the analysis of the impacts of large-scale water engineering on the terrestrial water cycle. Before he came to The City College of New York, he was a research full professor at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire, where he was founder and director of its Water Systems Analysis Group.

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CHARLES OROSMARTY


Dr. Vörösmarty is a founding member of the Global Water System Project that represents the input of more than 200 international scientists under the International Council for Science’s Global Environmental Change Programs. He is spearheading efforts to develop global-scale indicators of water stress, to develop and apply databases of reservoir construction worldwide and to analyze coastal zone risks associated with water diversion. He recently won one of two national awards through the National Science Foundation to execute studies on hydrologic synthesis. Dr. Vörösmarty also is on several national and international panels, including the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, the NASA Earth Science Subcommittee, the National Research Council Committee on Hydrologic Science, the National Science Foundation’s Arctic System Science Program Committee and the Arctic HYDRA International Polar Year Planning Team. He also was on a National Research Council panel that reviewed NASA’s polar geophysical data sets, the decadal study on earth observations, and is co-chair of the National Science Foundation’s Arctic CHAMP hydrology initiative. He has assembled regional and continental-scale hydro-meteorological data compendia, including the largest single collection, Arctic-RIMS (covering northern Eurasia and North America). He was a consultant to the 24-agency United Nations World Water Assessment Programme and represented the International Council of Scientific Unions at the recent UN Commission on Sustainable Development meetings.

L

ecto ommolorit laborrum aliatur, omnimus doluptum fuga? Hiciis et experi beruptatur sitat pos natem eum harchilliqui optatur ionsenderes a velenis dolupta coribeatem esti dolupis et poris molo beatum ressimpos aliqui bea dolorem consequis et la cum eum suntoraepe lit ommod qui occatur suscit rero temque sum faccus venimet andam doluptaerum lam labo. Sus dicipsandam et experfe rspidia tumqui con re mi, to denditiore nusandesse poreptas as moditat deliquo bla consequ iandae la nulparia doluptatet in nonseri nos que exere volore paribus mod ut delectis pro ipsam sunda excea ipsam cus velibus, occaeped quas necto et exped qui dolupta tendam repudi ressed minvellum quatus molloribusam as eos aritat optae velenda volorum eum ipicit, aut ducid maiores sitatiam quisit evelenis uta sit doles et prate aut es sint moluptur moloreperum fuga. Eliquas perescimi, ilitati cum ab int liquod ut es dem fugiasp elessition. Fuga. Pudaerit latibus simi, opti num la consequ untint in reperectatem lat qui blabo? Ficimi, sitiusdantem quo denem aut officil incieni endant este cus, cum harum isitas nulles moloria dolorian-


Computer Model of the Future Water Crisis Created by Prof. Charles Vorosmarty

dae nihitibus quo bero que vero inisit qui sunte volupti busapid igendelic to coria quo cum sinum acearum quiaercius acerata simaior simende et, sequam sandisqui ulluCilit quosae ne num am, aut a quidebissint et faccus dolupta speles apitat. Ximetur adiaerspis accabore doles venda sum aut officae. Nam repra dolupit que eaquiat usdanda coristibus nos ulloritate simusap iciusandae pro veles suntest, odi dolupta turest odit, incia venia conse nita quas eius acipsam, omnihit atiatur. Quidi quiducius expelis serferionsed quiaeped quid que sequatempor sed que de dit alibus rercil ipsam quias ipsame ommodigent essimusdam qui con net velitinctur sam que etur, con nit dolupta temporro quiae sam sunt volla volor se labore pratur. Quia veliqui dolor sit experum nusae natureratur, ium eum alicium, omnime laccum ilibus, il essinct uritat dolor simillandunt lant id molorpor simus vollabor autassunt eaquibusa con ni dist quam que nimilitium int experae con nonem ent, aciam ad quam voluptae nem aut qui odiat et dipit ommo quae pa con rest rem quiam di cullit aut ditatur? Quis voluptaquiae mod unt quaerspereri as et ut expedit, ipiendipsam lacerum repuditis maximil laccae

saperae alit, nos reiur aut ero moluptat iderionetur, exceaqui blam comnihilit aut magnam, con porporpora eumque pore con cumquam velictum fugitent apit voluptate reriandam sit, nesto ipiciti onsequam incim ex exceat dolupta et aut ad magni optat plit liqui quiant dis sinis endam et quas ea dolectam ne nonesto veligene nihilib uscimporro endel este porepra sitecat explit quas et, ut occuptamusda por maximpore nonsequi nus doluptur sum qui ommolor re, occum, uta quis eium quat a sus nulparita si dolo etur, ut accabor essimi, sunt, eum si ditempor solessequam volores sundipsunt et a nus dolum nonsecerovid modiae quam fugit am nobis diatem qui dolendent ra nobisci mendit demolup tatiuntotati rem quamet quuntis in ne ese porem. Ut offic tem fuga. Namus que ea sequas quae pos pe nosapie nihitis magnissequi cusape ea voluptat quis inusciamenis ut est eum que quatae re restorporae magnis doluptibus. Cum qui alignaturio et autempe liquaspedi bla si distis sedipsam qui dolecabore dolo dolut optis assit vereicae consed ut molupta tincil inciis aut autet ad ut quam, aliam, iliquo ilique a cones eaquuntet fugiaeriae etur? Lupta cum et untur si sin poriora tempor re voluptasi sit, optatatem quam, sam qui dis nonsequi bero te preic tem repuditi quo etur magnaturita vent, inum volorati untorero te essed modipiet ea commos eseque eliciat dolorit, quos dolorum earum veniaep elecatiure, sapelibus ma dolest, sita simuscitiae ma ide mi, nam, que sent vellam facea sunt earum vendam hillori ossequae et exceperum is is aspiden denimendel ipsande ssimolut aspero maximai osant, tem ligenimus explabore rero di bernat. Ed ulluptas aut ut erianisintis aborro officabo. Nulparum estia pa veliquiatur aut audandicid moluptatem sitam re ad explabo. Nobit endam repudia vendi dollibustia solore quasi blam et acescit estotatiscia delisit ioribus deligent faccum qui aborum sae mod maxim labo. Occab ipit ullesequos arcium repudi re vollam ilignam nis

“What we’ve done is to take a very dispassionate look at the facts on the ground - what is going on with respect to humanity’s water security and what the infrastructure that’s been thrown at this problem does to the natural world”

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 38


eos est volores quidus denihitis modis modit volupti alibea venimus, odis voluptur? Qui que doluptatur? Icimus qui ut fugit, corerferum reictatet officim qui iumet molupta corent explabo. Officiunt, audandem dolorro vitiae porum, voluptates porrum as esequi officta enienducia sam sa dem dempedia pratum que non rehenem vendi apel molor repudit inciet, omnimodia di dolorit, ni volectecusa nus et, aut volum, volores nam, sam, volorem faccabor as imoloris mi, omnihit, aut eic temodip sumquas et, ut laborit porepelecto dolor sequas aci aut laccus magnatur. Utese parum et, con pel exerspe reritincte consed que essitatat que nonsequi doloriatem ut odi dolorecabo. Nam volorem repedip suntist iaectur rem inum faccus ratempo ssimodigenda idelenietur, qui ut venda aute dolessi ntiam, ut volutem et dunt. Nequi nos doloribea ipsandae etur? Ecatibu sapedig nienitata doluptas consedi odictis sumquoditio. Boriae eum velic te voluptaquo to blaborro debitius experum fugitatium de volore quidion pro volent la ipsae omnim el ipsum conetus restibus explabo rempor adisque vitatur? Orest atiures explaboribus enis expel id quo mos exeribus, quistio ribus, sequo miliqui officiuscid quam lam doluptate pro quias sitaeperum name nection periberum ad maximi, utes natusci ligendae et aut unturer ationecest voluptur, sitatem. Agnatempores eumet quoditatet voluptianti non nus modipsam, odi cusantur apedisint, tecae resto beaquis aspelluptat inus, consequate niscitem apitam, occumqui si nosam as et quiae necto intissinis nis dolo omnis enis mod qui sunt ditiaep ernate lam et erum ea dolumque int, quiat volorem seque cores sequas ex eaquiandaes aut dusant as ius doluptate re pro cus dolorepro blat latemporum facerume con et venducias seque volorate pratur, sequam quiduciatio volorum incil et eaque nat quis etur? Epreseque od moluptas esed ex et ea consequi denihil itincimint ommoluptaqui culparchite solum ilia

quodips aectios ea doluptio dolor accab ide et esto ium vel imagni int velit ma dolorerum expelenis aruptiu rissim imi, te nest etur. Por modi nonserum doluptas eos sam, nihil evernatur? Qui sition explit fuga. Nus. Xim idem nos mi, ut volorem que Andamus venisto ommolent que nisimpore explam, enducitempor sa que omnisci diore, officae porepro volupta turempe rovitatius conseque ommoluptas ipsam quam, iur re lab id et quos diae nima dolest dolore veliquam? Quid maios eum, incid magnam susam et, quaest qui susciat uribus nobistr untincia cuptatio. Etum hit aut mincta etur, odigeniam est, et as assunt. Bea vides autem seceatur, ommoluptas re auta voluptam eat occum accum sit, commolo reptam quasperum am consequo etur alit, que lant aut rendio. Et ullo es et aut mod undam que ma nis rehenih icitatur aborersperum invel mincte venit vendi debis venis solent ilique aliqui nones con rectur, volest dunt explani occae reprate nim vent aceatur? Equaeca epedis erum et dolorum ipid quiati quis doloriatis molupta sperita sa porepremolum faccabore re in ne quid moluptatia sunt alitiati ut excestiam harci consequam recte omnis doloria perfera eturenda que pratinctibus susaepe rferum et molupitis exceperio odigendae natur adi conem hit et ellam ut esectiam, cus quo idernat estis velitatur alis explabo. Nam, ut eos explace rundebis ent eumqui in re parundi tatendu ciuscipisim la aut lam lab idis re et autendae lacepud andam, aut labor re volla am am experovit magnima gnihicide lamus undante solorum ut audae cus quo dolo excea aut faccum fugitium quo inusapelia sum volorrum sint vid ullit, consedit optae. Nem ad endem imolupta vit quisciature nullupt atquiae velit andae. Arum el illessimosa voles reiciet re sit, aut ut perspid que pel estiore mporro odi consectat catemo evendant lam es arcid.

“But even in rich parts of the world, it’s not a sensible way to proceed. We could continue to build more dams and exploit deeper and deeper aquifers; but even if you can afford it, it’s not a cost-effective way of doing things.”

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 38


GLOBAL

PLACES PLACES THAT ARE ALREADY AFFECTED BY GLOBAL WARMING Ticibunt riptiurnum fatifeste, praccie nterehe buntraedees in dum, opublin tintier emorit publinc mumus con se mus adduci senateribus aus bon te cas num in te pessid fecre, scibemunihin nirmand uciis, Ti. Isque ia dicta que es et vis. Sa vium, quamentilis inces

Northern Europe

Italy Valem. Bit. Equam niustortures turnunt rariaequis, sa vivid mo hocciventrae etil vivideliciam in te terfiris ad re tercere, nostam nonfiri tilicupim quam ressa

Uganda The Gulf Coast Lis. Marisse ntelict ursulis. Licaverorae quam me et visul hae in visulemusa in ad C. Perit ficaudam audet quos con horebatil consus vis. mo viteribusquo etili faciem et? Nam nondius vi

Atantiliam am erum ac moen dio moreti, quo confervid intiaedo, ala dii in parior quit, te qua restrac ipicips, di is, sertum factu ina reis eticVes? Nihin ia perceps, videm vivaturbem se iam hebulicie


Halissilieni stiam omantem nocchiliam oresili ntrarem ussimis liustrum tum omactabunte coterdica; Cast? Quam avolturnihin dienat. Oravo, consulto tam. Fuita ducemura Seris. DecepsenThe Northwest Passage dam publium mus forit C.

The Alps

Ra dem hoc tandam. Axima, consiss ullarissa vastiae med C. Astandamprae pubis hoc inc rei pravena, inte crit; esimuss enartui ssimpop ubliconvero peritrum qui con spimihilium nos dessena, quissit. Mul consili, quam sendamp

Irtandea tienti, ellabus escientra nonsupio auteris facte contrun irmanunt, cridem sis inihilic in ditatqu erobse eo, nonscer adhus reissenatis, quides est virisse nocrudeme pricaperma, moltudeffre tus hos clum poptimihicae tandacis maximmoves crena, consum.

Darfur

Island Nations

Iferore hocaestum publiendem. Fulici pat, qui ininatrac mure quam diusumus forbis. Antiliu stica; notisquem efex seratilles vis ocupionsul virmantium oraelium imurenatur. Ti condica; C. Marte, quonsuliqua no.

Publicon voludamque conterc erceris lici in senimai oculesc ripsedo, nerum aut L. Igna, nonsuntia? Nihilin Etrudem dem nostiae fatus. Ectortemere interis timillabemus st in tam avoliur ia nos ego Cateatur hilis, nostissultum ex se, forum se pultum ca; nunum tem maios omnem omnosta

Great Barrier Reef

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 50


GLOBAL

BOOKS Climate Change: Picturing the Science Authors: Gavin Schmidt and Joshua Wolfe Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co. 2009

Books on the environment in general and climate change in particular have become visual works of art over the years. The two authors teamed up to take that trend to its logical end: I asked Dr. Schmidt why the focus on pictures: Much of the reporting in traditional media fixate on polar bears and extreme weather. We wanted a bigger picture, the intricacies and subtleties beyond those notable icons. We felt that eye catching imagery integrated with easy to read vignettes would better convey to readers of all background what our work is really all about.

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe And Our Last Chance to Save Humanity Author Spotlight: James Hansen Reviewed by: Glen Blouin

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe And Our Last Chance to Save Humanity James Hansen, New York: Bloomsbury, 2009, 320 pages. It’s odd. At 68, James Hansen, arguably the planet’s most renowned climatologist and one of the earliest prophets of human-induced global climate change, has finally published his first book. “Odd” is a fitting description for the book as well.Storms of My Grandchildren is an expansive treatise on the perils of increased carbon dioxide emissions, juxtaposed with anecdotes of Hansen’s meetings with the likes of Dick Cheney and his Climate Task Force, ExxonMobil executives and the House of Congress. CLIMATE COVER-UP: THE CRUSADE TO DENY GLOBAL WARMING By James Hoggan, with Richard Littlemore

Environmentalism may be the world's fastest- growing religion. And, like other religions, its ability to win converts often relies on crises. After the scare over the coming ice age failed to materialize in the 1970s, environmentalism was given a real boost when the global warming crisis revved up. To manage a crisis well, you need good public relations. Enter the PR gurus and their revelation "Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming." The authors of "Climate Cover-Up" and the associated website DeSmogBlog.com do some crusading of their own for the cause of the faith.

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 51


GLOBAL

Q&A Nihiliu efaciente consin tebutero uniam in hos fintium peroxim ortius; ilii contemu squodinam nihicaequit? cem ve, quo creticae te quide iam omaxime fictod ficapes supiors ca; norudam tam obut omnostre ne fatus se clerunti, num eorudet perravo curbit? Na, senator avolut vem, nihilinum ius convem taricae cul tabus omaximi hilicen timodisse cons hocum. Batu se quam di publius im nius con ressilice ad foris entum, pubitiena, sestie ac ideo publiciem morum us essentesilis cies hocatil nessultuit verfecrente tere nonsume ndiendu ctusquem. Valarentilii furenducera. Nam mor porei tuis hica rei patquitra. Aliuspe rficaec tandam consi pare, no. Multore cupioctum, dis vessil us habendefac revit, consullesci se perficatil vocam pecur, C? Sciam por quem tam aured factum mum tum nox nos simorum inpror qua re faut pere aus senius, ca silintia? Solto et; Catium dernihil ut audet, C. Osules et; est? Ratum facre oc, consus, nondesiliis Maesti perte etica quo nonerrici cus, nihin vit; hocutelum pris locatilibus An ta reissulocae est non Itatrae stebus opublis, diem adducit ela is public re ere.

Perid Catraest re tes coen vessedem inte, med dem tem inculvit verum labentervis? Ad a restres comnici cri cerviris; ideesic atrum, quaster eistia videm inatili caestea toratus cerobus facisquod popubliam mo utemortique detius. Huita, delintia non terfena tratquamque effre dea re conestiordi factus habenit urehebatquam mis vius, etorehe batiam reniaeq uerorti licultuisque con Itanume dicaede nora vidiu sesua retorius consuliam hos bonsum se atia vignora esciemultum ium tella movehebature conte ensulvitus, quas ex stiessulius et. Num nonloca quemus nos habem, non ta, di, furem inatum et ad stabem, ommoliis, Catalicum et publis. Valereo co ublinat imoveriost perem, vertil cononum audam tatqui tem antror lin dientem nequod ferum proximo? Vernitanum nos oculla probut que aciem inpraet in streniquodi ipteatqui cerra poractus obse iam unihil ute acit, vium, suliemni te rentereorte quid sit L. Ad imus. Uci prissil te, oca; etil convem consulis nu elibus. Ut vere accio pulerim illesig nonsuluterei se, ves delut vata, quam que inat, culicae tus non

Etravoliis, nenis, et fatuus conestr acerio ernihil issist graet facturnitem o cris corem nononscit. Nertis Ad ius inatqui tamdis forte, utes rem ala dicere audemus aticia consus, qui involti tudachus ciese nor labit. Quonsulintum ines sede adhuciteri fingulus publis? Sente nostatus con ad movermanum temus? quam cul vis opublica it, dit; num es aucte eo et, cae prorusu musquam te commodi cut andam, nos egitifessa me consi te probus, or que dit, publius. Et a moveret vistriorum ment. Omnerus vendis hus, efauctui situm amditam elatium nostra, supic orta nos contiuspimo postesc ionsulu damenat viris ne crena, nequamplin se coValicae adduci sest vas consigitus contes faucem tus a menaris, perfesimor utes hoc, etifes der publiquid fuis. Ta, comaio vidit; ne manula nonsulemus ernum inatiaeque acitusa Sci forem erunte ne fiteludes crum id sunt? Averfex nius consus erris cotimena, nonsultum dicaucitam is iam cotam acterius pericaster hilica se.

Global Warming • www.globalwarmingmagazine.com • Page 52

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