A crop of alarmist reports in The Age, The Herald Sun
and The Sydney Morning Herald
today, just to brighten up your Sunday morning. Starting with The Herald Sun
which runs the clichéd old headline "Climate change could be even worse than predicted, expert warns" - yawn.
Without decisive action to slow global warming, higher temperatures could ignite tropical forests and thaw the Arctic tundra, potentially releasing billions of tons of carbon dioxide that has been stored for thousands of years. [Funny how higher temperatures in previous eras never did this - Ed]
That could raise temperatures even more and create "a vicious cycle that could spiral out of control by the end of the century". [Ditto]
"We don't want to cross a critical threshold where this massive release of carbon starts to run on autopilot," said Field, a professor of biology and of environmental earth system science at Stanford University.
Mr Field is co-chair of the group charged with assessing the impacts of climate change on social, economic and natural systems for the IPCC's fifth assessment due in 2014. [Great! Another report we won't have to bother reading - Ed]
No such critical threshold has ever been demonstrated to exist. And Professor Field doesn't seem to know much about English, either:
"Tropical forests are essentially inflammable," Mr Field said. "You couldn't get a fire to burn there if you tried."
I think you mean "non-flammable", but hey, it's an easy mistake, even for a professor...
Moving on to The Moonbat Herald
, under the headline "It will only get worse as climate changes":
Research by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO has found that bushfire seasons will start earlier, end slightly later and become more intense in coming decades.
An author of the report, Kevin Hennessy from the CSIRO, told the Herald yesterday: "There does seem to be a human element to bushfire risk. In terms of human contribution it is clear that most of the global warming since about 1950 is likely due to increases in greenhouse gases. Higher temperatures clearly increase the risk of bushfires."
"Clear" that something is "likely"? Don't forget, there has been no global warming
since 2001, and more warming in the first half of the 20th century than in the second.
Professor Mark Adams, dean of the faculty of agriculture at the University of Sydney, said higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had increased the risk of bushfires and added to the likelihood that their intensity would also increase.
Simple as that - it's all too easy. The article then quotes Bob Brown, which I won't repeat here, as it is likely to put readers off their breakfasts... The Age
next, in an editorial:
We have long known that the Victorian bush is prone to fire, but the latest event raises the question about what can be done to prevent deaths in an era of drought and climate change.
Every era is an era of climate change - climate changes, that's what it does. Get used to it and adapt.
There is speculation that the conditions of Black Saturday will occur more frequently in the future — that we have had a taste of what climate change will bring — which means that we need a tough reassessment of how to live safely and responsibly in Victoria.
And finally, a "pick a loved icon and put a gun to its head" item:
Penguins nesting off Argentina's coast are starving because changing ocean patterns have forced their mates to swim 40 kilometres further than they did a decade ago to find food, researchers said on Thursday.
Overfishing, pollution and climate change have contributed to the loss of fish stocks near the Punta Tombo animal preserve about 1600 kilometres south of Buenos Aires, Boersma said.
I'd guess (overfishing + pollution) = 99%, climate change = 1%, but it's just a guess...
Read it here