Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Climate Change Review 2 of 4: Biodiversity, Environmental Effects and Audio Resources

Environmental Impacts:
With climate change progressing it has often been suggested that the Antarctic ice cap should be growing: although warming it is still cold enough so that all precipitation is snow, however the air is warmer enabiling it to carry more moisture in from the oceans. Recent research suggests that this isnt actually the case. This is perticularly worrying as much of the loss is in the west antarctic ice shelf (WAIS), and this area is perticularly sensitive to climate change, collapse of the WAIS along with the melting of the Greenland ice shelf could potentially lead to huge sealevel rises, on the level of 20ft or more. HBO has produced a documentary about climate change called 'to hot to handle'. Tim Flannery has written a book called the weather changers.
Coral reefs are being hit hard by climate change, recording record die backs this year in the Caribbean. One interesting challenge that climate change presents is how do we deal with conservation, why conserve one geographical area when the species endemic to that area will have to relocate to survive climate change? Linking on from this, an article on climate ark discusses the problem of fragmentation of habbitats in a changing world.

Broader Impacts:

When it comes to climate change water is a big issue. To much, to little, to fast to rare. One case where to much water is definetly a problem is when you live in a low lying city, this happens to include many of the world great citys. PBS have recently covoured this issue as reported by groovy green. Its gettinghotinhere has also covoured the problem. Unfortunately just as hundereds of millions are threatened by rising sea levels there are millions at risk of increaingly severe and frequent droughts. The UNESCO have recently released a report on the topic. To be somewhat more perochial the southern UK is currently suffering from drought conditions as predicted by the UK Climate Impact Program. In Kenya the droughts continue, accross sub-saharan Africa the models show that this is going to be an increasing issue over the comming years and unlike the UK lack of water dosent mean hosepipe bans it means deaths. The prospects of non-linear or abbrupt climate change have been higlighted recently in world changing, here and here. There is a lot of inertia in the climate system, this inettia has protected us from the most extreme effects of climate change so far but unfortunately has allowed political inertia to persist. The companion of inertia is momentum and thanks to this we are now garanteed a hard time from the climate, its worth fighting to prevent the worst of climate change but its certainly also time to look at adapting.

Audio Resources: Bellow is a small collection but for loads more try here.

Energy podcast with foreys into climate change
Green podcast with heavy climate and US policy focus
Blogosphere based podcast just getting started
The podcast of SEED magazine, more on them soon...

Superb internet radio with huge climate change audio archive

Website audio:

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