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Conservation is a non-controversial and effective approach that can be quickly applied at the local level and will result in immediate and measurable reductions in GHG emissions and substantial operational cost reductions. On this basis, Seattle's Mayor Greg Nickels has proposed the US Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement (USMCPA) that requires local communities to subscribe to the GHG emissions reduction goals proposed by the Kyoto Agreement.
This call has been picked up by the Sierra Club with COOL CITIES, a grass-roots program aiming at:
Some of the cities in New Jersey who have signed up are:
- Increasing the awareness of the Global Warming problem in the population at large,
- Building a consensus in local communities on the necessity of immediate intervention at the local level,
- Approaching local authorities to ask them to subscribe to the goals of the USMCPA and initiate amelioration actions,
- Using the active intervention of the community to provide the needed support for local authorities to implement energy conservation measures,
- Developing appropriate community based means to monitor and foster progress towards the USMCPA's goals.
Alexandria Township, Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Atlantic Highlands, Bayonne, Belmar, Berkeley Township, Bloomfield, Brick Township, Buena Vista Township, Caldwell, Cliffside Park Borough, Closter, Cranbury Township, Cranford, Demarest, East Orange, Elizabeth, Elk Township, Englewood , Ewing, Fair Lawn, Franklin Township, Frelinghuysen Township, Galloway Township, Gloucester, Greenwich Township, Hamburg, Hamilton, Hanover, Haworth, Highland Park, Hightstown, Hope, Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, Irvington, Jersey City, Kearny, Lake Como, Linwood, Livingston, Long Beach Township, Long Hill Township, Longport, Madison, Maple Shade, Middletown, Montclair, Neptune, New Milford, Newark, Ocean City, Ocean Gate, Oradell, Pennington, Pine Hill, Piscataway, Pittsgrove, Plainfield, Point Pleasant, Rahway, Ringwood, River Edge, Riverside, Robbinsville, Runnemede, Somerville, South Orange, Summit, Teaneck, Township of Elk, Township of Toms River, Trenton, Union, West Milford, West Orange, West Windsor, Westfield.
Cool Cities Campaign at the Sierra Club New Jersey Chapter
National Sierra Club - Cool Cities Across America at coolcities.us
Sierra Club Documents:
CoolCities fact sheet
More Information on Global Warming
Feb., 2007 - The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported on their three-year study of how temperatures are likely to rise as global warming takes hold.
They adopted the Summary for Policymakers of the first volume of "Climate Change 2007", also known as the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).
It suggests a terrifying leap in average global temperatures of up to 6.4°C - with higher figures nearer the poles - could occur over the next century,
with the most likely range of increase from 1.8°C to 4°C.
A February 3, 2007 article by The independent News/UK lists the following consequences of such temperature increases.
Temp change ° C
+2.4°: Coral reefs almost extinct
+3.4°: Rainforest turns to desert
+4.4°: Melting ice caps displace millions
+5.4°: Sea levels rise by five metres
+6.4°: Most of life is exterminated
We've all heard about increased temperatures from the greenhouse effect, but there are other indirect consequences of this.
Feedback - Negative feedback has a regulating effect on systems, slowing change; positive feedback tends to exaggerate change.
- Negative feedback - good
- More Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has a fertilizing effect increasing the growth rate of plants which use CO2 in photosynthesis; The increased plant growth absorbs more CO2.
- Positive feedback - bad
- Arctic ice reflects sunlight, and heat, back into space; As it melts dark ocean and land absorbs more sunlight and heats up, causing more ice to melt.
- The frozen permafrost of Siberia and northern Canada, which lock up vast stores of carbon in the form of methane (CH4) (a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide), formed by the decomposition of organic matter. As it melts this gas is released.
The peat bogs of Siberia began to "boil" furiously in the summer of 2006 as methane bubbled to the surface.
- The oceans absorb CO2, which dissolves in seawater to form carbonic acid. It is harder for more carbon dioxide to dissolve in acid water.
- Phytoplankton, the tiny microscopic plants of the sea that form the basis of the entire marine food chain absorb carbon dioxide; They are finding it harder to live in the more stratified layers of the warmer ocean. Since 2000, when the sea surface temperatures began to rise more noticeably, the photosynthetic productivity of phytoplankton have decreased in some ocean regions by 30 per cent.
A doomsday consequence of this would be the death of the oceans.
The fresh water melting from the ice caps could lower the density of the water around Greenland, so it no longer sinks as it is cooled, thus and stopping the Gulf stream, which now warms Europe. And not just the Gulf Stream, but the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, the system of interconnected ocean currents that girdle the planet. So, Europe could get colder.
See "The Science of Abrupt Climate Change" at the Weather Underground.
Contrarian - skeptic Sites:
As of 2007 there are still those who think there is no problem. See:
The Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP) in Canada
Global Warming Is Lies Claims Documentary in UK
Most of the skeptics above maintain that we are in a normal cycle of warming and cooling that has been documented in the polar ice core samples which show CO2 levels for the last 450,000 years and when you look at the charts CO2 increases follow warming not preceed it.
The cycles are driven by slight variations in the Earth's orbit and the angle of tilt in the Earth's axis towards the sun that cause fluctuations in climate.
In a 2002 article "Climate Change: The Scientific and Historical Evidence:", Ken Schlichte stated:
"Several climatic phases during the last 11,000 years of the post-glacial period had temperatures which were warmer than present temperatures. These warmer temperatures have been correlated with increased sunspot activity and greater solar energy reaching the earth."
In the four interglacial warm periods prior to the present one the CO2 never rose above 300 parts per million and CH4 never went above 800 parts per billion. The current situation is that CO2 is approaching 400 ppm and CH4 is over 1700 ppb.
This is incontrovertible evidence that the present situation is not some natural phase but a massive climate change unprecedented in the past half million years.
Additions, suggestions welcome. Contact email@example.com.
Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) - www.nesea.org
Advanced Solar Products, NJ
Page URL: NewJersey.SierraClub.org/RaritanValley/global_warming.asp
Page Last Modified 9/22/2007
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