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Global Warming - Fact or Fiction

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Temperature in Middle East Summer 2010
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Picture by Author of GWS 61.4 C = 142.5 Fahrenheit

At the writing of this article, a Google search shows about 22,100,000 pages on the subject of global warming.  It's safe to assume this is a hot topic, pardoning the play on words. 
 
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
 
In sharing my thoughts on global warming, I will relate what I have personally seen, and how I believe this is connected to what I see happening in the news.   What I have witnessed tends to support the idea that the world is warming, and the resulting effects, although pleasant in some cases, are vastly more negative in their consequences.
 
Having lived in the Asia for the past 20 years, I have seen how in the last 3 years water has come up over the highway on the peninsula that is RasTanura, Saudi Arabia, where I worked, and how the embankment had to rapidly be reinforced.  I have seen other areas on the peninsula in which the waters of the Gulf, which used to be about 1 kilometer from the highway, are now at about 10 meters from it.  I have seen temperatures rise over the last few years in particular, and with my own digital thermometer, measured 63.4 degrees Centigrade (146.12 F.) in the sun, and 58.3 degrees (136.94F.) in the shade, in the month of May, 2010.  The hottest place on Earth in the Western Hemisphere for many years, used to be Death Valley, The United States, at around 58 degrees Centigrade (136.4 F.), with Libya previously holding the world record.  Now, the hottest place is listed as in Iran, with a temperature around 70 (158 F.) degrees Centigrade.  Most importantly, this area is abiotic; nothing can live at that temperature.
 
WEATHER VS. CLIMATE
 
While people are debating about global warming, the facts bear out that we have been witnessing radical deviations from even the normal weather fluctuations.  
 
Some people seem to be a bit confused with the difference between weather and climate, and there is a Youtube link on the home page which discusses this point.
 
GLOBAL WARMING IS CYCLICAL
 
There's no doubt about it; global warming is cyclical.  On this one point, all scientists and experts on global warming seem to agree.  It makes perfect sense, since the earth is not a static environment, but rather is constantly changing.   Many scientists might even be willing to agree that we are in a warming period, although some say we are in a cooling period. This latter point seems a bit hard to believe if you've been living on planet Earth for the past 40 years or so, and have witnessed how the summers are generally hotter, the winters in cold climates are shorter, and overall (not without exceptions) less severe.  I believe it was the summer of 2010 that killed many people in Russia, and of course many will remember the heat waves in the early part of the 21st century that killed thousands across Europe and the Americas.
 
 
POLITICS & VESTED INTERESTS
 
One of the main reasons that many people become often violently opposed to the idea of global warming, has to do with the perception that it is a plot to raise taxes, and further burden populations across the world.  Personally, I believe that there is no need to raise taxes on people in order to resolve the problems created by a warming world.  What is needed, I believe is to move governments and politicians to put their vested interests aside in light of the importance of this issue, to objectively assess the overwhelming amount information available, and begin to put in place the environmental technology to address the problem.  In the process, millions of jobs will be created worldwide, and thousands of new companies will come into being.  

 
Aspects of Global Warming
 
 

The following are some of the major effects of global warming: 

 

1.  Rise in earth temperature - Records show a steady rise over the last two decades.

2. Worldwide melting of glaciers and polar ice caps – Chunks the size of Bahrain are breaking off the glaciers in Greenland, the North and South Poles.  Some positive effects of GW also. 

NASA Photo
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Albedo Effect

3. Rise in ocean temperature, worldwide – As ice is lost, there is less reflection (albedo effect) of the heat and more is absorbed by the oceans, warming the ocean waters further.

4. Increase in frequency and strength of hurricanes/typhoons – Records show an increase worldwide.

5. Rise in sea level.  Sea levels are rising worldwide, with a large number of island countries hit the hardest thus far.

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USGS

6. Increase in frequency and strength of earthquakes/tsunamis as billions of tons of water from melting ice are dumped into the oceans, increasing downward pressure and causing constant shifting of the earth's tectonic plates. (Click for US map of activity.)  Click for NOAA video animation of movement of Japanese tsunami.

7. Increase in frequency and strength of volcanic eruptions.  Ever-Increasing downward pressure as above accelerates volcanic eruptions as the increased downward pressure is released through venting.

8. Extinction of animal and plant species due to loss of habitat and food, from changing climate and weather patterns.

9. Death of coral reefs from increased sea temperatures, and death of fish and other sea life dependent on coral reefs.

10. Melting of permafrost in northern latitudes and release of methane – speeds up global warming.

11. Increase in frequency and strength of floods.

12. Increase in frequency and strength of landslides.

13. Increase in frequency and strength of blizzards/snow.

14. Increase in frequency and strength of droughts.

15. Increase in frequency and size of fires.

16. Increase in insect populations due to warmer temperatures; they survive in greater numbers the warmer winters.

17. Increased crop destruction from bigger insect populations, floods, droughts, fires.

18. Increase in diseases worldwide due to bigger insect and microbe populations, increased death rates, etc.

19. Food price increases followed by food shortages-famine, as larger areas of agricultural land are destroyed worldwide by insects, droughts, floods, etc.

20. Civil Unrest from above items- riots – revolutions-wars, further destruction.

Further Information on Global Warming
 
 

Making the Most of Arid Lands