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at 10 AM CT
World Resources Institute
Climate Chaos is the topic of the Weekly Chat for Module 03 during the weeks 9, 10, 11 and 12.
Background: Ozone thins in the stratosphere and thickens in the troposphere. Oceans warm. Coral reefs bleach. Glaciers melt. Sea levels rise. Sea ice thins. Permafrost thaws. Migration times vary. Lakes shrink. Snowpacks decline. Ice shelves collapse. Wildfires increase. Droughts linger. Atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide increase. Winter gets soft. Mountain streams run dry. Flowers get bigger. Trees turn green sooner. Exotic species invade. Insects attach. Cloud forests dry. Spring comes earlier. Fall leaves later.
Global warming or climate change? The National Academies explains that “the phrase climate change is growing in preferred use to global warming because it helps convey that there are changes in addition to rising temperatures.” On the other hand, many prefer to continue using the term “global warming,” to convey a state of urgency. When GoNorth! team member Mille Porsild was asked to become a Climate Witness for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the United Kingdom, Matthew Davis the climate change campaign director, explained that politicians and the people on the street in the UK are not relating to the term climate change, that they are not considering it a problem of their own! The name later chosen for the WWF campaign was Climate Chaos. This term acknowledges that we indeed know the continuation of increased green house gas levels at current rates will lead to dramatic environmental and climatic change on a global scale—and recognizes that we do not know exactly what this will mean, beyond that it will leave the global environmental balance in a state of chaos.
WWF’s Climate Chaos campaign has been very successful so far, in large part because of an instrumental push from former Prime Minister Tony Blair to call for global action at the G8 meetings and in national government actions. As Blair has said, “I want to concentrate on what I believe to be the world’s greatest environmental challenge: climate change.”
Some questions to possibly open the chat with or discuss prior to the LIVE chat!
List at least three suggestions that might help reduce transboundary pollution and the emission of greenhouse gasses - pay attention to those short term climate forcers!
What are the world’s nations doing to prevent or reduce climate change? What are you doing as individuals? Is enough being done?
What is the importance of biodiversity? On a scale from one to ten how serious would you consider the changing of ecosystems and extinction of species because of human actions that could be addressed?
May 01, 2009
w/ Katie Scheidt
May 06, 2009
w/ Dr James Foster
May 13, 2009
w/ Brian Young
May 21, 2009
w/ Neelam Singh