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Monday, July 19, 2010

Arctic Climate May be More Sensitive to Warming Than Thought

A new study lead by researchers at the University of Colorado (Boulder), indicates that 
the Arctic climate system may be more sensitive to greenhouse warming than previously thought,
and also that current levels of Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide may be high enough to bring
 about significant, irreversible shifts in Arctic ecosystems.

"The international study indicated that while the mean annual temperature on Ellesmere Island in
 the High Arctic during the Pliocene Epoch 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago was about 34 degrees 
Fahrenheit, or 19 degrees Celsius, warmer than today, CO2 levels were only slightly higher 
than present. The vast majority of climate scientists agree Earth is warming due to increased 
concentrations of heat-trapping atmospheric gases generated primarily by human activities
 like fossil fuel burning and deforestation."

"The team used three independent methods of measuring the Pliocene temperatures on
 Ellesmere Island in Canada's High Arctic. They included measurements of oxygen
 isotopes found in the cellulose of fossil trees and mosses that reveal temperatures 
and precipitation levels tied to ancient water, an analysis of the distribution of lipids
 in soil bacteria which correlate with temperature, and an inventory of ancient 
Pliocene plant groups that overlap in range with contemporary vegetation."

"Our findings indicate that CO2 levels of approximately 400 parts per million are sufficient
 to produce mean annual temperatures in the High Arctic of approximately 0 degrees 
Celsius (32 degrees F)," said Ashley Ballantyne of CU-Boulder's geological sciences 
department. "As temperatures approach 0 degrees Celsius, it becomes exceedingly
 difficult to maintain permanent sea and glacial ice in the Arctic. Thus current levels of 
 CO2 in the atmosphere of approximately 390 parts per million may be approaching
 a tipping point for irreversible ice-free conditions in the Arctic."

To read more about this study please visit the following website:

Source of image: United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.