Blog Action Day: 100 Effects of Global Warming

Today blogs around the country are posting on Climate Change for Blog Action Day 2009–9,090 blogs in 150 countries with 12,602,296 readers. I found a stellar list of 100 ways climate change will affect us, and I’ve chosen my favorites. Is it really appropriate to choose favorites when we’re talking about the loss of some very important things? Alas, I’m doing it anyway. Be sure to check out the whole list here: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/09/climate_100.html

Global Warming Wrecks All the Fun

Say Goodbye to French Wines
Wacky temperatures and rain cycles brought on by global warming are threatening something very important: Wine. Scientists believe global warming will “shift viticultural regions toward the poles, cooler coastal zones and higher elevations.” What that means in regular language: Get ready to say bye-bye to French Bordeaux and hello to British champagne. [LA Times]

Say Goodbye to Baseball
The future of the ash tree—from which all baseball bats are made—is in danger of disappearing, thanks to a combination of killer beetles and global warming. [NY Times]

Say Goodbye to Ski Competitions (Sorry, Vermonster)
Unusually warmer winters caused the International Ski Federation to cancel last year’s Alpine skiing World Cup and opening races in Sölden, Austria. Skiers are also hard-pressed now to find places for year-round training. Olympic gold medalist Anja Paerson: “Of course we’re all very worried about the future of our sport. Every year we have more trouble finding places to train.” [NY Times]

Say Hello to Really Tacky Fake Ski Vacations
Weiner Air Force and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey are building a year-round ski resort in Texas, with “wet, white Astroturf with bristles” standing in for snow to make up for all the closed resorts around the country. [WSJ]

Say Goodbye to That Tropical Island Vacation
Indonesia’s environment minister announced this year that scientific studies estimate about 2,000 of the country’s lush tropical islands could disappear by 2030 due to rising sea levels. [ABC News]

Say Goodbye to Salmon Dinners (Are lunches still okay?)
Get ready for a lot more chicken dinners: Wild pacific salmon have already vanished from 40 percent of their traditional habitats in the Northwest and the NRDC warns warmer temperatures are going to erase 41 percent of their habitat by 2090. [ENS]

Say Goodbye to Lobster Dinners
Lobsters thrive in the chilly waters of New England, but recent numbers show that as those waters have warmed up, “the big-clawed American lobster—prized for its delicate, sweet flesh—has been withering at an alarming rate from New York state to Massachusetts.” [AP]

Say Goodbye to Guacamole
Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory predict hotter temps will cause a 40 percent drop in California’s avocado production over the next 40 years. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab]

Say Goodbye to Your Pretty Lawn (my lawn isn’t pretty anyway)
Thanks to global warming, dandelions will grow “taller, lusher, and more resilient.” By 2100, the weed will produce 32 percent more seeds and longer hairs, which allow them to spread further in the wind. [LA Times]

Say Hello to More Mosquitoes (Say hello to eau de OFF)
Get ready for more mosquitoes. Mosquitoes like to live in drains and sewer puddles. During long dry spells (brought on by higher temperatures) these nasty, stagnant pools become a vital source of water for thirsty birds … which provide a tasty feast for the resident mosquitoes. At the same time, these dry spells “reduce the populations of dragonflies, lacewings, and frogs that eat the mosquitoes.” [Washington Post]

Say Hello to Bulgarian Hooker Shortages
“Brothel owners in Bulgaria are blaming global warming for staff shortages. They claim their best girls are working in ski resorts because a lack of snow has forced tourists to seek other pleasures.” [Metro UK]

Global Warming Kills the Animals

Cannibalistic Polar Bears…
As longer seasons without ice keep polar bears away from food, they start eating each other. [AP]

More Bear Attacks (Grouchy bears)
Earlier this year, Moscow warned its citizens to beware of brown bear attacks. In Russia, it’s been too hot in the winter for bears to sleep. When bears can’t hibernate, they get very grouchy and become “unusually aggressive.”[Der Spiegel]

Farewell to the Walrus
Walrus pups rest on sea ice while their mothers hunt for food. A new study shows more and more abandoned pups are being stranded on floating islands as ice islands melt. Also, sadly, mother walruses are abandoning them to follow the ice further north. [Mongo Bay]

Jellyfish Attack
Ouch! At least 30,000 people were stung by jellyfish along the Mediterranean coast last year; some areas boasted more than 10 jellyfish per square foot of water. Thank global warming: Jellyfish generally stay out of the way of swimmers, preferring the warmer, saltier water of the open seas. Hotter temperatures erase the natural temperature barrier between the open sea and the shore. The offshore waters also become more saline, causing the stinging blobs of hurt to move in toward the coastlines (and your unsuspecting legs). [BBC]

Homeless Sheep, Goats, and Bears (See Austin Post’s article on Homeless Animals)
Bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and grizzly bears are becoming homeless, due to the disappearance of the alpine meadows in Glacier National Park. [AP]

Gender-Bended Lizards
Scientists in Australia found warmer temperatures caused baby bearded dragon lizards to change from males to females while still in their eggs, making it harder for them to find mates. Trippy. [ABC AU]

Goodbye to Cod (And good riddance!)
Cod in the North Sea are dying out. The warmer waters kill off the plankton the cod eat, making those ones that survive smaller. The warmer waters also mean the poor dears have become “less successful at mating and reproducing.” [MSNBC]

Global Warming Kills the Planet

Greenland’s Melting

Greenland is melting at a rate of 52 cubic miles per year—much faster than once predicted. If Greenland’s entire 2.5 million cubic kilometers of ice were to melt, it would lead to a global sea level rise of 7.2 meters, or more than 23 feet. [LA Times]

The Northwest Passage Becomes a Reality

Remember the “Northwest Passage”? For centuries, explorers were obsessed with the almost-mythical idea of northern sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific. Well…it’s here. So much of the ice cover in the Arctic disappeared this summer that ships were able to take recreational trips through the Arctic Sea, and scientists say so much of the ice cover will disappear in upcoming years that the passage could be open to commercial shipping by 2020. [CNN]

Say Farewell to Glaciers
“In Glacier National Park, the number of glaciers in the park has dropped from 150 to 26 since 1850. Some project that none will be left within 25 to 30 years.” [AP]

The Green, Green Grass of Antarctica
Grass has started to grow in Antarctica in areas formerly covered by ice sheets and glaciers. While Antarctic hair grass has grown before in isolated tufts, warmer temperatures allow it to take over larger and larger areas and, for the first time, survive through the winter. [UK Times]

Giant “Sand Seas” in Africa
Global warming may unleash giant “sand seas” in Africa—giant fields of sand dunes with no vegetation—as a shortage of rainfall and increasing winds may “reactivate” the now-stable Kalahari dune fields. That means farewell to local vegetation, animals, and any tourism in the areas. [National Geographic]

Mediterranean Sea? Try the Dead Sea.
Italian experts say thanks to faster evaporation and rising temperatures, the Mediterranean Sea is quickly turning into “a salty and stagnant sea.” The hot, salty water “could doom many of the sea’s plant and animal species and ravage the fishing industry.” [AP]

Suddenly Vanishing Lakes
What happened to the five-acre glacial lake in Southern Chile? In March, it was there. In May, it was … gone. Scientists blame global warming. [BBC News]

Volcanoes Blow Their Tops
British scientists warn of another possible side effect of climate change: A surge of dangerous volcanic eruptions. [ABC News Australia]

Burning Poo
As “shifting rainfall patterns” brought on by global warming “have made northern Senegal drier and hotter,” entire species of trees (like the Dimb Tree) are dying out, making it harder for natives to find firewood. As a result, more people are having to burn cow dung for cooking fires. [MSNBC]

A New Dust Bowl
Calling Mr. Steinbeck. Scientists this year reported the Southwest United States is “expected to dry up notably in this century and could become as arid as the North American dust bowl of the 1930s,” a process which has already started. [ABC News]

Global Warming Makes Us Sicker

People Are Dying
150,000: Number of people the World Health Organization estimates are killed by climate-change-related issues every year. [Washington Post]

Death by Smog

Three words you really don’t want in your obit: “Death by Smog.” Yet Canadian doctors say smog-related deaths could rise by 80 percent over the next 20 years. And since warm air is a key ingredient in smog, warmer temperatures will increase smog levels. [CBC News]

More Mold and Ragweed = More Allergies, Asthma (That’s just what Austin needs)
A Harvard Study in 2004 showed higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere is good news to allergens like mold and ragweed (they love the stuff). And that means higher rates of asthma attacks, especially in kids. [Globe and Mail]

Death in the Time of Cholera
Cholera, which thrives in warmer water, appeared in the newly warmed waters of South America in 1991 for the first time in the 20th century. “It swept from Peru across the continent and into Mexico, killing more than 10,000 people.” [Washington Post]

West Nile Virus Home Invasion
Once confined to land near the equator, West Nile Virus is now found as far north as Canada. Seven years ago, West Nile virus had never been seen in North America; today, it has “infected more than 21,000 people in the United States and Canada and killed more than 800.” [Washington Post]

Global Warming Threatens Our National Security

U.N.: As Dangerous As War
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said this year that global warming poses as much of a threat to the world as war. [BBC]

Genocide in Sudan
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon charges, “Amid the diverse social and political causes, the Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change.” [Washington Post]

The Poor Are Most at Risk
Although they produce low amounts of greenhouse gases, experts say under-developed countries—such as those in sub-Saharan Africa—have “the most to lose under dire predictions of wrenching change in weather patterns.” [Washington Post]

Your Checkbook
A report done last year by the British government showed global warming could cause a Global Great Depression, costing the world up to 20 percent of its annual Global Domestic Product. [Washington Post]

The World’s Checkbook
A study by the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University found that ignoring global warming would end up costing $20 trillion by 2100. [Tufts]

This piece is from the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Mic Check Radio.

One Comment to “Blog Action Day: 100 Effects of Global Warming”

  1. The question is where all of the Winter weather through the north half of the globe could be as a result of lower sunspot process, and when a very maintained degree of fallen sunspot movement would likely impact on the estimate of global warming.

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