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2013-01-27. Major climate changes looming

posted Jan 30, 2013, 2:44 PM by Lisa Ou
 | Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle. Relevant to GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt:  ..."We are poised right at the edge of some very major changes on Earth," said Anthony Barnosky, a UC Berkeley professor of biology who studies the interaction of climate change with population growth and land use. ...At current trends, the Earth could warm by 4 degrees Celsius in 50 years, according to a November World Bank report. ... "The last time Earth was 4 degrees warmer than it is now was about 14 million years ago," Barnosky said. ...it is technically feasible to halt such changes by nearly ending the use of fossil fuels. ...Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian and climatologist at Texas Tech University "... it's not just about thermometers or satellite instruments,"..."It's about looking in our own backyards, when the trees are flowering now compared to 30 years ago, what types of birds and butterflies and bugs that ... used to be further south." ...The pine bark beetle, held in check by winter freezes, is epidemic over millions of acres of forests from California to South Dakota. Oceans, which absorb CO2, have increased in acidity, damaging coral reefs, shellfish and organisms at the bottom of the food chain. ... such changes in ocean chemistry in the geologic past were accompanied by "mass extinctions of ocean or terrestrial life or both."  ...wind and solar could power the world many times over. ...the world would need to install 1.7 billion solar rooftops and 4 million wind turbines…. Read the full article: http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Major-climate-changes-looming-4227943.php