Global warming


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Nature Gifted some Animals

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Excellent seed disperser Promotes propagation of important plant species of the wet evergreen forest Far away dispersal lessens the interspecies competition Alimentary canal pre-treats seeds for quick germination Faecal seeds resist insect predation Regenerates and restores forests in disturbed habitats in high elevations. ROLE OF FRUITBATS IN ECOSYSTEM

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Brown Bears

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Dall Sheep “… Photo: Tim Craig, Wildlife Biologist BLM

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Polar Bears

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Climate changes

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Forest fire

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Impacts in Alaska 5. Human Impacts Photo: Environment Canada Photo: Tony Weyiouanna, Sr. Human Impacts “All of these villages have lost people on the ice. When you have a small village of 300 or 400 people, losing three or four of their senior hunters, it’s a big loss. A lot of the elders will no longer go out on the sea ice because their knowledge will not work anymore. What they’ve learned and passed on for 5,000 years is no longer functional.” Will Steger Founder, “Due to unusual ice conditions, one of our young local hunters lost his life, which has not occurred in our community in my lifetime.” Fannie Weyiouanna, Shishmaref

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Burning carbon-containing fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide (Combustion) Global Warming Basics CO2: The Most Significant Greenhouse Pollutant 2co + O2 = 2Co2

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Plastic waste

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What do these pollutants do? – Global Fever Greenhouse gases make the earth too hot, just like: > sleeping under a heavy blanket in the summertime > wearing a parka that is too thick Our atmospheric “blanket” or “parka” is over 37% “thicker” than it used to be Thicker blanket traps too much heat. Thinner blanket is “just right.” Global Warming Basics

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“There is no doubt that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity today.” The Greatest Threat

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Photo © Gary Braasch Photo courtesy Richard Wilson Cataclysmic Global Consequences: Inundation Bangladesh: More than 17 million people within 3 feet of sea level Tuvalu: Island nation, highest elevation 15 ft; mostly less than 1m Lohachara: First inhabited island (10,000 people) submerged (Independent, 12/06) Bangladesh Tuvalu Photo courtesy Global Cataclysmic Concerns

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Shoreline Erosion 184 communities are at risk from flooding and erosion (GAO estimate) Some shorelines have retreated more than 1500 feet over past few decades (National Assessment Synthesis Team) Newtok lost 2-3 miles in 40 years In a single storm in 1997, Shishmaref lost 125 feet of beach “Coastal villages are becoming more susceptible to flooding and erosion caused in part by rising temperature.” (GAO 2004) Shishmaref Photos courtesy Nome Nugget, from

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Infrastructure “A warming climate will damage Alaska’s infrastructure because it was designed for a cold climate.” Damage to infrastructure may add $3.6 to $6.1 billion (10% to 20%) to future costs for public infrastructure from now to 2030 and $5.6 to $7.6 billion (10% to 12%) from now to 2080 Damage will be concentrated in areas of thawing permafrost, flooding, and eroding coastlines

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Sand storm

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Why has WORLD warmed the most? Increased melting of snow and sea ice More of sun’s heat energy is absorbed More dark earth and ocean surface is exposed Land or water warms faster (ACIA 2004)

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Ice melting in sea and mountain zone

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Melting Sea Ice In September 2007 an area the size of Florida (69,000 square miles) melted in six days (NSIDC 2007)

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Alaska has lost 400 billion tons of land ice since 2003 (NASA 12/08) Bering Glacier, representing more than 15% of all the ice in Alaska, is melting twice as fast as previously believed, releasing approximately 8 trillion gallons of water per year into the ocean -- or the equivalent of two Colorado Rivers The rapid retreat of Alaska’s glaciers represents 50% of the estimated mass loss by glaciers through 2004 worldwide (ACIA 2004) Loss of over 588 billion cubic yards from 1961 to 1998 (Climate Change 11/05) USGS photo Bruce Molnia photo Glacial Retreat Austin Post photo 1958 McCall Glacier

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Glacial Retreat Alaska’s Columbia Glacier has decreased by about 9 miles since 1980 and thinned by as much as 1,300 feet (Science 7/07) Gulf of Alaska Glaciers losing 84 gigatons of ice mass annually, contributing nearly half as much freshwater melt as Greenlnad and 15% of present day global sea level rise from melting ice (NASA 2008)

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Polar bears Walruses Black guillemots Arctic grayling Kittiwakes Ice seals Salmon Caribou Animals at Risk Rising temperatures Shrinking habitat Food harder to get Expanding diseases Competition

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Polar Bear Cannibalism Photos courtesy Steven Amstrup, USGS

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Walrus Warning Signs Abandoned walrus calves: They were “swimming around us crying” (Aquatic Mammals 4/06) Haulout on Land: Thousands of walruses on shore in Alaska in 2007; 40,000 in one haulout in Russia (AP 10/07) Stampeding Deaths: 3,000 to 4,000 stampeding deaths in Russia in 2007 Other Concerns: More energy expended in foraging; depleted habitat; increased calf mortality Photo © Viktor Nikiforov, WWF-Russia Female walruses depend on sea ice over the continental shelf for feeding and nursing platforms

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Birds Threatened Declines in Kittlitz’s Murrelet: Prince William Sound: 97% from 1989 - 2001 Glacier Bay: 89% from 1991 - 2000 Kenai Peninsula: 83% since 1976 (BirdLife International, Kittlitz’s Murrelet Species Fact Sheet, 2006) “ The fate of the Kittlitz’s Murrelet may hinge on the fate of Alaska’s glaciers, and therefore Kittlitz’s may be among the world’s first avian species to succumb to the effects of rising global temperatures.” Photo © 2004 Gary Luhm. All rights reserved. Kittlitz’s Murrelet Subsistence observations: Birds flying higher, farther away Lakes and rivers too low Fewer birds seen (John F. Piatt, USGS, and Kathy Kuletz, USFWS)

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Waterfowl Hatch dates have advanced 5 - 10 days since 1982 in all 5 species studied in Yukon Delta NWR Sea-level rise, increased storm frequency and intensity, and wetland drying will likely cause dramatic changes in waterfowl communities Julien Fischer, Scientist, USFWS (2007) Aleutian Cackling Geese White Front Goose on Nest Brandt Geese Cackling Hatchlings

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Migratory Birds -- Scaup Population appears to be “in peril” (Consensus Report, 2006) Declined from over 7 million (in 1970s) to 3.39 million (2005) (CR) Record low in 2006: 3.2 million (Ducks Unlimited) 70% breed in western boreal forest; Fastest rate of decline there (94,000 birds per year from 1978 - 2005) … “Declines reflect breeding season events.” (CR) 19% wetland loss in Yukon Flats (1985 - 89 v. 2001 - 03) Where ponds lose 20% or more surface, scaup food sources decline (i.e. amphipods, gastropods and chironomid larvae) (Corcoran et al., 2007)

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Low Pink Salmon Harvests ADFG 2006 SE purse seine Predicated: 52 million Actual: 11.6 million Low number was due in “large part to the warmer temperatures of 2004, when the parents of this season’s mature fish would have been affected” (ADFG, 2006)

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Exotic Species Appearing “Squid, sharks and barracuda are among species newly arrived in Alaska waters.” Seiners and troll fishermen have sighted sardines, anchovies, jumbo squid, sharks, barracuda and large concentrations of brilliantly hued open-ocean fish such as pomfret and opah Juneau Empire September 25, 2005 Photo © Ocean Research, Inc

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The Greatest Threat “Climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today.”

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Coral Bleaching Corals damaged by higher water temperatures and acidification Higher water temperatures cause bleaching: corals expel zooxanthellae algae Corals need the algae for nutrition Healthy staghorn coral Bleached staghorn coral (algae expelled)

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Coral Bleaching Belize: estimated 40% loss since 1998 (Independent, 6/06) Seychelles: 90% bleached in 1998, now only 7.5% cover; 50% decline in fish diversity (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 5/06) If warming continues, Great Barrier Reef could lose 95% of living coral by 2050 (Ove Hoegh-Guldberg/ WWF, 2005) Disease followed bleaching in Caribbean Reefs in 2005/06 (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 8/06) Photo © Gary Braasch

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Inundation Inundation from Four Meter Sea Level Rise (or 1m rise + 3m storm surge) Weiss and Overpeck, 2006

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The Greatest Threat “We know the science, we see the threat posed by changes in our climate, and we know the time for action is now.” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger R-California

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People and Culture

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Adaptation: Not always possible Adaptation is critical but not sufficient. ADCED NMML If global warming emissions continue to increase, irreplaceable elements of our natural and cultural heritage will be lost forever.

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Mitigation Of Climate Change

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What We Can Do Is it achievable? Action is essential at every level Individual Corporate Local State Federal International Critical Steps R E D U C E C O 2 E M I S S I O N S

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Energy Efficiency: Two Examples Compact Fluorescents Four to six times more efficient Estimated savings = 100 lbs/year for each bulb converted Hybrid Cars Save money on fuel Tax credit Estimated savings = 5,600 lbs/year What We Can Do

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1. Conserve 2. Consume efficiently 3. Use renewables 4. Be involved Individual Actions 1. Conserve 2. Consume efficiently 3. Use renewables 4. Be involved 1. Conserve 2. Consume efficiently 3. Use renewables 4. Be involved

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Energy Efficiency: Two Examples Compact Fluorescents Four to six times more efficient Estimated savings = 100 lbs/year for each bulb converted Hybrid Cars Save money on fuel Tax credit Estimated savings = 5,600 lbs/year What We Can Do

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What We Can Do Reducing CO2 is good business Dow Chemical: reduced energy per unit of production by 21% since 1994, saving $3 billion. 3M reduced emissions by about 37% between 1990 and 2004, by reducing energy consumption 4% per year. BP reduced emissions 14% between 1998 and 2004, gaining $650 million. BP Greenhouse gas emissions: (million tonnes): 1998: 95.3 2000: 83.7 2002: 82.4 2003: 83.4 2004: 81.7 Corporate Actions

Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act (S. 309);Safe Climate Act : 

Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act (S. 309);Safe Climate Act GOAL: Avoid additional 2oC increase in temperature (keep below 450 ppm) TARGETS: 1) Reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 2) Continue Reductions TOTAL REDUCTIONS: 80% below 1990 levels REGULATION: EPA within 2 years MECHANISM: 1) Cap and Trade Permitted 2) Performance Standards 3) Efficiency Standards, etc. 4) Climate Reinvestment Fund (adaptation, hardship, R & D) Government Actions

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1000 litres of water is impounded per Saucer for 2” rainfall

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Bamboosa nutans – 5 Yr. Rainfed

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Tree planting

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Tree Planting

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Summary We are at ground zero. We are the “Paul Revere” of CLIMATE CHANGE. unique ways to the earth’s natural and cultural heritage, and this heritage is imperiled. Our leaders matter. If we do not act….. climate change Crisis

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