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To: Patricia Dines, 73652,1202
Date: Fri, Nov 1, 1996, 8:56 PM
Subject: SC-Action #302 - Toxics And Our Kids
EXTREME WEATHER MAY INDICATE GLOBAL WARMING
The New York Times reported yesterday (Oct 29) that a change in
the jet stream may be responsible for the chaotic weather that
mid-atlantic and northeast states have experienced in recent
years. Scientists are now studying whether global warming caused
the jet stream shift.
The jet stream, the current of air that runs west to east in our
upper atmosphere, has shifted in recent years, scientists say.
It now flows further south and east over the United States than
The shift has increased the severity and reduced the frequency of
storms the northeast experiences. The blizzards of 1993 and
1996, the torrential rain storms earlier this year, and the
massive "Halloween Northeaster" of 1991 may all have been at
least in part related to this shift in the jet stream.
This is in keeping with the predictions scientists have made
about the results of global warming. Dr. Tom Karl, Senior
Scientist at the National Climate Data Center, has reported that
the number of extreme weather events, rainstorms and blizzards
that produce large amounts of precipitation (over 2 inches) in 24
hours, has increased dramatically in recent years. This research
has led him to conclude that global warming has begun.
Even notable climate change skeptics are admitting the
possibility of a human influence on the jet stream. In a major
shift Dr. Robert E. Davis, a global warming dissenter at the
University of Virginia, was quoted by the New York Times as
saying "the bottom line is we just don't know" when asked whether
or not global warming was behind the shift. In the past Dr.
Davis has argued that the majority of the world's climate
scientists are wrong in saying that climate change is occuring,
and that global warming is just a myth.
WILDLIFE THREATENED AS WORLD WARMS II: WHOOPING CRANES
Last week (10/21-10/25) we reported on the impacts of global
warming on migratory birds. As the climate changes droughts
occur more frequently in areas such as the US Sourhwest. Also,
red tides -- algal blooms -- are linked to warming waters.
Today's Greenwire carries a story on the endangered whooping
crane and how it will face some of those hazards during it's
At a time when the crane's population is making a modest
comeback, many could face starvation. The Aransas National
Wildlife refuge in Texas, where 158 of the rare birds spent the
winter of 1995, has suffered from a combination of drought and
red tides that have drastically cut the available food supply.
An extremely dry year has reduced the population of blue crabs,
their favorite winter food source. A recent bloom of the algae
that causes red tides may have contaminated many of the bird's
other food sources, and could make many of the cranes sick. As
the process of global warming continues, more and more of the
world's wildlife could become extinct.