David Nicholson discusses global warming and WINDHUNTER on Brian Becker's "Truth Unvarnished" Show
30 minute Flash video
Why is WINDHUNTER an important alternative energy source?
The hydrogen from WINDHUNTER vessels can replace fossil fuels that currently increase global warming gases. Burning hydrogen produces only water vapor and no carbon dioxide. The six billion people on the earth exceed the regenerative capacity of the earth by 25% and are pouring carbon dioxide, methane, water and other pollutants into the air. The chlorofluorocarbons have depleted the protective ozone layer. The carbon dioxide level has gone from a former historical high (400,000 years) of 280 ppm volume to 375 ppm volume. Methane went from the same historical high of 0.75 ppm to 1.75 ppm. Both of these greenhouse gases trap solar energy and keep the solar heat in earth's atmosphere. Although present in the atmosphere in smaller concentrations, methane has ten to 15 times the capacity of carbon dioxide to trap heat. As the air heats, it is able to hold more water, another greenhouse gas. Water is now found in significant quantities in the stratosphere. World carbon emissions from fossil fuel is more than 6 billion tons - 5 times what it was in 1950.
The atmospheric temperature is now a full degree Fahrenheit hotter than before industrialization began in the mid-1800s.
How is earth responding to these large changes occurring in only a few years? Not well.
Ice is melting from the great glaciers of Antarctica, and Greenland as well as from the other smaller mountain glaciers. Thompson and Thompson of Ohio State University report that of the world's 2000 glaciers, 1,987 are affected by this warming. From one-third to one-half of existing mountain glaciers could disappear within a century. Alpine glaciers in Europe have lost 50% of their ice already. Recall that the Ice Man was discovered in the alps after considerable glacial ice had melted. The Chacaltaya Glacier of Bolivia will be gone in 7 to 8 years, taking with it the major water supply for the mountain city of LaPaz, Bolivia. Glaciers in Indonesia that were retreating at a rate of 30 meters/year in 1971 now retreat at 45 meters/year.
The Antarctic ice shelves are melting. In January 1995 a chunk of ice the size of Rhode Island fell off of the Larsen ice shelf. Surface temperature of Antarctica increased 4 to 5 degrees in 50 years which is 5 times greater than the global average. In Alaska the temperature increased 7 degrees in 100 years. The Arctic perennial ice cap is melting rapidly. Now the perennial ice is 40% thinner than it was 20 to 40 years ago. The perennial ice in the Arctic is showing a 9% loss of area for each decade. That means it can be gone by the end of this century. Please understand that the 1 degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature is not evenly distributed over the earth. The cities and areas of greatest population already have large swings in temperature daily. The areas where the greatest temperature rises are seen are in the remote polar areas.
When glaciers melt and oceans warm, sea level rises. Right now sea levels are rising at a rate of 0.08 inch/year. Sea level has risen 4 to 7 inches during the 20th century. Is this a big deal? Yes it is. At the end of the last Ice Age, sea level rose 30 feet in 100 years and 50 feet in 500 years. In Bangladesh 17 million people live less than three feet above sea level. Many cities are at sea level, including Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., London, Calcutta, Shanghai, and Tokyo. The Netherlands is very concerned about rise in sea level.
The seasons are slowly beginning to shift. Spring in the Northern Hemisphere of North America is a week earlier than 20 years ago. The warming change in climate has many dramatic effects. Storms, including hurricanes, become more intense. Droughts are followed by massive rainfall leading to flooding and soil erosion. Droughts are causing deserts to enlarge in southwestern United States, China and Africa.
Weather-related disaster insurance claims in the United States have increased six-fold since 1980 [$2 billion to $12 billion]. In 2005 there was a request in Florida to double insurance premiums. Swiss Re, part of the world's largest insurance company, expected losses to be $1.5 trillion this decade.
Increasing the temperature of ocean waters means that traditional fisheries are no longer producing as they did. The plankton and zooplankton, that are necessary to support the chain of life in the oceans, have been severely interrupted. They will migrate to where the temperature is optimal for them. The fish will follow or die. Fisheries off the coast of California have been devastated. The waters south of Louisiana and Mississippi are essentially sterile because of pollution and increased temperature.
Aedes aegypti is a common mosquito in the world, notorious by being the vector of yellow fever and dengue. These diseases are confined to areas in which this species of mosquitoes can breed. Initial studies showed that this mosquito species could not naturally tolerate the cold above 1000 meters. Recently, however, the mosquitoes have been found at 1240 meters in Costa Rica, 1700 meters in Mexico, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia, and at 2200 meters in Colombia. If warming continues, the epidemic potential of mosquito populations will double in the tropics. However, for countries in the temperate climates like the United States, Russia and China, the epidemic potential will increase 100-fold.
The plants that the world uses as crops evolved during the Pliocene time period. The increased plant growth expected from more heat and greater carbon dioxide forecast by some persons has not come to be. After a short spurt of growth, tree growth slows and trees decline in health. Crops like rice drop off in production rapidly. Maize production slows and stops. The effect of increased temperature has its effect by requiring more water as well as adversely affecting other physiology of the crop plant. These effects now are seen in China and soon will be seen world-wide.