The World As We Knew It Has Been Left Behind
  • Putin U-turn could rescue Kyoto . . .
  • 'Green guru' urges use of nuclear power . . .

  • APOCALYPSE NOW:

    Seas, ice, animals show warming impact


    A look at apparent "greenhouse gas" effects reported by scientists and other observers:

    --- OCEANS: Seas rose throughout 20th century, and over past decade at accelerated rate of one-tenth an inch per year. Levels rising because water expands as it grows warmer and because of runoff of melting ice from continents.

    --- ISLANDS: Islanders in Pacific and elsewhere report steady erosion of shorelines from rising seas. Some small, low-lying islands have vanished beneath waves.

    --- ARCTIC: In late summers, ice over Arctic Ocean believed to be only 60 percent as thick as a few decades ago. Believed to extend over 10-15 percent less area.

    --- ANIMALS: Birds, seals, polar bears and other northern animals could be severely affected by shrinking of Arctic ice, their habitat. Biologists find polar bears losing weight because of reduced hunting time on ice.

    --- TUNDRA: Spring temperatures in Alaskan Arctic were as much as 7 degrees warmer in 2000 than in 1971. Permafrost - tundra - melting, buckling roads and damaging other infrastructure. Shrubs have moved into treeless areas.

    --- GLACIERS: Widespread retreat of mountain glaciers in non-polar regions during 20th century. Some European glaciers have shrunk by 50 percent. Only 27 glaciers remain of 150 in Montana's Glacier National Park.

    SEE FULL TEXT