Posted by: r.m. | January 29, 2009

heat + drought => dust. lots of dust.

As much as I don’t want to post negative news, as much as I realize that a plethora of negative environmental news may lead us (including my students who have spoken about this) to apathy since it leads to a sense of powerlessness, nevertheless, this news item cannot be dismissed and must be shared.

Remember the dust bowl that afflicted the southern plains of the US in the 1930s. Remember Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ (the book, not the 1996 Israeli assault on Lebanon in the same name)

black-sunday(Black Sunday)


Well, get this.

Another study. This one involved studying a ” range of possible targets for stabilizing carbon-dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, but focused on a particular range: 450 molecules for every million in the atmosphere parts per million by volume (ppm) to 600 ppm. Concentrations as of 2007 stand at about 383 ppm, according to the Global Carbon Project, compared with 280 ppm at the start of the Industrial Revolution. The 450-600 range is of special interest, since 450 by the year 2100 represents a target widely cited in negotiations for a new global climate treaty, which its architects hope will be ready to take over when the 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s first five-year “commitment period” expires in 2012. The 600 is a business-as-usual emissions path.

“In short, if CO2 concentrations peak at 450-600 ppm, declines in rainfall during the dry season in regions such as the US Southwest or the Mediterranean are comparable to the Dust Bowl drought in the US during the 1930s and those seasonal declines persist for millenniums. Sea level from heat expansion alone rises by an average of up to three feet through the year 3000.”

Now we add to that cheery news, this bit of news as well: Global Warming From Carbon Dioxide Will Increase Five-fold Over The Next Millennia, Scientists Predict “Professor Ric Williams, from the University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, explains: “It is accepted that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations lead to an increase in heating around the globe. It was, however, unclear as to how the ocean’s ability to store carbon could affect the future overall heating of the earth. “The excessive amount of carbon in the atmosphere will make the oceans more acidic and hamper the ability of the oceans to absorb further carbon from the atmosphere. The extra carbon dioxide remaining in the atmosphere will lead to an increase in the overall heating of our planet, making sea levels rise and exacerbating the melting of the Arctic ice caps.”

(Thanks Wael)



  1. …, climate change and global warming are just myths invented by the witches and wizards of the communist and socialist movements, in accord with terrorist plots, in an attempt to stop growth in the US and henceforth diminish its monopole on the world markets, leading to its sought decline and demise…
    I actually heard something like this on ABC right after Al Gore’s documentary was premiered and was showing a lot of success…

  2. Mr. Moussa, given your radical point of view regarding climate change and global warming, i have noticed that you are somehow blinded by your own radical views. Global warming was not invented by communists and socialists. This is not some huge conspiracy to bring down the US of A. Allow me to tag along with your views and consider that climate change IS actually an invention by the evil geniuses who happen to be poor farmers and workers who most them don’t even have a highschool diploma. And allow me to suggest u read more on the subject at hand. Most studies and research made on climate change effects were made by AMERICAN and BRITISH scientists.

  3. The studies that have shown the dramatic increase in carbon dioxide ppm clearly indicate the dire situation we are in, specially if the ppm levels reach a range between 450 and 600 ppms. The article from Science Daily states that Carbon dioxide levels will most probably increase 5 fold in the next millenium. And i do believe that it WILL happen because our current carbon dioxide ppm is almost touching 400 ppm. However, I certainly hope that the mentioned research on carbon-capture techniques sees the light sometime soon.

  4. what is bothering me is that some people actually think global warming and climate change is a conspiracy;i’ve been reading comments on certain sites an many of them say me it’s pitiful.even if someone was to consider this view,i would think the science and the evidence around us would show temperatures are increasing, climate is changing,carbon dioxide concentrations are increasing and the environment is dramatically change. so climate change is not a conspiracy!
    something else really saddened me:“In short, if CO2 concentrations peak at 450-600 ppm, declines in rainfall during the dry season in regions such as the US Southwest or the Mediterranean are comparable to the Dust Bowl drought in the US during the 1930s”.
    call me crazy but we’re already seeing signs of alot of dust in the air here in lebanon.just look at the weather the last few was raining dust.

  5. Hey mr. moussa, I advise you to read some articles in the climate change page. You will realize that you’re wrong. Climate change is definitely not a myth. In addition, rafic has a point: most articles are written by American scientists.
    please check the characteristics of CO2, how it causes global warming, and at what concentrations it should be stabilized to avoid arriving at points with no return.

  6. I’m sure Moussa was sarcastic and that he hardly believes what he heard. However, let me say that even myths can have some quite substantial effects on the world and the people inhabiting it.
    Regardless of your religious views and beliefs, countless religions may seem to many of us like pure fantasies and myths, however this doesn’t stop those ideas from shaping billion of peoples’ lives around the world.
    What Pascal once said so eloquently, I would apply it to Global Warming and take the “statistically right choice”…..
    “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.”

  7. All i want to comment on, other than I’m always shocked when i here additional things about global warming, is that if it was a conspiracy I’m a part of it like everyone of us…. So stop trying to be “Smart”.

  8. Elie, ‘hear’ not ‘here’. And no one got your point. What are you trying to say?

  9. It is stupid people who don’t pay attention to what is really going on who have this world in the condition it’s in. I really feel sorry for those who are that ignorant. While it is to late to change what has now become the fate of our world. I myself know that global warming is real for the studies that I have done in other countries. It is those who sit back and do nothing to help this beautiful place that we call our planet will be the ones in for a shock.

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