Sunday, December 21, 2008

Is human activity preventing an Ice Age?

If so we should lock up Al Gore

Although humancaused global warming is potentially leading the world into ecological catastrophe, it may also be sparing us from one of the Earth's periodic ice ages, some researchers say. The claim, even if correct, by no means indicate global warming is good: its future effects are quite unknown, scientists say, whereas ice ages, while certainly unpleasant, at least have precedents.

But as a matter of scientific curiosity, it's worth noting that "increased glaciation... would probably be happening today" if humans weren't here, said John Kutzbach, a climate modeler at the University of WisconsinMadison. The theory is reminiscent of another recent piece of research, suggesting a bout of global warming may have kept Earth from totally freezing over hundreds of millions of years ago. Only now, researchers, say, something similar could be happening today.

The controversial ideafirst proposed by University of Virginia climatologist William F. Ruddimanis based on the contention that human-induced global warming started long before it's generally accepted to have begun.

The common wisdom is that the advent of the steam engine and the coalfueled industrial age two centuries ago marked the beginning of human influence on global climate. But Kutzbach and likeminded scientists contend it really started thousands of years ago with large-scale agriculture in Asia and extensive deforestation in Europe. Although these processes would have been a much weaker influence on climate than industrial activity, their effect becomes important because of the longer time period involved, said Stephen Vavrus, a climatologist at the university.

Both ancient and modern global warming would have had the same source: the release into the atmosphere of so-called greenhouse gases that act like a blanket, trapping heat on Earth. Greenhouse gases would have taken the form of methane from terraced rice paddies in Asia and carbon dioxide from burning forests in Europe. The resulting warmer atmosphere would have heated the oceans, making them much less efficient storehouses of carbon dioxide, reinforcing global warming, according to Kutzbach and Vavrus.

The pair presented their research along with Gwena%lle Philippon of the Saclay Center of Studies in L'Orme des Merisiers, France, at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco Dec. 17. "No one disputes the large rate of increase in greenhouse gases with the Industrial Revolution," Kutzbach notes. "The large-scale burning of coal for industry has swamped everything else" in the record, he added.

But looking earlier, using climatic archives such as 850,000yearold ice from Antarctica, scientists are teasing out evidence of past greenhouse gases in the form of fossil air trapped in the ice, the group said. That ancient air, the researchers said, contains the signature of increased levels of atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide beginning thousands of years before the industrial age. "Between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago, both methane and carbon dioxide started an upward trend," explains Kutzbach.

Ice ages, or glacial periods, have occurred at regular 100,000year intervals during the last million years. Each period has been paced by regular and predictable changes in the orbit of the Earth known as Milankovitch cycles, a mechanism thought to kick start glacial cycles, Kutzbach and colleagues explained. "We're at a very favorable state right now for increased glaciation," said Kutzbach. "Nature is favoring it at this time in orbital cycles." Importantly, the new research underscores the key role of greenhouse gases in influencing Earth's climate, he added. Whereas decreasing greenhouse gases in the past helped initiate glaciations, the early agricultural and recent industrial increases in greenhouse gases may be forestalling them, say Kutzbach and Vavrus.


Australian farmers reject Warmism

They KNOW climate

Many farmers in central Victoria are sceptical that global warming is real, despite the scientific evidence and the world-wide push for a carbon trading scheme.

Hot air hitting the dusty road ahead of Tom Lucas' farm resembles a dirty big puddle, which pools across the dividing line. Far beyond Mr Lucas' stunted wheat crops, soaked by an ill-timed wash of summer rain, the Prime Minister is calling climate change "an inconvenient truth" we can no longer ignore. Eight in 10 Australians believe urgent action is needed to save the planet, according to polls, and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says Australians have "had enough of the denial and scepticism of the past".

But across the dry paddocks of central Victoria, they are not so sure. "I think it's rot," says Mr Lucas, 72, a mixed farmer north of Bendigo. He stretches his worn hands over a home-made rainfall graph, pointing to the regular cycles of peaks and troughs on his Bridgewater farm since 1962. "It'll be OK," he says. "I think when we go back to a cycle of a few good years, everybody will forget about climate change and say: 'What was all that about?"'

There is a city-country divide on global warming. The Government's carbon emissions trading scheme was denounced by environmentalists, who said that if it was adopted globally it would guarantee the loss of the Great Barrier Reef and the Kakadu wetlands. But out here, many farmers denounce "scaremongers" and ridicule activists such as former US vice-president Al Gore. A new qualitative study of 36 landholders in the north-central catchment area, north and south of Bendigo, found that about half did not believe climate change was real. Many landholders pointed to past droughts and wet periods as proof the current dry spell was part of a natural cycle.

"A lot of them are experiencing a change in the climate and are quite happy to talk about seasons of change - such as having more summer rain and less spring rain. But the term 'climate change' has such loaded meaning for them," says the study's co-ordinator, Dr Rik Thwaites, of Charles Sturt University's Institute for Land, Water and Society.

In Bridgewater, Mr Lucas' neighbour, Andrew Broad, who is vice-president of the Victorian Farmers Federation, likens climate change to the emperor's new clothes. The farmers' group says the Federal Government's new 5 per cent emissions reduction target, which exempts agriculture until 2015, will indirectly hurt farmers by raising costs such as energy. "For Kevin Rudd to say if we don't introduce a carbon trading scheme, the Great Barrier Reef will be bleached and Kakadu lost, and for the electorate to believe it, is surprising," he says. "In Australia, it's almost blind acceptance that this is happening."

At Bendigo's sheep sales, stock and station agent Luke Nevins says the divide between the big city and the bush on climate change is staggering. Bagshot sheep farmer John Vincent, 83 - who recalls how the 1940s' summer dust storms were so dense you couldn't see across the road - reckons the climate will right itself within a year. Newly married Ryan Doak, 23, who works his father's mixed farm in Axedale, east of Bendigo, has not lived nearly so long but is no less passionate. "There's been droughts for the past 150 years; it's just a part of life. I reckon climate change is bull----. I think there's too many greenies out there getting into the Government's ear."

Dr Thwaites says talk of a two-degree average warming across the globe has no meaning for farmers. "You've got to understand how conservative these people are, and that the political baggage of climate change over the years doesn't just melt away overnight. They look at their own patterns and own records and they can't see the trends - maybe because they don't want to see trends," he says. "One farmer told me, 'If I believed it wasn't going to get any better, I'd slash my wrists'. Some are being driven not to believe because they think it means things will get worse and worse, whereas the reality is there will continue to be wet and dry years. But the modelling of climate change suggests the dry years might be dryer and more common."

Non-believers were also more confident in their ability to adapt to a dry climate through techniques such as direct-drilling crops, reducing livestock numbers and growing fodder crops such as lucerne. "There are plenty of people who don't believe in climate change who have managed to respond quite well," says Dr Thwaites.

By the roadside at Dingee, north of Bendigo, grain grower Colin Falls says his philosophy is to "live like today is your last day but farm like you're gonna farm forever". He has switched to sowing fields of wheat and lucerne over more spring rain-dependent crops such as canola. Excess grain is stored within the tall silos he started installing in 2000, to keep stock in reserve for lean years. "I believe God created the earth and one day he's going to let it crash and burn," he says. "I don't think there's anything man can do to control the climate, but you can adapt to it." He gestures from one side of the road to the other. "Country people see it this side and city people see it this side, and there's got to be a balance in between. In the country you're more aware of the earth because it's more than concrete, roads, pollution and noise. Farming is about extremes. We are probably sceptical about climate change because we are used to adapting to seasonal conditions."

And yet, there are signs of change. Bridgewater mixed farmer Chris Pollock says blossoms have started reappearing on the yellow box trees throughout his 647 hectares. He believes the drought is part of a 50-year cycle and doubts humans are to blame for climate change, but admits "something is happening" that he can't explain. "If you asked me 10 years ago about climate change, I would have told you it was bunkum. Five years ago I would have said it was bull----." And now? "You can't say no, can you. I can't farm as I did 10 years ago when I was certain it was going to rain. I used to use the spring flush to finish the feeding of my lambs and now I can't, so I'm lambing earlier."

Climate change was the feature exhibit at this year's Elmore Field Days, north of Bendigo, complete with school kids offering to calculate visitors' carbon emissions at the door - until one farmer told a year 3 student to "f--- off".

Field days treasurer Frank Harney - who last week housed a new load of 10-week-old piglets in RSPCA-accredited eco-shelters next to his grain crops - says farmers should see the opportunities offered up by climate change, such as potentially earning credits by sequestering carbon in the soil or by planting trees. "There was one bloke on the field days committee who helped me put up the sign for the feature and he said, 'You know, I'm dead against this climate change'. And I said, 'It's not about climate change, it's about having an awareness of what's going on in the world around you," Mr Harney says. "They can argue the cyclical thing, but something has changed that's stretching the parameters. Let's accept that and be smart about it. Otherwise you might as well stick your head in the sand and park a bike up your arse."


Warmist laws completely unnecessary

Rather surprisingly, the article below appeared on the website of Australia's major public broadcaster

Rudd has failed to see through the vested interests that promote anthropogenic global warming (AGW), the theory that human emissions of carbon cause global warming. Though masquerading as "science based", the promoters of AGW have a medieval outlook and are in fact anti-science. Meanwhile carbon is innocent, and the political class is plunging ahead with making us poorer because they do not understand what science really is or what the real science is.

The Renaissance began when the absolute authority of the church and ancient texts was overthrown. Science then evolved as our most reliable method for acquiring knowledge, free of superstition and political authority. Suppose you wanted to know whether big cannonballs or small cannonballs fell faster. In medieval times you argued theoretically with what could be gleaned from the Bible, the works of Aristotle, or maybe a Papal announcement. In the Renaissance you ignored the authorities and simply dropped cannon balls from a tower and observed what happened - this was science, where empirical evidence trumps theory.

From 1975 to 2001 the global temperature trended up. How do you empirically determine the cause of this global warming? It turns out we can learn a lot simply by observing where the warming occurred: each possible cause of global warming heats the atmosphere differently, heating some parts before others. The pattern of warming is the cause's "signature".

The signature of an increased greenhouse effect consists of two features: a hotspot about 10 km up in the atmosphere over the tropics, and a combination of broad stratospheric cooling and broad tropospheric warming. The signature of ozone depletion consists just of the second feature. These signatures are theoretically derived by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and are integral to our understanding of how the atmosphere works. [1]

We have been observing temperatures in the atmosphere for decades using radiosondes - weather balloons with thermometers that radio back the temperature as the balloon ascends through the atmosphere. The radiosonde measurements for 1979-1999 show broad stratospheric cooling and broad tropospheric warming, but they show no tropical hotspot. Not even a small one. [2]

Empirically, we therefore know that an increased greenhouse effect was not a significant cause of the recent global warming. (Either that or the signatures from the IPCC are wrong, so its climate models and predictions are rubbish anyway.)

Human carbon emissions were occurring at the time but the greenhouse effect did not increase. Therefore human carbon emissions did not increase the greenhouse effect, and did not cause global warming. So AGW is wrong, and carbon is innocent. Suspect exonerated - wrong signature.

Alarmist scientists (supporters of AGW) objected that the radiosonde thermometers were not accurate and maybe the hotspot was there but went undetected. But there were hundreds of radiosondes, so statistically this is unlikely. They have also suggested we ignore the radiosonde thermometers, and use the radiosonde wind measurements instead. When combined with a theory about wind shear they estimated the temperatures on their computers - and say that the results show that we cannot rule out the presence of a hotspot. But thermometers are designed to measure temperature, so it's a bit of a stretch to claim that wind gauges are accidentally better at it. Serious alarmist scientists do not claim that the hotspot was found, only that we might have missed it. The obvious conclusion is that the hotspot was too weak to be easily detected. We cannot collect any more data from the past warming, and there is no sign of the hotspot in the data that was collected - so the occasional claims that appear on the Internet that the hotspot has been found are simply wrong. [3]

So can we tell from the observed warming pattern what did cause the global warming? Unfortunately we have little idea of the signatures of some of the suspects, such as cosmic rays or the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, so we cannot say except to note that ozone depletion was one of the causes.

Is there any observational evidence in favor of AGW? As of 2003, none at all.

The only supporting evidence for AGW was the old ice core data. The old ice core data, gathered from 1985, showed that in the past half million years, through several global warmings and coolings, the earth's temperature and atmospheric carbon levels rose and fell in lockstep. AGW was coming into vogue in the 1980s, so it was widely assumed that it was the carbon changes causing the temperature changes.

By the late 1990s ice core techniques had improved. In the old ice cores the data points were a few thousand years apart, but in the new ice core data they were only a few hundred years apart. In the early 1990s, New Scientist magazine anticipated that the higher-resolution data would seal the case for AGW.

But the opposite occurred. By 2003 it had been established to everyone's satisfaction that temperature changes preceded corresponding carbon changes by an average of 800 years: so temperature changes caused carbon changes - a warmer ocean supports more carbon in the atmosphere, after delays due to mixing. [4] So the ice core data no longer supported AGW. The alarmists failed to effectively notify the public.

After several prominent public claims by skeptics in 2008 that there is no evidence left for AGW, alarmist scientists offered only two points.

First, laboratory tests prove that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. But that observation tells us nothing about how much the global temperature changes if extra carbon enters the real, complicated atmosphere. Every emitted carbon atom raises the global temperature, but the missing hotspot shows that the effect is negligible.

Second, computer models. Computer models are just huge concatenations of calculations that, individually, could have been performed on a handheld calculator. They are theory, not evidence.

Governments have spent over $50 billion on climate research since 1990, and we have not found any actual evidence for AGW. [5]

So if there is no evidence to support AGW, and the missing hotspot shows that AGW is wrong, why does most of the world still believe in AGW?

Part of the answer is that science changed direction after a large constituency of vested interests had invested in AGW. The old ice core data provided support from 1985, the IPCC was established by the UN in 1988 to look into human changes to climate, and the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in 1997 to limit carbon emissions. By 1999 the western political class were doing something, the western media were rallying behind "saving the planet", and scientists were being paid by governments to research the effects of human-caused global warming.

But then the evidence took science off in a different direction: the new ice core data in 2003, the missing hotspot in 2007, and the global temperature has stopped trending up since 2001 [6]. Governments, the media, and many scientists did not notice.

The remainder of the answer for the current belief in AGW is darker and more political. An offbeat theory in the 1970s, AGW was adopted by a group of about 45 atmospheric modelers and physicists. That group dominated climate science journals, peer reviewed each others papers, and hindered competing ideas by underhand methods [7]. AGW gained political support from proponents of nuclear power, and vice-president Gore appointed AGW supporters to science positions in the USA.

AGW grabbed control of climate funding in key western countries. Lack of diversity in science funding has been a major problem since government took over funding science in WWII. Science is like a courtroom - protagonists put forward their best cases, and out of the argument some truth emerges. But if only one side is funded and heard, then truth tends not to emerge. This happened in climate science, which is almost completely government funded and has been dominated by AGW for two decades. Skeptics are mainly scientists who are retired or who have moved on to other areas - their funding no longer depends on allegiance to AGW. The alarmists are full time, well funded, and hog the megaphone.

AGW was always promoted as being supported by nearly all scientists (though polls and history do not support this). Counting numbers of supporters and creating a bandwagon effect by announcing you are in the majority is a political tactic.

AGW always advanced principally by political means; as a scientific theory it was always weak, and now the evidence contradicts it. It's like a return to medieval times, where authority rules and evidence is ignored. Notice how the proponents of AGW don't want to talk about evidence of the causes? Anything but evidence of cause - attack people's motives, someone else "has the evidence", theoretical models, evidence that global warming is occurring, how important they are, what credentials they have, how worthy they are, the dog ate my evidence, "the science is settled", polar bears, anything. Talking about the evidence of the cause of global warming does not advance their cause. Politics says AGW is correct; science says it is wrong.

Science demands evidence. Evidence trumps theory, no matter what the political authority of those promoting the theory, even if they dress up in lab coats and have job titles that say "scientist". The hotspot is missing and there is no evidence for AGW. The alarmists cannot ignore this and continue to play political games forever. They are entitled to argue the case for AGW, but they should also acknowledge the evidence and inform the political class that AGW appears to be wrong - even if it means risking their status and their jobs (and yes, we scientists are also people who have kids and mortgages).

There are two central lies in the political promotion of AGW.

The first appears in Gore's movie. He gave the old ice core data as the sole reason for believing AGW (the rest of the movie presents evidence that global warming occurred, a separate issue). He said that increases in carbon caused increases in temperature in the past warming events. But Gore made his movie in 2005, two years after the new ice core data had established the opposite! Gore's weasel words when he introduced that segment show he knew what he was about to say was false. Who would have believed his pitch if he added "and each temperature rise occurred 800 years before the corresponding rise in carbon that caused it"? [8]

The second lie is the hockey stick graph, which presented the last thousand years of global temperature as the flat handle of a hockey stick and the next hundred as the sharply rising blade [9]. The hockey stick graph was heavily promoted by the IPCC in 2001, and the IPCC even adopted it as its logo before it got discredited. It is significant because most non-scientist AGW supporters seem to believe some version of the hockey stick. When the IPCC "scientists" who produced the graph were asked to show their data for past temperatures, they refused (true scientists share data). But one of those scientists was a British academic and subject to the British Freedom of Information Act, and after two years of stonewalling all was revealed. It showed they had grossly skewed the data (even omitting inconvenient data to a folder labeled "Censored"), and that the computer program used to process the data had the hockey stick shape built into it - you could feed it stock market data instead of tree ring data and you would still get a hockey stick! In reality it was warmer in the Middle Ages than today, and there was a mini ice age around 1700 from which we have since been warming ever since. [10] Finally, the sharply rising blade of the hockey stick is contradicted so far by actual temperatures, which from 2001 to 2008 have been flat - something all of the climate models got wrong.

Among non-scientists, AGW appeals strongly to two groups. Those who support big government love the idea of carbon regulations - if you control carbon emissions then you control most human activity. And those who like to feel morally superior to the bulk of their fellow citizens by virtue of a belief (the "warm inner glow" and moral vanity of the politically correct) are firmly attached to AGW. These groups are politically adept, are planning to spend your money and tell you how to eat, travel and how to live, and they are strenuously avoiding the evidence.

The media has avoided presenting information that undermines AGW, until recently. Instead they promoted alarmism, and discredited skeptics as being in the pay of big oil - while giving a free pass to Gore, who made a movie based on an obvious lie then made millions selling carbon offsets. The media is very keen to present evidence that global warming is occurring, but have you noticed how quiet it is on evidence that carbon emissions caused it?

In 2007 almost no one in the west knew that the hotspot was missing, that there was no evidence for AGW, that temperatures had been flat for six years, that the hockey stick was a fraud, or that Al Gore lied when he gave the old ice core data as a reason for blaming carbon. But due to the Internet the public is gradually finding out anyway, which risks further discrediting many media outlets. Why buy a newspaper if it's not going to tell you the actual news?

And as the public become generally aware, what politician is going to risk being so ideologically stupid as to unnecessarily wreck the economy by slashing carbon emissions? Hmmm, Kevin Rudd?



The climate change summit may have ended in failure, but it showed rare unity of purpose between India and China which took on the industrialised world together at the closing moments of the climate summit here. The Indian position also received support from Pakistan. Knowing that developing countries had failed to get the industrialised world to part with even one extra percent of their profits from carbon trade, India started the note of dissent at the final session of the Dec 1-12 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Industrialised countries led by the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia and Russia had refused to part with the money sought by developing countries to help them cope with climate change effects. That had happened behind closed doors. Then the Indian delegation chose to make the matter public in a dramatic finale.

Prodipto Ghosh, member of the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change, rose on a point of order in the final open session of the Conference of Parties (CoP) - which is held in the same way as a UN General Assembly session - and said: In the 12 CoPs I have been privileged to attend so far, this is one of the saddest moments I have witnessed. As CoP president and Poland's Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki fumbled with his response to Ghosh's impassioned speech, the Chinese delegate rose on one point of order after another, excitedly banging on his country's name plate with his pen, to support the Indian stand again and again, to oppose the supposedly-consensual conclusions reached by Nowicki. His manner made evident the extent to which developing countries were angry by what they saw as a cynical refusal to help on the part of industrialised countries that had put almost all excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in the first place. The excess is leading to climate change, which is already lowering farm output, leading to more frequent and more severe droughts, floods and storms and raising the sea level, with developing countries bearing the brunt.

While the Chinese delegate kept objecting to Nowicki, delegates from Pakistan, Gabon, Colombia, the Maldives and a number of other developing countries came out into the open to strongly support the Indian position and take on the industrialised world.

The Colombian delegate was especially eloquent in his denunciation of industrialised countries, a surprise to most observers given the close ties between the governments of Colombia and the US. But the Poznan climate summit reiterated that over climate change virtually the entire developing world is together.

What was this divisive issue? Minutes before Ghosh's intervention, Nowicki had announced that an Adaptation Fund that would provide money to least developed countries (LDC) to cope with climate change effects had become operational at the Poznan summit. But the fund now has less than one percent of the money developing countries need to cope with climate change effects, as estimated by the UN Development Programme. Its funding comes from a two percent levy on money that industrialised countries make through carbon trading. Developing countries wanted to raise this two percent levy to three percent to help put more money into the Adaptation Fund. Industrialised countries refused.

Ghosh said the agreement fell apart for one, and one reason only. That is the refusal of some parties (countries) to experience the least loss of profits from trading in carbon. Let us look at why this refusal is tragic and painful, Ghosh told those of the over 3,000 delegates from 186 countries who were still left in the final plenary session. Even now, millions of poor people in developing countries are losing their homes, their livelihoods, and their lives from impacts of climate change. Most live in extreme privation at the best of times; climate change takes away their pitiable homes, hearths and bread.

We can all of us now see clearly what lies ahead at Copenhagen. Copenhagen will host the next summit in December 2009, by when the world is expected to conclude a fresh deal to combat climate change.

Nowicki said after the closing session here: I fully understand and support the feelings of disappointment expressed by some countries.



First there was the dotcom bust of the late 1990s, then came the real-estate bubble that's deflating before our eyes. Next up: the green bubble. Alternative energy ventures have received a lot of great press, heavy investment and lip service from politicians in the last couple of years, but many of the nascent green industry's balance sheets are beginning to bleed red.

Among the hardest hit is T. Boone Pickens and his alternative energy hedge fund BP Capital, which has reportedly lost some $2 billion. The Oklahoma oil tycoon who leased hundreds of thousands of acres in West Texas for a giant wind farm, has put that project on hold, saying he'll have to wait for fossil-fuel prices to rise again in order to make the project economically viable. Oil was at $48 a barrel this week, down from a peak of $147 in July. Another canary in the coal mine: the once soaring market for carbon credits in Europe has tanked, as manufacturing firms worldwide slow production. Even the once promising sector of corn ethanol has gone bust, with the American company VeraSun declaring bankruptcy in October and other publicly held ethanol companies reduced to penny stocks.

More here


Claims in a Government-commissioned report that wind power can supply a third of Britain's electricity have been condemned as wildly optimistic by leading experts. Researchers and parliamentarians warned that a heavy reliance on wind energy would place Britain's energy supplies at risk.

A report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), published last week, maintained that wind farms could play a major role in helping Britain cut its harmful carbon emissions by 34 per cent in 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. It stated: "Despite the inherent intermittency of wind power supply, wind generation could make a significant contribution to total global electricity generation and be a major source of electricity in the UK (eg 30 per cent by 2020 and more beyond)."

The CCC, chaired by Lord Turner, the former director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said that new techniques of energy storage would overcome the problem of maintaining a regular supply when the wind is not blowing. But sceptics say this is far too ambitious because experts have not yet been able to devise effective ways of capturing and storing electricity generated by wind. That means a backup system, in the form of nuclear or coal- or gas-fired power stations, would always be needed.

John Constable, director of policy and research at the Renewable Energy Foundation, a think tank, said: "To generate 30 or 40 per cent of our electrical energy from wind power would present unmanageable and unaffordable difficulties at the present. "The CCC's assertion to the contrary is simply out of step with the state of theoretical and empirical knowledge in the field. Betting on very heavy commitment to wind for carbon reduction is irrational and will result in the inevitable failure of our climate change policy. Wind has a role, but this role will be modest in scale."

A report by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, published last month, also cast doubt on the merits of wind turbines.

More here

Warming threatens Christmas trees!

North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler and forestry observers are warning that climate change could alter the state's Christmas trees. Shuler and others scheduled a press conference Thursday to discuss the impact of climate change.

North Carolina's large growth of Fraser firs make the state a leader in Christmas tree production. This year, one of the state's Fraser firs is featured in the White House. The trees rely on the cool temperatures in the southern Appalachians, however. Environmental scientists say global warming could make it difficult for Fraser firs to continue growing in the state.

The Christmas tree industry accounts for over $100 million annually in western North Carolina.



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