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Senior Scientist: Rapid Global Warming is Happening Now

10/30/03 8:28:00 AM

To: National Desk, Environment, Political, Transportation Reporter

Contact: Patrick Neuman of the National Weather Service, 952-906-2824, or Jack Saporito of the Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare, 847-506-0670

CHICAGO, Oct. 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement of Patrick Neuman, senior hydrologist with the National Weather Service (NWS):

An enormous number of well-documented findings on climate change by the world's most knowledgeable scientists are being put together ... like pieces to a giant puzzle.

The picture is clear. Rapid global warming is happening now. Rapid global warming, by this author, means a climate that is warming much too quickly to allow adaptation by many species of plants and animals.

Neuman just presented his findings on regional climate warming to colleagues at the NOAA 28th Annual Climate Diagnostics and Prediction Workshop. The Workshop was sponsored by the NWS Climate Prediction Center, the Desert Research Institute, and the American Meteorological Society. Neuman's work was received with great concern by several Workshop participants.

The paper with Neuman's findings is titled: "Earlier Seasonal Snowmelt Runoff in the Upper Midwest-Northern Great Plains". The area includes headwaters to Hudson Bay, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basin.

Interestingly, the snowmelt runoff study was not based on air temperature data. Instead, daily river flows from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) were used to evaluate timing of spring snowmelt runoff over the last 100 years.

The study shows that the beginning dates of spring snowmelt runoff have been occurring two to four weeks earlier now than occurred historically at USGS river stations analyzed in the study. Most significantly, the study shows an increase of much earlier snowmelt runoff from 1980 to current.

We know that the cause of this rapid global warming is the heavy accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from massive emissions from burning fossil fuels for power generation. Very damaging is the direct discharge of greenhouse gas emissions and secondary effects such as contrail effects, which are coming from commercial jet aviation, an industry that disregards the damage to the global environment and to human health.

We know that global warming will continue for hundreds of years, and likely well beyond. What is uncertain now is whether the enormous amounts of greenhouse gases being emitted annually will continue to increase or decrease, and the specific time frames involved.

Neuman stated, "We are already witness to conclusive evidence that human activities have caused rapid increases in temperatures in the United States and the world. We know the rate of warming is and will continue to be rapid. We just aren't sure how rapid, and exactly what impacts we face as a human race now responsible by our actions for the survival of all living species on Earth."


Editors note: The figures and tables that go with the narrative are extremely important and telling of rapid regional climate warming in the Upper Midwest-Great Plains. The narrative for the Workshop and data can be found at:


/ 2003 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/



2003 U.S. Newswire