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Atmosphere ! – Warming

Causes extinction
Tickel 8 (Oliver, Climate Researcher @ The Guardian, Aug 11, [] AD: 7-9-11, jam)

We need to get prepared for four degrees of global warming, Bob Watson told the Guardian last week. At first sight this looks like wise counsel from the climate science adviser to Defra. But the idea that we could adapt to a 4C rise is absurd and dangerous. Global warming on this scale would be a catastrophe that would mean, in the immortal words that Chief Seattle probably never spoke, "the end of living and the beginning of survival" for humankind. Or perhaps the beginning of our extinction. The collapse of the polar ice caps would become inevitable, bringing long-term sea level rises of 70-80 metres. All the world's coastal plains would be lost, complete with ports, cities, transport and industrial infrastructure, and much of the world's most productive farmland. The world's geography would be transformed much as it was at the end of the last ice age, when sea levels rose by about 120 metres to create the Channel, the North Sea and Cardigan Bay out of dry land. Weather would become extreme and unpredictable, with more frequent and severe droughts, floods and hurricanes. The Earth's carrying capacity would be hugely reduced. Billions would undoubtedly die. Watson's call was supported by the government's former chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, who warned that "if we get to a four-degree rise it is quite possible that we would begin to see a runaway increase". This is a remarkable understatement. The climate system is already experiencing significant feedbacks, notably the summer melting of the Arctic sea ice. The more the ice melts, the more sunshine is absorbed by the sea, and the more the Arctic warms. And as the Arctic warms, the release of billions of tonnes of methane – a greenhouse gas 70 times stronger than carbon dioxide over 20 years – captured under melting permafrost is already under way. To see how far this process could go, look 55.5m years to the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, when a global temperature increase of 6C coincided with the release of about 5,000 gigatonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, both as CO2 and as methane from bogs and seabed sediments. Lush subtropical forests grew in polar regions, and sea levels rose to 100m higher than today. It appears that an initial warming pulse triggered other warming processes. Many scientists warn that this historical event may be analogous to the present: the warming caused by human emissions could propel us towards a similar hothouse Earth.

Atmosphere ! – Pakistan

Ozone depletion threatens all life and causes Pakistan instability
Tecnozono 11 (Tecnozono, Global Warming, Environment, and Pollution news aggregator, Jan 3, [] AD: 7-9-11, jam)

Ozone layer protection essential for life on earth, says minister ISLAMABAD: Minister for Environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi on Saturday said that Ozone layer depletion in the atmosphere had been a worldwide concern for the last more than two decades. He was addressing the ‘Workshop for Awareness on Ozone Layer and Montreal Protocol Activities in Pakistan’ organised with the collaboration of UNDP, UNIDO and UNEP. As many as 196 member countries of the world have signed the Montreal Protocol to tackle the problem of the depletion of ozone layer, which is essential for sustainable life on this Planet, he said. Afridi said that it was time to change the behaviour towards environment by creating awareness among the masses because Pakistan was the most vulnerably country and did not had adequate resources to over come the effects of environmental degradation.
Pakistani environmental degradation causes terrorism directed at the U.S. and Indo-Pak war
Vaughn et al 10 (Bruce, analyst in South-East Asian and South Asian Affairs with the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Nicole T. Carter and Pervaze A. Sheikh, Specialists in Natural Resources Policy with the CRS, and Renee Johnson, Specialist in Agricultural Policy with the CRS, Aug 3, [] AD: 7-9-11, jam)

This report focuses on the nexus between security and environmental concerns in Pakistan that have the potential to affect American security and foreign policy interests. Environmental concerns include, but are not limited to, water and food scarcity, natural disasters, and the effects of climate change. Environmental stresses, when combined with the other socio-economic and political stresses on Pakistan, have the potential to further weaken an already weak Pakistani state. Such a scenario would make it more difficult to achieve the U.S. goal of neutralizing anti-Western terrorists in Pakistan. Some analysts argue that disagreements over water could also exacerbate existing tensions between India and Pakistan. Given the importance of this region to U.S. interests for many reasons, the report identifies an issue that may be of increasing concern for Congress in the years ahead. The report examines the potentially destabilizing effect that, when combined with Pakistan’s demographic trends and limited economic development, water scarcity, limited arable land, and food security may have on an already radicalized internal and destabilized international political security environment. The report considers the especially important hypothesis that the combination of these factors could contribute to Pakistan’s decline as a fully functioning state, creating new, or expanding existing, largely ungoverned areas. The creation, or expansion, of ungoverned areas, or areas of limited control by the government of Pakistan, is viewed as not in U.S. strategic interests given the recent history of such areas being used by the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups as a base for operations against U.S. interests in the region. In this sense, environmental stress is viewed as a potential “threat multiplier” to existing sources of conflict. Environmental factors could also expand the ranks of the dispossessed in Pakistan, which could lead to greater recruitment for radical Islamist groups operating in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Larger numbers of dispossessed people in Pakistan could also destabilize the current political regime. This could add pressure on the Pakistani political system and possibly add impetus to a return to military rule or a more bellicose posture towards India. This issue has added significant importance to regional security and American interests in Afghanistan. The potential for environmental factors to stoke conflict between the nuclear armed states of India and Pakistan is also a concern. These two historical enemies have repeatedly fought across their international frontier and have yet to resolve their territorial dispute over Kashmir. Further, a longstanding dispute over cross-border water resource sharing between India and Pakistan has resurfaced, possibly exacerbating existing tensions between the two states. Should the two countries wish, however, this dispute also offers a renewed opportunity for cooperation, as has been seen in past negotiations. Preliminary findings by experts seem to indicate that existing environmental problems in Pakistan are sufficiently significant to warrant a close watch, especially when combined with Pakistan’s limited resilience due to mounting demographic stresses, internal political instability, security challenges, and limited economic resources. For more detailed information on Pakistan see the work of Alan Kronstadt and others including CRS Report RL33498, Pakistan-U.S. Relations, and CRS Report RL34763, Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy.

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