Siberia is Warming Up

It seems that one of the coolest places in the world is heating up. Scientists report that the world's largest peat bog in
Western Siberia is undergoing a thaw that could dramatically speed up the rate of global warming. Researchers recently returned from the area report that the peat is melting for the first time since it formed at the end of the last ice age, around 11,000 years ago. Over the last three to four years, the area—about the size of France and Germany combined—has turned from a barren expanse of frozen peat to a landscape of mud and lakes.

What does the melt mean? The peat bog stores an enormous amount of methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide. And scientists believe the area holds some 70 billion tons of methane, about a quarter of all the methane stored in the ground around the world! Scientists studying global warming are concerned that the melting bog could turn out to be an environmental "tipping point" that could speed up the rate of global warming. As of 2001, an intergovernmental panel on climate change predicted a rise in global temperatures of 1.4C to 5.8 C between 1990 and 2100, but this estimate only considered known greenhouse gas emissions. The peat bog is an anomaly; scientists predict that its melt over the next 100 years could release enough methane to double atmospheric levels of the gas, leading to a 10% to 25% increase in global warming.

Scientists are urging that predictions of future global temperatures be revised upwards. As it stands, western Siberia is heating up faster than anywhere in the world, experiencing a rise of some 3C in the past 40 years.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Hi my name is Wally
Global warming is the most serious problem faced by man kind, and by all living creatures, man kind has puluted the planet so bad that
we must start doing somthing about it as soon as possible, stop burning fossel fuel as much as we are and convert to hydro power, nuclear power, solare power, wind power, and hydrogyn power for our
automobles, and our trucks. our own top scientist in the field of globle warming have warned us that we ownly have ten years left, after that it's to late. Are we gambling with our own fate?,I think we are, the longer we wait the worse it is going to get. There is ownly one earth, and no secound chances, "THINK ABOUT IT"
Thank You

posted on Sun, 04/02/2006 - 3:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Hello my name is Alan Gibson. About the planet Earth we are talking about the globle warming as Sibria 3 c WOW very bad. in the next few years to come could be sooner Sumatra is nothing for what is coming.we are all race's in each of our countries working to make a better the last 60 yrs their are still people dyeing from starvation. of all the funds Arround the world to stop poverty has not even started, We are Here being tested we have failed the goal of this planet. it's MONEY how to get rich build build build MONEY. will give the World one CLUE stop what you are doing and save the countries from poverty who have nothing. nothing to do.. just sit and starve no work cant feed the children no toys not even clothes. and all you get is WE MUST UNITE. not in my book I am not a god. But im an Angel But cant interfere. thank you for reading my true words. A.G.

posted on Fri, 03/24/2006 - 7:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

why not make the world a better place,regardless of globel warming.we all have to do are part,to give are kids chance.Time to step up and take care of are planet,in any little way you can.Lets not wait around and say what if.

posted on Fri, 04/07/2006 - 7:40am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I ask George Stephenopolis if Free Trade Agreements would even include the much needed environmental standards. He said there is a huge political push in that direction, which would be much more effective that the Kyoto Treaty in the reduction of Global Warming.

Cliff Humphries

posted on Wed, 03/22/2006 - 6:46pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Here's an article from about a year and a half ago, arguing that warming at the poles is normal, not caused by humans, and less severe than reported. Of course, many respected scientists are skeptical about such claims, which is why further research is needed.

posted on Thu, 03/23/2006 - 1:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hey look I am just 13 and I am not sure about this whole thing but why dont we just freeze the arctic back and then clean out the air I mean we could all use ethanol to power our cars its totaly harmless and any way its just because of people who cant wake up early and walk istead of wake up late and drive a car not even a mile from where they work! people just think its cool to be dumb and careless but it is not! like my dad and my SCIENCE teacher they just dont care!!!!!!\r\n -Tani

posted on Sun, 05/14/2006 - 11:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

global warmming is nearly entirely the fault of careless people who only care about lining their pocket and not the general outcome of our precious earth

posted on Thu, 03/23/2006 - 3:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

when will globle warming start to impact the world.

posted on Thu, 04/20/2006 - 5:44pm
Bianca's picture
Bianca says:

Hiya yeah im 13 too it's sooo worrying everyone wont stop talking bout it i ave asked MY science teacher n he said 2 jus 4get bout it as we would'nt die anytime soon soo im totally backin u up wb Bianca xx

posted on Mon, 10/16/2006 - 8:02am
sarah's picture
sarah says:

in 100 years

posted on Tue, 01/09/2007 - 8:46pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hey i think globel warming will only impact the world if we let it . . . there are many ways to provent it but it's going to take more than one person to do that it's gonna take a bunch of by recycaling or not litering and not poluting our air and cutting down our trees .does that answer your question no one really knows when but the suspect int the next 50-100 years .

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 4:20pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hey , i think it takes a whole lot more than just waking up early and walking that's not gonna stop globel warming and the freezing of the artic thing idk if they can do that cause of everything that could happen in the procces our wold is falling apart and coming to an end soon when u get older and have kids u and tem will probly be the ones to experience it if we dont do something about it and soon . i agree with you , people dont care and of they did we wouldnt have people cutting down fields of valuable trees that supply our oxygen and then doing nothing with it and if people cared they would take a stand only God and the citizens can prevent globel warming we can all make a differencw if we just take a stand and make it clear not only to th u.s but other countries aswell .

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 4:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

cuz it is impossable to freeze the arctic mr. anonymous!!!!

posted on Fri, 10/19/2007 - 6:42am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It's aready started 2 - 5 more degrees and it's could be history for all of us

posted on Sun, 11/25/2007 - 12:52am
LILA's picture
LILA says:


posted on Fri, 08/19/2005 - 2:40pm
Steven's picture
Steven says:

I think both globel warming and the hole in the o-zone is earths normal cycle they will turn around many times before our eyes. In short it is NOT a problem

posted on Tue, 11/08/2005 - 7:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i agree

posted on Thu, 02/01/2007 - 4:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Will we survive?

posted on Thu, 11/10/2005 - 3:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My mother of 88 years and coming from cold wet Ireland says she would welcome a bit of global warming!!!!

posted on Mon, 02/06/2006 - 7:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Mon, 05/29/2006 - 5:39am
greenape's picture
greenape says:

no we will not survive, we are all going to parish

posted on Fri, 02/10/2006 - 12:12am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you need to be more positive.

posted on Sat, 02/10/2007 - 8:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This is true we will all freeze to death or the future people will 2100

posted on Sat, 09/15/2007 - 8:21pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

it is scary if u really think about it!!! we are going to die if something is not done!!!!!

posted on Mon, 07/10/2006 - 9:25pm
Destiny's picture
Destiny says:

well we r suppose 2 care cuz if we dont we can die we can die 2morrow or even 2day its a scary thing and people need 2 care if they wanna die thats on them but i know alot of us dont wanna die our family is real scared and i am only 11 and i wanna hav my prom i wanna get married there r alot of things that we kids wanna do and i bet alot of parents wanna let there babies hav a great life.I want my parents 2 live i want my brothers and sisters 2 live and hav a great life. I want them 2 grow up.The importent thing is that we need 2 stop globel warming and help out like un pluge all the things ur not using so it dont suck alot of hybrig cars not some that use gas.just help cuz i know i dont wanna die.

posted on Sun, 07/23/2006 - 10:57pm
dede's picture
dede says:

we are to care if we don't we can't tell if we are going to live tommorow or today so we are to care about our life and others to

posted on Mon, 07/24/2006 - 11:00am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Who said that we don't care about our lives?

posted on Mon, 07/24/2006 - 12:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

WE NEED to take a stand about this does anyone know what we are doing to our world with:oil,gas,cars,factorys. WE NEED TO STOP DESTROYING OR WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 10/14/2006 - 8:46am
River's picture
River says:

Each of us need to look at the choices we make in our own lives and how we live. What are our priorities? If we each make energy conservation a priority, we can begin to make a difference. Think of our energy use as a privilege, not a right. Use mass transit/carpools, turn off the lights when you leave a room, combine errands so you drive less often, stop shopping as a means of entertainment, buy for need rather than want (stop buying stuff just to make yourself feel good), take a parking spot further from the store entrance rather than endlessly driving around the lot looking for a closer spot, etc. Once we stop taking energy for granted, we will find we use less and appreciate it more. Live consciously, rather than acting unconsciously. Realize that small efforts DO make a difference. Only when we each accept personal responsibility and accountability will we be able to change the effects of our irresponsibility on the world and find a solution to this problem. Too many of us want to just leave it up to the scientists, but it will take an overall change in our culture to truly reverse global warming. Be a leader for societal change by modeling responsible energy use in your own life.

posted on Sat, 10/14/2006 - 10:16am
Amy-Lee's picture
Amy-Lee says:

Hiya r we goin 2 survive hope so im 14 n quite worried but i need ppl 2 talk 2 me bout da causes n wat culd happen were not reli learnin much bout it n i'd like 2 sooo any of u got any advice luv amy-lee

posted on Mon, 10/16/2006 - 8:11am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you know what is really astounding is the many of you cant even spell. how can you understand the process of global warming if you cant even spell in your first language? dont worry.. you will all live to see tomorrow. just dont buy any ocean front property..
What causes ice ages and global warming? i will show you the most current information. become self educated on the topic rather than running blind and screaming about stuff you have no idea about. ..
really good place to start

Fluctuations in the amount of insolation (incoming solar radiation) are the most likely cause of large-scale changes in Earth's climate during the Quaternary. In other words, variations in the intensity and timing of heat from the sun are the most likely cause of the glacial/interglacial cycles. This solar variable was neatly described by the Serbian scientist, Milutin Milankovitch, in 1938. There are three major components of the Earth's orbit about the sun that contribute to changes in our climate. First, the Earth's spin on its axis is wobbly, much like a spinning top that starts to wobble after it slows down. This wobble amounts to a variation of up to 23.5 degrees to either side of the axis. The amount of tilt in the Earth's rotation affects the amount of sunlight striking the different parts of the globe. The greater the tilt, the stronger the difference in seasons (i.e., more tilt equals sharper differences between summer and winter temperatures). The range of motion in the tilt (from left-of-center to right-of-center and back again) takes place over a period of 41,000 years. As a result of a wobble in the Earth's spin, the position of the Earth on its elliptical path changes, relative to the time of year. This phenomenon is called the precession of equinoxes. The cycle of equinox precession takes 23,000 years to complete. In the growth of continental ice sheets, summer temperatures are probably more important than winter.

posted on Wed, 10/25/2006 - 8:06am
worried....'s picture
worried.... says:

i know that we should do something about it but seriously why aren't the Prime Ministers and Presidents doing anything?? don't they want us to live or something. they'd better do something real fast before our world is destroyed!!~!~!~

posted on Sun, 11/12/2006 - 2:31am
Hannah bonham's picture
Hannah bonham says:

What we should be doing right now in sted of makeing Comment is boing some thing about it an stop it os soon as we can in sted of sitting on are ass doing nothing!!!

P.S. sorry if there are some of the spelling that is wrong.

I go to lefevre high school SA Aussi Aussi oi oi oi

posted on Thu, 11/23/2006 - 6:05pm
Greg's picture
Greg says:

what are we going to do. No one's going to do anything about this. Why, there's no money in it! By the time we start to clean up are mess it's going to be to late! I know it's sad to say but It's the truth and you all know it!

posted on Sat, 12/02/2006 - 11:46am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The only globel warming that I worry about is the hot air that comes out WASHINGTON, and THAT SORRY PLACE, THE UN.......................................... And try to keep in mind that the same people,that cant tell us the weather from one day to next, can tell what it will be 50 years from now, GOOD LUCK

posted on Fri, 12/08/2006 - 8:36pm
Michelle's picture
Michelle says:

This is a very scary situation. I am 21 and have a 2 yr old son, I am affraid of what will happen in his future never mind mine now. What will happen to him 25 years from now? Will there still be anything left. people need to start making a difference now until it is to late to do anything.

posted on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 8:22pm
ainy's picture
ainy says:

This year we get a warm winter again.I heard thunder in winter for the fist time six years ago.I am surprised,it sounds crazy. i dont clear that what will happen in the future with the global warming.Maybe we should not wait for the threats to become actual, let's move rightnow.

posted on Thu, 12/21/2006 - 2:22am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Who will say,when we could have done something,.but we did not, we were to interested in money and into self to much to save a dieing planet.when it comes down to it in about twenty years from now what will you say to who are left?

posted on Thu, 01/18/2007 - 9:15pm
Fang's picture
Fang says:

Hey Earth,
I feel sorry for you my friend.The time has come where there is no going back in life.We have powerful countries doing dirty things to are Earth.The ocean will rise and Boston and New York city will be under the sea.Many shore lines all over the world will have there ocean crest 3 to 10 inches with in the next 80 to 100 years.Kiss the Earth good bye and all that is in it my friends.
Global Warming means Global Death.

posted on Fri, 02/02/2007 - 5:37am
renee's picture
renee says:

hi im 22 and i have a baby hes 3 ithink about this all the time that my son wont have a future or grow old with his wife and kids and finish school all i can think about that hell be walking around in a protective suit from the sun with no air and no food no clean water there are so many uncureable illnesses that just become worse as the years go by our world is falling to peices and every one just turns there head and be like its not going to happen anytime soon so oh well but oh well my son will be in his 20'S if our world makes it that far and wondering if hell live another year and why all bvecuase we have detroyed what we value in ignorance and convienance i wonder al the time i see support this and fund this research but i never see results and if carbon minoxide is really detroying our planet why doesnt the government do anything to stop it they have the power to just stop production with the products that use these thing like smoking for example they say you cant smoke anywhere but they ll still sell and make them its the governments fault that were going down casue there the one with the power to do and remove certin things in life and theyd rather spend there money on the wars around the world so they just want us detroyed its evident there not putting the world money to where it should be just the lining of there pockets for the new benz or bmw or bentleys and mansions and yotts and jets instead of taking all the cars off teh road and converting them to atmosphere safe cares give us another few years to life stop killing us dont tell us stop doing things if they still provide us with everything that is damaging us its like here you hate this person ill giive you a gun but dont shoot anyone its like ggiving someone suicidel a knife or a gun and say here hold this for a second doesnt make any sence does it the people who run our country are nothing but dumb self helping and green with money and power the only way to change things is change who runs everything and take away all the things that are killing us and exchange iut for a safer product but thats not in the best interest of there pocket sooo they wont do anything right and well continue talking and funding something that isint changing when will they act on this when its too late once again .........

posted on Sun, 02/04/2007 - 11:01am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What up earth sorry about your atmosphere. I Think they should cover it with a huge bandage. So Earth hope you feel better! :)

posted on Tue, 02/06/2007 - 5:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

everyone does know that sooner or later we're all going to die anyways. right? but i agree with the people who say that we need to stop globl warming i would like to live a full life.

posted on Sat, 02/10/2007 - 8:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I hope the world warms up! I would love that. C'mon global warming....

posted on Sun, 02/11/2007 - 11:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i hope it warms up too

posted on Fri, 02/23/2007 - 10:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Mon, 02/26/2007 - 5:43am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Wed, 02/28/2007 - 4:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

if globel warming happens its cause WE LET IT and didnt do anything while WE HAD THE CHANCE and yeah we will die it wont only kill animals it will kill everything and that incudes us the plants , animals , humans ... there will be millions of billions of deaths that we could have prevented but people these days is too lazy and wont do anything what is our society coming to . . . what are we letting happen to our beautiful world that God made for us ? in the near future globle warming will happen unless we do something about it other wise and i dont know about any of yall but i dont want to experience that ot mine or anyone elses kids have to experience that . . . i dont wanna die for something we could have prevented !

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 4:36pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

What hath Al wrought... ;-)

I think we can all calm down. While scientists agree the Earth is warming, many now argue that the various doomsday scenarios being presented in the media are extreme and unlikely to happen.

Even if the worst-case scenarios do come true, they will result in a planet cooler than it has been many times in the past. Life, even human life, will go on.

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 9:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think we should protest.. because oviously (i know i can spell! -lol-) just telling people isnt working. we need to really show people that what there doing is literaly killing our precious world that God created for us. and hes not the one thats going to flood us.. its going to be all those girl/guys driving cars EVERYWHERE, using TONS of hairspray, and all those STUPID STUPID factorys.!!

posted on Fri, 03/30/2007 - 7:59pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Those "stupid factories" make everything you own. Are you willing to give up all of your material possessions? Will you force everyone else to do the same?

posted on Sat, 03/31/2007 - 11:42am
Shanaad aka shay shay's picture
Shanaad aka shay shay says:

Hi im 11 years of age. One day i was watching the news or something and it said that we might die in 60 to 86 years if we keep on polluting the world. i dont know if this is true or if there tryin to scare use but all i konw is that ima start rycycling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


posted on Sat, 03/31/2007 - 1:04pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Recycling is a good thing. Cutting down on pollution and greenhouse gases is a good thing. But the idea that the world is going to end and all people and animals will die within a century is pretty far-fetched. Few scientists believe it; many argue that such histrionics, while they get people's attention, will ultimately backfire when the dire predictions don't come to pass.

posted on Sun, 04/01/2007 - 4:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sat, 03/31/2007 - 1:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sat, 03/31/2007 - 1:37pm
tori.j's picture
tori.j says:

we cant stop globel warming now so whats the piont in trying?????

posted on Sat, 03/31/2007 - 1:40pm
Molly Me's picture
Molly Me says:

THE Point is to not let the world get any worse than it already is. If we do something soon we could possibly safe part of the earth. THATS THE POINT OF HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT!!!!!!!!!!!! GOSH SHOULDNT PEOPLE KNOW THIS!!!!!! ;-0

posted on Sun, 04/01/2007 - 5:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have heard that all our recyled materials end up at the same dumps as our garbage. It makes you wonder how effective recyling is? Do cities provide recyling programs to make the residents feel good about doing the right thing with recycling?

posted on Sun, 04/01/2007 - 5:07pm
Molly M's picture
Molly M says:

i think it's great to recycle. If we don't recycle our planet can get dirtier than it all ready is. It would be horrible to see more animals and some people die because no one does anything to help the environment. If more people cared about these issues the world would be amuch better place to live in. That could be better for everyone. If we don't do something soon than global warming will happen and the world would not be a good place to live.

posted on Sun, 04/01/2007 - 5:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I wonder if all that Methane gas (70 billion tons) that is in the peat bog in western Siberia, might be under pressure and "Capped" by the Frozen surface. As this surface thaws, it could fracture or burst allowing all 70 billion tons of Methane (20x more potent than Carbon Dioxide) into the air very rapidly, causing a Huge Methane cloud. As this Methane Cloud moves around the planet, could it have a deadly effect on everything?.. I wonder.

posted on Mon, 04/02/2007 - 12:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

why don't people start to do things instead of just writting all this i mean its good that there are people that care about the world. but what about if you write all this up and send it to an important peson so that way they can know that people care about the future and that all people are not lazy.and that we really want something to be done. its good about the recycling thing how about we start by getting the schools involved we should get schools to have recyling program.right now im only 14 and in the 8th grade but i think that schools should start the recycling program because kids they use so much paper in school and what do they do with turn it into a paper ball and leave it on the classroom floor. the schools also give papers to students to give to their parents do you really think those papers are going to get to the parents back to the point we should get more people involved to show the important person that there are people who care and want earth to be the best it could be. i might not know much but i do know that something needs to be done. the important person should be someone with power that you know can do something about it like the government of president or maybe even the mayor. if they shut you down keep on trying and never give up.tell people about what is going on tell people about this web site do something about the problem dont let it sit in your mind.

posted on Mon, 04/02/2007 - 10:29am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Kids... Dont beleave everything your teachers are telling you about globel warming.

posted on Sat, 04/07/2007 - 6:33am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

To All

I see people blaming other people about the warming of the earth. We if this is true help it along. But I still have not see or been shown any proof that this is not a normal cycle of the earth they have no real basis to say only in the 17th century there was a warming then a cooling then a warming there are a lot of thing that can add to this more then normal sun activity volcanic activity not just man. If you are ready to lay down and let a few people that need a cause to tell you this is happening and that is happening and you believe every little detail they are telling you then why are you not walking to every were you go. I AM NOT CONVENCED THAT THIS IS JUST A NOEMAL CYCLE OF THE EARTH DUE TO THE OTHER CONTRIBUTING FACTORS. DID YOU KNOW THAT ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH WOULD FIT IN TO TEXAS? SO WHAT DOES THAT DO TO OVER POP

So show me some hard facts .Let go back farther the 150 years and find other ways to prove the facts other then tree rings ice meting or other unproven ways of testing your theories lets have facts

posted on Sat, 04/07/2007 - 7:25am
school's picture
school says:

you cant clean the air and cant refreze the artic

posted on Wed, 04/11/2007 - 11:06am
michelle's picture
michelle says:

hay im 16 and i care...globle warming is bad and everyone one knows that...but wat thay don't know is that yeah we started globle warming but we can fix it!!! its up to us to do wat is need to fix this mest up world that we live in!!! by getting ride of all the fossil fuels and start using carbon free fuels,like wind,solar,and water power!!! our parents and grandparents started this but we can end it...come on eveyone we can do it!!!! =)

posted on Sun, 04/22/2007 - 3:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think it would be a vey good idea if working hours of most factories should be reduced and fines should be ofered to whoever dosnt follow the rules

posted on Thu, 04/26/2007 - 4:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Globle warming has nothing to do with man.

posted on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 10:25pm
 Tristan Dunn's picture
Tristan Dunn says:

Hi iv been thinking about how i could help stop or even slow globle warming? And at ten years old i know it is very serious and its alredy efecting the world. It really sucks that this is all happining but what i really want to know is if im right on this? Is globle warming happining faster then we think it is? Are we all going to die out slow or fast? I hope you have some ansers and if you do that would be sweet so please get me back because the last dude did't !!! lol see you latter.BY.

posted on Wed, 05/16/2007 - 8:41pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Hi, Tristan.

Sorry no one responded right away to your last post. You're right: global warming is happening, and it could have far-ranging effects, some of which are difficult to predict.

The good news is that climate is being carefully monitored, and many sophisticated computer models are being built and used to predict what will happen in the future. These models, though, contain many "unknowns," one of which is how much people will change their behavior as we begin to grasp the seriousness of the problem.

Humans are unlikely to die out because of global warming. We're nothing if not adaptable. We may have to change where and how we live, but we won't die out. (The same can't be said for other species, though, especially those that live in the hottest, coldest, and lowest-lying areas.)

There are lots of things you can do to reduce your own personal "carbon footprint." Many of these are likely to be beneficial to your family finances, too, although they may mean some inconveniences. Your family could, for example, buy only "Energy Star" rated appliances, turn off lights when you're not in the room, don't leave chargers for things like cell phones plugged in when they're not needed, use compact fluorescent light bulbs, make sure you're not wasting hot water, drive an energy-efficient vehicle, and walk or bike more to do errands. You can sign up with your energy company to use less or to get most of your electricity from non-carbon sources. You could better insulate your house, and install more efficient windows.

All of those things will have an impact on your personal contribution to the problem.

Some people go even further. For example, some people don't buy bottled water, because it's wasteful in terms of energy to distribute it. Some people have made a decision not to fly, because flying generates lots of carbon emissions. Some people try to get most of their goods and services locally, including groceries, in the hopes that it will use less energy. (Myself, I'm not so convinced yet that that last option really makes much difference, but it could have other benefits...) Some people live entirely off the energy grid, getting all of their heating, cooling, and electricity from home-based solar/wind systems. Some people don't eat meat, particularly red meat, because cattle are amazing producers of methane, which is a greenhouse gas. You get the idea.

We won't begin to tackle the problem in a bigger way until more people, and more businesses, get on the bandwagon. So look for businesses that have made a commitment to change, and patronize them.

Educate yourself. Learn all you can, and then act on what you know. And remember that everything has tradeoffs. (Remember: wind turbines may be bad for migrating birds or bats, compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury (although not so much as the production of equivalent electricity to a regular bulb), the manufacture of solar cells is pretty toxic, and let's face it: Americans like to/need to drive.)

It's good that you care.
Thanks for writing.

posted on Wed, 05/16/2007 - 9:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

when will globle warming stop?

posted on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 5:36am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

According to some studies, the Earth's temperature peaked in 1999, and has held steady or dipped very slightly since.

posted on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 7:44am
linto's picture
linto says:

hi i am linto.i like to say to the every scientists in the global warming field to take much care about this matter.To find out some solution to tackle this problem.however we have less time because day by day every country facing the huge problems like climate changes .which are creating huge disaster like flood , increasing the sea due to melting of ice. so i once ask our scientist's to put an end fo global warming.

posted on Wed, 07/25/2007 - 5:06am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We all think, we are going to live forever ! When are we all going to wake up? There is a time and season for everthing. Yes, we are destroying our planet and to late to alter our fate. Because we can not unite or agree on little things, let alone big ones!!!! Read The Bible(our future,including globle warmming there). Read Black Elk speaks, a Sioux holly man. Who also saw what we are doing to planet in the1800's. Our own brillant minds(our Gov) will partisapate in the treaty. We are the sheep there the wolves that are rulling over us all!!!! What are we tyo do??????

posted on Thu, 08/02/2007 - 10:09am
Kristine Alexis Librado's picture

Hi. I'm 19, a senior student nurse. Just wanted to let you guys know that medical research just found out that due to global warming, a flesh-eating disease called Leishmaniasis is dramatically increasing. Leishmaniasis is caused by a parasite transmitted by the bite of a sandfly which thrives in tropical areas. If global warming won't stop now, it won't be long until the whole world gets tropical and everyone starts getting the disease. Statistics show that the disease actually occurs in 12 million people and increases by 2 million every year!!! Oooh... Scary!

posted on Fri, 08/17/2007 - 2:30am
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I had to hit up Wikipedia to learn what Leishmaniasis was.

posted on Fri, 08/17/2007 - 12:21pm
chad's picture
chad says:

we all have a part to do and if we dont act now who will?

posted on Mon, 10/01/2007 - 11:55am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

it is not warming up! it was like 40 degrees yesterday!!!

posted on Fri, 10/19/2007 - 6:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hi my name is emily im 10 years old and i am terrified of global warming. my mom has just beat ovarian cancer and in 9 years she might die anyway im scared 4 her but there is nothing i can do. Global warming is a main and serious problem people say it is a buch of bologna i dont belive that. i know that something will happen and it is coming and it is coming fast. we must hurry up and do our best if we dont we'll die. im scared of everything that their saying is gonna happen like the earth will flood and the sun will explode. it is easy for me to get scared of thing like this. I belive in god even though in the bible it says that he'll never flood the earth again but then again im scared. I'll only be 20 years old im scared of dieing. Sometimes i cry just knowing i wont be able to live my life all the way if know 1 changes what there doin to make our home this way and it also teriffeies me that my 1 year old cousin only has 9 years. I do wanna change things i dont wanna wait 10 years i wanna live my life without being scared. and knowone is making it better by killing the poor seals. Well thats all i have to say.

posted on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 6:14pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Dear Emily --

It is good that you are interested in the world around you, and it is good that you are concerned about the environment. But please do not be scared. The world is not going to end in 10 years. The Sun is not going to explode. You and your family will be able to live long, healthy lives.

The world is changing. The world always changes. One of those changes is the weather. The Earth is getting warmer. Some scientists think this is part of a natural cycle, but many others believe that human activity is at least partly responsible. However, no serious climate scientist endorses the "doomsday" scenarios that you may have seen in movies like The Day After Tomorrow or An Inconvenient Truth. In fact, many scientists worry that talk of disaster actually hurts the environmental movement. It's like the story of the boy who cried "wolf!" -- claims of disaster certainly get everyone's attention, but when the disaster doesn't happen, people are less likely to believe the next warning.

If the Earth's temperature continues to rise, there could certainly be some changes to the climate. There may be more storms and floods. Sea levels might rise. Deserts may expand. (On the other hand, warmer temperatures may help some farms, and winters will be less deadly and severe.) But these changes will happen slowly, and we will have a chance to adapt to them.

Certainly, no one has any reason to expect a major disaster that will kill all people, or wipe out all life on Earth. That is NOT going to happen. The Earth's temperature has changed much more drastically than this many times in the past. And while the change is good in some areas and bad in others, life and civilization carry on.

Now, this doesn't mean you should just sit back and do nothing. If you are concerned about the environment, there are steps you can take right now to help. Ask your family to chance from normal light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. They use a lot less energy. Ask your family to turn down the heat in winter, and the air conditioning in summer, so your home uses less energy. Turn off lights and appliances when you are not using them. Insulate your house. These steps not only help the Earth, they also save money.

But don't be scared. Be brave, take action, and ask others to join you. The Earth is going to be around a long, long time, but it's up to all of us to care for it.

posted on Mon, 10/22/2007 - 8:18am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Global Warming? OH NO!!!! We are all going to die. Come on people get real! Learn to be a little more skeptical. At least research alittle bit and stop believing everything you hear from Al Bore and HollyWierd.

posted on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 8:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Al Bore spent all this money (that he makes off this " Global warming " scam) to fix up his house. He still uses 10 times the energy as the average joe. People talk about all the money the evil " BIG OIL COMPANYS" make, but nobody ever talks about how much these environ mental wackos make.

posted on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 11:42pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Does that really matter? Obviously the messenger has an effect on the impact of the message, but no matter what Al Gore's lifestyle, the message is still pretty clear. It's kind of win-win. Hey, reduce emissions and maybe save the planet, and in the meantime, figure out how to save money by using fewer non-renewable resources.

posted on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 9:43am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Two reasons it matters:

1) Follow the money. As you noted in another thread (comment of 7/7/06):

"I *do* think it's useful to know sometimes that someone's research is funded by Mobil or by the Sierra Club. "

We are all guilty of pursuing our own self-interest. Problems arise, however, when one person turns their self-interest into policy for the rest of us.

2) As Glenn Reynolds frequently says, I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who tell me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis. Again, a certain amount of hypocrisy is just the normal human condition; nothing to get excited over. But when the people telling me I need to cut my carbon emissions are the same people who fly all over the world in private jets or who build enormous, energy-gobbling homes, I find it hard to take them seriously -- or to accept the draconian measures some of them propose.

posted on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 5:29pm
gordwick's picture
gordwick says:

You have some good points Gene, we have to keep a healthy thinking about this and try to do things we can do to in all this environmentalist dispute. It's not Al Gore that made me think about this, it's my own civil conscience. I already made my plan for energy saving at my house and the best thing that I can do right now it's to insulate it. I've already contacted Double Glazing London so I can go on with my plan. I am also considering alternative energy sources but these are future plans.

posted on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 9:04am

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