This week's big news was the publication of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report
. You want to impress your friends and amaze your relatives with your knowledge of global warming, but even the 21 page summary for policy-makers has your head spinning? Well, try not to stress. Yes, global warming is a very serious topic. But you are already here at TreeHugger and doing your best to make the right decisions when it is under your control. And we would say that it is likely
or maybe even very likely
that you will help raise awareness and at least entertain your friends and relatives, as well as yourself, by checking out the Top 10 Surprising Results of Global Warming
at livescience. (oh....excuse me... aaa. aaah. aah-choo!!)Yes, coming in at number ten: aggravated allergies. More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means more uptake by plants, which produce more pollen. (If you are hoping to rely on this to absorb the effects of mankind's contribution though...go back to the scientific report: science suggests that the mechanisms the earth uses to adapt to elevated carbon dioxide levels are at or beyond the tipping point).
Some of the top ten are less surprising and more in the didn't-think-of-that-before category: the chipmunks and squirrels are already moving to higher ground (#9), and the mountains themselves are actually standing taller as they rebound after centuries of being weighed down by heavy glaciers (#3).
And some are downright disturbing: 125 lakes have disappeared from the arctic area. The suspected cause is the thawing of the underlying permafrost, which has allowed the water to seep into the earth, "like pulling the bathtub plug" (#7). The uneven thawing of permafrost is responsible for the railway-origami shown in the photo above (#6).
Check out the series yourself to find out what comes in at number one, and detour along a couple of the links to the fascinating facts about the way spaceship earth is changing.
Image: photo credit: Australian government, also from livescience.