editor's desk  |   links  |   green market  |   comment  |   earth maps   |   press  |   advertise  |   team  |   about  |   news room   |   greener advice

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Queer youth identities

Young people today are embracing a wide range of terms to describe their
sexuality: straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, two-spirit,
questioning pansexual, down low, along with reclaiming formerly pejorative
terms like dyke and queer. They are changing the way that society thinks
about sexual orientation and gender identity.

On this edition of Making Contact, in a collaboration with KPFA's Full
Circle Apprenticeship Program, we'll examine how queer identity intersects
or collides with racial identity in the activist community. We'll also take
a look at the fluidity of identity, from labels to families.


N'Tanya Lee, Director of Youth Development, Coleman Advocates for Children
and Youth; Jose Ramirez, Health Education Coordinator, NCLYN; Kohei
Ishihara, Co-Founder, PrYSM; Caitlyn Ryan, Family Acceptance Project; Ember
Cook, COLAGE; Yu Tong, gender-queer youth; Harry Hay, gay activist and

Greener Magazine

For more information::

Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth
459 Vienna Street, San Francisco, CA 94112
415-239-0161; http://www.colemanadvocates.org

NCLYN (North Carolina Lambda Youth Network)
409 E. Chapel Hill Street, Durham, NC 27701

PrYSM (Providence Youth Student Movement)

127 Colingwood Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

Family Acceptance Project
César E. Chávez Institute
San Francisco State University
3004 - 16th St. #301
San Francisco, CA 94103

3543 18th ST #1
San Francisco, CA 94110
415-861-KIDS (5437)

SMAAC Youth Center
1738 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94612


Top of Page

10:33 PM

Sunday, May 27, 2007

WWII survivors - lessons in resilience

University of Maryland post traumatic stress disorder expert Glenn Schiraldi spent four years traveling the U.S. to talk with World War II combat veterans whose lives have been characterized by resilience. In this Q&A, Schiraldi describes his experience and what the veterans can teach us about resilience in the face of trauma and loss.

Schiraldi interviewed Tom Fields, second from left, who saw combat in the Pacific. He was an All-American runner at the University of Maryland before joining the MarinesSchiraldi interviewed
Tom Fields,
second from left

What gave you the idea for the book?

SCHIRALDI: My public health career has focused on helping people to cope with stress. Prior to the publication of this book, I'd spent five years writing The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook, which describes the nature and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can afflict survivors of combat, terrorism, rape, any kind of abuse, natural disasters, and the like. Once you get a handle on treating a psychological disorder, you then naturally begin to think about preventing it. So the next logical step was to explore resilience--the strengths of mind and character which help people facing overwhelming stress to function well and preserve their sanity. Particularly after 9/11 and the war in Iraq, with the resulting up ticks in PTSD, anxiety, and depression, it seemed imperative to better understand what resilience is and how it develops. I began to consider a group of people who might share the secrets of surviving extreme adversity.

Why did you choose WWII survivors?

SCHIRALDI: Wartime stress is a metaphor for all other forms of stress. I'd also always been fascinated by the Greatest Generation, my parents' generation. They had been steeled by the Depression and hard work, and then, of course, so many of them answered freedom's call in WWII in truly remarkable ways. The fact that I'm a graduate of West Point probably also gave me a special feeling for these people and their sacrifices. When I interviewed them, they were eighty years old on average, so they also shared profound insights on surviving challenges across the lifespan. I think that their experiences and insights have much to teach all survivors--from combat to everyday stress and strain. Not only did this remarkable group of forty-one survivors have much to say about not stumbling psychologically, but they also shared much about being strong and productive before, during, and after crises.

What were your criteria in selecting people to interview?

SCHIRALDI: I interviewed people who were survivors of combat, who returned from the war well-adjusted, and who were well-married, an enduring marriage being another indicator of good adjustment. I asked them each to tell their stories about their pre-war years and then their war years. Then I asked them about what helped them to cope--how they got through the war psychologically intact. I specifically asked what was in their hearts and minds on topics ranging from staying calm under pressure, to emotional intelligence, forgiving, humor, optimism, spirituality, meaning and purpose, love, creativity, character, and how to view suffering and loss.

How did you find the people you interviewed?

SCHIRALDI: I simply asked people if they knew individuals who met my critieria. I started with veterans I'd known for years, such as Captain Joseph Taussig, a Naval Academy graduate who lost his leg at Pearl Harbor on the USS Nevada, the only battleship to move under its own power during that battle. Sometimes the WWII survivors referred me to comrades in arms with whom they'd served and knew well. In some cases, I learned about remarkable individuals through their books or television documentaries. For example, Irene Gut Opdyke, a Polish partisan, was an extraordinary woman. Her book (In My Hands) describes how she hid twelve Jews in the basement of a villa where she kept house for a German major. The Fighter Pilot's Story started out as a video which Quentin Aanenson made to explain the strains of war to his family. It has since become a PBS documentary.

How did you manage to interview all of the people in person?

SCHIRALDI: Over a five-year period, from 2000 to 2005, I traveled the country, sometimes flying but usually driving, visiting the survivors. I almost always met with them in their homes, because I wanted to get a sense of who they are. I often met their families, and in making follow-up calls and visits, came to feel that they and their families had become like an extended family. The individuals ranged from poor coal miners and farmers to privileged urbanites. The visits covered Maine to California, and included a Navajo Code Talker, a Tuskegee Airman, Marines in the Pacific, GIs in Europe, Sailors, Airmen, prisoners of war, survivors of the Bataan Death March and the Burma-Thailand Death Railway (of Bridge Over the River Kwai fame)--virtually all aspects of the war. I loved it when they pulled out old photos and relived their memories. Many of the photos are in the book.

Were there any surprises?

SCHIRALDI: Perhaps that people can endure incredible suffering, yet still remain soft and whole inside--hopeful, loving, and happy. While we hear about the real and tragic casualties of war, we perhaps hear less about those who withstand so much, and yet return to live productive lives. This book is, in a sense, stories of those who figured out ways to keep it together. I've often thought that this was a very warm and likeable group of individuals. Sometimes trauma makes people hard and bitter inside. But that wasn't the case with these people.

What can veterans from more recent wars such as Viet Nam and Iraq learn from these WWII vets?

SCHIRALDI: I believe the strengths of resilience are timeless and universal, and that we can all still learn much from these survivors. People often ask me if I would find similar strengths in the veterans of more recent wars, and I reply, "You would in the resilient ones." It was Viktor Frankl, the Holocaust survivor, who wrote that people can withstand almost any suffering if they have a reason to, something to give their lives meaning and purpose.

What were some of the traits these people shared?

SCHIRALDI: These survivors were very clear on their lives' purposes, why they were fighting, and what kinds of lives they wished to return to. They were also very clear on matters of character. They'd decided in advance what they would and wouldn't do, and thus carried fewer regrets back home with them. Whether it was standing up to immoral orders or being faithful to loved ones, this was a remarkably moral group of individuals. For the most part, they came from close-knit families, with adults who taught them values, responsibility, respect for others and property, and the value of hard work.

What are the one or two most important life lessons you learned from these veterans as far as overcoming difficulty in life?

SCHIRALDI: Perhaps that we can't separate psychological strengths from physical, spiritual, and philosophical strengths. The philosophical and spiritual strengths, especially, grounded these survivors inside and provided comfort amidst their chaos. Also, resilience usually doesn't just appear in times of crisis, but is developed over the lifetime. It can be learned.

From a professional point of view what did you learn that can you apply in helping people recover from PTSD?

SCHIRALDI: This book really says more about developing strengths long before we need them. However, a part of resilience is also rebounding from psychological pain. This was what these survivors did so effectively. We might remember that even exceptionally resilient individuals struggled with fear and sadness from the loss of comrades who had become like family. Yet they pressed ahead, despite their pain. This is a fine treatment model: We acknowledge our pain kindly and without judging it, then we press forward despite the suffering. If we have to function (as in emergencies), then we do so to the best of our abilities. When things settle down, then we grieve so that we don't carry these sufferings inside forever.

What are some of your best memories of your experience writing the book?

SCHIRALDI: That I was privileged to get to know these individuals in ways that most people don't; that I learned things that they had sometimes not even told their families about the realities of war and developing a winner's heart. I feel like I am a better man for getting to know these people in such an intimate way. For example, Mrs. Opdyke was quite frail when I interviewed her. She had gone into the ghettos to teach young people not to hate because hatred brings war, persecution and unhappiness. She'd tell those young people that she was there because she loved them, much like Mother Teresa. They would often follow her down the street and ask for another hug. As I was leaving her home, this little woman, still beautiful, pulled my shoulders down and gave me a kiss on the cheek, and said, "You are like a son, I love you." I understood immediately why those children connected with her; it was a moment I will always cherish. When I thanked one man who had been wounded in Europe for his service, he said, "God bless you, old soldier." You don't forget memories like that. When I call these people, I consider them friends, and when I hear of one's passing, it is like losing family. I was inspired not only by what they did, but more by the people they were and are.

What else would you like to comment on?

SCHIRALDI: Traveling the backroads to locate these survivors reminded me of our country's great beauty, both from a physical perspective and also in terms of the hearts of the American people. I get a lump in my throat when I think of this generation. I want to say thank you, not only for what they did to preserve our freedoms, but for what they stood for and exemplified.

Greener Magazine

Labels: ,

Top of Page

2:05 PM

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Journalists in the crosshairs, women rising

Women are gaining influence as leaders throughout the world, fighting for peace, justice, the environment and civil society.

In this program we profile three independent journalists, unbought and unbossed. Women journalist heroines!

This Women's Desk program is a special collaboration with the Women Rising Radio Project, Lynn Feinerman and Crown Sephira Productions.


Giuliana Sgrena, Italian journalist, kidnapped by Iraqi resistance fighters while on assignment, then shot by US soldiers on her release; María Suárez, founder, FIRE: Feminist International Radio Endeavor of Costa Rica; Sarah Olson, US journalist, broke the story of Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada's refusal to deploy to Iraq.

Women Rising Producer: Lynn Feinerman
Women Rising Host: Sandina Robbins
Women Rising Engineer: Stephanie Welch

Greener Magazine

For more information::

María Suárez
FIRE: Feminist International Radio Endeavor

Sarah Olson

Giuliana Sgrena


Top of Page

9:56 PM

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Great American Backyard Campout

So you have signed up for the National Wildlife Federation's annual “Great American Backyard Campout on June 23rd. The kids are planning their to do list and you're in charge of everything else. Here are a few tips then to get you started.

No backyard camp is complete without a campfire feast. Sitting around flickering embers trading ghost stories, listening to night critters and rediscovering nature are all part of the spell and some camp cookery is a must.

First thing, besides food of course, you’ll need something to cook over. A campfire is a natural but for safety sake, not always the best solution. There are several alternatives: camp stoves, barbecues, outdoor fire bowls or fireplaces even portable gas logs but nothing so bespeaks the great outdoors as a flickering, dancing campfire. So, if you’re up to it and it's safe and not prohibited in your neighborhood here’s how to get started.

As fuel use dry (cured) wood ranging in size from small twigs to branches 1-3 inches in diameter and split logs 18-24 inches long, 6 inches in diameter You’ll need some sort of wood shavings or kindling to start the fire. Never use gasoline, lighter fluid of similar accelerant to start the fire.

Build a pyramid starting with the shavings and small broken twigs stacked in a loose pile then lay on some of the smaller branches followed by a tee-pee arrangement of from four to six pieces of the split logs. Using a long fireplace match light the kindling and you’ll soon have a glowing, crackling campfire.

As always, the best campfire safety instructions come from the U.S. Department of forestry.

  • 1. Dig a small pit away from overhanging branches.
  • 2. Circle the pit with rocks or be sure it already has a metal fire ring.
  • 3. Clear a five-foot area around the pit down to the soil.
  • 4. Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.
  • 5. Stack extra wood upwind and away from the fire.
  • 6. After lighting, do not discard the match until it is cold.
  • 7. Never leave a campfire unattended, not even for a minute.
So, be safe, have fun and camp out America, June 23rd. and be sure to send us your camp stories and photos for Greener's "Campout America" Album.

Next week, some Greener "camp" recipes for your GABC and some advice we call "Give Me Shelter".

Greener Magazine

Helpful links:: Campfire safety


Top of Page

11:46 PM

Sustainable crop solutions for Uganda

A team of American and Ugandan researchers worked with local farmers to test low-cost soil management alternatives in eastern Uganda. While each alternative soil treatment increased crop output, findings suggest that the best treatment plan varies from farmer to farmer as it is dependent on other factors.

Scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the National Agricultural Research Organization in Uganda have joined local, eastern Ugandan farmers to evaluate the effectiveness of low-cost alternatives for soil treatment. By implementing alternative soil fertility management and a reduction in crop tillage, scientists hope to help small-scale farmers increase their crop yields.

Maintaining or improving the productivity of the ancient, weathered soils of eastern Uganda is a major challenge for small-scale, resource-poor farmers. Many Ugandan farmers are forced to work with soils with negligible amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous. Often, the cost to treat soils outweighs crop profits. To prevent soil degradation throughout the region, better soil management is needed.

With the help of local Ugandan farmers, the following management alternatives were investigated:

  • Short-term fallow using mucuna, a herbaceous annual legume
  • Cowpea rotation with sorghum
  • Manure application
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus applied as fertilizer
  • Reduced tillage
Several soil fertility management practices and reduced tillage were cost effective in increasing sorghum crop yield in the region where little inorganic fertilizer is used.

“On-farm profitability and food security for sorghum production systems can be improved by use of inorganic fertilizers, manure, mucuna fallow, sorghum-cowpea rotation, and reduced tillage,” said Charles Wortmann, a co-author of the study.

The most beneficial alternative practice to increasing crop output will vary according to each farmer’s situation. While manure application may be best for fields on farms that also house animals as the source of the manure, farmers who do not have the means to purchase fertilizer may profit more from the use of the cowpea-sorghum rotation or mucuna fallow.

“The [Ugandan] farmers now participate in extension activities to inform farmers in other communities about this menu of management alternatives,” said Wortmann. “This approach to research and extension takes advantage of the local knowledge of farmers, is cost-effective, and is easily replicable for addressing crop production problems of small scale farmers throughout Africa.”

Wortmann and other scientists are continuing on-going studies to address the long-term sustainability of the alternative, low input practices.

Greener Magazine


The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) http://www.agronomy.org, the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) http://www.crops.org and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) www.soils.org



Top of Page

12:01 PM

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Marketing the military

An encore edition originally broadcast November 30, 2005

Photo: Matt Fitt (Santa Cruz Indymedia) - Students at UC Santa Cruz successfully rallied to force military recruiters off of the campus. March 5, 2005With the war in Iraq showing no sign of cooling down and recent indications of increasing threats from terrorists both foreign domestic we thought this would be an appropriate moment to rebroadcast this eye opening look at the renewed "surge" in military recruitment efforts.

The United States military has recently been pouring millions of tax dollars into recruitment efforts in an attempt to counteract well-publicized, Iraq war-influenced, recruitment dropoffs.

We'll examine several of these efforts, including a new military ad campaign aimed not only at teens, but at parents; an inside perspective at how Army recruiters fill the ranks; and counter-recruitment efforts in high schools. We'll also hear about a student-based effort to help other teens make informed choices.

For a free listener packet on military recruitment and counter-recruitment, please call us toll-free at 800-529-5736.


David Sweabe, vice president Mullen Advertising; Cathy Chan, student, Oakland Military Institute; Crystal Adair, academic success coordinator, Oakland Military Institute; Bruce Holaday, superintendent, Oakland Military Institute; Cadet Sergeant Ralph Gomez, student, Oakland Military Institute; Susan Quinlan, volunteer, Youth Empowerment School; Jen Lowe, youth organizer, Code Pink; Ruby Butler, junior, Youth Empowerment School; Zamil Bonner, counter-recruiting campaign volunteer, Youth Empowerment School; Staff Sergeant Jose Delao, recruiter, U.S. Army; Staff Sergeant Luis Green, recruiter, U.S. Army; John Davis, junior, San Leandro High School; Rosa Yost, Safeway employee.

This week's host: Tena Rubio. Contributing producers: Justin Beck and Sarah Olsen.

Greener Magazine

For more information::

Mullen Advertising, Inc.
36 Essex St.
Wenham, MA 01984

Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors
405 14th St. #205
Oakland, CA 94612
510-465-1617 x 4

The Youth Empowerment School
8251 Fontaine,
Oakland, CA 94605

Oakland Military Institute
2405 W. 14th Street Bldg 796
Oakland, CA 94607

U.S. Army Recruiting
15067B E. 14th St.
San Leandro, CA 94578

Other helpful links::

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building
Washington, D.C. 20045

Photo credit: Infoshop.org an Alternative Media Project publication


Top of Page

4:07 PM

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mothers, migrants, maids the struggle for acceptance

They are mothers, migrants and caregivers to our children and our elders. Domestic workers are the backbone of many American families, their own families and their communities.

On this edition, through their own words, we pay tribute to the many working women of color who are struggling for acceptance, recognition and their rights.

Immigration to many countries starts with the domestic caregivers, willing to submit to minial labor for the chance at citizenship. Often that labor is rooted in family traditions of love, caring and devotion.


Radha Kanan, Christine Lewis, Joyce Frances. Erline Brown, Marina Lopez, Joyce Campbell and Bertha, domestic workers; Sylvia, domestic worker and volunteer for Mujeres Unidas y Activas; Inez Lazarte, volunteer organizer, Women's Collective of La Raza Centro Legal.

Senior Producer/Host: Tena Rubio
Contributing Freelance Producers: Mitch Jeserich and the Community News Institute
Associate Producer Intern: Alexis McCrimmon
Translation: Frank Rubio and Jill Shenker

Greener Magazine

For more information::

Data Center
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 900
Oakland, CA 94612

Day Labor Program
Women's Collective of La Raza Centro Legal
474 Valencia Street, Suite 295
San Francisco, CA 94103

Mujeres Unidas y Activas ­ San Francisco, CA
3543 18th Street, #23
San Francisco, CA 94110

Mujeres Unidas y Activas ­ Oakland, CA
2647 International Blvd., Suite 701
Oakland, CA 94601

Domestic Workers United
2473 Valentine Avenue
Bronx, NY 10458
718-220-7391 x11 or 23; domesticworkersunited@gmail.com

United Domestic Workers of America
2760 5th Ave. Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92103
619-641-1190; 800-621-5016; unionheadquarters@udwa.org

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
2533 W. Third Street, Suite 101
Los Angeles, CA 90057
213-353-1333; info@chirla.org

National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (NNIRR)
310-8th St., Suite 303
Oakland, CA 94607
510-465-1984; nnirr@nnirr.org

National Immigrant Solidarity Network
ActionLA/The Peace Center
8124 West 3rd Street, Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90048
213-403-0131; Info@ActionLA.org

More reading:: Aid with an ACCENT
Immigrants increasingly providing care to elderly Americans


Top of Page

2:12 PM

Sunday, May 13, 2007

First things first, what to eat

If you are looking for a way to encourage your children eat their fruits and vegetables, search no further than your backyard. A new study by researchers at Saint Louis University recently revealed that involving children in the planting and harvesting of backyard gardens encourages interest in both nature and nutrition.

Preschool children in rural areas eat more fruits and vegetables when the produce is homegrown. “When children are involved with growing and cooking food, it improves their diet,” says Debra Haire-Joshu, Ph.D., director of Saint Louis University’s Obesity Prevention Center and a study author.

So, along with your "Great American Backyard Campout" on June 23rd, perhaps make a stop in your own garden or a local farmer's market - if you don't already have a garden - and do a little "Local" foraging for your campfire fair.

Greener Magazine

A few campfire recipes to get you started:: http://camping.about.com/cs/campingrecipelinks/l/blrecsub.htm


Top of Page

9:27 AM

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Great American backyard campout June 23

High gas prices putting a crimp in your summer vacation plans? Head out the back door to experience a night with Mother Nature. You don't need to go to Yosemite to experience the great outdoors and the National Wildlife Federation can help. So put down the remote and mouse, grab the family, friends and neighbors and enjoy a noctural backyard adventure.

Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation to encourage parents and kids alike to turn in their tv remotes, ipods, Playstations, computers, MP3 players, cell phones and all things high tech, and experience a night with Mother Nature including listening for nocturnal wildlife (maybe even see a few), star-gazing, cooking over an open fire, telling stories about Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, and exploring a whole other world right in their own backyard.

Last year over 60,000 families from around the country participated in the Backyard Campout. You don’t need to go to Yosemite to experience the great outdoors and the wonders it has to offer. Just open up your backdoor.

Where: Backyards across America
When: Saturday night, June 23, 2007
Who: Families, friends, neighbors

Why: This initiative is part of a National Wildlife Federation campaign to rescue our nation’s kids from what famed author Richard Louv calls “nature deficit disorder.” Research now shows that kids spend an average of 44 hours per week staring at electronic screens, tv, video games and computers -- for the first time in our country’s history, we have an entire generation that is growing up disconnected from nature.

This can lead to a weaker immune system, greater dependency on ADHD drugs, lost creativity, less self-sufficiency, lack of interest in maintaining the wildlife legacy they have inherited. To say nothing of the good old-fashioned fun they are missing.

Get Started::

The National Wildlife Federation is provding everything you need to head out into the great outdoors called your backyard. The web site has packing lists, recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, exploration activities, nature guides. Check it out at www.backyardcampout.org. People can even sign up on the site to share their campout plans and experiences.

Greener Magazine

Camping out in your backyard? If you've signed up to campout this June 23rd for the Great Americam Backyard Campout, send us your family fun in words or pictures to Campout@GreenerMag.com, We'll publish as many as we can with our readers here and abroad. Share the experience!

Watch here for more camping tips, links and campfire tales in the weeks to come.



Top of Page

3:29 PM

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Border stories

Immigration reform is the hot button issue in the U.S. Talk to your colleagues, friends or family, about it, and you're certain to spark a debate about what should be done with the 12 million undocumented people working and living in this country.

photo: Chicago Typewriter

links to Chicago Typewriter article,

'Immigration and the Minutemen'

In fact, the U.S. Congress remains deadlocked over the issue, each side unable to hammer out a compromise that makes sense. So why is there so much debate?

On this edition, people who've risked their lives to enter the U.S. undocumented share their personal stories of why they came, and what they hope for their futures and the future of immigrants in this country.


Alicia and Yvette, sisters and Mexican immigrants from Oaxaca; Geoffrey Boyce and Waffle, volunteers, No More Deaths; Debbie Weingarten, volunteer coordinator, No More Deaths; Delmy, Mexican immigrant from Yucatan; Gustavo Soto, U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector; Francisco Geronimo, Mexican immigrant from Puebla; Michelle, Brazilian immigrant; Assie Sampa, Cuban immigrant; Blanca Lopez, Nicaraguan immigrant; Elka Goodin, Jamaican immigrant; Ramon Martinez, Cuban refugee now U.S. citizen; Marleine Bastien, founder/executive director, FANM Ayisyen Nan Miyami Inc. (Haitian Women of Miami); Katiana Des Arnes, student.

Senior Producer/Host: Tena Rubio.
Making Contact Intern Producer: Stefana Petrova. Contributing Producers: Nancy Hand, Esther Manilla.

Greener News Room

For more information::

National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (NNIRR)
310 8th St., Ste. 303
Oakland, CA 94607
510-465-1984; fax 510-465-1885; nnirr@nnirr.org

Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
2533 W. 3rd Street, Suite 101
Los Angeles, CA 90057

ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Institute for Policy Studies
1112 16th Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
202-234-9382; fax: 202-387-7915; info@ips-dc.org

No More Deaths
3809 E. 3rd Street
Tucson AZ, 85716
520-495-5583; action@nomoredeaths.org

FANM Ayisyen Nan Miyami Inc./ Haitian Women of Miami
8325 NE 2nd Avenue, Suite 100
Miami, FL 33138
305-756-8050; info@fanm.org

Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299

National Immigrant Solidarity Network

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
2533 W. Third St., Ste. 101
Los Angeles, CA 90057
213-353-1333; fax 213-353-1344; info@chirla.org

Further reading:: Chicago Typewriter: 'Immigration and the Minutemen'


Top of Page

11:00 AM

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Arctic ice retreating more quickly than projected

Arctic sea ice is melting at a significantly faster rate than projected by even the most advanced computer models, concludes a new study, released today. The research, by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), shows that the Arctic's ice cover is retreating more rapidly than estimated by any of the 18 computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in preparing its 2007 assessments.

The study, "Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Faster Than Forecast?" appears today in the online edition of Geophysical Research Letters. It was led by Julienne Stroeve of the NSIDC and funded by the National Science Foundation, which is NCAR's principal sponsor, and by NASA.

"While the ice is disappearing faster than the computer models indicate, both observations and the models point in the same direction: the Arctic is losing ice at an increasingly rapid pace and the impact of greenhouse gases is growing," says NCAR scientist Marika Holland, one of the study’s co-authors.

The authors compared model simulations of past climate with observations by satellites and other instruments. They found that, on average, the models simulated a loss in September ice cover of 2.5 percent per decade from 1953 to 2006. The fastest rate of September retreat in any individual model was 5.4 percent per decade. (September marks the yearly minimum of sea ice in the Arctic.) But newly available data sets, blending early aircraft and ship reports with more recent satellite measurements that are considered more reliable than the earlier records, show that the September ice actually declined at a rate of about 7.8 percent per decade during the 1953-2006 period.

"This suggests that current model projections may in fact provide a conservative estimate of future Arctic change, and that the summer Arctic sea ice may disappear considerably earlier than IPCC projections," says Stroeve.


The study indicates that, because of the disparity between the computer models and actual observations, the shrinking of summertime ice is about 30 years ahead of the climate model projections. As a result, the Arctic could be seasonally free of sea ice earlier than the IPCC- projected timeframe of any time from 2050 to well beyond 2100.

Artic September sea ice extent: observations and model runsThe authors speculate that the computer models may fail to capture the full impact of increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Whereas the models indicate that about half of the ice loss from 1979 to 2006 was due to increased greenhouse gases, and the other half due to natural variations in the climate system, the new study indicates that greenhouse gases may be playing a significantly greater role.

There are a number of factors that may lead to the low rates of simulated sea ice loss. Several models overestimate the thickness of the present-day sea ice and the models may also fail to fully capture changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation that transport heat to polar regions.


Although the loss of ice for March is far less dramatic than the September loss, the models underestimate it by a wide margin as well. The study concludes that the actual rate of sea ice loss in March, which averaged about 1.8 percent per decade in the 1953-2006 period, was three times larger than the mean from the computer models. March is typically the month when Arctic sea ice is at its most extensive.

The Arctic is especially sensitive to climate change partly because regions of sea ice, which reflect sunlight back into space and provide a cooling impact, are disappearing. In contrast, darker areas of open water, which are expanding, absorb sunlight and increase temperatures. This feedback loop has played a role in the increasingly rapid loss of ice in recent years, which accelerated to 9.1 percent per decade from 1979 to 2006 according to satellite observations.

Walt Meier, Ted Scambos, and Mark Serreze, all at NSIDC, also co-authored the study.

Greener News Room

Title: Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Faster Than Forecast?
Authors: Juliene Stroeve, Marika Holland, Walt Meier, Ted Scambos, Mark
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters


Top of Page

3:09 PM