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Monday, August 26, 2013

TIMELINE AND CHRONOLOGY FOR THE HISTORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL DISASTERS- 360 Million BC to 2013

HISTORY IN THE NEWS

Dedicated to the background of contemporary events around the world. 


TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

360 million BC- 70% of life forms on earth destroyed in a cataclysm.
200 to 2 million BC- the world is much warmer than it is now.
Cretaceous Epoch
100 million BC- the Cretaceous period- height of warming- 6 to 8 degrees above present temperatures. High levels of C02. Significant changes in levels of C02 are detectable on spans of 1 million years. “Barring a radical change in the manner in which energy is utilized in the future, continued depletion of the fossil fuel reservoir in the next few centuries could result in levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases that are comparable to the warm time period of the Cretaceous.”- Remembrance of Things Past: Greenhouse Lessons from the Geologic Record by Thomas J. Crowley.
First Cooling Begins.
-despite cooling, sub-tropical plants and animals still live far to the north.
65 million BC- end of the age of dinosaurs, whose remains have been found as far north as Alaska.
Eocene Epoch
53 million BC- age of the mammals- tropical plant and primate remains have been found near the arctic circle.
24 million BC- Miocene Epoch

5 million BC- Pilocene Epoch
-hominids walk the earth.
1.6 million BC- Pleistocene Period or Early Stone Age.
-homo erectus.
1 million BC- global climate is considerably warmer than today. Sea levels are higher by as much as 100 to 300 meters.
-in the last 800,000 years there have been about 17 significant peaks and valleys of temperature change. The high peaks represent interglacial periods.
Holstein Period in Western Europe- 700,000 to 123,000 BC.
620,000 BC- Ice age peaks (at its coldest)
420,000 BC- Ice age peaks (at its coldest). Warming begins.
Hoxinian Phase of the Hostein Inter-glacial Period. Middle Pleistocene.
330,000 BC- high sea-levels- 25 meters higher than present- the Hoxinian is named for Hoxne in eastern England.
-development of mixed woodlands in England.
320,000 BC- Ice age peaks.
-during interglacial warming periods advances appear in human development.
The Saale Glaciation Ice Age in northern Europe.
250,000 BC- Ice Age peaks
-Ice age ends, interglacial warming begins.
200,000 BC- northern Europe is semi-tropical.
-appearance of early homo sapiens.
140,000- BC- Ice age peaks (at its coldest)..
130,000 BC- next interglacial warming- temperatures similar to the present.
130,000 BC- 120,000 BC- sea levels are 5-8 meters higher than at present.
125,000 BC- end of the Saale Ice Age.
The ‘Eemian’ or Last Interglacial warming; beginning of Upper Pleistocene or Middle Paleolithic
123,000 BC- in some regions, a period of warming similar to that of the present day.
120,000 BC- ‘Barbados III’ high sea levels.
-homo sapiens Neanderthalis- stone carving, stone tools. Brain capacity is close to that of modern man.
-humid tropics on the Arabian Sea coasts.
115,000-80,000 BC –cool, wet period in Europe.
The Last Ice Age
100,000 BC –Last Ice Age begins- The advance and retreat of ice ages is attributed to the Milankovitch effect- slow changes in the orbit of the earth which change the effect of solar radiation on the earth’s surface.
-‘Saint Germain 1’ heavy forest in NE France.
-‘Barbados II’ high sea levels.
-modern Homo Sapiens or ‘Crogmagnon’ man adapts relatively well to colder conditions.
-near the equator, reduction of tropical rain forests and expansion of savannas. Northern tundras are dry.
-abundant horses and reindeer in western Europe. Mammoths provide great quantities of meat which keeps well in cold temperatures.
-CO2 , CH4 and nitreous oxide, commonly known as green-house gases are at low levels.
-due to ice and low sea levels, early humans cross the Bering Strait from Asia to populate North and South America.
80,000 BC- cooling becomes more rapid. ‘Barbados I’ sea levels equal to present. Most human settlement remains south of the Alps.
70,000 BC- low sea levels allow migrations from Asia to Australia and Asia across the Bering Straits to North America.
-heavy ‘St. Germain 2' mixed oak and woodland in NE France.
50,000 BC- homo sapiens sapiens.
End of Upper Pleistocene or Late Stone Age.
30-20,000 BC- cooling or climatic deterioration forces migrating peoples south from Alaska.
-Neolithic man thrives in the Tibesti Massif, now the center of the Sahara desert.
20,000 BC- maxumum cold of last ice age. Ice sheets 2 km thick extend as far south as St. Louis Missouri. Sea levels, due to evaporated water stored in ice sheets, are 105 meters below what they are today.
-human habitation driven south of the Alps. Mammoth hunting for food and shelter.
16,000 BC- due to low sea levels, ( 130 meters below present levels) humans cross a land bridge from Asia to Australia.
The present Holocene Period Begins with the Late Peleolithic Age.
15,000 BC–present Global Warming begins.
-plains begin to give way to forests,
Late Paleolithic.
-sea levels begin to rise, a trend that will continue until about 5,000 BC at a meter per century.
13,000 BC- due to the arrival of warm winds, wheat-fields begin to be sown in the northern Middle East.
-the land bridge of the Bering Strait is finally cut.
Mesolithic Age.
12,000-6000 BC- polar ice cap shrinks, ending the Last Ice Age.
12,200- 11,800 BC- the Bolling warm period in northern Europe- period of rapid settlement,
-intense cold period- the Older Dryas
11,600- 10,800 BC- the Allerod warm period in northern Europe- period of rapid settlement.
-human development becomes more rapid.
-water level rises, cutting off Australian Aboriginies from East Asia. Britain is cut off from Europe; Scandinavia from Germany; Russia from Alaska.
-European grasslands replaced with hardwood forest,
9,000 BC -first permanent settlements start to appear in the Fertile Crescent.
-humans start populating coastal settlements.
7,000 BC- farming begins in the Fertile Crescent.
The ‘Atlantic Optimum’- the Holocene Interglacial; the Neolithic Age.
6,000 BC world-wide warming increases- caused by a massive flood of fresh water into the Atlantic ocean; a warming trend that will last to the present day. Climate change on this scale usually lasts for 10,000 years.
-heavy humid tropical growth on the Arabian Sea.
-the decline in precipitation of the African-Asian Monsoon causes a drying out especially in North Africa and the Middle East which continues to this day.
-heavy ‘St Germain 2’ mixed oak and woodlands in NE France.
Holocene Maximum; Chalcolithic (Copper) age.
-‘golden age’ and ‘garden of eden’ myths of abundance are born.
5,500-2,350 BC- trend toward humidity in the Sahara.
-agriculture begins in the valley of the Indus and Mesopotamia.
Proto Dynatic Period.
4,200- 4,000 BC- Danubian people in the Rhine region begin growing grains brought from the Middle East due to temperate climate shift.
4,000-3,000 BC- the warm, ‘sunny’ millennium, world-wide, said to be similar to today but this example cannot be used to project a similar pattern into the future.
-CO2 , CH4 and nitreous oxide, commonly known as green-house gases increase to levels found in modern, pre-industrial times.

Bronze Age- dawn of human pollution,
3000 BC- the period of warming culminates. Warming ceases.
2000 BC- drought wipes out much of the population in Mesopotamia.
-first cities and towns: air pollution from tanneries, dust, manure and smoke. Water pollution is especially bad in ancient Rome; in India and Israel, religious purity laws keep water cleaner.
-timbering strips land in Phoenicia, Italy, Greece, Babylon, Italy.

Iron Age.
1000 BC- temperatures decline. Rainfall increases.
850 BC- 1660 AD- while many fires occurred during severe drought conditions, an increase in the number of fires during 850 BC and 1660 AD can be attributed to human influence. (Wikipedia)
-The Pessimum of the Iron Age.
450 BC- a cold wave in Europe.

Greece
500-400 BC- decline of the ‘northern Bronze Age' in Europe.
250 BC- declining rainfall helps to put an end to the agrarian age of the Roman Republic. Dependence on corn and wheat shifts to the cultivation of olive orchards and vineyards. Gradually, grain has to be imported.

Rome
1 AD- 1750- Charcoal evidence from the Americas suggested a general decrease in wildfires between 1 AD and 1750 compared to previous years. (Wikipedia) 
170 AD- climate dampens; but Rome’s best land is taken up by olive groves and vineyards, so grain still has to be imported.
400 AD- gradual drying out of the steppe and Gobi desert help to prompt the Barbarian invasions of Rome.
Serious soil erosion in Italy, due to over-grazing by goats has been held as a contributing cause for the fall of the Roman Empire.

Medieval Warm Periods.
1000- warming trend begins.
1050-1200- Wildfires typically occurred during periods of increased temperature and drought. An increase in fire-related debris flow in alluvial fans of northeastern Yellowstone National Park was linked to the period between AD 1050 and 1200, coinciding with the Medieval Warm Period. (Wikipedia)
1100-1200- warming trend reaches its high point.- although it remains uncertain whether this was true around the globe.
1200- The Pessimum of the Modern Age.
-heavy rains ruin English crops and vineyards.
1250 AD- glaciers begin to grow.
1276-1299- Great Drought in SW America- Indians driven southward.
1300-1800- general growth of glaciers causes a cold wet period.
-fishing replaces agriculture in Scandinavia.
1310-1323- rainy period in Europe.
1315- Europe: year of floods.

The ‘Little Ice Age’
1300-1500- cooling of the global climate.
1300-1350- fishing replaces cereal-growing in Iceland.
The Bubonic and other plagues wipe out populations in Europe and Asia, gradually prompting a  movement toward public health.
Large regions made vulenerable to erosion due to heavy wood cutting and timber clearing throughout the middle ages in England, France and Germany.
1450-1890- the ‘Little Ice Age’ at its broadest definition. Rivers freeze in areas where they are unfrozen today and glaciers reach their lowest altitude.

Warming 'Interruption"
1460-1550- southwest Baltic and Thames River remain unfrozen.
-warm period peters out in 1550.

Cooling Continues
1550- cooling in Europe.
1588- an immense storm in the English Channel sinks the Spanish Armada, killing about 20,000 sailors.
1590-1850- the “long advance” of the glaciers.
1590-1650- cold winters in Europe. Crop failures in Scandinavia.
1600-1710- advance of glaciers accelerates
1630-1699- repeated periods of bad harvest in Europe.
1689-1698- severe cold in Europe: the ‘Little Ice Age.
1693-1694- very poor harvests in Europs.
1697- famine kills 1/3 of population of Finland.
1709- severe cold; crop failure and famine in Europe.

Warming returns very slowly after Little Ice Age.
1710- glaciers reach their maximum.
1710-1750- cold winters persist but summers are warmer in Europe.
1740- ‘arctic’ winter in Europe.
The environment becomes a concern during the Enlightenment as free-thinking individuals begin to denounce slums, poor drinking water and inhumane conditions in prisons.
1750-1800- cold springs, warm autumns in Europe.
1750-1870-  a period of increased wildfire frequency between 1750 and 1870 was suggested by charcoal data from North America and Asia, attributed to human population growth and influences such as land clearing practices. (Wikipedia)
1756- the Lisbon earthquake.
1765-1775- cold, wet summers in Europe.
1755- the 'flour war'- the poor in the Paris region revolt over shortages.
1780- massive hurricane sweeps the Caribbean, leaving 20,000 dead.
Water pollution recognized as a serious problem in the Unites States by Benjamin Franklin.
1788- July 13- hail storm destroys the French harvest.
1789- severe food shortages in France.
1798- The food supply is bound to be outstripped by population increase leading to inevitable starvation if not stemmed by vice, disease, or 'self restraint' according to Thomas Malthus in his Essay on Population. 

The Industrial Revolution Increases Greenhouse Gases
1800-1870 - Level of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) in the atmosphere, as later measured in ancient ice, is about 290 ppm (parts per million)
1816- worst summer on record in northern Europe: frost in July followed by famine,
1824- Fourier calculates that the Earth would be far colder if it lacked an atmosphere
1825- Miramichi NB, Canada- forest fire kills 160. 
1849-1905- major drought in Arizona.
-water pollution caused by the dripping of tar from coal gas into river.
-air pollution from coal smoke and chemical factories.
-Mean global temperature (1850-1870) is about 13.6°C. 
-First Industrial Revolution. Coal, railroads, and land clearing speed up greenhouse gas emission, while better agriculture and sanitation speed up population growth.
1851 -wilderness conservation gets its first boost in the U.S. when a great tree "the Mother of the Forest" is cut down to a storm of protest which leads in turn to the inauguration of the a national parks system.
1855- water pollution  is discovered as the cause for cholera when a London epidemic is traced to a contaminated pump by Dr. John Snow.

Little Ice Age is Over- 1856- warming: glaciers begin to retreat.
-urban epidemics of typhoid and cholera vindicate the protests of reformers pointing to appalling poverty, filth and water contaimation in the urban slums of Britain and America.
-incidents of heavy smog  lead to deaths in London and other large cites in Britain.
1864- cyclone in Calcutta kills 70,000.
1870-1950- glaciers in retreat.
1871- Oct- Peshtigo, Michigan- The single worst wild fire in U.S. history, in both size and fatalities, is known as the Great Peshtigo Fire which burned 3.8 million acres (5,938 square miles) and killed at least 1,500 in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the week of October 8-14, 1871.
1876- cyclone in Bangladesh kills about 215,000.
1876-1879- 9 million die from drought and famine in China.
1881- typhoon is China kills 300,000.
1881- the Thumb forest fire in Michigan burns 1 million acres and kills 282.
-water pollution as a source of disease gradually being understood by science.
1883- ash from the explosion of Karakatoa volacano may have caused cooling, by diffusing 18 cubic kilometers of dust through the air, blocking the sun.
1887- about 1 million die in flooding when China's Yellow River overflows its banks.
1889- Johnstown Flood (Penn) killes 2,200 after heavy rainfall and dam failure.

The Warming North Atlantic.
1890-1940- warming in north Atlantic areas like Europe and the United States. Less pronounced warming in India, Indonesia and the Middle East. Northeastern Canada, most of South America, southwest Africa, Central Asia, Pakistan, the Indian Ocean, southeast Asia nd Australia are unaffected.
1890-1940- in subtropical areas: decrease in rainfall, fewer cyclones, expansion of arid zones.
1890-1950- infrequency of volcanic eruptions and absence of volcanic cloud said to be a partial cause of warming.
1890- European glaciers begin to retreat.
1892- London smog results in 1,000 deaths.
1892- Arrhenius, a Swedish chemist is pioneer in the theory of global warming increased by C02 greenhouse gases.
1894- Hinckley Forest Fire, Minnesota, kills 418.

The Progressive Era.
-food and water safety, sanitation, workplace pollution, living and working conditions for the poor and working classes receive attention in the U.S. from reformers in the 'Progressive Era.'
1900- Galveston Texas hurricane kills 6,000.
-land conservation and a 'wise' use policy for commercial lumbering  put forward  by US president Teddy Roosevelt. John Muir opposes 'wise use' and instead advocates universal wilderness preservation.
-social activists make progress in a sllow, uphill battle.
-struggle for conservation and urban reform is waged by the Women's Club and the Sierra Club.
1906- San Francisco earthquake and fire kills about 600. 
1907- famine in China kills about 20 million.
1909- F4 tornado in Brinkley, Arkansas kills 49.
1910- forest fire burns 3 million acres in Idaho and Montana, leaving 86 dead.

1914-1918- World War I produces Mass Industrialized Societies.
1916- The Netherlands. North Sea storms flood lowlands. 10,000 lives lost.
1916- Matheson forest fires- Ontario, Canada- kills 244.
1920-1940- marginal warming in the Mediterranean.
1921- droughts in the Ukraine and elsewhere in the Soviet Union kill around 5 million.
1924- pollution of the US Atlantic seaboard leads to the National Coast Anti-pollution League which in turn gets an international oil dumping treaty passed in the US Congress.
1925- the Tri-state tornado in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana kills 700.
1928- drought ad famine in China kill 3 million.
1929-1938- warming summers in Poland, Lapland and Russia.
-leaded gasoline brought in for universal use by General Motors despite the determined activism of Alice Hamilton.
1930s- acceleration of warming in the Arctic.
1931- flooding in China kills 3.7 million.
1932- famine in Russia kills 5 million.
1936- 5 million die in China's 'New Famine'.
1935- the Great Labour Day Hurricane hits the Florida Keys- the strongest ever upon landfall.
1938- North China. Chinese forces blow up dikes on the Huang He to impede Japanese advance. Estimated 1 million lives lost.
1939- Victoria, Australia, Black Friday bush fore kills 71.
1940-1970- no further warming in the Arctic.
1941-42- 3 million dead in famines in China.
Auto, chemical and oil companies of the US working with the Nazi company Farben to develop leaded gasoline. Meanwhile the development of synthetic rubber is put to a stop.

The Mid-20th Century Climatic Optimum
-chemicals from renewable resources and synthetic rubber are finally used by the allies to win the war.

1942-1953- balmy, optimum summers in Europe.
1948- deadly smog- Dora, Pennsylvania.
1948- individual responsibility toward humanity and the world first treated in Aldo Leopold's 'Sand County Almanac.'
1949- Callendar, a British scientist connects the 10% increase in C02 gases between 1850 and 1940 to the warming of Europe and North America since the 1880s.

1950- hurricanes start to be named alphabetically.

The Optimum Gives way to 3 decades of Cooling s Urban air pollution increases.
1950-1980- a cooling trend.
1952- December smog in London held responsible for deaths of 4,000.
1952- flood in Devon kills dozens.
1953- deadly smog in New York.
1953- storms and flooding kill dozens in East Anglia.
1953- Mendocino Park Forest fire kills 15 firefighters in California
1955- first international air pollution conference. 
1956- Deadly smog in London.
1957- increasing CO2 build-up detected by Scripps Oceanographic institute.  
1958- Typhoon Vera in Japan kills 5,000.
1958- Keeling, a scientist with the Kripps Institute makes the first reliable measurements of C02 at 312 parts per million and rising in the atmosphere at the Mona Loa observatory in Hawaii.
1962- last major smog in London.
1960-1970- Fires in the 1960's and 1970's charred about 1 million hectares of land in each year. “So it's already doubled in the last 40 years (2011)...and we've published work that shows this is directly due to human caused climate change,” says Dr. Flannigan, Professor with the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta and Canadian Forest Service researcher.

Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring'.
1962- perhaps the first widespread, public warning about the environment appears with Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring.'
1962- the Ethyl corporation is sold off, having developed leaded oil for General Motors and Standard Oil 
1963- planetary cooling accompanied by subtropical rainfall.
1965- US Senate hearings reveal falsified research into leaded gasoline.
1966- famine in India kills 1.5 million
1967-Tasmanian bush fires kill 62..
1969- Hurricane Camille, hits Gulf Coast in US killing hundreds- strongest of 20th century.

River of Fire, Love Canal and Three Mile Island.
1969-  oil and chemicals saturating the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland, Ohio catch fire on June 22, leaving an entire river in flames.
1969- Conference on Man and His Environment  in  San Franciso.
1969- famine in China kills about 200 million.
1970- Cyclone and tidal wave in Bangladesh kills about 300,000.
1970- Environmental Protection Agency inaugurated by US government.
1971- 100,000 killed in floods in Viet Nam.
1971- Orissa State, India. Cyclone and sea surge hit the coast. 10,000 lives lost.
1972- blizzards kill 4,000 in Iran.
1973- monsoons in India kill 1,200.
1974- April 3-4th -340 killed in 148 separate tornados in US.
1977- 20,000 killed by cyclone in India.
-air pollution significantly reduced by use of catalytic converters in new cars using unleaded fuel.
-water pollution in North America is alleviated by sewage treatment technology as rivers and lakes are brought back to life.
1978- decades of dumping toxic waste into the Niagara Falls NY Love Canal before it was covered over and built with housing ends in a waste explosion and the poisoning of homes and yards for hundreds lof residents. 
1979- a partial core meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania draws attention to the dangers of nuclear technology.
1979- Hurricane David kills 2,000 in Caribbean and Eastern US.
-the pollution of the ground, water and air with toxic chemicals continues to be a serious problem.

Greenhouse Effect Believed Beyond Doubt.
1980: Greenhouse effect becomes apparent with warming trend. International committees get down to work.
1981- Nov 21- 104 tornadoes hit the UK.
1983- Ash Wednesday forest fires in Australia kill 1/2 million livestock and 76 people.
1984- Dec. 2- gas poisoning kills over 2,000 in an industrial accident at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal India.
1985- a conference of the United Nations Environmental Program and the World Meteorological Organization establishes scientific consensus on global warming.
1985- environmental activism receives a blow but with publicity as the Greenpeace vessel, the Rainbow Warrior is bombed in New Zealand by French secret service agents.

Chernopbyl, the Ozone Layer and the Exxon Valdez.
1986- major meltdown of  a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in the Ukraine leaves long-term damage to people, plant and animal life

1987- the destruction of the ozone layer by fluorocarbons finally gets a response from margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan when they sign the Montreal Protocol.
1988- the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lays down international consensus on scientific conclusions about climate change.
1989- March 24- a massive tract of Alaskan shoreline is fouled, destroying sea life, plant life and livelihoods as the Exxon Valdez tanker runs aground spilling ten million gallons of crude oil into the Pacific.
1989- tornado kills 1,300 in Bangladesh.
1990- globally, the hottest year on record.
1990- the first IPCC report leads to negotiations for a United nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (FCCC).
1991- last London smog.
1991- 130,000 killed in Bangladesh cyclone.
-war-related environmental disaster created when Persian Gulf conflict ends in thousands of burning oil wells.
1992- hurricane Andrew in Florida causes 26 billion dollars in damage.
The FCCC and the IPCC.
1992- Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro- countries meet to sign the United nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (FCCC) . The Convention's goal is to "prevent dangerous (human) interference with the climate system." Industrialized nations agree to implement policies and measures with the aim of stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at 1990 levels by 2000.
1993- the Great Midwest Flood in Mississippi Valley causes 18 billion dollars in damage.
1994- international protest concerning the probable environmental impact of China's Three Gorges Dam fails to stop construction from beginning on schedule.
1994- March 24- the FCCC signed at Rio DeJaneiro in 1992 comes into effect.
1995- environmental activist Ken Siro Wawa executed by the Nigerian government after criticizing  oil drilling practices of  Shell oil which worked closely with Nigeria.
1995- the First Conference of the Parties (CoP1) of the FCCC held in Berlin.The second IPCC report declares ". . . the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate." This is a new benchmark of international scientific consensus.

1996- -Second Annual Conference of the Parties (CoP2) held in Geneva. Conference endorses the IPCC finding of a "discernible human influence on global climate" and that "projected change in climate will result in significant, often adverse, impacts on many ecological systems and socio-economic sectors, including food supply and water resources and on human health."
1997-2013- Floods in Manitoba, Canada in 1997, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013.
1998- Floods- Sudan. Torrential rains flood the Nile. 1.5 million homeless in Khartoum area; numbers of dead unknown.
1998- Floods- Central and northeastern China. Disastrous river flooding leaves more than 3,000 dead, 5 million homes destroyed, and tens of millions of farmland hectares submerged; 14 million people are evacuated.
1998- Hurricane Mitch causes huge damage in Honduras.
1998- 2,200 forest fires in Florida require evacuation of 80,000.
1999- 318 MPH tornado hits Oklahoma City.
2000- U.S.- summer of forest forest throughout US burns about 7.2 million acres in the west and southwest.

Kyoto.
2001-  Ex-President Bill Clinton's pro-environmental policy gives way to deregulation in favour of industry under President-elect George Bush. 
2001- July 7- 178 countries sign onto the Kyoto protocol on the reduction of Greenhouse gases.
 2001- extreme flooding in Viet Nam and Cambodia
2001- extreme flooding in Mozambique and southeast Africa.

2003- Siberia- taiga forests- one day in June satellites recorded 157 fires burning 27,181,000 acres (42,470 square miles) simultaneously.
2003- July 30- Kamloops, McLure forestfire started by careless tossing of cigarette- destroyed 72 homes.
2003- Oct- devastating cedar forest fires burn 800,000 acres in California and kill 24
2003-  Dec 26-   Bam earthquake, Iran- Bam (Iran) Earthquake 26,271 people were killed when the city of Bam, Iran was flattened by a 2003 earthquake. The earthquake’s magnitude was 6.6 and 80 percent of the area’s buildings were damaged or destroyed, likely because Iran lacks an earthquake education program and most of the buildings were made of mud brick. 
2004- Hurricanes Charlie, Francis, Ivan and Jean hit Florida, causing 22 billion in damage.

Hurricane Katrina
2005- Hurricane Katrina leaves thousands dead and over a million homeless in new Orleans.
2005- scientists observe rapid melting of the polar ice caps and a slowing of the Gulf stream which warms northern Europe.
2005- Floods in Manitoba, Canada in 1997, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013.
2006- forest fires and drought in western Canada.
2006- Jan-March- wildfires throughout the US southern plains.
2007- South Asia. Heavy rains, flash floods, and landslides during the monsoon season displace approximately 16 million people in South Asia: 11 million in India, 4.5 million in Bangladesh, and about 250,000 in Nepal. In some places the water level reaches as high as 3.7 m (12 ft).
2007- Floods- England. Several days of torrential rain following the wettest summer since 1766 causes the worst flooding in 60 years. More than 130,000 homes and businesses are swamped, and 340,000 people are either evacuated or trapped in their homes. The Royal Air Force (RAF) carries out its biggest peacetime rescue operation, airlifting people from flood-hit areas.
2007- summer- Greece- 3,000 fires burned 670,000 acres (1,046 square miles) in Greece, burning down 2,100 structures and killing 84 people.
2007- severe droughts southeast US- Cyclone in Bangladesh kills over 1,000; severe flooding in Mexico; Hurricane Felix causes severe damage in Caribbean and Central America; flooding in South Asia displaces 30 million. Severe flooding in Mozambique. Severe forest fores in southern California, wiping out residential areas in Malibu and San Diego.
2008- blizzards cause deaths and paralyze parts of Iran and China. Severe flooding in Peru and Bolivia.
2008- May 2- Cyclone Nargis, Burma- Approximately 140,000 people were killed in Burma (Myanmar) when the Cyclone Nargis touched land. The storm included winds of up to 120 mph which passed directly over the most populated areas of the region. 95 percent of buildings in the area were destroyed.
2008- Floods- India. In the worst monsoon flooding in India in 80 years, the Kosi River breaches its banks along the border with Nepal and forms a new path through Bihar, India; more than 2 million are affected and 225,000 homes are destroyed.
2008- May 12- Earthquake in Sichuan, China kills over 80,000.
2008-  26 Dec. Bam (Iran) Earthquake  26,271 people were killed when the city of Bam, Iran was flattened by a 2003 earthquake. The earthquake’s magnitude was 6.6 and 80 percent of the area’s buildings were damaged or destroyed, likely because Iran lacks an earthquake education program and most of the buildings were made of mud brick.

Keystone Pipeline
2009- Jan-May- The State Department conducts 20 meetings to explore the issues raised by the EIS.
TransCanada consults with federal and state agencies and Native American Tribes.
2009- Jan-Feb-forest fires in southern Victoria kill more than 200.
2009- Feb-March- Black Saturday bush fires kill  173 in Victoria, Australia.
2009- The Copenhagen Summit of leading nations on climate change fails to produce significant agreements let alone resolutions as developing nations defend their right to full use of carbon technologies and refuse to be lectured to by major polluters of the G-8.
2009- Floods- Northwest Queensland, Australia. Cyclones Domini and Ellie saturate the area with 356 mm (14 in) of rain, causing the worst floods on record. Rivers overflow their banks and submerge more than 1,000,000 km2 (386,100 mi2), inundating thousands of homes and devastating the sugarcane and cattle industries. Damages are estimated at more than $210 million.
2009- Floods- Samoan Islands. An offshore earthquake, magnitude 8.0, triggers tsunami waves of up to 6 m (20 ft) high that flatten villages for up to 1 km (0.6 mi) inland on the shores of Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga in the Pacific Ocean; more than 189 lives are lost.
2009- Floods -Philippines. Mudslides and the worst flooding in over 60 years occur after two tropical systems strike the island within a week. Tropical storm Ketsana dropped 42.4 cm (16.7 in), of rain in just 12 hours. Days later, slow-moving Typhoon Parma added another astounding 120.4 cm (47.4 in) of rain. President Gloria Arroyo declares a nationwide state of calamity. At least 3 million people are affected, and more than 540 die; damage exceeds $250 million.

Keystone Pipleline-
2010- March-April- Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) approves the Canadian leg of Keystone XL.
Natural Resources Defense Council reports Keystone will thwart efforts to increase reliance on clean energy sources. Draft EIS finds the pipeline would have limited adverse environmental impacts and subsequent environmental assessments by the department result in similar findings. EIS criticized for lack adequate information, including greenhouse gas emissions.
2010- April-August- The State Department solicits comments on the proposed pipeline.
Members of U.S. Congress call on Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to study Keystone XL with respect to clean energy and climate change priorities.


The Gulf Oil Spill.
2010- May-August-  the worst environmental disaster in US history unfolds after the explosion of a British Petroleum oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen and destroying a region still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Aug. 3- massive monsoon flooding which kills over 1,500 in Pakistan's Swat Valley is exacerbated by climate change with the melting of the Himalayan glaciers which feed Pakistan's rivers.
2010- Oct- Labour unions representing 2.5 million workers urge the State Department to approve Keystone Pipeline. Secretary of State Clinton says she is inclined to approve Keystone XL.

Earthquake, Port Au Prince, Haiti.
2010- Dec. 1- -the Haitian city of Port Au Prince is destroyed, killing over 200,000.
2010- Dec.- wildfires in northern Israel kill 40. 
2010- Dec- Philippine Floods- Widespread flooding occurred in the east. The Visayas and the Bicol and Caraga regions have been particularly affected by abnormally heavy rains. The floods have displaced 452,999 persons in 19 provinces, and has caused the deaths of 25 people.
2011- Jan. 5:US-  Republican Majority Eliminates House Committee on Global Warming
2011- Jan- TransCanada agrees to 57 safety measures requested by the State Department and the Keystone Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration relating to the construction, operation and design of the pipeline.

World Population reaches 1 Billion
2011- The world population reaches 7 billion, and is increasingly interconnected
One third of those have Internet access; 80 per cent have mobile phones. Increasing the population by 1 billion took only 12 years.

2011- Feb 22- Earthquake in Auckland, new Zealand kills 182.
2011- March: US House Committee Votes Against Climate Change Amendment
2011- April 28- Hurricanes in Alabama kill 294
2011-Climate change negotiations in Durban.The negotiations’ outcome is a step forward in
establishing an international agreement beyond Kyoto—one with mitigation commitments from all major emitters,including developed countries and several major developing countries.
2011- Apr. June- The State Department seeks public comment on Keystone XL.
2011- May- Slave Lake Wildfire, Alberta leaves 750 homeless. 
2011- June- The Wallow Fire in Arizona and New Mexico -the largest in history for the southwestern United States with over 788 square miles (504,409 acres) charred so far, far surpassing the Rodeo-Chediski fire of 2002. It is now probably in the top ten largest single wild fires in U.S history (2011-
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/the-worst-wild-fires-in-world-history)
2011- Fires in the 1960's and 1970's charred about 1 million hectares of land in each year. “So it's already doubled in the last 40 years...and we've published work that shows this is directly due to human caused climate change,” says Dr. Flannigan, Professor with the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta and Canadian Forest Service researcher.

Climate Change and Tornadoes.
2011- "Global warming does indeed increase the moisture content of the air (because hotter air holds more moisture), which increases the likelihood of vertical clouds forming. However, those vertical clouds won't turn into tornadoes without the wind shear, and "the expectation is that there will be less of that wind shear with global warming," said David Easterling, chief of the Global Climate Applications Division at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. "Part of it is because you have an expansion of the tropical climate regime up into the higher latitudes," and in the tropics, there is less wind shear.  So with one tornado-conducive factor being increased and the other being decreased, it's really hard to say how global warming affects tornado activity. But scientists are still looking into it. "Inconclusive data does not lead you to conclude that there's no evidence of a connection," said Martin Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research meteorologist.
-http://www.livescience.com/14341-climate-change-causing-record-breaking-tornadoes-floods.html
2011- Aug-Sept- Protesters in Washington call on the Obama administration to reject Keystone XL.

Keystone Pipeline
-EIS report finds no major environmental risks have been found and the project would negatively affect certain cultural resources.
2011- Nov- On November 10, U.S. Department of State (DOS) suspends permitting process for Keystone XL until re-route to avoid the Nebraska Sandhills is complete.
A Presidential Permit for the pipeline will likely not occur until Q1 2013.
Agreement is reached to pursue an alternate pipeline route to avoid Nebraska Sandhills.
Nebraska enacts a law codifying a process for approving the route and directing the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to cooperate with the state in moving it forward.
2011- Dec.-The House and Senate unanimously approve and Obama signs the payroll tax bill, which requires the president to approve or deny the Keystone permit within 60 days.

China goes "green."
2011-China begins shift to a “green economy.” China says its 12th Five Year Plan for economic
development is based on sustainable development goals, including substantial reductions in pollution and carbon and energy intensities. The plan is backed by nearly half a trillion USD in proposed expenditures for environmental protection

The Japanese Sunami

2011- Nov 3- Earthquake and Sunami kills over 5,000, washing away populated areas of the Pacific shoreline and seriously damaging the Fukushima nuclear power plant causing extreme damage from radiation.
2012- Jan- Brazil- Floods and mudslides caused by torrential rains killed more than 30 in the states of Minas and Rio de Janeiro. Thousands more were dislocated. The storms came during the traditionally rainy month of January; more than 800 people died in flooding a year earlier.
2012- Jan 18- President Obama announces he will not approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in its current form but will allow TransCanada to re-apply.
2012- Alaska- Jan. 9: Massive piles of snow collapsed roofs and trapped some people in homes in the Alaskan fishing town of Cordova. By one count, more than three metres of snow fell in the town of 2,000 people over the course of a few weeks. Members of the Alaska National Guard were called on to help
2012- February-  A deep freeze gripped much of Europe from late January well into February. Temperatures dipped below -40C in some places. More than 650 people died, many of them homeless people in Russia, Poland and Ukraine. Rome also saw its heaviest snowfall in 25 years

Keystone Pipeline.
2012- Feb 27- TransCanada announces it is dividing the Keystone XL project into two parts and will proceed with the Gulf Coast Project from Cushing, Oklahoma, which doesn’t cross an international border and it has its own utility; therefore, it does not require a Presidential Permit.
21012- March- President Obama publicly stated that the Gulf Coast Project from Cushing Oklahoma has presidential support and he will expedite the permitting.
2012- March- A mild, dry winter prompted the Alberta government to start the wildfire season a full month earlier than usual. The season would be long and disastrous, as several fires flared up across the Canadian and U.S. West. The U.S. endured a near-record amount of destruction, as nine million acres (an area roughly the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut) burned
2012- March- Australia-  Days of torrential rain soaked eastern Australia, causing more than $500 million in damage across three states. Cresting flood waters near the town of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales forced millions of spiders to flee their natural habitat, creating some spectacular (and eerie) imagery.
2012- May 4- TransCanada submits a Presidential Permit application for the Keystone XL Pipeline from the U.S.–Canada border in Montana to Steele City, Nebraska. TransCanada will supplement that application with an alternative route in Nebraska as soon as that route is selected.
2012- July-TransCanada is working collaboratively with the State of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to reroute the contentious segment of the Keystone XL pipeline around the Sandhills. The U.S. Department of State reiterated statements that it expects to make a decision on a Presidential Permit for Keystone XL by the first quarter of 2013.

Weather Disasters and Climate Change.
 2012- Dr. Kevin Trenberth explains in a 2012 paper "Framing the way to relate climate extremes to climate change": "Scientists are frequently asked about an event "Is it caused by climate change?" The answer is that no events are "caused by climate change" or global warming, but all events have a contribution. Moreover, a small shift in the mean can still lead to very large percentage changes in extremes. In reality the wrong question is being asked: the question is poorly posed and has no satisfactory answer. The answer is that all weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be."

 China Leads on Sales of Energy Technology
2012- Trade disputes on solar and wind energy products. China’s expanded manufacturing
capacity and low prices make it a leader in global trade on wind turbines. The U.S. contests both solar and wind subsidies in China as unfair trade practices. The outcomes of these disputes may influence the future of clean techenergy sourcing and adoption. 
2012- One of the first of the Millennium Development Goal targets is achieved in advance of the 2015 deadline: the percentage of the world’s people without access to safe drinking water is cut in half. 

Hurricane Sandy.
2012- Oct 24-29- Hurricane Sandy, a high, category 3 storm, slams into the Caribbean and the US coast at New Jersey and England, destroying much shoreline development and almost 300.
2013- May-June- gigantic Tornados hit the US in Oklahoma , destroying hundreds of buildings and killing a dozen.
2013- June- massive flooding kills 600 in India and 3 in Alberta, Canada.
2013- June- forest fores kill a  crew of 19 elite firefighters in Arizona.

The Future
-”The mid-range scenarios employed in IPCC projections for the end of the next century would result in global mean surface temperatures that exceed any well-documented warming in the last million years.” -Thomas J. Crowley, REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST: GREENHOUSE LESSONS FROM THE GEOLOGIC RECORD.
2400-2700 AD- “the geologic record yields the rather startling conclusion that the climate could be comparable to that experienced during the Age of Dinosaurs, which was as warm as any time in the last billion years.” -Thomas J. Crowley, REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST: GREENHOUSE LESSONS FROM THE GEOLOGIC RECORD.
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