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There is significant debate among scientists on the nature of global warming, with some pointing to increased temperatures as being merely indicative of long-range climatic change that has gone on for thousands and thousands of years across the planet. Others point to the disruptive effects that human activity has on the atmosphere, and continue to call for a global effort to mitigate the effects of these actions on the environment. As this debate continues to develop within the scientific community, two new reports were released this week that predict serious climate change in both Europe and California during the next one hundred years. A report issued by the European Environment Agency this week indicates that less than 50 years remain in which a concerted effort can be made by a variety of government institutions in order to mitigate the effects of this changing climate. The report also notes that the 2003 heat wave that struck Europe effectively melted the mass of Alpine glaciers by 10% and that harvests in many southern European countries were down by 30% in some areas. Another related report that was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week dealt with the potential effects of climate change in the state of California. The report was authored by nineteen scientists, who adapted two of the latest computer models of global change to examine how California might be affected under two varying scenarios for emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. In its discussion of various related issues, the report also suggested that under the less-optimistic scenario that such climate change would have a devastating effect on some of California's signature industries, such as wine making and tourism. In terms of temperature change, the report noted that in 50 to 100 years "inland cities would feel like Death Valley does today". The report did not comment on what Death Valley would feel like in 50 to 100 years.The first link leads to a news article from this Tuesday's San Francisco Chronicle that offers some discussion of the recent report on the potential effects of global climate change on California. The second link leads to a special online report from the BBC that reviews some of the findings offered by the recent climate study commissioned by the European Environment Agency. The third link, taken from Science Daily, talks about existing technology that could be used to stop the escalation of global warming. The fourth link leads to the homepage of ATMOS Research and Consulting, and contains the full-text of the recent study on the potential emissions scenarios affecting California and the potential long-term effects. The fifth link leads to the webpage of the European Environment Agency where visitors may download and peruse the complete report that discusses the impacts of Europe's changing climate. The sixth and final link leads to some proposed solutions to mitigate the effects of global warming offered by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
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