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Pinoy NASA scientist says global warming is real

LOS BANOS, LAGUNA, Oct. 29 –- “Global warming is real.”

This was the unequivocal statement of Dr. Josefino C. Comiso at a recent forum titled, “Climate Change as Observed from Space at the Operations Room, AG Samponte Hall here.

Dr. Comiso is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA)-Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland in the United States.

The forum, sponsored by the UPLB Interdisciplinary Panel for Climate Change (IdPCC) was attended by UPLB faculty, staff and students.

In his presentation, a satellite data showed that there has been increasing sea surface temperatures (SST) around the Philippines in the past two decades. The increase in SST will produce stronger typhoons as evident in the past three years when several super typhoons (Signals no. 3 and no. 4) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), he said.

According to PAGASA, only one super typhoon usually enters the PAR within a three-year period.

Dr. Comiso, who also studies the temperature anomalies in the polar region, said that the impacts of warming  are strongest in the Arctic.

His data showed that the perennial ice is now declining at 11.4percent per decade. The ice minimum area was 38 percent less than  limatological average and 27 percent less than previous lowest area in three years.

Further, he said that satellite data show that reductions in snow cover, glaciers, and increased melt in the permafrost and ice sheets are evident.

Dr. Comiso suggested some mitigating measures, such as use of alternative energy sources: wind turbines, solar/photovoltaic cells, nuclear, geothermal, ocean, hybrid/hydrogen cars, and gasohol/fuel crops.

He said that truly international efforts must be exerted to reduce the use of fossil fuels, construct energy efficient buildings and public transportation systems, and conserve energy.

”There should be greater public awareness of the consequences of global warming, he stressed. (PNA) LOR/FMB

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