updated 2/18/2005 3:07:42 PM ET 2005-02-18T20:07:42

A look at apparent “greenhouse gas” effects reported by scientists and other observers:
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OCEANS: Seas rose throughout 20th century, and over past decade at accelerated rate of one-tenth an inch per year. Levels rising because water expands as it grows warmer and because of runoff of melting ice from continents.
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ISLANDS: Islanders in Pacific and elsewhere report steady erosion of shorelines from rising seas. Some small, low-lying islands have vanished beneath waves.
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ARCTIC: In late summers, ice over Arctic Ocean believed to be only 60 percent as thick as a few decades ago. Believed to extend over 10-15 percent less area.
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ANIMALS: Birds, seals, polar bears and other northern animals could be severely affected by shrinking of Arctic ice, their habitat. Biologists find polar bears losing weight because of reduced hunting time on ice.
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TUNDRA: Spring temperatures in Alaskan Arctic were as much as 7 degrees warmer in 2000 than in 1971. Permafrost — tundra — melting, buckling roads and damaging other infrastructure. Shrubs have moved into treeless areas.
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GLACIERS: Widespread retreat of mountain glaciers in non-polar regions during 20th century. Some European glaciers have shrunk by 50 percent. Only 27 glaciers remain of 150 in Montana’s Glacier National Park.
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SNOW: Global snow cover believed to have decreased by 10 percent since satellite observations began in 1960s.
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SPRING: Spring arriving earlier, especially in Northern Hemisphere. This lengthens growing season, but also summers, threatening to dry out vegetation. In California, earlier spring runoff of snowmelt will disrupt water supplies.
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DROUGHT: Climatologists at Britain’s University of East Anglia conclude increase in drought periods in southern Africa past 20 years probably linked to climate change.
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HURRICANES: First hurricane ever recorded in South Atlantic struck Brazil on March 28, 2004. Computer models had suggested tropical storms would make first appearance over those seas with global warming.

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