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Friday, March 18, 2005; Page A10

Global Warming Inevitable, Data Show

Even if people stopped pumping out carbon dioxide and other pollutants tomorrow, global warming would get worse, two teams of researchers reported yesterday.

Sea levels will rise more than they have risen, worsening the damage caused by extreme high tides and storm surges, and droughts, heat waves and storms will become more severe, the climate experts predicted.

That makes immediate action to slow climate change more vital, the teams at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado wrote in the journal Science.

"Even if we stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, the climate will continue to warm, and there will be proportionately even more sea level rise," said NCAR's Gerald Meehl, who led one of the studies.

His team ran two computer simulations of climate change -- complex programs, he said, that took months to run on supercomputers.

In a second study, NCAR's Tom Wigley said he used a much simpler climate model and came up with similar results.

New Drug Helps Control Blood Sugar

A new drug for diabetics who cannot adequately control their blood sugar with insulin was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA said the drug, Symlin, is intended for use in addition to insulin in patients with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Symlin, made by Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. of San Diego, is intended to be used only with insulin, to help lower blood sugar during the three hours after meals, the FDA said.

The agency said the primary risk associated with Symlin therapy is low blood sugar, and this risk is greatest in patients with Type 1 diabetes and those with stomach problems. Side effects associated with Symlin include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, fatigue and dizziness.

The FDA warned against mixing Symlin with insulin in the same syringe, which can alter the activity of the insulin.

More Teenagers Sniffing Inhalants

More than a million American teenagers intentionally inhale the vapors of common household products such as hair spray, shoe polish and glue each year, and the number is rising, government officials said.

Beginning a week of activities designed to alert parents and children to the dangers posed by inhalants, John Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said recent trends are unacceptable.

"As drug use overall has gone down in this country, we have had an increase in inhalant use," he said.

Inhalants commonly sniffed, or "huffed," by children as young as 8 include gasoline and lighter fluid, spray paints, cleaning fluids, paint thinners and other solvents, degreasers, correction fluids, hair sprays and odorizers.

More than 2 million people said they huffed in 2003, 1.1 million of whom were age 12 to 17, said Harvey Weiss, executive director of the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition, citing results from the 2002 and 2003 national surveys on drug use and health.

In 2002, more than 1 million people huffed for the first time, 833,000 of whom were age 12 to 17.

The health effects can include brain and neural damage, convulsions, deafness, impaired vision, depressed motor skills and death. The social effects, surveys show, include behavioral problems, other drug use and delinquent behavior.

-- From News Services

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