Monday, December 31, 2007

Netherlands has another record warm year

Fri Dec 28, 2007

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The average temperature in the Netherlands in 2007 matched 2006, the warmest year in 300 years, and the Dutch meteorological institute said it was a sign of global warming.

The average temperature in 2007 was 11.2 degrees Celsius (52.16F) which, along with 2006, is highest average since Dutch temperatures were first measured in 1706, the KNMI institute said on Friday. The normal annual average is 9.8 degrees.

"The most important reason for the recent high temperatures is the slow global warming of the climate," KNMI said.

Dutch temperature records are among the oldest in the world.

Eight out of the ten warmest years in the Netherlands were after 1988. More >>>

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Indian Govt. acts on UN reports on climate change, sets up panel

Indian Govt. acts on UN reports on climate change, sets up panel

New Delhi (PTI): Acting on UN reports during the outgoing year on threats of impending climate change, the Government set up a high-level panel to tackle the impact of global warming.

The first report of the Nobel award winning Inter-Governmental Penal on Climate Change (IPCC) rang the alarm bells predicting that temperatures in the next century are expected to go up by 2.5 to 4.5 degrees Centigrade and that India, along with developing countries, will face a serious shortage of water and threat to food security.

In the midst of a grim scenario painted by IPCC, a council headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will act as a think-tank to decide on India's future course of action in the short term as well as after 2012 when the Kyoto Protocol expires.

A three-member sub-committee to be headed by Nobel laureate and IPCC Chief R K Pachauri will submit its report by early next year. The report will assume significance globally as India has been rated as the 4th largest carbon emitter after the United States, Australia and China. More >>

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A welcome for the Bali Climate Change Conference outcome, with regrets that it could not go further

Environment - 18-12-2007 - 09:28
Although some members of the Temporary Committee on Climate Change said they regretted the lack of a direct reference to binding emission cuts by industrialised countries in the final text of the Bali roadmap, most of those speaking at a meeting on Monday enthusiastically welcomed the final outcome of last week's UN Conference.

"The most important political result", said Committee Chair Guido Sacconi (PES, IT), "is that we have reached an agreement" which includes "a roadmap and a timetable" for an international treaty by 2009. Although the text includes "no direct reference to reduction targets", noted the Chair, "all countries, developed and developing alike, are now called upon to take mitigation measures". Moreover, he concluded, the final Bali text addresses many of the EP's concerns, such as deforestation, technology transfer and aid for developing countries. Lena Ek (ALDE, SE) picked up on the last of these issues. "We now have to see to it", she said, "that developing countries can combine the fight against poverty with the fight against climate change". Read More

Monday, December 17, 2007

Agreeing upon a timetable

A deal is finally struck in Bali


AFTER a fortnight of often tortuous negotiations, and an additional day at the end, 190-odd countries have decided that a global agreement involving all countries is needed to tackle climate change. The “Bali roadmap”, named after the Indonesian island where the deal was struck, is an important milestone. Rich, middle-income and poor countries have acknowledged both the threat of a changing climate and the need for urgent action by all. Substantive negotiations will start within weeks to produce an international convention by the end of 2009 on exactly how countries will meet their “common but differentiated responsibilities” to fight climate change. Read More

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Countries Agree to Write New Climate Action Pact

NUSA DUA, Bali, Indonesia, December 15, 2007 (ENS) - Governments meeting in Bali today agreed to launch negotiations towards a strengthened international climate change pact. The new treaty will be a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires at the end of 2012.
Success at the UN climate change conference in Bali. (Photo courtesy Earth Negotiations Bulletin)

The decision by 187 countries includes a clear agenda for the key issues to be negotiated by 2009. The agenda will cover action for adapting to the negative consequences of climate change, such as droughts and floods; ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; ways to widely deploy climate-friendly technologies; and financing of both adaptation and mitigation measures.

Concluding negotiations in 2009 will ensure that the new deal can enter into force by 2013, following the expiration of the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol. Read More

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Climate change deal agreed at talks

Press Association

Saturday December 15, 2007 7:38 AM

Negotiators trying to agree a road map for a new international climate change deal finally managed to broker a compromise deal after days of wrangling.

Ministers from 180 countries meeting in Bali agreed the agenda for a global emissions cuts agreement to launch negotiations for a post-2012 agreement to tackle climate change.

While it will be two years before a final deal on post-2012 is likely to be struck, countries have been fighting for the kind of things they want to see on the table for those talks.

Groups of ministers worked through the night to hammer out the details of an agenda for the agreement which will replace the current Kyoto Protocol. Read More

Friday, December 14, 2007

Talks at the UN climate summit in Bali have continued past their scheduled end despite optimism that a compromise could be reached between the EU and US.

The EU has been pressing for the final text to include a specific commitment that industrialised nations should cut their emissions by 25-40% by 2020.

The US and Canada oppose firm cuts and neither side shows signs of giving way.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was returning to the talks from East Timor to assist negotiators.

Everybody is working hard towards a result, and nobody wants to be the country that makes it fail
Yvo de Boer, UN

"I will go back to Bali tomorrow [Saturday] morning again to meet with the delegations... and engage myself in continuing further negotiations," he told a press briefing in the capital, Dili.

The Indonesian hosts of the climate summit have been trying to bridge the gulf between the two sides with a text that reportedly excluded firm numerical targets for 2020, but did contain acceptances that greenhouse gas emissions need to be stabilised by the end of the next decade and that rich nations should play the major part in the effort.

Neither the EU nor the US has formally accepted the compromise wording. Read More

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'

Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice.

Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.
Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.

Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.
Remarkably, this stunning low point was not even incorporated into the model runs of Professor Maslowski and his team, which used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to constrain their future projections.

In the end, it will just melt away quite suddenly
Professor Peter Wadhams
"Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC.

Read More

Norway’s Arctic Islands at their hottest since Viking Era: Scientists

Norway's Arctic archipelago of Svalbard recently experienced its highest temperatures since the end of the Viking Age around 800 years ago, the Norwegian Polar Institute said Tuesday.

Analysis of ice taken from Lomonosovfonna, one of the highest glaciers on Svalbard, confirmsartic islands that recent local temperatures have been at their highest since the 13th century, the institute said in a statement.

"And the warming is accelerating," Elisabeth Isaksson, one of the glaciologists at the institute, told AFP. Read More

The institute in 1997 removed ice cores from the glacier containing climate information dating back 800 years and it has only recently finished analysing the wealth of data.

Record ice melt seen on Greenland in 2007

Dec. 11, 2007

The amount of melt on Greenland's ice sheet last summer broke the previous measured record by 10 percent, according to new data analyzed by researchers at Colorado University.

The 2007 melt was the largest ever recorded since satellite measurements began in 1979, researcher Konrad Steffen told colleagues at a conference of the American Geophysical Union this week.

"The amount of ice lost by Greenland over the last year is the equivalent of two times all the ice in the Alps, or a layer of water more than one-half mile deep covering Washington, D.C.," he said in a statement released in conjunction with the new study. Read More

Thursday, December 6, 2007

That's the sound of cultures drowning

Article from: The Daily Telegraph

December 06, 2007 12:00am

AS THE world tries to hammer out a plan to tackle climate change, tiny islands say it is already too late.

Their homes and history are already disappearing under the rising sea.

Dressed in grass and rattan skirts, the islanders used music, song and slide shows to tell their story to a tearful audience in a luxury hotel on the Indonesian island of Bali.

For nations and communities that sit only a few metres above sea level, even small ocean rises engulf their land and send destructive salty water into their food supply. Read More

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Britain's business chiefs target global warming

Britain's business chiefs target global warming

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Nov 26, 2007
Britain's leading employers' body said Monday that tackling climate change was an "urgent" priority for business, government and consumers.

The Confederation of British Industry placed global warming at the heart of its agenda as its annual conference began in London.

The CBI will address "urgent, concrete and measurable actions that UK business needs to take to address the risk of climate change," Martin Broughton, the group's president and British Airways chairman, said in a speech that opened the two-day conference.

On Monday, the CBI published a flagship report from its climate change task force, a high-level grouping of 18 chief executives and chairmen from top British companies. Read More

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Commonwealth issues “Non Binding“ climate plan

Leaders of Commonwealth states have drawn up an "action plan" to tackle climate change that falls short of any binding agreement.

The text, released after the second day of their summit in Uganda, is designed as a strong statement ahead of next month's UN climate talks.

But the 53-member group could not reach a consensus on binding emission cuts.

Meanwhile, India's Kamalesh Sharma has been appointed secretary general. He replaces New Zealand's Don McKinnon.

Meanwhile, India's Kamalesh Sharma has been appointed secretary general. He replaces New Zealand's Don McKinnon. Mr McKinnon is stepping down at the end of his four-year term.

On Saturday, the Commonwealth leaders are working at a retreat on Lake Victoria, away from media attention. Officials had said the summit would try to iron out differences between member states on climate change.


Many Commonwealth nations, led by Britain, wanted an influential statement before next month's UN talks in Bali, which will discuss a new agreement to replace the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. But Canada had insisted that any statement should refer to the need for contributions from the world's major polluters, including the United States, which has so far resisted any binding targets. Read More

Australia to sign Kyoto Treaty

Rudd sets new Australian agenda

Australia's Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd has outlined his priorities after winning a sweeping general election victory over outgoing PM John Howard.

Mr Rudd said he would overturn a number of his predecessor's policies and sign the Kyoto Protocol and pull Australian troops out of Iraq.
He also promised to attend next month's UN climate change summit in Bali. Read More

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gore speaks at Turks and Caicos environment conference

Thursday, November 22, 2007

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands: The closing session of the 2007 Conference on the Environment, held in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), saw former vice president of the United States and recent Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Al Gore, giving a presentation on climate change, and what small island nations can do to help offset its externalities.
The symposium was an historic occasion, the first such initiative to be undertaken in the Caribbean region. It drew discussions from expert panellists; speakers whose key focus is the environment, with the hope that further research not only be conducted, but also participants leave wanting to make the commitment and re-commit to climate change. Read More

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

UK Climate change bill expected on Thursday

LONDON (Reuters) - The government is expected to publish its Climate Change Bill on Thursday, starting a parliamentary process that could lead to a legal limit on national carbon emissions within six months.

The bill sets a target of cutting national emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide by 60 percent by 2050 and about half that by 2025. It would make Britain the first country to adopt such a legally-binding commitment.

"I expect the Bill to be published to parliament on Thursday," a government source said on Tuesday on condition of anonymity. The legislation will be fast-tracked. Read More

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Failure to tackle climate peril 'criminally irresponsible,' IPCC told

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 07:05 EST

VALENCIA, Spain — The Nobel-winning panel of world climate experts on Monday launched a debate over a landmark report after a top U.N. official warned any failure to curb global warming would be "criminally irresponsible."

"The effects of climate change are being felt already," Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said.

"Climate change will hit hardest the poorest and most vulnerable countries. Its overall effect, however, will be felt by everyone and will in some cases threaten people's very survival."
"Failing to recognize the urgency of this message and acting on it would be nothing less than criminally irresponsible," he said.

De Boer was speaking at the start of a meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The U.N. forum of scientists, economists and other experts won this year's Nobel Peace Prize alongside climate campaigner and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
Read More

Upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali

Welcome to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali
yvo de boer
Yvo de Boer
UNFCCC Executive Secretary

"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Indonesian government for its generous invitation to host the thirteenth United Nations Climate Change Conference on the island of Bali. I also extend a warm welcome to the international community who will join us at this major event.

Bali, the “island of the Gods” is a prime example of the beauty of our natural environment. At the same time, Indonesia has first-hand experience of the extreme weather events caused by climate change. Bali is therefore a poignant setting for the forthcoming crucial international negotiations on the way forward to save our planet from the devastating effects of global warming.

The Bali conference will be the culmination of a momentous twelve months in the climate debate and needs a breakthrough in the form of a roadmap for a future climate change deal. Early in the year, scientific evidence of global warming, as set out in the fourth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), put the reality of human-induced global warming beyond any doubt. What we are facing is not only an environmental problem, but has much wider implications: For economic growth, water and food security, and for people's survival - especially those living in the poorest communities in developing countries. The recent joint award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC for its work in disseminating knowledge on climate change further underlines the implications for overall peace and security." Read More

Sunday, November 11, 2007

UN chief's Antarctic climate tour

Ban Ki-moon at Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile, on 10 November 2007
The UN chief saw first hand scientific evidence of global warming
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has described his alarm at the pace of climate change after wrapping up a two-day fact-finding trip to southern Chile.

Mr Ban, who has vowed to make the fight against global warming a key issue during his tenure at the UN, went to Antarctica on Friday where he heard from scientists how rising temperatures have caused huge ice shelves to collapse into the sea.

He was the first head of the UN ever to visit the frozen continent.

On Saturday the secretary general visited the majestic mountains of the Torres del Paine national park, one of Chile's top tourist attractions.

He flew over the Grey glacier, the facade of which is covered in cracks, which experts blame on changes in the weather.

Read More

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


One instrument that can help in the environmental restructuring of the economy is ecolabeling. Labeling products that are produced with environmentally sound practices lets consumers vote with their wallets. Ecolabeling is now used to enable consumers to identify energy-efficient household appliances, forest products from sustainably managed forests, fishery products from sustainably managed fisheries, and “green” electricity from renewable sources.

Among these ecolabels are those awarded by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for seafood. In March 2000, the MSC launched its fisheries certification program when it approved the Western Australia Rock Lobster fishery. Also earning approval that day was the West Thames Herring fishery. In September 2000, the Alaska salmon fishery became the first American fishery to be certified. Among the key players in the seafood processing and retail sectors supporting the MSC initiative were Europe-based Unilever, Youngs-Bluecrest, and Sainsbury’s. Read More

Monday, October 15, 2007

Commonwealth warns of devastating impact of global warming

GEORGETOWN (AFP) — Global-warming and its devastating environmental effects were to top the agenda of a two-day meeting of finance ministers from more than 50 Commonwealth countries due to open here Monday.

Ransford Smith, deputy secretary general of the 53-nation organization, said the international community needs to balance economic growth with the use of new and clean technologies because climate change would adversely impact on agriculture outputs in many developing countries, as well as employment patters and populations shifts.

"There will be other consequences that you need to be able to cost and be aware of in making the chances," Smith told journalists here Sunday ahead of the October 15-17 meeting whose theme is "Climate Change: The Challenges Facing Finance Ministers."

The Commonwealth nations, sometimes known as the British Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 former British colonies which now are sovereign states, plus the United Kingdom itself and Mozambique. Read More

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ecuador Takes Leadership Role On Climate Change

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa.
by Staff Writers
New York NY (SPX) Sep 25, 2007
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa presented the Yasuni-ITT Initiative at a United Nations meeting of world leader's on global climate change. This pioneering initiative is an unprecedented proposal by an oil exporting country to leave its largest oil reserve unexploited to contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gases and to initiate Ecuador's transition toward the world's first truly sustainable economy.

A key part of this initiative is to avoid oil extraction activities in Yasuni National Park, home to at least two indigenous tribes that live in voluntary isolation and one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Ecuador proposes to leave the nearly one billion barrel ITT oilfield unexploited in order to preserve Yasuni's astounding biodiversity, ecosystem services, and the cultural integrity of its indigenous inhabitants.

Ecuador is proposing to forgo the revenue from oil production because it believes the value of avoiding climate change and deforestation is of greater value to Ecuador and the planet as a whole. Read More

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ethanol Production Threatens Plains States With Water Scarcity

BOULDER, Colorado, September 21, 2007 (ENS) - The rapid increase in ethanol plants under construction or planned for eight key farm states is threatening to pull billions of gallons of water each year from an aquifer that is already depleted and under stress, according to a new report issued Thursday by Environmental Defense.

Authored by Martha Roberts and Theodore Toombs of the Environmental Defense Rocky Mountain office and Dr. Timothy Male, senior ecologist with the Land, Water & Wildlife Program in the group's Washington, DC office, the report takes the form of a case study of the Ogallala Aquifer region.
One of the world's largest aquifers, the Ogallala Aquifer, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is a vast, shallow underground pool of water located beneath portions of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.
The Ogallala Aquifer supports the majority of irrigated agriculture in the southern Great Plains. But the water table is declining in areas where rates of groundwater pumping have far exceeded rates of replacement. The region was also the center of Dust Bowl conditions in the 1930s. Read More

Friday, September 21, 2007

Groups Urge New Drive to Fight Oil-Climate Crisi

WASHINGTON - Activists and foreign policy experts held a public forum this weekend to launch what they hope will be “a combined international movement” to respond to the threats of climate change and the depletion of oil and other cheap energy sources.

They said no less than “planetary survival” is at stake.0920 04

“Confronting the Triple Crisis” brought 60 speakers from 16 countries to Washington, DC, the capital of a nation “whose way of life is one of the key drivers behind the global crises we face,” according to a statement from conference organizer International Forum on Globalization (IFG).

The 3-day summit was the first of its kind to examine climate change, peak oil, and the extinction of species as one interconnected problem with common solutions, according to the IFG and co-sponsor Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

“We hope that this diversity [of speakers] and cross-fertilization will help build a really strong movement,” said IFG co-director Jerry Mander, addressing the opening session.

Speakers urged attendees to lobby their governments for more proactive climate change and energy policies and to make specific adjustments in their own lives to help mitigate the challenges the world faces. Among other personal initiatives, they suggested using more public transportation and consuming fewer — not just “greener” — products. Read More

Thursday, September 20, 2007

EU to Help Poor Nations Fight Global Warming

The European Commission is setting up a Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) with developing countries, which foresees integrating the tackling of climate change into poverty reduction strategies.

The European Commission this week announced the creation of a fund to help developing nations battle climate change, putting in 50 million euros ($69 million) itself to kick it off.

Louis Michel, EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, proposed the global alliance to help developing nations deal with and adapt to the effects of climate change.
Read More

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Healing the Ozone Holes Could Help Lower Earth's Temperature

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada, September 17, 2007 (ENS) - Refrigerating and air conditioning today employ hydrochlorofluorocarbons, HCFCs - chemicals that by international agreement have replaced other chemicals known to damage the Earth's ozone layer. But now HCFCs have fallen out of favor because they too deplete the ozone layer and also act as greenhouse gases contributing to global warming.

Today in Montreal, representatives of 191 governments opened a four day conference at which they will try to speed up the phaseout of both production and consumption of HCFCs. They are seeking solutions that can both protect the ozone layer and help to stabilize the climate.
The largest ever Antarctic ozone hole, recorded on September 10, 2000, when it covered 11.5 million square miles. (Image courtesy TOMS science team NASA)
The governments are Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which on Sunday marked its 20th anniversary with a seminar entitled “Celebrating 20 Years of Progress.”

Hosted by Environment Canada and the UN Environment Programme, UNEP, which is responsible for the Montreal Protocol, the seminar was held at the Palais de Congrès in Montreal, Canada, in advance of the conference negotiations.

Participants from governments, international organizations, business and NGOs took part in the keynote presentations and panel discussions on the history, development and implementation of the Montreal Protocol, ozone science, and links with other environmental issues such as climate change Read More

Monday, September 17, 2007

Arctic Ocean Ice Thinner By Half in Six Year

BREMERHAVEN, Germany, September 14, 2007 (ENS) - Large areas of Arctic sea ice are only one meter thick this year, about 50 percent thinner than they were in the year 2001, according to measurements taken by 50 scientists on board the research ship Polarstern. The international team is conducting research on sea ice in the central Arctic Basin.

Dr. Ursula Schauer (Photos by Florian Breier courtesy Alfred-Wegener Institute)
"The ice cover in the North Polar Sea is dwindling, the ocean and the atmosphere are becoming steadily warmer, the ocean currents are changing," said chief scientist Dr. Ursula Schauer from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, who has been aboard the Polarstern for two and a half months.

Schauer is currently in the Arctic, underway with scientists from Germany, Russia, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, the United States, Switzerland, Japan, France and China, where they are investigating ocean and sea ice conditions.

"We are in the midst of phase of dramatic change in the Arctic, and the International Polar Year 2007/08 offers us a unique opportunity to study this dwindling ocean in collaboration with international researchers," said Schauer.

The thickness of the Arctic sea ice has been shrinking since 1979, and on this trip oceanographers have found a particularly high concentration of melt-water in the ocean and a large number of melt-ponds. Read More

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Warming 'opens Northwest Passage'

The most direct shipping route from Europe to Asia is fully clear of ice for the first time since records began, the European Space Agency (Esa) says.

Historically, the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans has been ice-bound through the year.

But the agency says ice cover has been steadily shrinking, and this summer's reduction has made the route navigable.

The findings, based on satellite images, raised concerns about the speed of global warming. Read More

Friday, September 14, 2007

Man is to blame for global warming, US admits

George Bush's top scientific advisor has delivered the strongest statement yet from within the US administration that greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity are to blame for climate change.

Man is to blame for global warming, US admits
President Bush has invited world
leaders to Washingtonlater this
month to discuss climate change

George Bush's top scientific advisor has delivered the strongest statement yet from within the US administration that greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity are to blame for climate change.

Professor John Marburger said it was more than 90 per cent likely that mankind was causing global warming and that the earth may become "unlivable" without reductions in CO2 output. Read More

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

FAO Warns Climate Change Could be Major Threat to Food Security

FAO Warns Climate Change Could be Major Threat to Food Security

11 September 2007

De Capua interview on climate change mp3 audio clip
Listen to De Capua interview on climate change mp3 audio clip
De Capua interview on climate change ra audio clip

Recent picture released by the World Food Programme shows a displaced Burundian boy standing outside houses destroyed by floods at Gatumba, near Bujumbura, 25 Jan 2007
World Food Program picture shows a displaced Burundian boy standing outside houses destroyed by floods at Gatumba, near Bujumbura, 25 Jan 2007
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says climate change could become a “major threat to world food security.” It calls climate change one of the “main challenges humankind will have to face for many years to come.”

About 140 international experts are meeting in Rome this week to discuss the issue. One of them is Jeff Tschirley, chief of the FAO’s Environment, Climate Change and Bio-Energy Division. From Rome, he told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua that a fourth assessment report on climate change is about to be released. Read More

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ice-Free Arctic Could Be Here in 23 Years

The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at a record low, scientists said last night. Experts said they were “stunned” by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as Britain disappearing in the last week alone. So much ice has melted this summer that the north-west passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the north-east passage along Russia’s Arctic coast could open later this month. If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030.
Mark Serreze, an Arctic specialist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University in Denver which released the figures, said: “It’s amazing. It’s simply fallen off a cliff and we’re still losing ice.” The Arctic has now lost about a third of its ice since satellite measurements began 30 years ago, and the rate of loss has accelerated sharply since 2002. Read More

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

World's dams are 'contributing to global warming'

September 04, 2007 12:00am
Article from: AAP

THE world's dams are contributing millions of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gases and spurring on global warming, according to a US environmental agency.
International Rivers Network executive director Patrick McCully today told Brisbane's Riversymposium rotting vegetation and fish found in dams produced surprising amounts of methane - 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

"Often it's accepted that hydropower is a climate friendly technology but in fact probably all reservoirs around the world emit greenhouse gases and some of them, especially some of the ones in the tropics, emit very high quantities of greenhouse gases even comparable to, in some cases even much worse than, fossil fuels like coal and gas," Mr McCully said. Read More

Sunday, September 2, 2007

US regulators consider global warming in power plant case

LITTLE ROCK — A change in climates over the generations has the Arkansas Public Service Commission taking a hard look at a proposed power plant for southwestern Arkansas. Is the use of low-cost coal worth the greater amount of carbon emissions from the 600-megawatt unit?

Southwestern Electric Power Co. acknowledges the proposed $1.3 billion John W. Turk power station will have a larger "carbon footprint" than plants powered by other fuels, but say complaints can be boiled down to "Not in my back yard."

Plant opponents say they don't want the power station in their back yards for a good reason: industrial activity and increased pollution will damage prime hunting grounds near Fulton, and contribute to global warming.

While scientists say Earth's climate has changed, so has the regulatory climate. With increased worries about global warming, PSC chairman Paul Suskie said last week that state environmental agencies must do their jobs while the PSC does its: making sure consumer costs are justified. Read More

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Global Warming Will Bring Violent Storms And Tornadoes, NASA Predicts

NASA scientists have developed a new climate model that indicates that the most violent severe storms and tornadoes may become more common as Earth's climate warms.

Clouds over North America on August 2,
2000, as measured by GOES-11. (Credit: NASA/NOAA)

Previous climate model studies have shown that heavy rainstorms will be more common in a warmer climate, but few global models have attempted to simulate the strength of updrafts in these storms. The model developed at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies by researchers Tony Del Genio, Mao-Sung Yao, and Jeff Jonas is the first to successfully simulate the observed difference in strength between land and ocean storms and is the first to estimate how the strength will change in a warming climate, including "severe thunderstorms" that also occur with significant wind shear and produce damaging winds at the ground. Read More

Focus on carbon 'missing the point'

The focus on reducing carbon emissions has blinded us to the real problem - unsustainable lifestyles, says Eamon O'Hara. In this week's Green Room, he argues that bigger problems await us unless we shift our efforts.

Is it not time to recognise that climate change is yet another symptom of our unsustainable lifestyles, which must now become the focus our efforts?

Yet governments, and those organisations who have now assumed the role of combating climate change, subscribe to the notion that climate change is our central problem and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is the cause of this problem.

Undeniably, climate change is a serious problem but it is only one of a growing list of problems that arise from a fundamental global issue.

For many decades, the symptoms of unsustainable human exploitation of the natural environment have been mounting: species extinction, the loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, soil erosion, acid rain, destruction of rainforests, ozone depletion - the list goes on.

Read More

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Climate Change Wiki

24 August, 2007

By Bill Henderson

Building a wiki could be the democratic innovation we need to finally adequately address the climate change problem - a wiki could at least put us all on the same page - and may be a very useful tool in managing man so that a sustainable future is possible. Read More

Monday, August 20, 2007

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Hits Record Low

BOULDER, Colorado, August 20, 2007 (ENS) - Arctic sea ice fell below all previous records for the lowest absolute minimum extent ever measured by satellite on Thursday and Friday, said scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice extent has fallen below the 2005 record low absolute minimum and is still melting, said researcher Walt Meier.

A rapid disintegration of Arctic sea ice during July has prompted scientists to warn there is a 92 percent chance that Arctic sea ice extent will hit an annual record low. Sea ice extent, the area of an ocean covered by at least 15 percent of ice, has been shrinking since the late 1970s, when satellite measurements began.

The decline is believed by many researchers to be due to higher temperatures due to global warming from a buildup of greenhouse gas emissions in the Earth's atmosphere.

Read More