Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα global warming. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα global warming. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 16, 2014

Can Insects Feed a Hungry Planet?

Earth’s population is ballooning every day, which increasingly presents a host of challenges, from housing to resource depletion to food.

The issue of feeding billions of people on a warming planet—along with related concerns such as food waste, water usage and greenhouse gas emissions—continues to be explored.

It has been widely established that factory farming contributes to climate change and even that eating less beef will benefit the environment. But what about eating … bugs. Bugs?


Two billion people around the globe eat insects. Major areas of consumption include Latin America, Southeast Asia and Central Africa. As new ways are examined to feed a rapidly expanding global population, and with a minimal environmental impact, will entomophagy—the consumption of insects as food—be taken seriously in other parts of the world?

Folks at Ensia—Anna Egelhoff, John Sisser and Todd Reubold—put together this infographic to address that very question:..............................http://ecowatch.com

15/8/14
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Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 02, 2014

California Experiencing Most Severe Drought Ever Recorded

One of the worst North American droughts in history could be getting a whole lot worse. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map released on Tuesday, more than 58 percent of California is in an “exceptional drought” stage. That’s up a staggering 22 percent from last week’s report. And, in its latest drought report released earlier today, the National Drought Mitigation Center warned that “bone-dry” conditions are overtaking much of the Golden State, and noted that, overall, California is “short more than one year’s worth of reservoir water, or 11.6 million acre-feet, for this time of year.”

All across California, streams are drying up, crops are dying off and local communities are struggling to maintain access to water, thanks to 3 years of persistent drought conditions. 
The situation is so dire that on Tuesday, California implemented state-wide emergency water-conservation measures, in an effort preserved what remaining water there is. Under the new measures, Californians can face fines of up to $500 per day for using hoses to clean sidewalks, run decorative fountains, and other water-guzzling activities.
Unfortunately, while the situation in California is already pretty bleak, it looks like things are only going to get worse. In fact, it’s possible that all of the American southwest could soon be seeing the devastating drought conditions that Californians are facing. That’s because the largest surge of heat ever recorded moving west to east in the Pacific Ocean, often referred to as a Kelvin Wave, which was supposed to start an El Nino and bring tropical-like rains to the West Coast and southwest, just dissipated, after it was absorbed by abnormally warm ocean waters.

An El Nino is marked by the prolonged warming of Pacific Ocean surface temperatures, when compared to the average temperature. El Ninos usually happen every two to seven years, and can last anywhere between nine months and two years. As warm water spreads from the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean to the eastern Pacific, it brings rain and moisture with it, bringing rain to California and the American Southwest. 
So, during an El Nino period, winters are often a lot wetter than usual in the southwest U.S., including in central and southern California, where drought conditions are currently the worst. That’s why Californians were hoping for a strong El Nino period, to bring the rains and moisture that’s needed to help ease the drought.

Unfortunately, while some weather models are still predicting that an El Nino is possible, the chances of an El Nino strong enough to break the devastating drought that California is seeing are now very, very slim. As a result, there’s probably no end in sight to the current drought conditions in California. And, since warm ocean waters that bring rain are moving farther north up the Pacific, while Oregon and Washington and Alaska will get rain, the jet stream is set to extend drought-like conditions to much of the southwest.......................................ecowatch.com
1/8/14

Παρασκευή, Αυγούστου 01, 2014

FEATURE: As climate talks heat up, experts debate if natural gas, fracking will turn ‘brown’ economies ‘green’

UN, 1 August 2014 – The world faces a looming energy problem. There’s not enough of it. It also faces a looming climate change problem. Too much of it. Could natural gas and fracking technology be part of the solution to both challenges?

The answer to this question is especially relevant for developing countries. Nearly half the world’s population lacks reliable access to modern energy services and more than 20 per cent of the global population – 1.4 billion people – remains without access to electricity, according to a recent UN Development Programme (UNDP) report. Household air pollution from the use of biomass fuel is expected to cause more than 1.5 million deaths a year by 2030.
Could natural gas, whose production is boosted by hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” – the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside – be a bridge to greener economies and to new, more-efficient energy technologies?
“Is fracking, by providing natural gas, giving us a cleaner energy source? The answer is yes, perhaps, if you regard natural gas as a cleaner energy source,” said Elizabeth Thompson, senior advisor for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. 

She spoke at a panel organized by the UN Academic Impact. “However, if the methodologies used are dirty, or environmentally harmful, then some of the beneficial impacts are significantly eroded.”................................http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48389#.U9vrtaPm7gw
1/8/14
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Παρασκευή, Ιουνίου 06, 2014

World Environment Day: Parliament's non-stop fight against climate change

“Raise your voice, not the sea level” is the motto of this year´s World Environment Day, which calls attention to the impact climate change has on small islands. The day is held on 5 June every year to raise awareness and encourage people to act to protect the environment. The European Parliament has been at the forefront of the world´s response to global warming, by adopting legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and by guiding the EU towards a low-carbon economy.

To combat global warming, the EU and the world have been trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the last year alone, the Parliament has among others passed measures to promote energy-saving, rules to reduce CO2 emissions from road transport, mandatory energy labelling for appliances, as well as tougher standards for fluorinated gases in air-conditioning and freezers.


The Parliament has also supported the development of second generation biofuels and approved plans to freeze the auctioning of some CO2 permits from the European Emissions Trading System scheme in order to encourage low-carbon innovation. MEPs have also backed plans for reducing the use of the most common plastic bags by at least 80% by 2019.

Ambitious and binding climate targets

The Parliament has been calling for even more ambitious and binding climate targets for both the EU and the rest of the world. In February, MEPs called for a 40% cut in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels, a 30% target for renewable energy and a 40% target for energy efficiency by 2030. They have also consistently called on the EU to show greater ambition in the talks for the new global climate change treaty that is expected to be adopted by the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015.
[europarl.europa.eu]
5/6/14

Παρασκευή, Μαΐου 09, 2014

Climate change threatening New Zealand's glacier tourism industry

Global climate change might put an end to tourist trails over New Zealand's iconic South Island glaciers, a geography researcher warned Friday.

The multimillion-dollar glacier tourism industry was under threat with the two main glaciers, Fox and Franz Josef, in rapid retreat, said University of Canterbury researcher Dr Heather Purdie.

"The current glacial retreat is making access increasingly difficult for guided walks at Fox and Franz Josef glaciers but, simultaneously, an enlarging glacial lake at Tasman Glacier is increasing tourism opportunities," Purdie said in a statement.


Steepening ice slopes, increased debris cover and an increase in rock fall hazards were some of the challenges glacier tourism operators faced.

"The termini of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are drawing increasingly close to their previous minimum which, coupled with thinning, indicates that retreat will continue for the near future, " said Purdie.

While helicopters and longer tracks up glacier valleys could ensure continued access, these would be financially and environmentally costly, she said.

Glacier tourism had been a part of the New Zealand experience for a century, but access and viewing points would become increasingly unsatisfactory as glaciers retreated into steeper, more inaccessible terrain.

  • Scientists, policy makers and tour operators needed to work together, sharing knowledge, ideas and experience, to find a balance between utilization, safety and conservation, she said.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that predicted glacier shrinkage and retreat would reduce visitor numbers in towns like Fox Glacier and Franz Josef, but tourism on New Zealand glaciers was as busy as ever, with up to 400 tourists a day last summer

[globaltimes.cn]
9/5/14

Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 30, 2014

First UN report on antibiotic resistance reveals ‘serious threat’ to global public health. - WHO said that people can help tackle resistance...

UN, 30 April 2014 – Antibiotic resistance – when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections – is now a major threat to public health, says a new United Nations report released today.

The study, produced by the UN World Health Organization (WHO), is the first to look at antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally, and provides the most comprehensive picture to date, incorporating data from 114 countries.


It reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future; it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country, WHO pointed out in a news release.

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” said Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security.

“Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine,” Dr. Fukuda noted. “Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

While the report notes that resistance is occurring across many different infectious agents, it focuses on antibiotic resistance in seven different bacteria responsible for common, serious diseases such as bloodstream infections (sepsis), diarrhoea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhoea.

The results are cause for high concern, according to WHO, which documented resistance to antibiotics, especially “last resort” antibiotics, in all regions of the world.

For example, resistance to one of the most widely used antibacterial medicines for the treatment of urinary tract infections caused by E. coli – fluoroquinolones – is very widespread. In the 1980s, when these drugs were first introduced, resistance was virtually zero. Today, there are countries in many parts of the world where this treatment is now ineffective in more than half of patients.

  • WHO said that people can help tackle resistance by using antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor; completing the full prescription, even if they feel better; and never sharing antibiotics with others or using leftover prescriptions.

Health workers and pharmacists can help tackle resistance by enhancing infection prevention and control; only prescribing and dispensing antibiotics when they are truly needed; and prescribing and dispensing the right antibiotic(s) to treat the illness.

The report, which is kick-starting a global effort led by WHO to address drug resistance, reveals that key tools to tackle antibiotic resistance, such as basic systems to track and monitor the problem, show gaps or do not exist in many countries. While some countries have taken important steps in addressing the problem, every country and individual needs to do more.

Other important actions include preventing infections from happening in the first place – through better hygiene, access to clean water, infection control in health-care facilities, and vaccination – to reduce the need for antibiotics. WHO is also calling attention to the need to develop new diagnostics, antibiotics and other tools to allow healthcare professionals to stay ahead of emerging resistance.


un.org30/4/14------------------------

  • WHO warnt: Antibiotika bald wirkungslos....

Die Weltgesundheitsorganisation ist alarmiert. Resistenzen gegen Antibiotika nehmen zu. Dies gilt auch für keimtötende Arzneimittel, welche als "Reserve" bei sonst schlecht behandelbaren bakteriellen Infektionen verwendet werden. Dies stellt die WHO in einem aktuellen neuen Bericht fest. Auch Österreich wird darin genannt.
So stellte Keiji Fukuda, stellvertretender Generaldirektor für Health Security der WHO, fest: "Ohne eine schnelle und koordinierte Aktion vieler Beteiligter steuert die Welt auf eine post-antibiotische Ära zu, in der häufige Infektionen und auch kleinere Verletzungen, die Jahrzehnte lang behandelbar waren, wieder tödlich werden können."..................http://diepresse.com/home/leben/gesundheit/1600648/WHO-warnt_Antibiotika-bald-wirkungslos?from=rss
30/4/14 

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First UN report on antibiotic resistance reveals ‘serious threat’ to global public health

 30 April 2014 – Antibiotic resistance – when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections – is now a major threat to public health, says a new United Nations report released today.

The study, produced by the UN World Health Organization (WHO), is the first to look at antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally, and provides the most comprehensive picture to date, incorporating data from 114 countries.


It reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future; it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country, WHO pointed out in a news release.

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” said Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security.

“Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine,” Dr. Fukuda noted. “Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

While the report notes that resistance is occurring across many different infectious agents, it focuses on antibiotic resistance in seven different bacteria responsible for common, serious diseases such as bloodstream infections (sepsis), diarrhoea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhoea.

The results are cause for high concern, according to WHO, which documented resistance to antibiotics, especially “last resort” antibiotics, in all regions of the world.

For example, resistance to one of the most widely used antibacterial medicines for the treatment of urinary tract infections caused by E. coli – fluoroquinolones – is very widespread. In the 1980s, when these drugs were first introduced, resistance was virtually zero. Today, there are countries in many parts of the world where this treatment is now ineffective in more than half of patients.

WHO said that people can help tackle resistance by using antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor; completing the full prescription, even if they feel better; and never sharing antibiotics with others or using leftover prescriptions.

Health workers and pharmacists can help tackle resistance by enhancing infection prevention and control; only prescribing and dispensing antibiotics when they are truly needed; and prescribing and dispensing the right antibiotic(s) to treat the illness.

The report, which is kick-starting a global effort led by WHO to address drug resistance, reveals that key tools to tackle antibiotic resistance, such as basic systems to track and monitor the problem, show gaps or do not exist in many countries. While some countries have taken important steps in addressing the problem, every country and individual needs to do more.

Other important actions include preventing infections from happening in the first place – through better hygiene, access to clean water, infection control in health-care facilities, and vaccination – to reduce the need for antibiotics. WHO is also calling attention to the need to develop new diagnostics, antibiotics and other tools to allow healthcare professionals to stay ahead of emerging resistance.

un.org
30/4/14
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  • WHO warnt: Antibiotika bald wirkungslos....

Die Weltgesundheitsorganisation ist alarmiert. Resistenzen gegen Antibiotika nehmen zu. Dies gilt auch für keimtötende Arzneimittel, welche als "Reserve" bei sonst schlecht behandelbaren bakteriellen Infektionen verwendet werden. Dies stellt die WHO in einem aktuellen neuen Bericht fest. Auch Österreich wird darin genannt.
So stellte Keiji Fukuda, stellvertretender Generaldirektor für Health Security der WHO, fest: "Ohne eine schnelle und koordinierte Aktion vieler Beteiligter steuert die Welt auf eine post-antibiotische Ära zu, in der häufige Infektionen und auch kleinere Verletzungen, die Jahrzehnte lang behandelbar waren, wieder tödlich werden können."..................http://diepresse.com/home/leben/gesundheit/1600648/WHO-warnt_Antibiotika-bald-wirkungslos?from=rss
30/4/14

Δευτέρα, Μαρτίου 31, 2014

U.N. panel: Climate change effects 'irreversible'

Climate change will lead to increased poverty, sickness, violence and refugees, according to a report from a U.N. scientific panel Monday.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change outlined the causes, effects and solutions to global warming with the latest figures from 2013.

It warned that the impacts of global warming are likely to be "severe, pervasive and irreversible."

Michel Jarraud, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a co-sponsor of the climate panel, said the report was "the most solid evidence you can get in any scientific discipline."
A WMO report last week confirmed that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest on record, continuing a long-term trend of global warming. It provided a snapshot of regional and national temperatures and extreme events as well as details of ice cover, ocean warming, sea level rises and greenhouse gas concentrations – all inter-related and consistent indicators of climate change.
[aa.com.tr]
31/3/14

Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 01, 2014

Temperatura global de la tierra aumentará cuatro grados para el 2100

Una investigación realizada por un grupo de científicos reveló que la temperatura media de la Tierra aumentará alrededor de cuatro grados centígrados para el año 2100 si continúan las emisiones contaminantes de dióxido de carbono (CO2) y otros gases de efecto invernadero a la atmósfera.
Especialistas del Centro de Excelencia para el Clima de la Universidad de Nueva Gales del Sur, en Australia, determinaron asimismo que el calor incluso podría elevarse más de ocho grados centígrados para 2200.

Los autores del trabajo, que fue publicado por la revista Nature, aseguran que el clima es más sensible al aumento de las emisiones de gases de invernadero de lo que se pensaba.
Anteriores estimaciones de modelos climáticos sobre la sensibilidad de la temperatura global a una duplicación del CO2 en la atmósfera, que ocurrirá en los próximos 50 años, oscilaron entre 1,5 y cinco grados centígrados, pero el nuevo estudio señala un aumento entre tres y cinco grados centígrados.

En sus correcciones, los científicos tomaron en cuenta los procesos del vapor de agua a una gama más amplia de alturas en la atmósfera, que causan menos nubes conforme el clima se calienta.
Los científicos opinan que ese hecho aumenta la cantidad de luz solar y calor que entra en la atmósfera y, como resultado, eleva la sensibilidad del clima al dióxido de carbono o cualquier otra perturbación.
Según los estudiosos, esta investigación resolvería uno de los grandes temas de la sensibilidad climática, que es el papel de la formación de nubes y su efecto sobre el calentamiento global.
Ese número es el doble de lo que muchos Gobiernos concordaron como el umbral del calentamiento peligroso. Aparte de los cambios dramáticos ambientales como el derretimiento del hielo marino, muchos de los males del mundo moderno como el hambre, la pobreza, la guerra y las enfermedades son propensos a empeorar a medida que el planeta se calienta.
El profesor de la Universidad de Nuevo Gales del Sur y autor principal del estudio, Steven Sherwood, afirmó que si no se comienza de forma urgente a reducir las emisiones de dióxido de carbono y otros gases contaminantes a la atmósfera, los aumentos de la temperatura tendrán un impacto profundo en el mundo y en las economías de muchos países.
"Cuatro grados centígrados probablemente sería catastrófico en lugar de simplemente peligroso", advirtió Sherwood, a la vez que explicó que "por ejemplo, haría la vida difícil, si no imposible, en gran parte de los trópicos, y garantizaría la eventual fusión de la capa de hielo de Groenlandia y parte de la capa de hielo de la Antártida".
Otro informe publicado a principios de diciembre señalaba que los abruptos cambios causados por el rápido calentamiento deben ser motivo de preocupación, ya que muchas de las mayores amenazas del cambio climático son retos para los que no estamos preparados.
teleSUR-PL-RT / ad / BM
http://www.telesurtv.net/articulos/2014/01/01/temperatura-global-de-la-tierra-aumentara-cuatro-grados-para-el-2100-3318.html
1/1/14
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Κυριακή, Νοεμβρίου 24, 2013

Ban welcomes deal at UN-led climate change talks as step towards 2015 treaty

 23 November 2013 – The United Nations-led climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, concluded today with an agreement that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called an important stepping stone towards a universal legal agreement in 2015.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference that concluded today in Warsaw and he congratulates Poland for successfully hosting the Conference,” his spokesperson said in a statement.


The deal hammered out today ends two-weeks of talks between diplomats and environment experts representing more than 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

For the first time, the talks, which are also known as the Conference of the Parties or COP-19, included participation from the private sector, with a UN-business forum held on its sidelines.

The agreement lays the groundwork for a legally-binding treaty to be adopted in 2015, and enter force by 2020, which would cut climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

In today's statement, Mr. Ban welcomed the Parties' decision “to intensify immediate actions to fight climate change” and to come forward with their national contributions to the agreement well before its finalization in 2015.

The talks were made all the more urgent by the devastation in Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan that killed thousands of people and affected 13.25 million overall just as participants were arriving in Poland.

Today's deal comes one year before the 2014 Climate Summit that Mr. Ban said he would convene in New York in September during the General Assembly.

Mr. Ban has asked world leaders, as well as leaders from business, finance, local government and civil society, to bring bold announcements and actions that will lead to significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions and strengthened adaptation and resilience efforts, his spokesperson said in reference to the 2014 summit.

“Much more needs to be done over the coming two years to achieve the ambitious agreement necessary to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius,” the spokesperson said in the statement. 

un.org
23/11/13
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Σάββατο, Νοεμβρίου 23, 2013

Climate summit in overtime due to deadlock. -Delegates from more than 190 nations, meeting in Warsaw, argue on outline of new global pact to tackle climate change.


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UN climate talks ran deep into extra time in Warsaw in an attempt to lay some groundwork for a climate pact which must be signed in Paris by December 2015.
The summit in the Polish capital was scheduled to end on Friday, but on Saturday morning negotiators and ministers were still debating, as rich and poor nations weighed their respective contributions to the goal of slowing the warming of the planet.

Gathering delegates from more than 190 nations, the fractious annual negotiations are working towards a deal that will for the first time bind all the world's nations to curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
On current emissions trends, scientists warn the Earth could face warming of 4.0 C or higher over pre-industrial levels - a recipe for catastrophic storms, droughts, floods and sea-level rise that would hit poor countries disproportionally hard.

Many delegates also said they wanted a clearer understanding of when nations will publish their plans for long-term cuts in greenhouse gases in the run-up to a summit in Paris in 2015.
That meeting is meant to agree on a global climate pact to enter into force in 2020.
World leaders last tried, and failed, to agree to a global treaty at a summit in 2009.
"If we don't succeed in Paris, the chances of us meeting the goal of limiting global warming to two degrees will be limited, or none," Pascal Canfin, French development minister, said on Friday.
A text on Saturday said that all nations should submit "intended nationally determined commitments" by the end of the first quarter of 2015, if they could.
That would give time to compare and review pledges before the Paris summit.
The US is among those advocating pledges be made by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
"It's something to build on," said Connie Hedegaard, said European climate commissioner, who wants pledges in 2014.
But many developing nations say the rich are doing too little to lead.
"The political signals [for Paris] are just too weak," said Naderev Sano, a Philippine delegate fasting during the meeting
in sympathy with victims of Typhoon Haiyan which killed 5,200 people.

Hotly disputed exchange
A major sticking point was the insistence of some developing nations like China and India, whose growth is fuelled by fossil fuel combustion, on guarantees of less onerous emissions curbs compared to wealthy nations.
In hotly disputed language, some want the new deal to impose "commitments" on developed countries and seek only "efforts" from emerging economies. The issue led to Europe and a group of developing economies trading barbs on Friday evening.
Hedegaard accused a group of "like-minded" countries of opposing a "push" towards the 2015 deal by insisting on the rich-poor country firewall.

"It is not acceptable to the European Union, but I also think to really many others," she said.
A group calling itself the Like-Minded Developing Countries, which includes China and India as well as Pakistan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, took issue with what they called the "brazen attack".
"The EU chief is responsible for damaging seriously the atmosphere of confidence and trust in this process," Claudia Salerno, Venezuel's climate envoy, who claimed to speak on the group's behalf, said.
As emissions continue to grow year after year, developing nations say their developed counterparts must have more responsibility for curbs given their long history of fossil-fuel combustion.
The West, though, insists emerging economies must do their fair share, considering that China is now the world's biggest emitter of CO2, with India in fourth place after the US and Europe. 


Climate aid
Another point of disagreement is finance.
Developing nations insist that wealthy nations must show how they intend to keep a promise to ramp up climate aid to $100bn by 2020, up from $10bn a year from 2010-12.
Still struggling with an economic crisis, however, the developed world is wary of unveiling a detailed long-term funding plan at this stage.
The funding crunch lies at the heart of another issue bedevilling the talks: demands by developing countries for a "loss and damage" mechanism to help them deal with future harm from climate impacts they say are too late to
avoid.
Rich nations fear this would amount to signing a blank cheque for never-ending liability.

"On finance there has been no progress," Claudia Salerno of Venezuela, who represents a group of developing nations including China and Indonesia, said late on Friday.
The talks were also considering a new "Warsaw Mechanism" to help developing nations cope with loss and damage from extreme events such as heat waves, droughts and floods, and creeping threats such as rising sea levels and desertification.
Developing nations insisted on a "mechanism" - to show it was separate from existing structures - even though rich countries say that it will not get new funds beyond the planned $100 b a year from 2020.
In one step forward, governments agreed to a set of rules for safeguarding tropical forests in a deal aimed at unlocking big investments.
The new plan is backed by $280m from the US, Britain and Norway.
Deforestation accounts for perhaps a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions from human sources. Trees release carbon when they rot or burn.
"Governments have shown their firm commitment to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation," Christiana Figueres, UN climate chief, said in a statement.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2013/11/climate-summit-overtime-due-deadlock-201311234643975109.html
23/11/13 
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Σάββατο, Νοεμβρίου 16, 2013

Historical emissions are to blame for climate change: -Chinese official.

WARSAW, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- On the sidelines of the annual United Nations climate change conference in Warsaw, a Chinese official has reiterated that climate change should be related to the historical concentration of greenhouse gas emissions.

"The current total emission volume is very large [in China], but it should be put into context," Su Wei, deputy chief of the Chinese delegation and also director of the climate change department of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference here on Thursday.


In response to a question on whether there could be a connection between China's emissions and the super typhoon that had hit the Philippines earlier this month, Su made a strong emphasis on the fact that China is far below the average emission level in a historical context and that China's per capita emission level is lower than that of most developed countries.

"The super typhoon is an immediate warning to humanity. All countries need to take further enhanced actions, under the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities as well as equity," Su said.
Current climate change was caused by the accumulated concentration of greenhouse gas emissions for the past 200 years, and those were attributed to the developed countries since the industrial era, Su said, adding that greenhouse gas has a long life from 50 to 200 years.

"It is important to take historical responsibility element in the context of climate actions after 2020," Su said.
The two-week-long conference that started this Monday was expected to lay the ground for a new global climate deal after 2020, as well as to discuss the finance implementation from developed countries and a lost and damage mechanism for developing countries worst hit by global warming. 
 cntv.cn
15/11/13
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Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 13, 2013

As global sea levels continue to rise, 2013 set to be among warmest on record – UN


13 November 2013 
– The year 2013 is currently on course to be among the top ten warmest years since modern records began in 1850, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said today, adding that melting ice caps and glaciers have contributed to a record high in global sea levels.
“Temperatures so far this year are about the same as the average during 2001-2010, which was the warmest decade on record,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “All of the warmest years have been since 1998 and this year once again continues the underlying, long-term trend.”
The first nine months of 2013 tied with 2003 as the seventh warmest such period on record, with a global land and ocean surface temperature of about 0.48°C (0.86°F) above the 1961–1990 average.

“Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases reached new highs in 2012, and we expect them to reach unprecedented levels yet again in 2013. This means that we are committed to a warmer future,” Mr. Jarraud said.
However, he noted that surface temperatures are only part of the wider picture of climate change, as its impact is already being felt on the planet’s water cycle in the form of floods, extreme precipitation and droughts.

The WMO’s provisional annual statement on the Status of the Global Climate 2013, points that the global sea level has been rising at an average rate of about 3.2 millimetres per year (mm/yr). This is close to the observed rate of about 3 mm/yr of the most recent decade of (2001-2010) and double the observed 20th century trend of 1.6 mm/yr.
Mr. Jarraud said that while typhoons such as the one that slammed the Philippines last weekend cannot be directly attributed to climate change, sea level rise is making coastal populations more vulnerable when disasters strike. He added that, although the relationship between climate change and the frequency of tropical cyclones is a matter of much research, it is expected that their impact will be more intense.

WMO’s provisional annual statement seeks to provide a snapshot of regional and national temperatures. It also includes details on precipitation, floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, ice cover and sea-level. The statement was released to inform negotiators at the UN climate change conference in Warsaw, Poland, who are tasked with hammering out a universal climate treaty by 2015 which would enter into force by 2020.
 un.org
13/11/13
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Κυριακή, Νοεμβρίου 03, 2013

Experts say nuclear power needed to slow warming.

PITTSBURGH: Some of the world's top climate scientists say wind and solar energy won't be enough to head off extreme global warming, and they're asking environmentalists to support the development of safer nuclear power as one way to cut fossil fuel pollution.

Four scientists who have played a key role in alerting the public to the dangers of climate change sent letters Sunday to leading environmental groups and politicians around the world. The letter, an advance copy of which was given to The Associated Press, urges a crucial discussion on the role of nuclear power in fighting climate change.


Environmentalists agree that global warming is a threat to ecosystems and humans, but many oppose nuclear power and believe that new forms of renewable energy will be able to power the world within the next few decades.

That isn't realistic, the letter said.

"Those energy sources cannot scale up fast enough" to deliver the amount of cheap and reliable power the world needs, and "with the planet warming and carbon dioxide emissions rising faster than ever, we cannot afford to turn away from any technology" that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases.

The letter signers are James Hansen, a former top NASA scientist; Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution; Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Hansen began publishing research on the threat of global warming more than 30 years ago, and his testimony before Congress in 1988 helped launch a mainstream discussion. Last February he was arrested in front of the White House at a climate protest that included the head of the Sierra Club and other activists. Caldeira was a contributor to reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Emanuel is known for his research on possible links between climate change and hurricanes, and Wigley has also been doing climate research for more than 30 years.

Emanuel said the signers aren't opposed to renewable energy sources but want environmentalists to understand that "realistically, they cannot on their own solve the world's energy problems."

The vast majority of climate scientists say they're now virtually certain that pollution from fossil fuels has increased global temperatures over the last 60 years. They say emissions need to be sharply reduced to prevent more extreme damage in the future.

In 2011 worldwide carbon dioxide emissions jumped 3 percent, because of a large increase by China, the No. 1 carbon polluting country. The U.S. is No. 2 in carbon emissions.

Hansen, who's now at Columbia University, said it's not enough for environmentalists to simply oppose fossil fuels and promote renewable energy.

"They're cheating themselves if they keep believing this fiction that all we need" is renewable energy such as wind and solar, Hansen told the AP.

The joint letter says, "The time has come for those who take the threat of global warming seriously to embrace the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems" as part of efforts to build a new global energy supply.

Stephen Ansolabehere, a Harvard professor who studies energy issues, said nuclear power is "very divisive" within the environmental movement. But he added that the letter could help educate the public about the difficult choices that climate change presents.

One major environmental advocacy organization, the Natural Resources Defense Council, warned that "nuclear power is no panacea for our climate woes."

Risk of catastrophe is only one drawback of nuclear power, NRDC President Frances Beinecke said in a statement. Waste storage and security of nuclear material are also important issues, she said.

"The better path is to clean up our power plants and invest in efficiency and renewable energy," Beinecke said.

The scientists acknowledge that there are risks to using nuclear power, but say those are far smaller than the risk posed by extreme climate change.

"We understand that today's nuclear plants are far from perfect."

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Science/2013/Nov-03/236720-experts-say-nuclear-power-needed-to-slow-warming.ashx#ixzz2jcQLBgWm

3/11/13
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Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 29, 2013

UN: Marking one year since Hurricane Sandy, UN officials urge focus on Caribbean.


Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Nicaro, Mayarí municipality, Cuba. UN Photo/UNDP/AIN FOTO/Juan Pablo Carreras
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29 October 2013 – On the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in the United States, United Nations officials are reminding the public not to forget the storm’s less documented Caribbean victims.
Commemoration ceremonies will take place around the northeast United States today, particularly in New York, where the devastating storm caused over $18 billion worth of damage to the city.

In an editorial published yesterday, in Aljazeera, Heraldo Muñoz, Director of UN Development Program (UNDP) Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, called on New Yorkers not to forget that the US was but the last stop on Sandy’s tour of destruction.
“Sandy, one of the largest Atlantic hurricanes on record, rumbled across the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and other countries before finally reaching the eastern seaboard of the US,” Mr. Muñoz wrote in the online editorial.

One year on, UNDP says that recovery efforts from the storm are underway, but some of the agency’s officials say that the suffering of those in developing Caribbean nations may have been underplayed.
“Because of socio-economic vulnerabilities, people in developing countries are often less prepared for a large event and unfortunately are not as quick to bounce back or recover,” said Jo Scheuer, UNDP Coordinator of Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery.
“While the mainland US suffered greater losses in terms of total fatalities and the extent of damage, for the Caribbean nations, Cuba and Haiti in particular, the storm was comparatively more expensive – having a much more profound impact on local livelihoods and the GDP,” Mr. Scheuer said, adding that in Haiti, the storm intensified the humanitarian crisis caused by the 2010 earthquake.

Efforts to help prepare Caribbean nations for disaster minimized the potential loss caused by the storm. 

“In Cuba, UNDP support to the government over the years has made that country particularly good at preventing deaths from hurricanes,” Mr. Scheuer noted.
Over the last 10 years, fewer Cubans die in the hurricane season than in any neighbouring states, according to the UN agency figures.
Likewise in Haiti, earthquake recovery projects set up by the Government and supported by the UN have helped mitigate the impact of storms.
Projects undertaken in Haiti include disaster- resilient construction for homes, sea walls and flood barriers, as well as short term employment to generate income and rebuild better.
 un.org
29/10/13
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