Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Carbon Emissions Exceed Highest Assumptions Used in Climate Change Studies



Peter N. Spotts, Christian Science Monitor, Posted on Alternet.



Global emissions of carbon dioxide are growing at a faster clip than the highest rates used in recent key UN reports.



CO2 emissions from cars, factories, and power plants grew at an annual rate of 1.1 percent during the 1990s, according to the Global Carbon Project, which is a data clearinghouse set up in 2001 as a cooperative effort among UN-related groups and other scientific organizations. But from 2000 to 2004, CO2 emissions rates almost tripled to 3 percent a year - higher than any rate used in emissions scenarios for the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).



If the higher rate represents more than a blip, stabilizing emissions by 2100 will be more difficult than the latest UN reports indicate, some analysts say. And to avoid the most serious effects of global warming, significant cuts in CO2 emissions must begin sooner than the IPCC reports suggest. At the moment, no region of the world is "decarbonizing its energy supply," the analysis says.



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Thursday, May 17, 2007

US Chided for Hindering International Efforts on Climate Change


by Haider Rizvi, OneWorld.net



UNITED NATIONS - Disappointed with the U.S. role in international discussions on energy, environmental groups are making fresh calls for Washington to give up its isolationist approach and become part of ongoing global efforts to tackle climate change.



“It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge its responsibility to take immediate and comprehensive action,” said Jeffrey Barber of the Integrative Strategies Forum, a U.S.-based group that advocates sustainable development.



“Many U.S. citizens are embarrassed by how our government is avoiding its responsibility to take strong action on climate change and to take the lead in promoting sustainable energy,” Barber told OneWorld.



Barber and other proponents of sustainable development think the U.S. lack of initiative could hinder international efforts to address climate change.



Those who represented civil society groups in the UN meetings organized by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) last week noted that the U.S. proposals were either minimal or had no meaningful substance.






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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Warming Triggers ‘Alarming’ Retreat of Himalayan Glaciers





Tim Johnson,McClatchy Newspapers,posted on Commondreams



KAROLA PASS, Tibet - The glaciers of the Himalayas store more ice than anywhere on Earth except for the polar regions and Alaska, and the steady flow of water from their melting icepacks fills seven of the mightiest rivers of Asia.



Now, due to global warming and related changes in the monsoons and trade winds, the glaciers are retreating at a startling rate, and scientists say the ancient icepacks could nearly disappear within one or two generations.



Curiously, there’s little sense of crisis in some of the mountainous areas. Indeed, global warming is making the lives of some high-altitude dwellers a little less severe.



Here at the foot of the towering Nojin Gangsang mountain, an ice-covered 23,700-foot peak, herders notice the retreat of the glaciers but say they feel grateful for the milder winters and increasing vegetation on mountain slopes in summers.



But for people living in the watershed of the Himalayas and other nearby mountain ranges along the Tibetan Plateau, glacial melt could have catastrophic consequences.



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