Saturday, September 15, 2007

Arctic ice loss: Northwest Passage now open, says space agency





PARIS (AFP) - The Northwest Passage, the dreamed-of yet historically impassable maritime shortcut between Europe and Asia, has now fully opened up due to record shrinkage of Arctic sea ice, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Friday.





It released a mosaic of images, taken in early September by a radar aboard its Envisat satellite, which showed that ice retreat in the Arctic had reached record levels since satellite monitoring began in 1978.




"We have seen the ice-covered area drop to just around three million square kilometres (1.158 million square miles), which is about one million square kilometres (386,000 sq. miles) less than the previous minima of 2005 and 2006," said Leif Toudal Pedersen of the Danish National Space Centre.




"There has been a reduction of the ice cover over the last 10 years of about 100 000 sq. km. (38,600 sq. miles) per year on average, so a drop of one million sq. km. (386,000 sq. miles) in just one year is extreme."



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Saturday, September 08, 2007

New Jersey Sets National Precedent by Passing the Global Warming Response Act

TRENTON - On the final day of votes before their summer break, the New Jersey Legislature overwhelmingly passed the Global Warming Response Act, A3301/S2114, (72-8 in the Assembly, 36-1 in the Senate). This ground-breaking legislation requires a mandatory reduction of the state’s global warming pollution to below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below current levels by 2050. These are the limits scientists say are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.



"Global warming is the most urgent environmental issue in our lifetime,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “This legislation sets up a comprehensive solution to global warming. It will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase energy efficiency, resulting in significant cost savings for both families and businesses.”





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