Archive for February 2012

Glacier Loss In The Himalayas: Should We Be concerned?

Feb 29th, 2012 | By




A recent study published in Nature (Jacob, T; Wahr, J; Pfeffer, WT; Swenson, S [2012] ‘Recent contributions of glaciers and ice caps to sea level rise,’ Nature, 8 February, doi: 10.1038/nature10847) indicated that the loss of glacier mass in the greater Himalayan region has been insignificant. The findings must be put into context, because global

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Unusual Weather: Arctic Sea Ice Decline May Be Driving Snowy Winters

Feb 29th, 2012 | By




A new study led by the Georgia Institute of Technology provides further evidence of a relationship between melting ice in the Arctic regions and widespread cold outbreaks in the Northern Hemisphere. The study’s findings could be used to improve seasonal forecasting of snow and temperature anomalies across northern continents. Since the level of Arctic sea

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Will CO2 Pricing Worsen The Climate Crisis?

Feb 29th, 2012 | By




A new report from the Nordic Council of Ministers highlights the potential consequences of acting as frontrunners in the global climate mitigation effort. Should the Nordic countries take the lead in the fight against climate changes and increase their carbon pricing unilaterally? Or will this simply result in the displacement of a number of high-emission

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Climate Change In The Hindu Kush-Himalayas

Feb 29th, 2012 | By




The State of Current Knowledge: This synthesis report summarises the most up-to-date knowledge from scientific enquiries into the impacts of climate change in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region. When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its fourth assessment report (AR4) in 2007, data for the whole HKH region were for the most part

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New Study Highlights Need For REDD+ To Look Beyond Carbon

Feb 29th, 2012 | By




A new study on rubber plantations highlights the need for the REDD+ climate change scheme to further consider biodiversity and rural livelihoods. Agricultural policies worldwide have traditionally favoured the conversion of rotating crops to homogenous, permanent rubber plantations because they are often perceived to be more beneficial for local development and better sequesters of carbon.

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What Are The Options For Financing Climate Change Adaptation?

Feb 29th, 2012 | By




Although there is widespread agreement on the need for adaptation measures to limit the risks posed by climate change, there is no clear consensus on how much adaptation will cost or how it will be paid for. A recent World Bank report suggested that the price of adaptation in developing countries alone will be $70–100

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Peak Energy And Resources, Climate Change, And The Preservation Of Knowledge

Feb 29th, 2012 | By




Since there’s nothing that can be done about climate change, because there’s no scalable alternative to fossil fuels, I’ve always wondered why politicians and other leaders, who clearly know better, feel compelled to deny it. I think it’s for exactly the same reasons you don’t hear them talking about preparing for Peak Oil. 1) Our

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Getting Some Basics Right In The Mountains….

Feb 28th, 2012 | By
Cyril R Article-Sanjay Joshi Photo




Mr. Cyril R Raphael: In this article Mr. Raphael writes the agony of mountains in general by taking an example of overall development in one of the Indian mountain states called Uttarakhand. His discourse covers the social and economic development, governance, leadership, availability of basic amenities, health, education, livelihood, effectiveness of information and communication, role

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Climate Risk Enters The Curriculum In Salvadoran Schools

Feb 28th, 2012 | By




In an effort to make communities more resilient to disasters, El Salvador’s schools and universities have begun teaching students how to deal with the risks of extreme weather and climate change. The small Central American country has been hit by three heavy rainy seasons in three years, with storms and flooding causing as many as

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Indigenous Peoples At Forefront Of Climate Change Offer Lessons On Plant Biodiversity

Feb 28th, 2012 | By




Paper highlights 40 years of research on plant use by indigenous peoples in Peruvian Amazon and Tibet (ST. LOUIS): Humans are frequently blamed for deforestation and the destruction of environments, yet there are also examples of peoples and cultures around the world that have learned to manage and conserve the precious resources around them. The

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Asia-Pacific Fighting Climate Change

Feb 28th, 2012 | By




There is mounting evidence that Asia and the Pacific are undergoing weather patterns more extreme than previously experienced, attributable to the effects of global climate change. Reduction of the impact of climate change is gaining importance in the international agenda. Increasing intensity and frequency of climatic hazards are impacting negatively upon environmental and socio-economic systems.

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The IPCC May Have Outlived its Usefulness – An Interview with Judith Curry

Feb 28th, 2012 | By




As the global warming debate increases in its intensity we find both sides deeply entrenched, hurling accusations and lies at one another in an attempt to gain the upper hand. This divide within the scientific community has left the public wondering who can be trusted to provide them with accurate information and answers. The IPCC,

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Food Science, Climate Science and Politics

Feb 28th, 2012 | By




As I kid I liked to get up early with Grandma and sit with her in the kitchen while she cooked breakfast. She’d give me coffee, southern-style — thin, sweet and creamy. It was a treat because it was so wrong. Coffee, as any medical professional could have explained at the time, stunted your growth.

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What Is Climate Change Adaptation?

Feb 28th, 2012 | By




There are two main policy responses to climate change: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation addresses the root causes, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while adaptation seeks to lower the risks posed by the consequences of climatic changes. Both approaches will be necessary, because even if emissions are dramatically decreased in the next decade, adaptation will still

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Himalayan Sherpas Lament Climate Change Devastation

Feb 27th, 2012 | By




Climate change is altering the face of the Himalayas, devastating farming communities and making Mount Everest increasingly treacherous to climb, some of the world’s top mountaineers have warned. Apa Sherpa, the Nepali climber who has conquered Mount Everest a record 21 times, said he was disturbed by the lack of snow on the world’s highest

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Reducing Anthropogenic Emissions Has Multiple Benefits

Feb 27th, 2012 | By




When it comes to improving global air quality and reversing anthropogenic changes to the climate, we don’t exactly have much room for error: Experimentation with ultimately unhelpful management techniques could waste precious time and resources, and might even do further damage. Luckily, climatologists and meteorologists have developed increasingly precise mathematical models that allow researchers to

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Climate Change Will Shake The Earth

Feb 27th, 2012 | By




A changing climate isn’t just about floods, droughts and heatwaves. It brings erupting volcanoes and catastrophic earthquakes too. The idea that a changing climate can persuade the ground to shake, volcanoes to rumble and tsunamis to crash on to unsuspecting coastlines seems, at first, to be bordering on the insane. How can what happens in

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Chasing Ice: The Climate Change Debate Is Over

Feb 27th, 2012 | By




Sometimes people question whether or not Climate Change is real. After viewing the feature documentary, Chasing Ice, I can assure you that the debate is over. On Monday, January 23, 2012 — Chasing Ice, had its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival featuring documentary director Jeff Orlowski and his Academy Awarding winning production

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Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre

Feb 27th, 2012 | By




As a leading regional resource center, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) works towards the realization of disaster reduction for safer communities and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific. Since its inception in 1986, ADPC has been recognized as the major independent center in the region for promoting disaster awareness and the development of local

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Nations Commit to Scaling up Environmental Sustainability

Feb 27th, 2012 | By




Summary for Policy Makers of Global Environment Outlook-5 Spurs Urgency for Action: President of the 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum Says “Time is Not on Our Side” In Nairobi on 22 February 2012, the world’s environment ministers ended their annual meeting by committing to make the upcoming UN Conference

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Green Economy: Does Not Necessarily Mean Sustainability

Feb 25th, 2012 | By




A number of multinational corporations have adopted the concept of a “green economy,” a model that allows the private sector to implement practices that save energy and reduce pollution. These corporations have not hesitated in using the terms “green” or “sustainable” in their mission statements and in marketing products ranging from shampoo to hydroelectric projects.

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Climate Change, Increasing Temperatures Alter Bird Migration Patterns

Feb 25th, 2012 | By




Birds in eastern North America are picking up the pace along their yearly migratory paths. The reason, according to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers, is rising temperatures due to climate change. Using migration information collected in eBird, a citizen science program database containing 10 years’ worth of observations from amateur birdwatchers, assistant

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Warming Climate Could Make Us All Shrink

Feb 25th, 2012 | By




Researchers have uncovered a direct link between global temperatures and body size, leading them to conclude that future climate change could mean species getting smaller. A team led by scientists from the University of Florida and the University of Nebraska followed the evolution of the earliest horses about 56 million years ago, and found that

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Rio+20 – Will We All Be There For The Same Reason?

Feb 25th, 2012 | By




On behalf of the Centre for Ethics and Value Inquiry of the University of Ghent (Belgium), I invite you to join a reflection on ‘the need for a common understanding of the principle of the green economy as a criterion for sustainable development’. Since the beginning of the global negotiations on sustainable development, their central

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Glacial Mass Balance Studies in Asia For Sustainable Agriculture

Feb 25th, 2012 | By




In one of the articles published in 2009, by Koji Matsuo, Kosuke Heki from the Dept. of Natural History Sci., Hokkaido University, Japan mentioned that a substantial amount of glacial ice is melting in the Asian high mountains (AHM). It stated that the Gravimetry by GRACE satellite during 2003–2009 suggests the average ice loss rate

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Expert Urges Farmers To Push Science Harder

Feb 25th, 2012 | By




Australia’s farmers must ”demand more from science” to help them adjust to the challenges of climate change, a leading agricultural scientist says. Addressing a rural leadership forum in Canberra this week, CSIRO chief research scientist Professor Mark Howden said there was ”a political economy in science” that often encouraged a repetitive publication of research data

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Shrinking Glaciers Under Scrutiny

Feb 23rd, 2012 | By




Nature: Melting glaciers contribute to sea-level rise, but measuring their mass loss over time is difficult. An analysis of satellite data on Earth’s changing gravity field does just that, and delivers some unexpected results. Glaciers and ice caps are pivotal features of both water resources and tourism. They are also a significant contributor to sea-level

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Encroaching Deserts Threaten Life Along Tibet’s Longest River

Feb 23rd, 2012 | By




Rising temperatures, reduced rainfall and excessive numbers of grazing animals are worsening desertification and drying up grasslands in western Tibet, says a Chinese geologist who has explored one of the region’s uncharted rivers. Yang Yong said he had observed desertification in parts of the upper reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River, and believes this could

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Transforming Small-Scale Agriculture For Green Economies

Feb 23rd, 2012 | By




Developing countries can only build a green economy by adopting “profound policy reforms” to transform small-scale agriculture, argue Peter Messerli, from the Centre for Development and Environment in Switzerland, and colleagues. The green economy — one where growth comes with environmental and economic benefits — is dominating policy debates, including those linked to the UN

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Sacred Natural Sites And Climate Change Threat

Feb 23rd, 2012 | By




Sacred natural sites are areas of land or water having special spiritual significance. And the Eastern Himalayas is home to many such sites like Mount Kailash (Tibet), Lumbini (Nepal), Taksang (Bhutan), Gosaikunda (Nepal), Gurudongmar Lake (Sikkim). These sites besides having spiritual and religious significance also have biodiversity conservation value due to restrictions on cutting of

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National Adaptive Capacity Framework Helps Countries Get Ready for Climate Change

Feb 23rd, 2012 | By
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This week, WRI released a new report summarizing assessments of institutional readiness for adapting to climate change. The report, Ready or Not, focuses on pilot applications of the National Adaptive Capacity (NAC) framework in three countries: Bolivia, Ireland, and Nepal. Co-authors Heather McGray and Aarjan Dixit respond to questions about the NAC framework, which provided

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Climate Change Effect on Glacier Behavior: A Case Study from the Himalayas

Feb 23rd, 2012 | By




Glaciers are the visible indicator of climate change. Glacier mass balance, length and snow-melt runoff are some of the glacier parameters directly related to the climate. Glacier length changes in response to climate change with a time delay. This paper studies the change in the length of a benchmark glacier, Chhota Shigri of the Indian

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Momentum For Change Initiative

Feb 22nd, 2012 | By




Addressing climate change effectively is not only a challenge, it is also an opportunity. Growth that is based on high resilience and low carbon is at the centre of all efforts to address climate change. There are myriad opportunities to benefit people directly, while at the same time contributing to global efforts to control emissions

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Indian Minister ‘Shocked’ CO2 Emissions Cuts Seen As U.N. Goal

Feb 22nd, 2012 | By




India’s rural development minister has slammed a United Nations report which includes reducing C02 emissions as a development target agreed by poor countries, saying it was a “mistake” and that the international body was “sending the wrong signal”. Jairam Ramesh, a former environment minister, was India’s voice – echoing that of many developing nations –

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Glaciers: Carbon Captured, Released To Aquatic Systems

Feb 22nd, 2012 | By




Glaciers around the world may hold clues about how Earth’s remote ecosystems have been influenced by the industrial revolution. They capture large amounts of carbon-containing dissolved organic matter (DOM) that is later released to downstream ecosystems where it provides food for microorganisms at the base of the aquatic food web. While many scientists believe the

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Seeding A Policy Without The Dirt On Climate Change

Feb 22nd, 2012 | By




ICAR says knowledge of climate change impact in India is ‘fragmentary’. A recent international conference on climate change and sustainable agriculture in New Delhi brought forth the shocking realisation that there are no conclusive studies in India on the prospective impact of climate change on the agriculture sector including livestock and fisheries. Much of the

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The State of the Himalaya

Feb 22nd, 2012 | By




Apa Sherpa and his team have just completed the first month of their epic 1,700 km journey on foot across Nepal’s Great Himalayan Trail to draw attention to the threats of global climate change and the opportunities of eco-tourism. This week, Nepali Times spoke to Apa Sherpa as he sat besides Tso Rolpa lake in

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Warmer Planet Could Be Dominated by Mosquitoes

Feb 22nd, 2012 | By




The distribution of wildlife on Earth is changing with the climate, making conditions more favorable to odd species such as trumpeter swans, beetles, marmots, albatross, killer whales and white-tailed deer. Imagine a planet where jellyfish rule the seas, giant rodents roam the mountains and swarms of insects blur everything in sight. It may sound far-fetched,

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Yosemite’s Alpine Chipmunks Take Genetic Hit from Climate Change

Feb 21st, 2012 | By




Sciencedaily; Global warming has forced alpine chipmunks in Yosemite to higher ground, prompting a startling decline in the species’ genetic diversity, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. The study, appearing Feb. 19, in the advance online publication of the journal Nature Climate Change, is one of the first

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‘Climate-Smart’ Aggie

Feb 21st, 2012 | By




Climate change requires attitude change. The official call is actually for Climate-Change Adaptation and Mitigation. And since the impact of climate change would be most felt in terms of agricultural output and food production, farmers need to be equipped with adaptation and mitigation skills and techniques to ensure maximum yield despite extreme or erratic climatic

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Asian News Editors Meet For Climate Change

Feb 21st, 2012 | By




Kuenselonline: News editors from 18 Asian countries deliberated media’s role in fighting climate change in a two-day conference “Himalayan system in a changing climate future and media’s role” which ended yesterday in Kathmandu, Nepal.The receding Himalayan glaciers, rising temperatures, glacial lake outburst flood, and rapid urbanisations were some of the critical issues the 21 editors

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Weather watch: Dirty Glaciers Melt Faster Than Clean Glaciers

Feb 21st, 2012 | By




Guardian: Dirty snow melts faster than clean snow. Nowhere is this clearer than on the glaciers of the Himalayas, where scientists have recorded accelerated melting, coinciding with a greying of the glaciers. Photo: Scientists have recorded accelerated melting, coinciding with the greying of the glaciers. Photograph: Paul Souders/Corbis Asia’s industrial revolution is pumping out lots

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Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming

Feb 21st, 2012 | By




The authors of the Jan. 27 Wall Street Journal op-ed, ‘No Need to Panic about Global Warming,’ respond to their critics. The authors of the following letter, listed below, are also the signatories of “No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” an op-ed that appeared in the Journal on January 27. This letter responds to

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Calling All Citizens of Earth To Do Something For Earth: Earth Day

Feb 21st, 2012 | By




April 22, 1970 marked the first Earth Day. The Day activated 20 million people from all walks of life to do something to save their common heritage – Earth. Today, more than one billion people worldwide participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance anywhere in the world. Earth Day

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Where’s The Water?

Feb 20th, 2012 | By




It is a commonly held view that future wars in the world will be fought over that most basic of necessities, which is fast becoming scarce: Water. Only 2.75 percent of the world’s water is fresh – and soon to be the most sought after (and fought after) commodity in the world. The last century

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Information Flow Can Help Farmers Cope With Climate Change

Feb 20th, 2012 | By




The instant communications technology that nurtured grassroots revolutions in the Arab world could also help farmers cope with climate change, according to Iowa State University researchers. And so the researchers – Steven Fales, a professor of agronomy; and Gene Takle, director of Iowa State’s Climate Science Program, a professor of agronomy and of geological and

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Skeptical Science Takes a Look at NIPCC in Midst of Heartland Hoopla

Feb 20th, 2012 | By




Skeptical Science has done what it does so well this week and taken an opportunity to look into a scientific matter related to a current hot topic, the Heartland Institute leak. Dana Nuccitelli, in the piece reposted in full below, discusses the “climate-skeptic” NIPCC report and how it differs from the Nobel-prize-winning IPCC’s widely cited

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Changing Climates of Governance

Feb 20th, 2012 | By




Understanding real-world complexity and anticipating change are the key to global and local governance in the 21st century: Shyam Sharan, India The issue of global governance has acquired increasing salience in recent years. With the process of globalisation and the increasing interconnectedness of economies, issues that transcend national and regional boundaries have become progressively more

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Population Is ‘Our Biggest Challenge’

Feb 20th, 2012 | By




Population is ‘our biggest challenge’ says government chief scientist Sir John Beddington. The next world population milestone of 8 billion will come sooner than we think – perhaps as early as 2025 – yet we remain reluctant to debate the issue. A forthcoming Royal Society report may force us to While many commentators look ahead

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Adopt ‘Climate Smart’ Agriculture To Ensure Food Security, Adaptation

Feb 20th, 2012 | By




AN expert from the Food and Agriculture Office (FAO) is pitching calls for the adoption of “climate-smart agriculture” to address the twin challenges of achieving food security and climate change. Hideki Kanamaru of the Climate, Energy and Tenure Division (NRC) of the FAO told participants of the APEC Symposium on Climate Change held at the

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Climate Change Models May Help Spur Lawmakers To Implement Seed Treaty

Feb 18th, 2012 | By




A new climate change tool will not only help farmers to prepare for the future, it may also spur implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Although 127 countries rushed to ratify the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, far fewer have implemented it in

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Climate Warming Denial: Big Business

Feb 18th, 2012 | By




Discovery: What to do when adults persist in believing that the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change? You know, on account of that pesky overwhelming scientific evidence and stuff? Simple. Target kids instead, and try to convince them, as early as possible, that it’s all a crock – or at least that it’s

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The Inside Story On climate Scientists Under Siege

Feb 18th, 2012 | By




Michael Mann reveals his account of attacks by entrenched interests seeking to undermine his ‘hockey stick’ graph. It is almost possible to dismiss Michael Mann’s account of a vast conspiracy by the fossil fuel industry to harrass scientists and befuddle the public. His story of that campaign, and his own journey from naive computer geek

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New Coalition to Curb ‘Short-Lived’ Climate Pollution

Feb 18th, 2012 | By




Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Thursday announced a new global initiative to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. Working together as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, and the United States will conduct what Secretary Clinton described as “a targeted, practical, and highly energetic global campaign to spread solutions to the

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Kashmir University: To Undertake Research On Glaciers Climate Change

Feb 18th, 2012 | By




University of Kashmir has become part of the countrywide efforts for undertaking joint research on glaciers and climate change in the Himalayas and Karakoram. An  Inter-University Consortium on Cryosphere and Climate Change (IUCCC) with membership from Kashmir University JNU, Jammu University and Sikkim University was recently launched at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. During

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New Front Launched in Battle Against Global Warming

Feb 18th, 2012 | By




Six nations joined UNEP today in announcing a new international effort to pursue action to limit non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. In the wake of the Durban negotiations that largely deferred action on an international climate agreement until 2020, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Limit Short-term Pollutants is being initiated to combat non-CO2 emissions

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Soil Carbon to Decommissioning Nuclear Reactors: UNEP Year Book

Feb 17th, 2012 | By




From Soil Carbon to Decommissioning Nuclear Reactors, UNEP Year Book Highlights Key Emerging Issues: Dramatic improvements in the way the world manages its precious soils will be key to food, water and climate security in the 21st century. Dramatic improvements in the way the world manages its precious soils will be key to food, water

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Climate Change: A Reality For Pakistan

Feb 17th, 2012 | By




The climate change is no more a myth as scientific evidences as well as occurrence of frequent floods, cyclones and droughts around the world have proved beyond doubt that it is real. The fluctuations that occur from year to year, and the statistics of extreme conditions such as severe storms or unusually hot seasons, are

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Sustainable Development To Green Development

Feb 17th, 2012 | By




This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992, where a number of seminal agreements were signed by heads of state from all the countries of the world. These included the Rio Declaration, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Convention on Biodiversity (CBD)

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Now To Sell The Idea

Feb 17th, 2012 | By




It is no secret that developing countries like India are finding it difficult to balance economic growth and its development and environment agendas. But at the same time, they have also begun to realise that the impact of unsustainable growth will be a costly affair. For example, to tackle the impact of climate change on

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