Archive for February 2014

Climate Change ‘Raises Extinction Risk’

Feb 28th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Environmental scientists believe they have a blueprint for extinction. They report inNature Climate Change that they have identified those factors that might make a species more likely to slip away into eternal oblivion as the planet warms and climate conditions change. It turns out that they knew them all along. There is, the researchers

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Scientists Call for Tougher Treaty to Protect the Deep Ocean

Feb 28th, 2014 | By
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Sci Dev Net: A new international agreement is needed to police the exploitation of the deep ocean because of the rising threats of deep-sea mining and bottom trawling for fish, say scientists. Speakers at a symposium this month (16 February) urged the UN to negotiate a new treaty for the deep ocean to supplement the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The symposium took place at the annual meeting of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

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Sea-level Rise Could Bring Floods to 5% of the Population by Century End

Feb 28th, 2014 | By




By 2100, almost 5% of the world’s population could be affected by flooding each year as a result of sea-level rise, unless we boost coastal protection or mitigate climate change. That’s according to researchers in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium who performed the first study to take into account different scenarios for population, climate,

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Indoor Mini-farms to Beat Climate Change

Feb 28th, 2014 | By
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Industrial engineer Ancel Bhagwandeen thinks that growing your food indoors is a great way to protect crops from the stresses of climate change. So he developed a hydroponic system that “leverages the nanoclimates in houses so that the house effectively protects the produce the same way it protects us,” he says. Bhagwandeen told IPS that

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Climate Politics: a Melting Glacier

Feb 28th, 2014 | By
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The great floods across parts of southern England may have abated, but questions over their linkage to climate change are among the most powerful residues. For scientists, experts and citizens the evidence may be compelling, but many parliamentarians and some cabinet ministers in the governing Conservative Party remain unyielding members of the climate-change-denial community (see “A

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Climate Change: Experts for National Migration Policy

Feb 28th, 2014 | By
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The Express Tribune: Pakistan urgently requires a national migration policy to pre-empt and mitigate any significant migration trends caused by changes in climate, according to climate experts. They were speaking on Wednesday at the launch of a study conducted by LEAD Pakistan, an environmental and development NGO, said a press release A large number of

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Global Climate Laws Now Cover Nearly 90% of Carbon Pollution

Feb 27th, 2014 | By
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Over 60 countries responsible for 88% of global greenhouse gas emissions now have legislation aimed at cutting carbon pollution and promoting green growth. The finding is part of a new study by the London-based NGO Globe International, which the UN says is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the reach and depth of national climate

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Smell of Forest Pine Can Limit Climate Change – Researchers

Feb 27th, 2014 | By
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BBC News: Scientists say they’ve found a mechanism by which these scented vapours turn into aerosols above boreal forests. These particles promote cooling by reflecting sunlight back into space and helping clouds to form. The research, published in the journal Nature, fills in a major gap in our understanding, researchers say. One of the biggest holes in

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Ancient Megacities Were Displaced Due To A Changing Climate

Feb 27th, 2014 | By
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The Bronze Age Indus civilization, which spanned across northwest India and Pakistan, flourished for thousands of years and mysteriously declined as some type of development forced these ancient people to abandon the mega-cities they had constructed. A newly published paper in the journal Geology has asserted that climate change may be behind this abrupt change in the Indus way of life.

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Heat Extremes Increase Despite Global Warming Hiatus: Scientists

Feb 27th, 2014 | By
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Reuters: Heat extremes are among the damaging impacts of climate change as they can raise death rates, especially among the elderly, damage food crops and strain everything from water to energy supplies. “Observational data show a continued increase of hot extremes over land during the so-called global warming hiatus,” scientists in Switzerland, Australia and Canada wrote

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Renewable is the Way Forward for India’s Energy Security: Narendra Modi

Feb 27th, 2014 | By
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Spelling out his energy security plans for India’s development, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi blamed the central government for mismanagement of the country’s natural resources. “With the country having so much natural resources, India hasn’t progressed much in the 21st century,” Modi said on Wednesday at the inauguration of a solar

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Offshore Wind Could Calm Hurricanes

Feb 26th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: US engineers have thought of a new way to take the heat out of a hurricane. Fortuitously-placed offshore wind farms could make dramatic reductions in wind speeds and storm surge wave heights. Hurricanes are capricious consequences of peculiar sea temperature and wind conditions, while wind farms are the outcome of years of thoughtful

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New Tracking Technology Reveals Birds’ Epic and Amazing Journeys

Feb 26th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: Today sees the launch of the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science – and one of the most exciting areas of research the centre will be involved in is tracking birds and other animals as they migrate, forage and breed. Last June, at the edge of a small loch on the island of Fetlar in Shetland,RSPB conservationists and members of the local

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Climate Change Causes High but Predictable Extinction Risks

Feb 26th, 2014 | By
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Judging the effects of climate change on extinction may be easier than previously thought, according to a paper entitled, “Life history and spatial traits predict extinction risk due to climate change,” published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. Although widely used assessments of threatened species, such as the IUCN Red List, were not developed with

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Influencing Change: What Matters for Farmers’ Ability to Adapt to Climate Change?

Feb 26th, 2014 | By
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Down to Earth: Farmers all over the world need to adopt improved agricultural practices if they are to adapt to our changing climate. So what are the factors influencing this behaviour change? Does access to weather information matter? Or the asset base of the household? And does participation in groups help? With the ambition to better

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Geo-engineering No Holy Grail – Study

Feb 26th, 2014 | By
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Far from offering a simple fix, sci-fi solutions to global warming may in fact make the problem worse, a probe of “geo-engineering” options said on Tuesday. Once mocked as unscientific, geo-engineering proposals are gaining traction as carbon emissions soar, placing Earth on track for warming of maybe four degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.

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IYFF: Climate-Smart Villages Will Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

Feb 25th, 2014 | By
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Smallholder farmers in Nepal will have the opportunity to learn how to adopt climate-smart agricultural and farming techniques through the climate-smart village models pioneered in South Asia by the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The project features a collaboration between the private sector and research and development organizations to link smallholder farmers to

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Livestock Diet ‘Can Cut GHG Emissions’

Feb 25th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Here’s a way to make cattle emit lower volumes of methane through their digestive tracts: give the beasts a higher-quality diet. That way, you get more stock on less grassland, get improved yields per hectare and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research in the Proceedings of the National

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Bulgaria’s Climate Will Change Drastically by End of 21st Century

Feb 25th, 2014 | By
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By the end of the 21st century the climate of Bulgaria will change drastically. According to experts, levels of drought and warming will increase substantially by the end of the century. This supposition is based on information from the Chambers of Accounts, which conducted an audit of the execution of adaptation measurements of the government

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Green Climate Fund Aims to Allocate Half of Money for Adaptation

Feb 25th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The board of the fledgling U.N. Green Climate Fund, which is likely to handle billions of dollars in climate finance in the coming years, has decided to aim for an equal “50:50” balance between funding for climate change mitigation and adaptation “over time”. It will also aim to allocate no less

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Climate Change ‘Very Evident,’ So Let’s Deal With It

Feb 25th, 2014 | By
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The next report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international group of scientists and government policymakers, will focus on managing the risks of a warming planet, according to the report’s co-chair. “The impacts of climate change that have already occurred are very evident, they’re widespread, they have consequences,” Chris Field, a professor in

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Govt to Come up With Contingency Plan to Tackle Possible El Nino Effect

Feb 25th, 2014 | By
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Times News Network: Amid grim prediction that El Nino conditions may possibly impact Monsoon this year, triggering drought in parts of India, the government plans to ask agricultural institutions, farm scientists, water resource managers and policy makers to come out with a contingency plan to tackle below-normal rain situation during June-August. Government’s precautionary approach for the

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Green Climate Fund Board Hails Success Despite Slow Progress

Feb 24th, 2014 | By
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The Green Climate Fund board says last week’s planning meeting made progress, despite only agreeing two of the eight requirements essential for the fund to become operational. A three day gathering in Bali ended with a decision to split funding equally between mitigation and adaptation efforts, devoting 50% of adaptation monies to climate vulnerable regions.

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China’s Air Pollution Compared to a Smoker at ‘Risk of Lung Cancer’

Feb 24th, 2014 | By
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The head of the China’s leading climate change research centre has likened China’s “unbearable” air pollution to a smoker at increasing risk of lung cancer. “China’s pollution is at an unbearable stage,” said Li Junfeng, director general of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation at a conference in Beijing yesterday. According

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Green Economy Transition Promises Multiple Benefits for Small Island States

Feb 24th, 2014 | By
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UNEP News Center: Creating the enabling conditions for a Green Economy transition in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)from improved public investment to reliable market instruments and better governance will help the estimated 50 million SIDS residents build climate resilience, achieve economic growth and enjoy better standards of living. The transition will offer opportunities for SIDS to

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Sun-Dimming Volcanoes Partly Explain Global Warming Hiatus

Feb 24th, 2014 | By




(Reuters) – Small volcanic eruptions help explain a hiatus in global warming this century by dimming sunlight and offsetting a rise in emissions of heat-trapping gases to record highs, a study showed on Sunday. Eruptions of at least 17 volcanoes since 2000, including Nabro in Eritrea, Kasatochi in Alaska and Merapi in Indonesia, ejected sulfur whose

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Sri Lanka Gains Biodiversity Membership

Feb 24th, 2014 | By




Sri Lanka’s Business and Biodiversity (B&B) Platform has emerged as the first from South Asia to gain membership of the Global Partnership on Business and Biodiversity (GPBB) established under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and the European Union are the other initiatives that have joined the partnership. Australia, India,

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Nissan Signs a Deal with Bhutan to Supply Electric Cars to Help Reach Zero Emissions

Feb 23rd, 2014 | By




The remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has signed a deal with Japanese auto giant Nissan to become the ultimate showcase for electric cars, taking advantage of its abundance of hydropower. The announcement was made during a visit on Friday by Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn to Thimphu, the picturesque capital of Bhutan. Prime Minister Tshering

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China Takes Steps Against Continuous Pollution

Feb 23rd, 2014 | By




Several regions took today measures to prevent a worsening of the current environmental pollution levels, including limiting the circulation of vehicles and suspending industrial production and construction works. Open air activities were also banned in kindergartens and elementary and secondary schools. According to official reports, in northern Hebei province, on orange alert, private cars with

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Wind Farms Remain ‘Highly Efficient’ for 25 Years

Feb 23rd, 2014 | By
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A study from Imperial College Business School published in the Renewable Energy journal says that wind farms maintain a high level of productive throughout their 25-year lifespan, challenging the view that their output declines quickly as the technology ages. Unlike previous studies, which suggest that electricity output from wind turbines declines by a third after only ten

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The Massive, Melting Pine Island Glacier Is Just Getting Started

Feb 23rd, 2014 | By




Scientists have watched with awe the deterioration of the Pine Island Glacier, one of the major outlets of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the fastest moving glacier on the continent. Last summer, the glacier deposited an iceberg eight times the size of Manhattan into the Amundsen Sea. According to data gleaned via NASA’s Ice

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Climate Change and Growth in Africa: Challenges and the Way Forward

Feb 23rd, 2014 | By
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The recent trends of increasing global temperatures and incidences of extreme climate events in Africa—mainly droughts and floods—are likely to continue. These severe climate events demonstrate the level and depth of the impact that climate change has on African economies. African policymakers should prioritize climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in the development agenda of

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Senate Body on Environmental Degradation Meet on Feb 24

Feb 23rd, 2014 | By




Associated Press of Pakistan: A meeting of the Sub-Committee of the Functional Committee on Human Rights, headed by its convener Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, will be held on Monday, February 24. The agenda before the Sub-Committee would be climate change: action plan for Pakistan (Ministry of Climate Change), ‘clean and green’ Islamabad campaign, particularly the

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New Online Tool Tracks Tree Loss in ‘Near Real Time’

Feb 21st, 2014 | By
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A new global monitoring system has been launched that promises “near real time” information on deforestation around the world. Global Forest Watch (GFW) is backed by Google and over 40 business and campaigning groups. It uses information from hundreds of millions of satellite images as well as data from people on the ground. Businesses have welcomed

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Climate Change Threatens Philippines

Feb 21st, 2014 | By
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On 8. November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, which also goes by the name Yolanda struck Estancia, a small town in the north of the Philippine island Panay. Hanna Martin and her family were able to survive by taking shelter with an uncle who lived in a concrete building on the edge of the city. When she

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Scientists: Antarctic Ice Melt ‘Top Threat’

Feb 21st, 2014 | By
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The researchers focused on the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica, which has been thinning at an increasingly rapid pace for about the past 20 years, as the waters beneath get warmer along with the rest of the ocean. Based on new geological surveys and advanced dating techniques on rocks that have been exposed by the retreating ice, the

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New Climate Hubs are a Critical Resource in Addressing Climate Change

Feb 21st, 2014 | By




There is sufficient scientific evidence to support the fact that climate change and its associated extreme events are happening now. With the recent historic drought conditions in California and little explanation as to why it is happening, climate change has been suggested as a potential cause. To address climate change impacts and help prepare the

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Climate Change is a ‘National Security’ Issue Say Military Experts

Feb 21st, 2014 | By
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Climate change should be treated as an issue of national security, say military analysts familiar with links between environmental degradation and conflict. Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, a former Royal Navy aircraft carrier commander and chief UK climate envoy in 2013, told RTCC no one country could afford to ignore the risks linked to rising temperatures.

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Beijing Issues Pollution Alert Ahead of Three Days of Heavy Smog

Feb 20th, 2014 | By
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(Reuters) – China’s capital Beijing issued an emergency pollution alert for the first time on Thursday, warning residents to reduce outdoor activities and construction sites to control dust given a forecast of heavy smog over the next three days. Pollution is an increasing concern for China’s leaders, keen to douse potential unrest as affluent city

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Climate and Clean Air Coalition Marks Two Years of Rapid Growth in Action on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

Feb 20th, 2014 | By
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UNEP News Center: The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) this week celebrated two years of rapid growth, during which dozens of governments and organizations have worked together to target swift reductions in atmospheric pollutants that threaten human health and the environment. The CCAC was originally launched as a partnership between

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$100bn Green Climate Fund Future to be Decided at Bali Summit

Feb 20th, 2014 | By
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Green Climate Fund (GCF) board members are meeting in Indonesia this week to draw up and clear action plan to raise $100 billion a year for low carbon investments in developing countries. A crucial meeting in Bali, Indonesia this week will bring diplomats together with the aim of finalising a plan for the $100bn United

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Arctic ‘is Set to Reach 13°C by 2100′

Feb 20th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: US scientists say that by the end of this century temperatures in the Arctic may for part of each year reach 13°C above pre-industrial levels. Global average temperatures have already risen by about 0.8°C over the level they were at in around 1750. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in its

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Govt to Clear Rs 13,000 Crore Fund for Green India Mission Tomorrow

Feb 20th, 2014 | By




Times News Network: Government may on Thursday clear Rs 13,000 crore fund for its much awaited ‘Green India Mission’ which aims at enhancing carbon sinks through large scale afforestation across the country. The Mission is part of the Centre’s plan to fight climate change by increasing the forest cover by 10 million hectare in the next

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China Commits $330bn to Combat Water Pollution

Feb 19th, 2014 | By
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The Chinese government has revealed plans to invest up to ¥2 trillion (US$330 billion) in projects aimed at combating water pollution as the country expands its efforts to address environmental concerns. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has set the ¥2 trillion budget which exceeds the ¥1.7 trillion that was recently announced to tackle the

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India Announce New Mega Solar Projects as Part of Solar Mission

Feb 19th, 2014 | By
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India’s ambitious renewable energy targets are closer to being realised after the government announced plans to deliver four new 500MW solar projects. The new projects are planned for Gujarat, Jammu, Kashmir and Rajasthan and the announcement follows proposals for a new 4GW solar mega project, also in Rajasthan, which would be the largest solar application

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Geo-Engineering ‘Could Mean More Heat’

Feb 19th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: The geo-engineers just cannot win, it seems. First, scientists demonstrated that ambitious plans to cool the planet by dimming solar radiation could have unintended and unwelcome consequences. And now they have shown something even more alarming: any programme to block the sunlight could precipitate even more dramatic global warming once it stopped, according

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Tackling Water, Sanitation, Energy Nexus Key to Sustainable Future – UN Officials

Feb 19th, 2014 | By
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UN News Center: The water, sanitation and sustainable energy crises are the among the world’s pre-eminent development challenges, senior United Nations officials warned today, urging Member States to adopt coherent integrated policies and innovative strategies to tackle these issues, which take a tragic toll on the lives of millions of poor people, especially women and young

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Canada’s Arctic ice Caps Melting Rapidly Since 2005, According to Documents

Feb 19th, 2014 | By
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Glacier monitoring conducted by the federal government in Canada’s High Arctic shows the shrinking of ice caps that started in the late 1980s “has accelerated rapidly since 2005” and is part of a “strongly negative trend,” according to internal government documents. The federal government data raise a number of questions about climate change in Canada’s

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Pakistan’s Keyal Khwar Hydro Project Receives €100m EIB Loan

Feb 19th, 2014 | By




The Government of Pakistan has been awarded a €100m long-term loan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the construction of the Keyal Khwar hydropower project. To be constructed by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), the project calls for the construction of a 128MW run-of-river hydropower plant with a small 1.5ha reservoir for

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Tree Roots ‘Are Natural Thermostat’

Feb 18th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Trees have become a source of continuous surprise. Only weeks after researchers demonstrated that old forest giants actually accumulate more carbon than younger, fast-growing trees, British scientists have discovered that the great arbiters of long-term global temperatures may not be the leaves of an oak, a pine or a eucalyptus, but the roots. The argument,

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Arctic Thaw Significantly Worsens Global Warming Risk

Feb 18th, 2014 | By
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New Scientist: Melting ice is cooking the planet. Shrinking Arctic sea ice means the ocean is absorbing more energy from the sun, and it’s now clear the effect is twice as big as thought – adding significantly to heating from greenhouse gases. Arctic temperatures have risen 2 °C since the 1970s, leading to a 40 per

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Finding Common Ground Fosters Understanding of Climate Change

Feb 18th, 2014 | By




Grasping the concept of climate change and its impact on the environment can be difficult. Establishing common ground and using models, however, can break down barriers and present the concept in an easily understood manner. In a presentation at this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Michigan State University systems

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Population of Migratory Water Birds Declines in India

Feb 18th, 2014 | By




Press Trust of India: The population of migratory water birds has been decreasing in India every year and their migratory pattern has also seen a change due to global climate changes, a census has revealed. The migratory pattern of these birds has been changing due to global climate changes, declining wetland habitats, various local threats and

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Preparing to Adapt

Feb 18th, 2014 | By
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There is no doubt that the increasingly warming climate will have tremendous impacts on Nepali society. During the last few years, Nepal experienced more frequent extreme monsoon rainfalls—bringing devastating floods like in Darchula in 2013, Pokhara in 2012 and Koshi in 2008—than ever before. Small-scale droughts, glacial lake outburst floods, avalanches, landslides and slope failures

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Responsibility and Progress: Making Eco-Friendly Development Realisable

Feb 18th, 2014 | By
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Tribune: An increased level of development in line with the prevalent neo-liberal practices comes at the cost of a healthy environment. Although this truism has found manifestation in various forms around the world, an environment-friendly mode of development is conceivable. To familiarise this notion, a report on ‘Work Programme for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in

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A Sneak Preview of Post-Hyogo Disaster Risk Reduction

Feb 17th, 2014 | By
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Sci Dev Net: Technology not only helps nations deal with disasters, but it also makes them more vulnerable to their impacts, according to Margareta Wahlström, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for disaster risk reduction. She told a meeting in London last week (14 February) that a better recognition of this vulnerability is likely to be one of three top agenda

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South Asia Needs To Enrich Regional Flood Information System Urgently – Analysis

Feb 17th, 2014 | By
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Since a significant percentage of people are exposed to recurring riverine flood disasters mostly during rainy season an effective regional flood information system is needed urgently in South Asian heavily effected countries. People working with flood mitigation and climate change adaptation programs lay emphasis such a system which will avert flood catastrophes of transboundary scale effectively. The Pakistan floods

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Kerry: Climate Change is World’s ‘Most Fearsome’ Weapon

Feb 17th, 2014 | By
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Climate change may be the world’s “most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction and urgent global action is needed to combat it, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday, comparing those who deny its existence or question its causes to people who insist the Earth is flat. In a speech to Indonesian students, civic

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Climate Change: Tibet Wettest in 2010 in 3,500 Years

Feb 17th, 2014 | By




Recent decades have likely been the wettest on record in the semi-arid Tibetan plateau, researchers say, warning that any further large-scale warming might lead to even greater rainfall in Tibet, the birthplace for Asia’s great rivers. The wettest individual year reconstructed in 3,500 years in northeastern Tibet is 2010, say climate researchers at the University

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Green Growth Initiative – From Vision to Implementation

Feb 17th, 2014 | By
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The Nation: The global growth model is clearly on an unsustainable pathway. An exponentially expanding population, extravagant consumption patterns, rising greenhouse gases triggering catastrophic climate changes, dwindling biodiversity reserves, rapid and unregulated urbanization – these are just some of the environmentally alarming trends delivered by the existing model for economic growth. Thus, it is no surprise

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