Archive for May 2014

We are Killing Species at 1000 Times the Natural Rate

May 30th, 2014 | By
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New Scientist: First the bad news. Humans are driving species to extinction at around 1000 times the natural rate, at the top of the range of an earlier estimate. We also don’t know how many species we can afford to lose. Now the good news. Armed with your smartphone, you can help conservationists save them.

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First UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi Heralds New Era in Global Efforts to Address Environmental Sustainability

May 30th, 2014 | By
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UNEP News Center: The First UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) will convene in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23 to 27 June 2014. This marks a historic milestone in UNEP’s 43-year history and is expected to be attended by high-level delegations from over 160 UN Member and Observer States. UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the President of the UN

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Buried Carbon Causes Deep Concern

May 30th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Geographers in the US have found a new factor in the carbon cycle, and – all too ominously – a new potential source of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. They have identified huge deposits of fossil soils, rich in organic carbon, buried beneath the Great Plains of America. The discovery is evidence that the

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Carbon Dioxide Levels Rise Above 400 Parts Per Million

May 30th, 2014 | By
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The World Meteorological Organization has warned that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have gone higher than 400 parts per million (ppm) in the Northern Hemisphere. The readings were measured for the entire month of April and it has happened for the first time when such a level has been reached by carbon dioxide an

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Efforts to Tackle Effects of Climate in South Asia

May 30th, 2014 | By
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IANS: How does a warming environment affect rainfall, cropping patterns, livelihoods? What could be the alternatives that people whose livelihoods are hit by the effects of climate change do to cope? An initiative by Britain and Canada seeks to study and tackle the effects of climate change in South Asia, in tandem with TERI and Jadavpur

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To Reduce Flood Threats, Nepal Builds Climate Risk Into Planning

May 30th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – It is nearly time for the monsoon, but there has not been even a drop of rain yet in this village on the fringes of Chitwan National Park, a deep worry for local farmers. Retired forest guard Potahariyu Chaudhary, 65, looks at his dry maize fields and says he doubts the

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Climate Pact May Depend on Side Deals by Poor Nations

May 29th, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: The interests of rich countries can seem to dominate climate change negotiations, but a study that models such talks as a ‘bargaining game’ shows that side deals among poorer nations could boost chances of an international agreement. Cooperation among countries that emit little green house gasses — mainly developing nations — could bring success when world leaders try

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Prompt Global Action Can Cut the Cost of Going Carbon Neutral

May 29th, 2014 | By
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The United Nations is gearing up for a climate deal to be agreed next year, which will set ambition for emissions cuts from 2020 to 2030. Global net greenhouse gas emissions will have to fall to zero by the end of the century, to keep average surface warming below 2C, found a report by the

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In the Himalayas, Drones Map Melting Glaciers

May 29th, 2014 | By




“Because it’s there,” George Mallory famously replied when asked in 1923 his motivation for challenging the world’s highest peak. Yet long before Mallory’s linguistic minimalism Everest was there, a Himalayan mountain above all others. In the early 20th century, however, climbing technology was too rudimentary to allow alpinists more than unfulfilled hopes and deadly dreams.

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Can India Go 100% Renewable by 2050?

May 29th, 2014 | By
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In the coming years, India will face seemingly insurmountable challenges to its economy, environment and energy security.  To overcome these challenges India needs to shift to non-polluting sources of energy.  As Jeremy Rifkin, an economist and activist, said in New Delhi in January 2012,  “India is the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy sources and, if

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CO2 Levels Hit New High Across Northern Hemisphere

May 29th, 2014 | By
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For the first time, monthly concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million in April throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the World Meteorological Organization reports. This threshold is reinforces evidence that the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities are responsible for the continuing increase in heat-trapping greenhouse gases warming

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Economic Impact Assessment of Climate Change for Key Sectors in Nepal

May 29th, 2014 | By
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A new report, released this week by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), IDS-Nepal, Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (GCAP) and Practical Action assesses how climate change will affect key economic sectors in Nepal, such as agriculture, water and energy. The report,Economic Impact Assessment of Climate Change for Key Sectors in Nepal was received by the

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Carbon Trust Opens Mexico Office to Boost Sustainability in Latin America

May 28th, 2014 | By
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The Carbon Trust has opened a new office in Mexico in a bid to expand its presence in Latin America and offer the region more guidance on sustainability. The organisation currently has a presence in China, South Africa the UK, and the US. A statement from the Trust said that its move into Mexico boosts

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India’s Lethal Heat Wave Strikes Again

May 28th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Kumar Srinivasan, a 34-year-old policeman, is struggling to cope with the heat as he controls traffic at a busy city-centre road junction in Chennai, South India. “I feel like a roasted chicken,” he says. “But it’s actually worse, since I am alive while the chicken would have gone to rest in heaven.” India

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Threat of Uttarakhand-like Disaster in Himachal Pradesh, Scientists Worried

May 28th, 2014 | By




Times News Network: Increased vulnerability of Himachal Pradesh to climate change has posed the threat of Uttarakhand like disaster. In 2013, bursting of a small lake in front of Chorabari glacier coupled with heavy rainfall had wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand and in Himachal Pradesh 249 glacial lakes exists of which 11 have been identified as having

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UMF Students Present Climate Adaptive Plan to Town

May 28th, 2014 | By




The impacts of climate change on the town was the focus of a recent presentation by University of Maine at Farmington students to the Board of Selectmen. After studying the potential for impacts in areas such as agriculture, wildlife, tourism, health and the economy, students from the UMF Climate Change and Society class made suggestions

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Center for Clean Energy Innovation Proposes New Approach to Global Climate

May 28th, 2014 | By




The world faces two often contradictory energy challenges: mitigating global climate change and expanding affordable energy access in low-income countries. Unfortunately, the dominant approaches to international climate policies, including carbon targets and pricing, regulatory mandates, and subsidies for deployment, have failed to achieve either goal. Carbon emissions have grown faster since 2000 than in the

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Global Warming vs Climate Change

May 28th, 2014 | By
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In January 2014, we conducted a nationally representative experimental study and found that the terms global warming and climate change often mean different things to Americans. The two terms activate different sets of beliefs, feelings, and behaviors, as well as different degrees of urgency about the need to respond. We found that the term global warming is associated with greater public understanding, emotional

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Ethiopia’s Blue Volcano Burns Deadly Sulphuric Gas

May 27th, 2014 | By
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New Scientist: IT’S a volcano, but not as we know it. This cerulean eruption takes place in the Danakil Depression, a low-lying plain in Ethiopia. The volcano’s lava is the usual orange-red – the blue comes from flames produced when escaping sulphuric gases burn. French photographer Olivier Grunewald creates such images without using colour filters or

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Americans Care Deeply About ‘Global Warming’ – But Not ‘Climate Change’

May 27th, 2014 | By
Impact of climate change: ice melt in Antarctica.




The Guardian: Barack Obama, scientists and campaigners have all looked at how to engage Americans more powerfully on the environment. Now researchers have come up with one critical piece of advice: do say “global warming”, don’t say “climate change”. New research released on Tuesday found Americans care more deeply when the term “global warming” is used

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‘Time Running Out’ to Stop Rising CO2 Levels as Average Hits New High, UN Reports

May 27th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have crossed a new threshold, the United Nation’s weather agency today confirmed, warning that time is running out to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions. In April, monthly concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout the northern hemisphere, the

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South Africa has Africa’s Largest Carbon Footprint

May 27th, 2014 | By




The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report reveals that South Africa is responsible for the majority of African’s carbon emissions as a result of its coal-intensive energy production, and that the average temperatures across South Africa will increase by 2ºC along the coast and 6ºC inland by the end of the century if no action is taken to combat

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Climate Change: ‘Media Needs to Step Up to Teach People About Environment Issues’

May 27th, 2014 | By
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Tribune: Speaking at a three-day training course on the ‘Basics of Climate Change for Coastal Areas of Pakistan’ organised by NGO LEAD Pakistan at Pearl Continental Hotel on Monday, former federal minister Javed Jabbar said the media has played a vital role in raising awareness on climate change and environment related issues but it needs to

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Why do Next Week’s UN Climate Talks in Bonn Matter?

May 26th, 2014 | By
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Coming off the back of the Abu Dhabi Ascent, and the jubilation at the recently announced agreement in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) meeting, Bonn looks to be just another stage post en route to Paris in 2015. But the Bonn intercessional this June is more than just a normal negotiation.  Ministers have no sooner

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China to Scrap Millions of Cars in Anti-pollution Push

May 26th, 2014 | By
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(Reuters) – China plans to take more than five million aging vehicles off the roads this year in a bid to improve air quality, with 330,000 cars set to be decommissioned in Beijing alone, the government said in a policy document published on Monday. Pollution has emerged as an urgent priority for China’s leaders as they try

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El Niño Blows Hot and Cold

May 26th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: El Niño, the mysterious meteorological phenomenon that periodically upsets global weather patterns, bringing catastrophic flooding to the arid lands of North and South America, and forest fires to South-east Asia, turns out to be more complicated than anyone had thought. Sandra Banholzer and Simon Donner, environmental scientists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver,

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Q&A: Peru’s Environment Minister on COP20 Climate Summit

May 26th, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: The next UN climate summit, which will take place in Latin America, in Lima, Peru, is on the horizon (1-12 December). It is the last step towards the potentially pivotal 2015 summit in Paris, France, where a new international climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol that was adopted in 1997 is expected to take shape. In

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How Will Climate Change Affect Livelihoods in South Asia?

May 26th, 2014 | By




IANS: How does a warming environment affect rainfall, cropping patterns, livelihoods? What could be the alternatives that people whose livelihoods are hit by the effects of climate change do to cope? An initiative by Britain and Canada seeks to study and tackle the effects of climate change in South Asia, in tandem with TERI and Jadavpur

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Flash Floods From Glacial Lakes Worry Experts

May 26th, 2014 | By




Dawn: Meteorologists have been rushed to investigate two glacial lakes that burst out in Gilgit-Baltistan region recently, causing flash floods and disrupting traffic on Karakoram Highway (KKH). Deputy Commissioner Hunza Usman Ali told Dawn that a lake formed atop the roughly 20 kilometre-long Hussaini glacier in Gojal Valley burst its banks at three or four points

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Sea Change in Charity’s Energy Policy

May 25th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: You’re responsible for a historic building, and you’re finding the heating bills an increasing burden? There’s a fairly simple answer − so long as you live near the sea, that is. Plas Newydd, an 18th-century mansion on the coast of North Wales, is switching to renewable energy supplied by an inexhaustible source – the

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Greenland Ice May Melt Even Faster

May 25th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Just days after US researchers identified geophysical reasons why West Antarctica’s glaciers are increasingly vulnerable to global warming, a partner team has pinpointed a related cause for alarm in Greenland. Many of the bedrock crevices and canyons down which the island’s glaciers flow have basements that are below sea level. This means that as warm

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Climate Change to Make Nepal Glaciers Shrink by Quarter in 30 Years – Scientist

May 25th, 2014 | By
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Samjwal Ratna Bajracharya, lead author of the report, told AFP, “the shrinking of glaciers in Nepal is definitely connected to climate change, glacial melt is a huge indicator of rising temperatures. “The Norway-funded research project led by ICIMOD took three years to complete, as scientists mapped satellite imagery from several decades to see the extent

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Climate Change Makes Karachi Feel Under the Weather

May 25th, 2014 | By
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The Express Tribune: “We have to protect the mangroves,” he said. “Movement of water at downstream Kotri is also concerning as about a million acres of land has been eroded in Badin and Thatta. The erosion has even affected Tando Muhammad Khan and soon it will hit Hyderabad if we don’t take appropriate measures.” Speaking at

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New UN Registry to Support Developed Countries Limiting Emissions

May 25th, 2014 | By




A new UN Registry which records and matches offers of support from developed nations to the stated plans of developing countries to reduce and limit greenhouse gas emissions has recorded the first such agreed cooperation between Austria and Georgia. “This first success highlights the enormous potential of the new registry as a transparent, efficient clearing

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Glaciers In Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Shrinking Due To Global Warming

May 23rd, 2014 | By
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Glaciers in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, home to several Himalayan rivers including the Brahamaputra, have shrunk 15% due to global warming, Chinese researchers said. Glaciers have shrunk from 53,000 to 45,000 sq km in the past 30 years, the scientists added. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the highest place in the world’s mid-latitude regions, is more likely to

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Bangladesh Uncovers the Crippling Cost of Climate Change Adaptation

May 23rd, 2014 | By
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UNEP News Center: With a population of 140 million, Bangladesh is one of the world’s most populated countries in the world. It is also one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Cyclones, floods and droughts have long been part of the country’s history but they have intensified in recent years. As a

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‘Bright Spots’ can Help Islands Navigate Towards Sustainable Future: UN Biodiversity Chief

May 23rd, 2014 | By
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UN News Center: Tiny though some may be, islands play a huge role in sustaining life on the planet – making up less than 5 per cent of Earth’s landmass, they are home to 20 per cent of all bird, reptile and plant species – and protecting their fragile ecosystems from ill-considered development, polluted waters and

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Study Shows Importance of European Farmers Adapting to Climate Change

May 23rd, 2014 | By
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A new Stanford study finds that due to an average 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit of warming expected by 2040, yields of wheat and barley across Europe will drop more than 20 percent. New Stanford research reveals that farmers in Europe will see crop yields affected as global temperatures rise, but that adaptation can help slow the decline for

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Coastal Areas Bearing the Brunt of Changing Weather Patterns

May 23rd, 2014 | By




Rising temperatures and level of seawater were directing affecting weather patterns in coastal areas of the country and this was why extreme natural disasters such as wind storms and tropical cyclones had become more frequent and dangerous over the years. This was expressed by leading climate change researchers, policy makers and disaster response experts who

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How Green Spaces Could Stop Cities From Overheating

May 22nd, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: Most city-dwellers are big fans of green spaces, with the benefits to health and community well-being evident in the data. There’s more to it though – adding more commons, parks and greens could also shelter British cities from the full effect of global warming. Since the beginning of the 20th century global temperature has increased by

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No Way Back for West Antarctic Glaciers

May 22nd, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: The glaciers of the West Antarctic may be in irreversible retreat, according to the evidence of satellite data analysed by scientists at the US space agency Nasa. The study of 19 years of data, due to be reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, confirms the ominous news that the southern hemisphere is not

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Study Paints Alarming Picture of Glacial Retreat

May 22nd, 2014 | By
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Nepal’s mountains lost a glacier area of 1,266 square kilometres, 24 percent of the total glaciated area of the country between 1977 and 2010, a study has shown. The findings of a new research made public last week blame rising temperatures caused by climate change to the colossal loss of ice deposits in the Himalayas.

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China Glaciers Shrink 15% in Warming: Xinhua

May 22nd, 2014 | By
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AFP: China’s glaciers have shrunk by thousands of square kilometres over the past 30 years as a result of climate change, state-run media reported on Wednesday. The Qinghai-Tibet plateau in western China has seen its glaciers shrink by 15 per cent, or 8,000 square kilometres (3,089 square miles), the official Xinhua news agency cited the Chinese

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Climate Change in Pakistan: Innovation in the Absence of Government Support

May 22nd, 2014 | By
A farmer uses a donkey to transport newly harvested wheat grains at a field in Attcak, in Punjab




The Guardian: “There is nothing left here. We don’t have electricity, we don’t have gas, we have an acute shortage of water, so what is left for us?” This is how a woman in Lahore, Pakistan, expressed her frustration to researchers for Climate Asia, the largest study in Asia on people’s perceptions of changes in climate. Pakistan stood

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Potatoes Pioneer Crops Swap Trail

May 22nd, 2014 | By
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A warming climate may confront any of us with unfamiliar problems. The upside, though, is that people half a world away from each other may already have some answers. Small-scale farmers on two continents – from Yunnan in China and from Bhutan and Peru − are now working together to help their communities to adapt to

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Tianjin, China to Limit Vehicles on the Road to Curb Pollution

May 20th, 2014 | By
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On days of heavy smog, the government will halve the number of vehicles allowed on roads by restricting licence plate numbers, limiting construction and manufacturing activities, closing schools for the day, and postponing large-scale outdoor activities, the official Xinhua news agency said. The government in China is aiming to reverse some of the damage done to

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Migrating Cyclones Pose New Threat

May 20th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Tropical cyclones – hurricanes in the Caribbean, typhoons in the South China Sea – are moving further north and south, threatening to create new havoc in unsuspecting coastal areas. New research published in the journal Nature reveals that, on average, the storms have been migrating towards the poles at the rate of 53 kilometres a decade

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Environmental Protection a Must as ASEAN Heads for Integration

May 20th, 2014 | By
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As ASEAN nations head for economic integration, environmental protection becomes an imperative. “More than 500 million ASEAN citizens are dependent for their food, livelihood and other needs on the resource base of forests, seas, rivers, lands, and other ecosystems. Their protection must therefore be reconciled with the growth rate targets of the ASEAN economic integration,

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Antarctic Ice Loss Has Doubled in Less Than a Decade

May 20th, 2014 | By
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Measurements taken from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 spacecraft over three years, now published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, show that each of the three Antarctic regions – the West Antarctic, the East Antarctic, and the Antarctic Peninsula – are losing ice to the sea. CryoSat-2 found that, as expected, much of the loss came

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World Bank Approves Loan for Kabeli-A Hydroelectric Project in Nepal

May 20th, 2014 | By




The World Bank Group has approved $84.6m financing for the 37.6MW Kabeli-A hydroelectric project in Nepal. The financing includes $40m credit and $6m grant from the International Development Association, a $19.3m loan from the International Finance Corporation and a $19.3m loan from the Canada Climate Change Program. The financing paves the way for Kabeli Energy

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Unbridled Industrialisation Leading to Himalayan Eco-disaster: Study

May 20th, 2014 | By




In further evidence – if any were needed – that global warming is accelerating glacier melt in the Himalaya, a new research reveals that nearly 400 glaciers have come into existence in the last four decades alone. In terms of numbers, Himalaya glaciers are on the rise – but this does not help, as the

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Can Peru Deliver a Successful UN Climate Summit?

May 19th, 2014 | By
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Figueres was vocal in her comments that the Lima conference needs to secure a draft agreement before the deadline summit in Paris next year to create a new climate agreement. The chief of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change commented that government efforts to confront climate change arewoefully inadequate. She also cited recent research by

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African Climate Adaptation Projects Starved of Cash, Says UN Chief

May 19th, 2014 | By
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Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, says millions of lives will be at risk unless countries take the threat of soil erosion and desertification more seriously. In an interview with RTCC, she called on the board members of the UN-backed Green Climate Fund, which meets this week in South Korea, to ensure adequate flows of

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China to Triple Solar Capacity by 2017

May 19th, 2014 | By
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The new target is double the previous one set for 2015, according to a statement posted last week on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission. China already has about 20GW of solar capacity and has emerged as the world’s largest renewable energy market in recent years. As the world’s largest greenhouse gas

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Agriculture Must Get Climate Smart

May 19th, 2014 | By




With the Indian Met department having recently warned of weak monsoons this year due to the El Nino effect, there will be serious implications on agricultural production and food prices. More than 60% of the area under cropping in India is rain-fed. Low and erratic monsoon will severely affect the livelihood of those dependent on

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Global Warming Melting Himalayan Glaciers

May 19th, 2014 | By




This is going to be immensely damning report about the impacts of the climate change in this part of the world. Global warming is melting Himalayan glaciers faster than anyone thought. A latest study says that global warming is killing Himalayan glaciers. The report says that in Nepal it has destroyed as much as one

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Boosting University’s Role in Tackling Climate Change

May 19th, 2014 | By




To counter the negative impact of climate change in North Africa, several higher education initiatives and scientific programmes are producing scientific workforces with the required skills, as well as carrying out research for promoting renewable energy for sustainable development. The North Africa region is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of its geographic and ecological

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Environment & Next Green Revolution

May 18th, 2014 | By




PAKISTAN will have to cater for its population growth to meet the challenges of food security in the light of the serious environmental changes that are coming through. Sind has never had hailstorms and the kinds of rains that it has had. Pakistan may well need and evergreen revolution. The future of agriculture will depend on innovative policies

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Monsoon Predicted to be Normal Affair

May 18th, 2014 | By
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Nepal is likely to get a normal monsoon, raising hopes of good harvests for major crops in a country largely dependent on agriculture. Experts in South Asia and from the World Meteorological Organisation have predicted normal monsoon in Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan while rains could be below average in India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and parts

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Project Mixes Local, Expert Know-how to Predict Weather

May 18th, 2014 | By
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Sci Dev Net: Combining meteorology and traditional methods of weather prediction could increase uptake of weather information by local communities in rural areas of Tanzania, experts say. Scientists from Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), Hakikazi Catalyst — a non-profit organisation in Tanzania that empowers people with information — and the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), indicate

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