Archive for June 2014

UN Gains New Powers to Tackle Air Pollution

Jun 30th, 2014 | By
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The UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP) was mandated to step up its work on air quality by the UN Environment Assembly at a meeting last week in Nairobi. This means the international body now can support governments by helping to remove obstacles to tackling air pollution, as well as providing data and reporting on progress. “Many States already

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South-South Trade in Renewable Energy: a Trade Flow Analysis of Selected Environmental Goods

Jun 30th, 2014 | By
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This study analyses trends and opportunities for trade among developing countries (i.e. South-South trade) in selected environmental goods, in order to assess the contribution such trade can make to a green economy transition. The term ‘developing countries’ includes all countries and territories listed as developing economies in the UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics (UNCTAD, 2012). The

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Global Warming Makes Drought Come on Earlier, Faster & Harder

Jun 30th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: We all know that some climate change is natural, in fact, even without humans, the Earth’s climate changes. But, as we have added heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, we have seen human influence “emerge” from natural variability. Droughts, one of the most intensely studied climate events, are a perfect example of an effect with

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Steady Drop in Seasonal Rain in India: Stanford Study

Jun 30th, 2014 | By




A recent study by the climate scientists from Stanford University in the Nature Climate Change Journal, claims that difficult times are ahead for Indians with increasing risk of drought and floods. The study has analysed precipitation data of India from 1951 to 2011. After reading the rainfall pattern of the last 16 years, the scientists

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Climate Change and Vector-borne Diseases in Pakistan

Jun 30th, 2014 | By




The earth’s climate has always been changing. The impacts of climate change include biodiversity losses, rise in sea levels, shifts in weather patterns, changes in freshwater supply and an increase in extreme weather events such as floods and droughts as well as glacial melting and various health impacts. Major concerns are the threats to food,

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Satellite Zooms in on Crucial Carbon Questions

Jun 29th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: The US space agency NASA is about to send up a satellite that will provide vital data for predicting future effects of CO2 by taking the measure of the planetary carbon budget. OCO-2, more formally known as Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, is planned for launch on July 1 and will circle the globe, taking an inventory of those

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Land Taken Over by Foreign Investors Could Feed 550m People: Study

Jun 29th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: The land grabbed in some of the world’s hungriest countries by foreign governments and corporations could feed up to 550m people, according to new research. The crops grown on grabbed land are frequently exported, or used to produce biofuel, but the new work shows it could end malnourishment in those countries if used to feed local

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Tackling Climate Change One Rock at a Time

Jun 29th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: Temples rise above mud-brick houses and castles. Prayer flags flutter from every roof and woollen-cloaked men and women with brightly coloured waist-sashes stand in the street gossiping. I’m in northern India’s remote Trans-Himalaya, in the ancient kingdom of Ladakh. Consisting entirely of mountains, this, the highest inhabited region on Earth, was settled by pilgrims and

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Government to Pump Nu 2.2 Bn in Irrigation

Jun 29th, 2014 | By
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Recognising that climate change is altering weather patterns, which in turn affect crop production in Bhutan, specifically paddy cultivation, the government will invest Nu 2.2B into irrigation in the next five years. Monsoon rains arriving later, and ending sooner than usual, is disrupting crop production and farm productivity, which, in Bhutan, mostly means rice. In

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Opting for Coal-based Energy ‘Wasteful Approach’ by Govt: IPCC

Jun 29th, 2014 | By




Press Trust of India: Emphasising on the need to decarbonise electricity generation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman R K Pachauri today termed as a “wasteful approach” by the government to opt for coal-based power projects and pressed for the use of renewable and nuclear energy sources to satisfy the country’s power needs. “…We would need to

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India and China Farmers Back New Climate Adaptation Alliance

Jun 27th, 2014 | By
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A network of 25 indigenous communities from 10 countries has come together to share traditional knowledge on how to adapt to climate change. Countries in the network include China, Peru, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Tajikistan and Papua New Guinea. Seed sharing between the groups will ensure that farmers grow crops that are resilient and diverse enough to withstand

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Heat Has Deadly Impact on Nepal’s Gulf Workers

Jun 27th, 2014 | By
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Sabin is a 22-year-old from a small town in eastern Nepal, in the foothills of the Himalayas. But he isn’t living there now. To support his family, he’s been working as a truck driver in Qatar for the last five years. “When I arrived in Qatar I could not believe the heat,” he says. “I

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The Ugly Cycle of Air Pollution and Climate Change

Jun 27th, 2014 | By
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Climate change is such a wretched foe that it could be worsening the ground-level effects of the very thing that caused it: air pollution. New research reveals that a build-up of greenhouse gases threatens to thicken the clouds of haze that blanket many parts of the world. Radical climate shifts can alter air circulation and precipitation, both

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Adapt or Survive? How Migration Creates Climate Resilience

Jun 27th, 2014 | By
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International Refugee Day last weekend marked the end of a week of tragedy. A Roma teenager beaten to within an inch of his life, and a woman stabbed to death in Essex for being a Muslim. The UN Refugee agency announced that Refugee numbers are now the highest they’ve been since World War II. The

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‘There’s Food Shortage in Sindh But no Policy to Fix It’

Jun 27th, 2014 | By
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Tribune: More than 71% of Sindh’s population does not have enough food to eat even though nearly 14 million acres are being cultivated for crops. This food storage has caused Oxfam, Pakistan Fisher Folk (PFF) and others to put their heads together and do something. On Thursday, they launched a campaign, ‘Harvesting Food Security and Justice

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Coastal Warning for Vital Atlantic Habitats

Jun 26th, 2014 | By
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Rising temperatures, increasingly acidic seas and human destruction will drastically change the nature of the coastal seas of the north-east Atlantic over the next century, scientists predict. According to new research in the journal Ecology and Evolution, it will completely alter the forests of kelp and the maerl beds of coralline algae that serve as shelter and

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No REDD+ Program Is an Island: Integrating Gender Into Forest Conservation Efforts

Jun 26th, 2014 | By
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Since 2005, the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD+) has functioned as a mechanism to financially incentivize the preservation of forestlands in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But beyond its original use, some organizations have also started exploring ways it can help with other development initiatives, like women’s empowerment. Last month, the International Union

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US, India Launch a New Clean Energy Initiative

Jun 26th, 2014 | By
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Press Trust of India: The US has launched a new large scale off-grid clean energy initiative with India to bring clean energy to the country and help it deploy “advanced space cooling technology”. The initiative is a part of Obama administration’s effort to engage major economies on climate change, the White House said today. Releasing a

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UNDP to Support Sri Lanka’s Rural Livelihood Development Programs to Withstand Climate-related Shocks

Jun 26th, 2014 | By
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Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Economic Development Wednesday signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the Government’s rural livelihood development programs to withstand climate-related shocks. Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka and Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka Ms. Razina Bilgrami signed the agreement in Colombo

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Keti Bunder

Jun 26th, 2014 | By




Climate change is affecting Pakistan. According to the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2014 developed by the German Watch Institute, Pakistan is ranked number three after Haiti and the Philippines as one of those countries that are most affected by climate change. This goes to show that the ecologically vulnerable areas of Pakistan are badly

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Most of World’s Population Will Breathe Stagnant, Sooty Air by 2099

Jun 25th, 2014 | By
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Climate change is poised to worsen air quality in many parts of the globe, according to a study published today in Nature Climate Change. By the end of the century, more than half of the world’s population will be exposed to increasingly stagnant atmospheric conditions, with the tropics and subtropics bearing the brunt of the poor

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Does Carbon Capture and Storage Need a Makeover?

Jun 25th, 2014 | By
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The technology illustrates the equal importance of having influential support and lobbying, as well as a compelling message and market. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) involves compressing waste greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels and piping them underground into disused oil wells or underground aquifers. The technology could all but eliminate carbon emissions from fossil

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‘India’s Rain Pattern Has Changed’

Jun 25th, 2014 | By
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The monsoon, which provides 80 per cent of the total rainfall in the subcontinent and on which India is completely dependent for its agriculture, is witnessing disturbing changes. There has been a decline in the average total seasonal rain during the period 1980-2011, according to a new study. The study was carried out by Stanford

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Much Progress to Go in Fight Against Global Climate Change

Jun 25th, 2014 | By




Five years after the global climate change summit in Copenhagen, when the United States and China failed to reach a binding agreement, the situation has improved though much remains to be done if the world is to reach an accord in Paris next year to replace the Kyoto Protocol. Much is at stake, not only

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Urgent Steps Needed to Tackle Environment Challenges: J&K Guv

Jun 25th, 2014 | By




Press Trust of India: Voicing concern over rapid depletion of ground water and receding glaciers due to climate change and global warming, Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra today stressed the need for urgent initiatives to tackle the emerging environmental challenges. “There is a need for well considered initiatives being immediately taken for tackling emerging environmental challenges which

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Monsoon Brings Late Relief to Scorched India

Jun 24th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: At last, the rains have come. The summer monsoon arrived in West Bengal last week – almost two weeks later than usual − and brought relief to Kolkata and other cities and states across India that have been enduring an unusually hot summer. A temperature of 41.5˚C was recorded in Kolkata in late May –

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Tackling Climate Change Would Grow Global Economy, World Bank Says

Jun 24th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: Fighting climate change would help grow the world economy, according to the World Bank, adding up to $2.6tn (£1.5tn) a year to global GDP in the coming decades. The findings, made available in a report on Tuesday, offer a sharp contrast with claims by the Australian government that fighting climate change would “clobber” the economy. The report

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It’s Buses Versus Trees in Islamabad as ‘Green’ Priorities Collide

Jun 24th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) —  For over two decades, Hussain Ali’s house sat in the shade of a strip of greenbelt, one of many that were planted along Islamabad’s avenues to help reduce pollution levels and bring some natural beauty to the sprawling city. Now, however, the street in front of Ali’s house is bare. The

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Japan to Help Improve Bhutan’s ‘Happiness’ Index

Jun 24th, 2014 | By
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The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is known throughout the world for its unusual approach to development, which includes measuring progress through the Gross National Happiness index. But beyond the “happiness,” the country is still mired in extreme poverty and chronic unemployment. About a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line and around

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Optimism After Bonn Climate Talks

Jun 24th, 2014 | By
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The UN climate change talks held from June 4-15 in Bonn, Germany, was an instrumental opportunity in laying the building blocks of the legally-binding 2015 climate change agreement. There was a sense of positivity as countries moved to advance the negotiations towards drafting a text for Paris, where the deal is expected to be finalized.

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Energy Sector Faces Increasing Pressures From Climate Change

Jun 24th, 2014 | By




A briefing, published jointly by the World Energy Council (WEC), the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), the Cambridge Judge Business School, and the European Climate Foundation, indicates threat the energy sector is facing increasing pressures from climate change. Key findings are as follows: Energy demand is increasing globally, causing greenhouse gas (GHG)

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UN: Forest Policy Must Focus on Human Benefits

Jun 23rd, 2014 | By
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Forests provide essential services in reducing poverty, providing energy and ensuring food security across the world, yet government policies fail to harness these benefits, said the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. “It is time for forestry to shift perspective from trees to people,” said the biennial report, State of the World’s Forests 2014, launched today in

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Bangladesh Uncovers the Crippling Cost of Climate Change Adaptation

Jun 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. 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 result of the

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Icebergs Strip Away Rich Antarctic Habitat

Jun 23rd, 2014 | By
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A once-rich habitat in the Antarctic has become an impoverished zone as icebergs, increasingly breaking free from the surrounding sea ice because of global warming, scour the shallow-water rocks and boulders on which a diversity of creatures cling to life. A report in the journal Current Biology says that researchers who carried out a survey dive in

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Dishonest Industrialised Countries Stalling Progress

Jun 23rd, 2014 | By




INDUSTRIALISED countries must show improved political and financial will to effectively deal with climate change, a problem historically manufactured in Europe and America’s emitting economies, but predominantly affecting poor developing countries, particularly in Africa. The grounds – ethical or otherwise – on which developed nations continue to ask those in the developing world to undertake

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Millions to Die from Worsening Air Pollution, Smog; India Most at Risk

Jun 23rd, 2014 | By
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The worsening quality of air around the world is set to become the leading cause illness and death of over half of the world’s population by end of the century, a study published in Nature Climate Change said. Smog caused by climate change that give off stagnant “dead” air will lead to the illnesses and deaths of

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Carbon Pollution: Limits are Step in Right Direction

Jun 23rd, 2014 | By




The federal government recently proposed the first-ever rules to limit carbon pollution from power plants – the U.S.’s single largest source of the pollution driving climate change. This is good news. As we’re seeing here in Montana, the impacts of climate change are already here. Glaciers in Glacier National Park are disappearing, wildfires and pine

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Power in Current Times: Local‚ Sustainable and Clean Energy

Jun 22nd, 2014 | By
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The Himalayan mountains tower over some of the most rugged terrain and harshest climate conditions. Melting snows from Mt Everest, K2, and hundreds of other snow-capped peaks carve out over 6,000 rivers in Nepal, China, Bhutan, India and Pakistan. The majority of people living along these remote rivers and valleys survive in under-developed living conditions

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Ponds ‘Predict Arctic Sea-ice Melt’

Jun 22nd, 2014 | By
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BBC News: The scientists say the amount of water ponding on top of the floes as they warm in the spring has been shown to be an excellent indicator. Using their technique, the Reading University researchers reckon the minimum ice extent this September will be about 5.4 million square km. It is about the same as

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Climate Change Prompts Creative Uses of Solar Power

Jun 22nd, 2014 | By
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With the climate change threatening the integrity of Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and terrain, innovators have been prompted to find creative uses for solar power today. Terrestrial sources of energy, such as fossil fuels, struggle to meet the demands of economy with a very finite supply. In addition, such traditional sources of power come with the

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Climate Change Will Increase Flow in Asia’s Big Rivers

Jun 22nd, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: Climate change will cause water levels in Asia’s five major river systems, that are fed by Himalayan glaciers, to increase at least until 2050, a new study predicts. Led by Arthur Lutz, post-doctoral researcher at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, the study predicts an increase in water availability for the upstream basins of the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Salween

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Global and National Finance to Tackle Climate Change

Jun 22nd, 2014 | By




The developed countries have pledged to provide $100 billion each year, starting from 2020, to the developing countries to help them tackle climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has set up a new Green Climate Fund (GCF) to handle the money. The GCF is a separate entity with its own

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May Days’ Heat Sets up Record El Niño

Jun 20th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Last month was the third warmest May since NASA satellites began taking the temperature of the planet 35 years ago, and was also the warmest May that did not fall within an El Niño Pacific warming event – which could mean a record-breaking appearance this year by the fearsome “Child”. Scientists in the US says the

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New Study Improves Measurements of the Warming Oceans

Jun 20th, 2014 | By
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Heating of the oceans is, pardon the pun, a hot subject. There is a broad recognition that the oceans, which absorb approximately 90% of excess greenhouse gas energy, are key not only to how fast the planet will warm, but also how hot it will get in the end. Many recent studies have tried to

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Keep the Climate, Change the Economy

Jun 20th, 2014 | By




The Guardian: This month, the Obama administration announced new rules aimed at cutting carbon pollution from power stations by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. Never before has a US president attempted to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power stations and the move has been hailed by scientists and policymakers as an important step towards a global economy

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Disaster-Struck Indian Himalaya Region Braces for Monsoon Season

Jun 20th, 2014 | By
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In June last year, monsoon floodwaters in the Indian Himalayan region swept entire houses off their foundations, washing them downstream. NGOs said a lack of disaster preparedness caused more damage than the disaster itself. Now, one year later, NGOs are hurrying to prepare communities for what may come as the new monsoon season approaches. The

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PCC Commissioned Models to See if Global Warming Would Reach Dangerous Levels This Century

Jun 20th, 2014 | By
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The debate over climate change is horribly polarized. From the way it is conducted, you would think that only two positions are possible: that the whole thing is a hoax or that catastrophe is inevitable. In fact there is room for lots of intermediate positions, including the view I hold, which is that man-made climate

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Our Planet: The First United Nations Environment Assembly

Jun 19th, 2014 | By
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The first ever United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is the core theme of this issue of Our Planet. Sustainable Development Goals, the need to decouple economic growth from natural resource depletion and the way forward within the context of the Post-2105 Development Agenda are all robustly discussed in this edition’s feature articles. With contributions from

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Air Pollution – A Silent Killer

Jun 19th, 2014 | By
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The world is under attack from a silent killer with impacts four times that of HIV and AIDS, and most people don’t even seem to know it. In March this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report estimating that air pollution caused the premature deaths of seven million people in 2012, equivalent to

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Drones Zero In On Himalayan Glaciers

Jun 19th, 2014 | By
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Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are finding a role in the study of glaciers in the rugged and remote Himalayas. Using UAVs to study the Lirung glacier in Nepal’s Langtang region, scientists from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Research, Kathmandu, have shown that glacial melt water

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Japan to Offer Green Tech to India to Cut Carbon Emissions

Jun 19th, 2014 | By
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Japan is set to offer its cutting-edge green technologies to India to combat climate change and help reduce emissions which would earn Japanese firms carbon credits, a report has said. Japan plans to sign an agreement on green technologies with India at next month’s summit meeting in Tokyo between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and

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Why There’s a Need to Step up the Worry in Pakistan

Jun 19th, 2014 | By
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Stepping outside the hotel on my first day in Mexico for the recent World Summit of Legislators in Mexico City, I noticed rows of rental bicycles parked in a designated area. Lots of bikers could be seen along the Paseo de la Reforma, casually picking up bicycles to borrow and then park at another public cycle stand

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Flow Chart Unclear for Glacial Rivers

Jun 19th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: A new study examining river basins in the Asia region suggests that amounts of water supplied to the area by glaciers and rainfall in the Himalayas will increase in the coming decades. At first reading, that looks like good news, as an estimated 1.3 billion people in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, China and

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Fighting Desertification Will Reduce the Costs of Climate Change

Jun 18th, 2014 | By
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From the Philippines, Pakistan and the United States to the Middle East and Horn of Africa; death, food shortages, loss of homes and incomes or damage to infrastructure has followed in their wake. As disasters travel from one region to the next, many of us watch helplessly wondering what we can do about it. Yet, everyone

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Flaws in Climate Change Policy

Jun 18th, 2014 | By




Pakistan is considered one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Global Climate Risk Index 2014 indicated that Pakistan is included in the list of top 3 countries which were affected most in 2012 due to climate change. In order to manage the issue of climate change, government of Pakistan formulated National Climate Change the Policy (NCCP) in 2012

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Don’t Blame Us for Carbon Emissions: India

Jun 18th, 2014 | By




Press Trust of India: Sending out a signal to the developed world on the issue of climate change, India today said developing countries like it have “a right to grow” and in the process “our net emission may increase.” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar underlined that the problem of carbon emission has not been created by

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Bangladesh to Slash Its Own Climate Adaptation Fund

Jun 18th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Bangladesh plans to cut spending from its own budget on climate change adaptation and rely more in the future on funds from donors, government officials said. The low-lying South Asian nation, considered one of the countries most at risk from climate impacts such as sea level rise, worsening erosion and erratic

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San Francisco Closer to Turning Zero-waste Ambition Into Reality

Jun 17th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: The trucks start rolling in before sunrise. Dozens of them, each tipping out tonnes of food waste, grass cuttings and foliage. A month from now this organic waste will leave here in the form of rich compost, as fine as sand. Here, in Vacaville, an hour by road north of San Francisco, is an essential

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Kenya: Climate Change Takes Toll On Mt Kili Ice Cap

Jun 17th, 2014 | By




DEPUTY Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Environment), Ms Ummy Mwalimu, has said that Mount Kilimanjaro has from 1912 to date lost almost 30 per cent of its ice. Ms Mwalimu told the National Assembly that ice melting at the cap of the mountain was attributed to global warming, according to a research conducted by the

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The global warming hiatus?

Jun 17th, 2014 | By
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While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) still uses the iconic word “unequivocal” to describe warming of the climate system over the past century, a new word has slipped into its lexicon: the “hiatus.” They have begun referring, with a bit of hesitant throat-clearing, to “the warming hiatus since 1998.” Both satellites and surface

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