CLIMATE SCIENCE

Looking Beyond IPCC Reports in the Himalayas

Nov 19th, 2014 | By
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Moving beyond the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports can help integrate scientific and traditional knowledge for effective adaptation action in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, an international gathering of climate experts in Kathmandu heard. Participants from 22 countries stressed at the 9-12 November conference in Kathmandu the need for increased knowledge

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India Must Lead Climate Fight for Developing Countries at UN Talks

Nov 18th, 2014 | By
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On November 12, 2014, US president Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping announced a joint plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The deal came as a big surprise to most. After all, it was a deal between the world’s top polluters – the US is the world’s biggest historical polluter while China is

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Coal Rush in India Could Tip Balance on Climate Change

Nov 18th, 2014 | By
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Decades of strip mining have left this town in the heart of India’s coal fields a fiery moonscape, with mountains of black slag, sulfurous air and sickened residents. But rather than reclaim these hills or rethink their exploitation, the government is digging deeper in a coal rush that could push the world into irreversible climate

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Climate Change Pact and India’s Isolation

Nov 17th, 2014 | By
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If there is an area of policy-making that just involves hot air, it has to be climate change. The amount of rhetoric that is expended by countries on this issue would be amusing if it were not for the seriousness of the threat of climate change and the geopolitical manoeuvring behind the scenes to disadvantage

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China Asks Developing Countries to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Nov 17th, 2014 | By




PTI: Promising to set ambitious goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions following a landmark agreement with the US, China has asked other developing countries to follow suit. China, which was part of the BASIC group — Brazil, South Africa, India and China — in the global climate negotiations to flag the concerns of the developing

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India Feels Heat as Pressure Mounts to Deliver Climate Target

Nov 17th, 2014 | By
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With the United States and China unveiling a potentially game-changing bilateral deal to whittle down their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and project a united front on the global fight against climate change, India is feeling the pressure to recalibrate its domestic climate strategy in the run up to Lima climate conference next month. According to the

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Lightning Strikes Will Increase Due to Climate Change

Nov 17th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: Lightning will strike far more frequently in a world under climate change – but researchers can still not predict exactly where or when those strikes will occur. New research from the University of California, Berkeley, published on Thursday in the journal Science, found warming conditions would result in 50% more lightning strikes by

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The North-South Divide

Nov 17th, 2014 | By
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Dawn: Every year the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the NGO based in New Delhi that brings out Down to Earth magazine and has been steadily campaigning against air pollution in the city, hosts their annual “Climate Change Media Briefing” at the India Habitat Centre. The CSE believes in a global climate deal based

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World on Track to Meet 2020 Goal for Protected Land, Sea, More Work Urgently Needed – UN

Nov 14th, 2014 | By
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While the world is on track to meet a 2020 target on the expansion of protected areas, more work is needed to ensure areas of importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services are prioritized for protection under equitably managed conditions, according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report released today. “Protected areas not only

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Climate Risks

Nov 14th, 2014 | By




THE HIMALAYAN TIMES: Though Nepal’s contribution to greenhouse gases is almost negligible‚ it is facing the adverse consequences of climate change Climate change as a result of enhanced greenhouse gas emissions induced global warming is said to be the prime reason for many woes that the people in general and the mountain people, in particular,

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Paris Climate Deal Could be Based on Carbon Budget – UN

Nov 13th, 2014 | By
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UN negotiations on climate change could end up imposing an overall cap on the volume of carbon dioxide that countries can emit. The notion of a “carbon budget” has been seen as too politically sensitive to be included in the UN’s forthcoming climate agreement, despite its increasing prominence in scientific discussions. But a new document

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UNFCCC Welcomes US China Emissions Deal

Nov 12th, 2014 | By
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Agreement between China and the US on limiting future carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has been welcomed by the head of the United Nations body charged with implementing a global emissions reduction treaty. The China US deal was hailed as “Clear leadership” in a tweet following the announcement of the agreement by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary

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The “Have-a-Mind-of-Their-Own” Glaciers of Asia’s Karakoram

Nov 12th, 2014 | By




Using new remote sensing methods to generate an updated glacier inventory for the Karakoram region of Asia – which is part of the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya mountain range located between the borders of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China – Rankl et al. (2014) developed what they describe as “a new comprehensive dataset on the state of

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We Must Manage Global Warming Risks by Cutting Carbon Pollution, Top Scientists Conclude

Nov 11th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest Synthesis Report, summarizing the scientific research on the causes and impacts of global warming, and how we can mitigate its consequences. The report included various graphs showing how we’re changing the Earth’s climate, and concluded that humans are causing rapid and

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Natural Disaster Destroys Property Worth Over Rs 50 m

Nov 10th, 2014 | By




Property worth over Rs 50 million was destroyed in agriculture and livestock sectors due to natural disaster in Darchula district this year. According to the District Livestock Service Office, Darchula, mostly the natural disaster including floods, landslides and lightning destroyed the properties. As per the data collected by the Office, property worth Rs 52 million

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ASEAN Leaders Urged to Act on Climate Change

Nov 10th, 2014 | By




A coalition of NGOs has warned leaders attending the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar that a year after Typhoon Haiyan struck the region, causing massive destruction and many deaths, things will only get worse unless serious action is taken on climate change. Citing the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ASEAN

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International Conference on Climate Change Begins in Nepal

Nov 10th, 2014 | By
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PTI: An international conference on climate change began here today with the participation of more than 200 scientists, policy makers, government officials and parliamentarians from countries including India. The four-day conference on “Mountain People Adapting to Change” is being organised with the goal of exploring holistic solutions for adaptation to change in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

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Audacious Ideas and Actions for a Zero Carbon World

Nov 9th, 2014 | By
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Policy-makers, academics, business and civil society leaders gathered in London this week for the fifth annual Chatham House Climate Change Conference. In the hallways and audience chamber and on the podium, the mood was one of ambition – even audacity – around the possibilities for moving swiftly towards a zero net carbon world. As one

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Why Warnings on Climate Spark Aggressive Denials

Nov 9th, 2014 | By
Polar Bears (Cubs), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska




If you don’t like the message on climate change, it seems that the answer is to shoot the messenger. According to a new book by veteran environmentalist George Marshall, thousands of abusive emails − including demands that he commit suicide or be “shot, quartered and fed to the pigs, along with your family” – were

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Pakistan Lags Behind S Korea, Vietnam in Carbon Reduction

Nov 9th, 2014 | By
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Due to the lacklustre performance of a cell at the Climate Change Division, Pakistan lags far behind China and India in approving projects for carbon credits in the international market. Carbon credits and carbon markets are a component of national and international attempts to cap greenhouse gas emissions and to allow market mechanisms to drive

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Study: Global Warming Will Increase Pollen and Allergen Exposure

Nov 7th, 2014 | By
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The icebergs are melting and the sea levels are rising. Studies show droughts could become longer and more frequent, coastal storms more damaging, and forest fires more expansive. Now, researchers say climate change is also likely to bring about more pollen-induced sneezing. A runny nose might be the least of one’s worries while standing in

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Millions of Asians Exposed to Big Climate Disasters – Oxfam

Nov 7th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Millions of people in Asia, the world’s most disaster-prone region, face the threat of major climate-linked disasters and food crises because government policies fail to protect them, Oxfam warned on Thursday. A year after Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the Philippines, the aid and development charity warned that governments needed to

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New Carbon Scheme in South Korea Unlikely to Achieve Targets

Nov 6th, 2014 | By
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A new carbon market in South Korea is unlikely to deliver the country’s emissions reduction targets as heavy emitters are being oversupplied with carbon credits from the outset, according to reports. South Korea’s trading market launches on 1 January 2015, and according to Thomson Reuters Point Carbon report, it will allocate 53 mega tonnes of

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Meet the Climate Sleuths Keeping Carbon Reporting Honest

Nov 6th, 2014 | By
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In a world of unlimited funds, addressing climate change would be fairly easy. Governments could splash the cash on fancy clean energy projects, and pay fossil fuel companies to find alternative avenues for their energy. Back on Planet Earth, money is tight and donors need evidence their money is being used wisely and effectively. This

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El Salvador Restores Biodiversity in the Face of Climate Change

Nov 6th, 2014 | By
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Carlos Menjívar has been ferrying people in his boat for 20 years in this fishing village in western El Salvador surrounded by ocean, mangroves and wetlands, which is suffering the effects of environmental degradation. Siltation in the main channel leading to the town has hurt his income, because the buildup of sediment has reduced the

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New Heat Wave Index Developed

Nov 6th, 2014 | By




JRC scientists have developed a new index to measure the magnitude of heat waves, in cooperation with colleagues from five research organisations. According to the index projections, under the worst climate scenario of temperature rise nearing 4.8⁰C, extreme heat waves will become the norm by the end of the century. Heat waves like the one

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Flooding Could Worsen Pakistan’s Water Shortage, Experts Warn

Nov 4th, 2014 | By
Flood victims sit by a damaged road as they look over floodwaters in Muzzafargarh




(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In an ironic twist to Pakistan’s struggles with extreme weather, experts warn that the increasingly frequent and intense flooding in the country could lead to catastrophic water shortages. The problem, climate and water experts say, is a worsening lack of groundwater. Groundwater resources, used to supply Pakistan’s growing population with water

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MDGs: Climate Change Hampering Pakistan from Achieving Targets

Nov 3rd, 2014 | By
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Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) remains a challenge for Pakistan with the effects of climate change in the form of increasing floods, droughts and erratic storms. MDGs are a set of goals adopted by the UN in 2000 which aim to focus on improving lives of the poorest people in the world as well

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Climate Change Threatens Irreversible and Dangerous Impacts, But Options Exist to Limit its Effects

Nov 2nd, 2014 | By
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UNEP News Center: Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents. If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. However, options are available to adapt to climate change and implementing stringent mitigations activities can ensure that the

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Global Warming: Experts for Immediate Steps to Mitigate Impact

Oct 31st, 2014 | By




Speakers have called for urgent measures to mitigate the impact of global warming that was causing severe environmental disequilibrium and degradation. They were speaking at a pre-congress interactive talk titled “climate change, adaptability and food security”, organised by the Human Resource Development Network (HRDN) at a local hotel on Thursday. Representatives of the United Nations,

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Oct 29th, 2014 | By




The commercial shipping sector is responsible for a billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, a little more than Germany, and its contribution is set to skyrocket, according to a new pressure group report. Bill Hemmings, of pressure group Transport Environment, says that emissions by commercial shipping globally will increase 250 per cent between

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World Has Decided Not to do More to Fight Climate Change Till 2020

Oct 29th, 2014 | By
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Do not expect any country to up its fight against climate change between now and 2020. That is the plain reading of the diplomatic gobbledygook produced at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s recently concluded negotiations. The EU was once a leader on climate change. It is now trying hard to come down to the

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Melting Glaciers, Changing Climate

Oct 29th, 2014 | By
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At dawn, Mohd Soheb begins an arduous trek to the high camp at Chhota Shigri glacier in the Pir Panjal range in Spiti valley, Himachal Pradesh. From the PWD guesthouse at Chota Dara, he walks down to the Chandra river where he travels across in a small iron crate using an ingenious system of pulleys

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Research: Asia Most Vulnerable to Climate Change

Oct 28th, 2014 | By
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Populations living in low-lying, coastal Asian cities are at most risk from the effects of climate change, according to a report titled “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,” presented last March at the climate talks in Yokohama Japan. The report warns that Asia’s coastline is the region of the globe most vulnerable to future flooding,

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Rising Temperatures Threaten Farm Output

Oct 27th, 2014 | By
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Temperatures will go up and the productivity of farmlands will come down in future. This could lead to a food crisis, warned the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report. With increasing temperatures IPCC has also cautioned that in the rice bowls of South India heat stress on the rice crop is

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EU Set to Allow Car Emissions Into Carbon Trading Market

Oct 26th, 2014 | By
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(Reuters) – The European Union is set to make it easier to bring road transport emissions into the carbon trading market, a move that critics say could empower carmakers to push back against more effective curbs on greenhouse gases. EU leaders will attempt to agree on energy policy for 2030 when they meet in Brussels

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No Concrete Result Reached in UN Climate Talks in Bonn

Oct 26th, 2014 | By




(Xinhua) — The third round of United Nations’ 2014 climate talks wrapped up in Bonn, Germany, on Saturday, reaching no concrete result and leaving heavy workload to climate conference in Lima, Peru, in December. In the past six days, nearly 1,200 negotiators from 176 countries and organizations gathered in the city which hosts the secretariat

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Sea Rise May Still Pose a Man-sized Threat

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: For those who think climate change means deep trouble, some comfort: there is a limit to how deep. Danish-led researchers have looked at all the projections and satisfied themselves that, at the very worst, sea levels this century will rise by a maximum 1.8 metres − roughly the height of an average man. They

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Researchers Resolve the Karakoram Glacier Anomaly, a Cold Case of Climate Science

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
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Researchers from Princeton University and other institutions may have hit upon an answer to a climate-change puzzle that has eluded scientists for years, and that could help understand the future availability of water for hundreds of millions of people. In a phenomenon known as the “Karakoram anomaly,” glaciers in the Karakoram mountains, a range within

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EU Reaches Consensus on Climate Change Targets

Oct 24th, 2014 | By




PTI: European Union leaders have reached a deal on a comprehensive package of climate targets, including a binding 40 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the level of 1990 by 2030. They also agreed at a summit in Brussels yesterday to increase the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU to at least

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Rising to “the Greatest Challenge in Human History”

Oct 21st, 2014 | By




Different obstacles to food security need different solutions. Experience shows that a combination of actions is needed to reduce hunger and guarantee food security in the longer run. They include shifting towards more sustainable food systems, facilitating access and strengthening social protection. Within this framework, to sustainably rise to “The Greatest Challenge in Human History,”

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Prakash Mathema: Poorest Countries Have the Most to Lose at UN Climate Talks

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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Nepal’s Prakash Mathema is leading the UN climate change negotiations for the group of Least Developed Countries Group (LDC). According to him, an ambitious outcome at the 2015 Paris UN summit can only be reached if vulnerability to climate change impacts of poorest countries are taken into consideration. Prakash Mathema is joint secretary at Nepal’s

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Europe Emission Targets ‘Will Fail to Protect Climate’

Oct 20th, 2014 | By
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BBC: Prof Jim Skea, a vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says the EU’s plan to cut CO2 emissions 40% by 2030 is too weak. He says it will commit future governments to “extraordinary and unprecedented” emissions cuts. The Commission rejected the claim, saying the 40% target puts Europe on track for long-term

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Pakistan at War With Climate Change

Oct 19th, 2014 | By




Having faced with problems of war on terror and chronic loadshedding, the incumbent government has to encounter the climate change question mark now. The policy framework, called the National Climate Change Policy, might be seen as reasonable but international cooperation necessary for adjusting to climate change is non-existent. The machinations of the present industrial scenario

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Indian Companies Decouple Growth From Carbon Emissions: CDP Report

Oct 19th, 2014 | By
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The Hindu: Indian companies have already embarked on their journey towards a low carbon economy and a high number have demonstrated that it is possible to decouple business growth from carbon emissions, according to a new report released on Wednesday. The India 200 Climate Change Report 2014 by CDP, an international non profit organisation, says

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Poor Nations Urged to Leapfrog Harmful HFC Refrigerants

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: Efforts to rid the world of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a group of powerful greenhouse gases mainly used as refrigerants, may depend on developing nations being able to leapfrog these chemicals to less harmful alternatives, an environmental group has warned. HFCs were introduced following the 1989 Montreal Protocol as a replacement for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which deplete the ozone

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Solar Dimming Reflects Complexity of Climate Change

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Two separate studies have confirmed the extent of human influence on climate change – and, for once, carbon dioxide is not the usual suspect. One team has just found that air pollution dimmed the skies of northern Europe, reflected sunlight back into space, reduced evaporation, and increased river flow. The second group reports

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Response to Climate Change Impacts

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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Dawn: Sensitising participants of the UN Climate Summit in New York last month about how Pakistan is suffering multiple natural disasters, adviser on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said his country requires $5bn annually to undertake adaptation measures to fight climate change impacts. At present, Pakistan receives about $3m for a climate adaptation fund

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Uttarakhand Floods Result of Climate Change: Report

Oct 13th, 2014 | By




The 2013 Uttarakhand floods were most probably a consequence of “human-induced” climate change, a new report by the American Meteorological Society has suggested. The extraordinary rainfall in Uttarakhand in June last year has found a place in a list of 16 extreme weather events that the report says were most likely a direct result of

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We Can Meet 2C Climate Target – and Here’s How, Say Energy Experts

Oct 12th, 2014 | By
Scientist, Bob Watson, University of East Anglia, Norwich,




The Guardian: Meeting a target of keeping global temperature from rising above 2C is still possible, according to 30 leading climate and energy experts. The authors, who include former UK government scientific adviser Sir Bob Watson, conclude that staying under 2C needs “immediate, urgent action” at the highest levels of governments. The Tackling the Challenge

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Himalayan Blunders at People’s Peril

Oct 12th, 2014 | By




I left Srinagar a week before the floods. Passing by the Zero Kadal, Srinagar’s oldest bridge across the Jhelum I had remarked that the river was reduced to a nallah and if this was its appearance in the monsoon season, the health of the river was grim. Then within days the waters swelled and the

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Proposed SDGs Won’t Capture the Imagination

Oct 10th, 2014 | By
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Last week, leaders of U.N. member states began talks on the Sustainable Development Goals. Beginning 2016, the SDGs will guide the efforts of governments, international organizations, non government organizations and others on some of our largest collective challenges — reducing poverty and disease, and protecting our natural resources and environment. However, the current draft SDGs

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Energy Efficient, Climate Friendly Refrigerants for Hot and Humid India: Moving into the Future

Oct 10th, 2014 | By




At the recently concluded bilateral India-US summit, Prime Minister Modi of India and US President Obama agreed to take a significant step to tackle the dangers of climate change. The two leaders agreed to address phasing down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – global warming gases with environmental impact thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide –

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UN Sets Six Month Deadline for Delivery of Draft Climate Agreement

Oct 9th, 2014 | By
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Countries have less than six months left to agree on the rough outline of a global climate change agreement, according to the two UN officials coordinating the process. Artur Runge Metzger and  Kishan Kumarsingh say they are “greatly encouraged” by progress on developing a draft text, but warn time for negotiations is running out. “October

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India’s Climate Change Strategy: Expanding Differentiated Responsibility – Analysis

Oct 9th, 2014 | By
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As the world prepares for the upcoming climate change negotiations in Lima in 2014 and Paris in 2015, there is an expectation that the talks be more decisive than previous attempts at consensus from Kyoto to Copenhagen. Yet the assumption that the undeniable science of climate change will by itself compel action on an issue

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Tackling Global Warming Will Improve Health, Save Lives, and Save Money

Oct 8th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: A very recent study released in JAMA (Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Global Health) provides a very thorough review showing how climate change affects human health. Perhaps more importantly, the paper also describes how tackling climate change leads to many health and economic benefits. Authors Jonathan Patz, Howard Frumkin and colleagues combined

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Oceans’ Greater Heat Explains Warming ‘Pause’

Oct 7th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: One of the most hotly-argued questions in climate research – whether global warming has slowed or even stopped – appears to have been definitively answered. And the scientists’ conclusion is unambiguous: the Earth continues to warm at a dangerous pace. All that’s happening, they say, is that the extra heat being produced

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World Falling Behind 2020 Plan for Nature Protection: U.N. Report

Oct 7th, 2014 | By




Guardian Newspapers Limited: International efforts to meet targets to stem the loss of wildlife and habitats are failing miserably, according to a United Nations report. The Global Biodiversity Outlook 4, published as nearly 200 countries meet on Monday in South Korea in a bid to tackle biodiversity loss, paints a damning picture of governments’ efforts

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Talking About Local Challenges Makes Climate Change Real

Oct 7th, 2014 | By
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Apple farmers in Indonesia’s highlands have seen harvests plummet due to warmer temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns. In Mongolia, where many make a living from animal husbandry, this age-old tradition is threatened by shrinking grasslands and desertification. Meanwhile, floods in Assam in northeast India regularly wash away homes and sources of income, but local people

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Changing Climate Demands a Change in Thinking

Oct 6th, 2014 | By




Many countries in the Asia and the Pacific region are experiencing frequent and intense flooding, droughts and storms. Regional climate change trends include an average temperature increase of 0.76 degrees C and a 1-3 mm rise in sea levels annually. To address this, international experts held a discussion on how local communities are adapting to

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