Monday, March 31, 2008
Photo of North Fork wetlands (in New York) by Colin Palmer, Wikimedia Commons
“Pakistan has faced a water crisis, a food crisis, among many things, which indicate that we have a problem related to climate change. We need to monitor climate data and carry-out more research for action.”...
Flag of Pakistan, "Pumbaa80," Wikimedia Commons
However, a more holistic analysis suggests that prey species may be a better overall indictor of health. Tobias Roth and Darius Weber at the Swiss Biodiversity Monitoring Programme in Basel, analysed data on plant, bird and butterfly species richness from across Switzerland. They compared the richness of sites where birds of prey had been spotted to areas where they were absent.....
Don't focus only on predators -- yawning lion shot by John Storr, Wikimedia Commons
"It only makes up 9% of total greenhouse gas emissions, but it's got 300 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide", says Prof Richardson. "It can survive in the atmosphere for 150 years, and it's recognised in the Kyoto protocol as one of the key gases we need to limit".
The potent gas is mainly coming from waste treatment plants and agriculture. Its release is increasing at the rate of 50 parts per billion or 0.25% every year. This means that it can be better controlled with suitable management strategies, but only if the importance of nitrous oxide (N2O) is widely recognised first....
Photo of laughing Buddha by Aaron Logan, Wikimedia Commons
"Many of the towns and urban areas in the north of the [Nile] Delta will suffer from a rise in the level of the Mediterranean with effect from 2020, and about 15 percent of Delta land is under threat from the rising sea level and its seepage into the ground water," Egypt's Environment Minister George Maged told a parliamentary committee in Cairo earlier in March. He said joint studies by his ministry and the United Nations have assessed the situation is urgent, adding that
…Generally, scientists predict the
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The sweeping report highlights signs of climate change likely to impact on
In a major challenge to state and federal governments, the sweeping report by Michael Dunlop and Peter Brown calls for a re-examination of
The forest kingfisher is now breeding twice per year, instead of once. Photo of forest kingfisher, Todiramphus macleayii, on Moreton Island by Glen Fergus, Wikimedia Commons
Conservation International scientist Lee Hannah said that while projected temperature change in
Hannah was among the scientists who spoke at this week's Forum on Climate Change in
… There is a lesson here for all developing countries including
… In this context it would be important for all countries in
That's good news for Valley cities, which draw much of their water supplies from the lake and its sibling reservoirs on the Salt and Verde rivers. But experts say they can't yet call an end to the state's ongoing drought. A wet year often interrupts long dry spells, and in the desert, dry spells can easily span 20 years.
… SRP's reservoirs will near capacity for just the second time in more than a decade. (Although 2005 produced more runoff, the reservoirs began with less water then than this year.) The gush of runoff allowed SRP to cancel an order for Colorado River water and reduce planned groundwater pumping from an estimated 275,000 acre-feet to just 75,000 acre-feet.
The two reservoirs on the Verde River, Horseshoe and Bartlett, filled by the end of January, which forced SRP for several weeks to divert the overflow downstream into the lower Salt, through Tempe Town Lake and on to the Gila River near Avondale.
Most of the snow has melted on the Verde watershed, and the
Climate experts won't declare a drought over on the strength of one wet year, especially not in the middle of such a persistent dry period. Full reservoirs paint only a partial picture of water and climate conditions in
Climate-proofing involves the adaptation of the natural and built environment to withstand or minimise the adverse effects of climate change. Local environmentalists and development experts lament that successive governments have not enforced legislation and policies to guide development, including a master plan that was developed for the tourism sector in 2000….
"It is very clear that we need to have a conversation with the insurance industry in this island, how they are going to help us, because they are a very important players in the discussion on climate change," he tells The Sunday Gleaner.
Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Ronald Jackson, supports McDonald, adding that the country's main foreign-exchange earner, tourism, needs protection. ...
Clarence White's 1903 photo of drops of rain, Wikimedia Commons
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Professor Allan, 71, pioneered the development of key concepts in the understanding and communication of water issues and how they are linked to agriculture, climate change, economics and politics. In 1993, he introduced the ‘virtual water’ concept, which measures how water is embedded in the production and trade of food and consumer products.
For example, a cup of coffee uses 140 litres of water used to grow, produce, package and ship the beans. A hamburger needs an estimated 2,400 litres of water. Per capita, Americans consume around 6,800 litres of virtual water every day - more than thrice that of a Chinese person. Virtual water has major impacts on global trade policy and research, especially in water-scarce regions, and has redefined discourse in water policy and management.
National, regional and global water and food security, for example, can be enhanced when water-intensive commodities are traded from places where they are economically viable to produce to places where they are not.
While studying water scarcity in the Middle East, Professor Allan developed the theory of using virtual water import, via food, as an alternative water ‘source’” to reduce pressure on the scarce domestic water resources there and in other water-scarce regions.
Professor Allan also developed the idea and terminology of ‘hydro-hegemony’ and ‘problemshed’. His work has led to a better understanding of potential and real conflicts in trans-boundary regions such as the
Allen’s work has led to greater awareness among policymakers, scientists, water professionals and the general public, about the role of water in the production of different types of products and its impact on global trade and economy.
…Professor Allen is a leading voice for sustainable water development and expert adviser on balancing population growth and increasing food demand in developing countries, institutional reform, valuing water, conflict resolution, and on the
Photo of a dew drop by Friedrich Böhringer, Wikimedia Commons
…As the GMS becomes one of the fastest growing regions in the world, the challenge facing the governments is increasingly clear; how to sustain rapid economic growth while making sure the Mekong River and the region's ecosystems continue to support the needs of people and nature.
At stake are rivers and forests that provide vital ecosystem services which we all rely on, supporting economies, and yet that often remain overlooked in investment decisions. It is for this reason that the World Wildlife Fund encourages the leaders of the GMS to recommit to a vision of growth where environmental sustainability is the foundation for development.
There is no time to lose. A report by the non-governmental organisation Oxfam that was published in 2007 stated that ''the ability of natural resources to continue to support poor peoples' livelihoods in the
…Three years ago, GMS leaders committed themselves to one vision: an integrated, harmonious and prosperous sub-region that is partly based on Biodiversity Conservation Landscapes. These are large expanses of forest and freshwater _ approximately 60,000 square kilometres _ that were identified as being vital for ecological functions and ecotourism. Now, in the face of climate change and its projected impact on the people of the GMS, the foresight of designing these landscapes is increasingly relevant.
Identifying conservation landscapes is the necessary first step; but there is an urgent need to take more tangible measures within a new management framework. This framework would not only define the landscapes and river basin priorities, but also regional standards for sustainable infrastructure and climate change adaptation measures over the long term.
A true vision of the GMS is one where the
Photo of the Mekong River in Laos by Ondřej Žváček, Wikimedia Commons
"In Canada we are still caught up in the myth of abundance," said geography professor Rob de Loë, a lead researcher in the Guelph Water Management Group, which conducted the two-year assessment of Canada’s water-allocation systems. "We think we have lots of water, so what's the problem? But the truth is, we are not immune to water scarcity. Shrinking water supplies are a problem across the globe, and in Canada we aren't dealing with it very well."
Among other things, the researchers found that water monitoring and enforcement are not happening at a satisfactory level in all parts of Canada. "Monitoring is essential because it helps us know whether or not we're addressing the water-security challenges that exist,” de Loë said.
In addition, most provinces and territories aren't doing enough to anticipate the effects of climate change on future water supplies, he said. "Historical patterns and observed trends continue to guide our water-allocation decisions, despite the fact that these patterns and trends aren't likely to be representative of future conditions due to global warming."
This is problematic because Canada's water resources have already faced numerous threats over the past decade, he said. "Severe droughts have been experienced in the Prairies, stress on aquatic ecosystems is evident in many watersheds, and growth and development are putting pressure on water resources in many parts of the country. All of these current threats will simply magnify with climate change."
...The report, which was funded by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, was just released online. For a copy of the report, visit the .
Map of Canada's rivers by "Qyd," Wikimedia Commons
"People have a hard time accepting that this is happening here," said
What is happening is not just a minor botanical alteration in a few isolated places. The scientists studying the phenomenon see it as a harbinger for major changes in the state's geography — submerging islands and turning swamps into open bays. Those changes alone can create a serious economic impact on businesses such as fishing.
The rising sea generally has crept up so slowly that it has been barely noticeable. In the
It's often difficult to detect along urban coastlines because seawalls and renourished beaches can obscure or blunt the impact, said Mike Savarese, a
….Florida is a good place to study the rising sea level because its a coastal state where seas have risen and fallen for tens of thousands of years. That enables scientists to see what happened in the past and compare it to what's occurring now.
...How long will it take before sea level rise begins to cause major changes? If you ask Harold Wanless, chairman of the
Wanless believes the rate will continue increasing until it surpasses 3 feet by the end of this century, and could even reach 5 feet. That "basically takes all of our barrier islands and makes them close to unlivable," he said.
But Wanless' predictions surpass what scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey have found so far in their studies from around the nation's coastline.
…The scientific uncertainty has left public officials unsure how to deal with the problem. "I don't think that anybody's really pinned down numbers that make sense yet," said Ed Chesney,
NASA image of Florida, Wikimedia Commons
Severe impacts are already visible around the world and are set to worsen in the future, making adaptation inevitable even under the most optimistic emission reduction scenarios.
Rising sea levels, coastal inundation and shortages of water and food will put billions of people at risk, particularly those living in developing countries. In his opening remarks at the meeting, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN’s top climate change official, called the launch of the Adaptation Fund a historic moment. “This is a unique fund, with mitigation action paying for adaptation. It is not reliant on donor funding or overseas development assistance. This is the climate regime beginning to become self-financing”, Mr. de Boer said.
The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol to finance concrete adaptation projects to help developing countries cope with the effects of climate change. Currently, the Adaptation Fund is filled by means of a 2% levy on projects from the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and is worth about 37 million euros. Considering the number of CDM projects in the pipeline, this figure will rapidly increase to an estimated 80-300 million USD in the period 2008-2012.
The Adaptation Fund Board will ensure that the guidelines and procedures for accessing the Fund are established. “The comprehensive international climate change deal that will be reached at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in
Governments agreed at the United Nations Climate Change Talks in
Map of Tanzania from Wikimedia Commons
Friday, March 28, 2008
"Computer models are used to predict the climate and health impacts of aerosols, by simulating the way the atmosphere disperses smoke and other particles," Ralph Kahn, who is now at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center after time at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, told environmentalresearchweb. "Most such models currently assume that wildfire smoke is injected only into the near-surface boundary layer. If smoke is instead injected above the boundary layer, the particles are likely to travel farther, and to remain in the atmosphere longer."
Kahn believes that improving the way smoke is represented in air quality and climate prediction models is particularly important as wildfires are expected to become even more common in some regions as a result of climate change.
He and colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology, Columbus Technologies and Services, and
"Over a period of seven minutes, each of MISR's cameras successively images the same location along a roughly 400 km wide strip nearly from pole to pole, so we end up with nine multi-angle views of the entire swath," explained Kahn. "MISR images the entire planet about once per week, at spatial sampling as high as a quarter of a kilometre."
MISR observations provide information about everything on Earth that scatters light differently at different angles – the surface, clouds, and particles of dust, smoke and pollution suspended in the atmosphere. "The multi-angle data tell about the amount, size, shape, and brightness of aerosols," said Kahn. “And from the hyper-stereo of the multiple views, we can derive the heights of clouds and smoke plumes."
Space-based LIDAR has to date found smoke only near the surface in the vicinity of wildfires. "LIDAR can measure the heights of aerosol layers much thinner than those for which the multi-angle stereo technique works," said Kahn. "But multi-angle imaging provides vastly greater spatial coverage, and in particular, often observes active wildfires missed by the extremely narrow lidar swath."
…The researchers reported their work in Geophysical Research Letters.Smoke from this August 2006 wildfire at the Devils Backbone, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA, may have reached into the troposphere. Photo by Wing-Chi Poon, Wikimedia Commons
"With the recent release of findings of major international studies on climate change, in particular those published by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there is a need to conduct a comprehensive and up-to-date study to assess the likely impact of climate change on
The study will review and update the inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Hong Kong; project local GHG emission trends under different scenarios; characterize the impacts of climate change on Hong Kong; recommend additional policies and measures to reduce GHG emissions and facilitate adaptation to climate change; and assess the cost-effectiveness of the proposed measures.
The spokesman said that the study will provide a solid scientific basis for the government to formulate long-term strategies and measures for
The study will span around 18 months, and is expected to be completed in late 2009. ERM-Hong Kong Ltd is an environmental, safety, health and risk consultancy...
Hong Kong's coat of arms rendered by "Zscout370," Wikimedia Commons
Meanwhile, a climate change research centre and a government climate change data centre are in the pipeline to allow
Although some NGO officials claim that climate change specific funding might have been much lower than $10 million in the last decade, government records obtained by The Daily Star show that climate change adaptation fund to Bangladesh has been between $9 million to $10 million since 1996. Experts say that
But a donor country official, working with the research centre proposals, told The Daily Star that Bangladesh has also failed to 'voice enough concerns at the global level, and have not managed knowledge about climate change well enough to make the country's case overseas'. "The country has been unable to tap into massive global climate change funds because of a lack of data about the country," the official said.
Official records show only one out of the fifteen planned projects under the National Adaptation Programme of Action (
A donor country official, working with climate change, said future project funding should also come in forms of grants rather than loans to reduce the burden of repayment.
In 2006, 32 donor countries pledged $3.13 billion to fund projects between 2006 and 2010. GEF allocates and disburses about $250 million dollars a year to projects for developing energy efficiency, renewable energies, and sustainable transportation, as the financial mechanism of the Climate Convention.
Meanwhile, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) signed a memorandum of understanding with International University Bangladesh (IUB) to set up a global research institute here….
Bangladesh map from the CIA's World Factbook, Wikimedia Commons
"More informed respondents both feel less personally responsible for global warming, and also show less concern for global warming," states the article, titled "Personal Efficacy, the Information Environment, and Attitudes toward Global Warming and Climate Change in the
The study showed that high levels of confidence in scientists among Americans led to a decreased sense of responsibility for global warming. The diminished concern and sense of responsibility flies in the face of awareness campaigns about climate change.
The research was conducted by Paul Kellstedt, a political science associate professor at Texas A&M; Arnold Vedlitz, Bob Bullock Chair in Government and Public Policy at Texas A&M’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service; and Sammy Zahran, formerly of Texas A&M and now an assistant professor of sociology at
Kellstedt says the findings were unexpected. The focus of the study, he says, was not to measure how informed or how uninformed Americans are about global warming, but to understand why some individuals who are more or less informed about it showed more or less concern. "In that sense, we didn't really have expectations about how aware or unaware people were of global warming," he says….
Sleeping dog photo by Rick Audet, Wikimedia Commons
Thursday, March 27, 2008
A gradual awareness is building in the scientific community that our stressed ecosystems are perched on a cliff edge. Given the right nudge, they are capable of slipping rapidly from a seemingly stable state to flood or drought. An Earth that is just a few degrees Celsius hotter may push the planet's climate system past critical thresholds.
A recent study, 'Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system', published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reviews 14 earth systems to assess how small changes can have large long-term consequences on human and ecological systems....
This week, the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. will implement new rules designed to reduce
Meanwhile, Congress is considering legislation that would force freighters to install costly onboard sterilization systems to kill foreign organisms in ballast water. The systems use filters, ultraviolet irradiation, chemical biocides and other technologies, and can cost more than $500,000.
The U-M ballast-free ship concept offers a promising alternative that could block hitchhiking organisms while eliminating the need for expensive sterilization equipment, said Michael Parsons, professor of naval architecture and marine engineering and co-leader of the project.
…Ships take on ballast water for stability when they're not carrying cargo. They discharge ballast when they load freight, expelling tons of water and anything else—from pathogenic microbes to mollusks and fish—that's in it.
Instead of hauling potentially contaminated water across the ocean, then dumping it in a
For invasive species, ship's bilges like this one, taken by "Clipper," are the preferred method of travel. Wikimedia Commons
NOAA’s Fisheries Service has until the end of this year to prepare a status review and make a decision whether to list the ribbon seals, so that species will be the initial focus of NOAA experts. Status reviews of the other three species of ice seals will be completed after the ribbon seal review. In late December 2007, the San-Francisco-based Center for Biological Diversity petitioned NOAA’s Fisheries Service to list the ribbon seal as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Their petition states that global warming threatens ribbon seals with extinction because of the rapid melt of sea ice habitat. The agency decided the petition provided enough information to indicate that action may be warranted under the law.
NOAA’s finding was based, in part, on predicted changes in ribbon seals’ sea ice habitat as a result of global climate change, the high allowable seal harvest set by the Russian federation in recent years, the potential impacts of oil and gas development and production in both the United States and Russia and the potential impacts of commercial fisheries and climate change on ribbon seal prey distribution and abundance.
Ribbon seals use the marginal sea ice zone in the Bering and Okhotsk Seas for reproduction, molting and as a resting platform. In the summer and fall, they forage in the Bering and Chuckchi seas. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA’s Fisheries Service) is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat.
Photo of ribbon seal by NOAA
Also of great concern to 83% of businesses is the risk that traditional sources of energy will reduce and the cost of oil and gas will rise so significantly over the next 5 years that it will have an adverse effect on the smooth running of their business. Sixty percent are not prepared for this eventuality and see it as a major threat which indicates a gap in their knowledge regarding alternative sources of energy and are awaiting an answer instead of pro-actively seeking an answer.
At next week’s Business Continuity Expo, which will be held at
…Following the floods of 2007 and the recent storms, 74% of businesses see adverse weather as a real threat of which 70% are prepared. However, 40% of small manufacturing firms and 50% of large retails firms who see adverse weather as having a significant effect on British business admit to not having a plan in place.
Martin Caddick , Leader of Marsh’s Business Continuity Management team, said: “Climate change and energy risk consistently rank among the biggest challenges facing global businesses in 2008. While the majority of firms surveyed have accurately identified the major risks that could affect their businesses, fewer seem to be successful in tackling them head on. This lack of preparedness continues to be a major issue for European firms in today’s turbulent times.”
The road would allow APP and affiliated companies to restart clearance of natural forest and destruction of deep peat soil at any time in a globally recognized conservation area, according to Eyes on the
"It is morally reprehensible for one of the world's largest paper companies to so brazenly ignore Indonesian laws and destroy the natural resources that belong to the people of Riau," said Teguh Surya of Walhi Riau. "We strongly urge APP to join the ranks of responsible businesses and conduct its operations within the law. Until that time, the world's paper buyers and investors should stop doing business with APP."
The Kampar peninsula area is also considered one of the last havens for critically endangered Sumatran tigers, whose wild population is estimated to be down to just 400-500. The landscape was designated a "regional priority" tiger conservation landscape by the world's leading tiger scientists in 2006. A preliminary estimate by WWF-Indonesia shows that a well-managed Kampar peninsula could be home to as many as 60 tigers.
"Even as our investigators were out surveying the site last month, they came across tiger tracks walking along the APP logging road," said Nursamsu of WWF-Indonesia and Eyes on the
…."APP claimed that it was building this state-of-the-art, paved highway for the benefit of the local communities," said Susanto Kurniawan of Jikalahari. "It's shameful to see a multibillion-dollar enterprise hiding behind the needs of desperately poor, isolated villagers, who will receive absolutely no benefit from this road but will likely suffer the consequences of APP's activities."
The two new logging concessions that the road does connect to are affiliated with APP and both are based on licenses issued by District heads, who are not supposed to issue such licenses. The Ministry of Forestry has issued definitive licenses to the two concessions. However, clearance of natural forest for plantation development in these concessions would not be allowed as it is considered deep peat soil and is natural forest in good condition.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Mr Patnaik used about seven tones of sand and took almost two days to prepare the seven feet sculpture. “The issue of global warming is close to my heart. I imagine the kind of ruin temperature rise would bring to the live of millions of people. Flood, draught, water shortage, sea surge all combined would devastate everything we have.” Mr Patnaik said. “The impact of climate change is already evident and must not be allowed to go out of control. It chills my spine to even think that Orissa will create 4 million climate victims as estimated in Greenpeace report,” he added.
Meanwhile, the environment activists’ group Greenpeace released “Blue Alert” yesterday and alerted the Indian government and people of the subcontinent to the massive humanitarian crisis the South Asian region could face if global cross two degree tipping point. “Blue Alert ~ Climate Migrants in South Asia: Estimates and Solutions”, a paper authored by Dr Sudhir Chella Rajan , professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras, and a climate expert, estimates the number of people who could be displaced from their homes at 125 million in India and Bangladesh alone.
The report warns that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow under the business-as-usual scenario as projected, leading to global temperature rise by four-five degree centigrade, the south Asian region could face a wave of migrants displaced by the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and drought associated with shrinking water supplies and monsoon variability.
Dr Chella Rajan, the author of the report, recommended that “India should seek policy options that are proactive in terms of developing international strategies to reduce the risk of destructive climate change. “We cannot wait for the inevitable to happen and hope to adapt to it.”
Photo of the Jagannath Temple, which Patnaik has replicated in a sand sculpture to dramatize the dangers of sea level rise. Photo by Shiva-Nataraja, Wikimedia Commons
Israel's drought among its worst
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA -
JERUSALEM - Israel is suffering its worst drought in a decade and will have to stop pumping from one of its main sources of drinking water, ...
Bracing For ‘Severe’ Water Shortage
New York Jewish Week, USA -
Bromberg said “it isn’t surprising” that Israel and its neighbors are experiencing a drought. “We go through a period of drought every seven years on ...
Army teams up with industry to fill gaps in workforce
Jerusalem Post, Israel -
But the problem for employers looking for middle and lowlevel employees with technical training is less a brain drain than a brain drought. As Israel ...
Guardian, UK -
AP foreign By LAURIE COPANS AP Writer JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel is suffering its worst drought in a decade and will have to stop pumping from one of its main ...
Satellite photo of Israel, NASA, Wikimedia Commons
The Norwegian Polar Institute said ice around Hopen island southeast of the Svalbard archipelago had become more than 40 cms (16 inches) thinner in the past 40 years, in what it called the first long-term study of ice thickness in the Barents Sea.... Oil and gas companies are pushing north into the Barents Sea, seeking new reserves. Scientists say climate change may make the region less inhospitable and prices around $100 a barrel can justify exploration despite high costs. Norway's biggest oil firm, StatoilHydro, operates the Snoehvit gas field in the south of the Barents Sea that opened in September last year. Russian gas giant Gazprom holds a 51 percent share in the company that plans to develop the vast Shtokman gas field to the east. France's Total owns 25 percent and StatoilHydro 24 percent.
New polar bear haven -- an oil rig photographed by Chad Teer, Wikimedia Commons
This revolutionary approach decreased by 50 percent the time it takes to reach a victim trapped by concrete, increasing the probability of a successful rescue," said Guy DuBois, vice president of Raytheon's Operational Technologies and Solutions business.
Developed under the rapid technology application program of the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, the rapid breaching technology meets the need for increased speed in breaching concrete walls and barriers.
Raytheon demonstrated the CIRT prototype to DHS, Federal Emergency Management Agency and urban search and rescue officials recently. During the demonstration the CIRT smashed through concrete in 13 minutes, while conventional methods took 29 minutes or more….
"The hardest hit is
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs heavy rains in southern Africa were still expected, including in central
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
"We need to keep in mind as well that the bulk of the 75 million people from Bangladesh are very likely to seek refuge in India," the report, authored by S Chella Rajan, professor of humanities and social sciences at IIT, Chennai, said. "Looking at
To minimise the impact, the report suggested, "
The regulations will be based on an anticipated sea-level rise of 3 to 5 feet during the next 90 years, but they would be amended if new science shows the seas are rising higher and faster. “We already have a vast investment in infrastructure that’s in places at risk,” said Grover Fugate, executive director of the state’s Coastal Resources Management Council. The new rules will seek to avoid putting even more infrastructure such as bridges, roads and sewers at risk.
…At a meeting yesterday of representatives from various state agencies as well as the cities in the metropolitan area — Providence, East Providence, Pawtucket and Cranston — there were no objections to 14 new policies and actions that the CRMC will be asked to approve after a public hearing in May. The coastal management team is recommending:
•Adopting an increase in the required first-floor elevation for new and improved structures in high hazard areas along the coast.
•Creating a standard method for determining whether improvements to buildings damaged by storms amount to more than 50 percent of the size or the value of the building — a determination that would force the owner to comply with more stringent, and expensive, building standards.
•Establishing a plan to remove debris that a storm would bring up the Bay and dump on the shores of
•Tightening standards for structures built in so-called A-zones, where only minor wave damage would be expected.
….Another concern is increasing storm intensity, Fugate said. He said one study found that
"There's no doubt that going forward that climate change is indeed the single biggest risk faced by the property and casualty insurance industry," Mark Yakabuski, president and CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said in an interview Monday. He warned that even a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gases over the next 50 years would not ward off climate change's impact.
"The carbon dioxide and other pollutants that are already in the environment as a result of greenhouse gas emissions will be in our environment for at least 50 years," Yakabuski said. "They will motor the forces of climate change in a way that will give rise inevitably to more frequent, severe weather. That is one of the inevitable by-products of a warming planet."
It's easy to see just how significant the impact of those "inevitable by-products" have been from a recently released report that 145 Canadian scientists worked on for the last three years. The report, From Impacts to Adaptation:
…Tom Kornya, a partner with Ernst & Young, said weather-related change has quickly vaulted to the top of the insurers' problems, overtaking other challenges ranging from technology to emerging markets. "I guess when I look at this exercise, if we'd done it 10 years ago, it's probably fair to question whether climate change would have even made the list," Kornya said in an interview Monday.
Ernst & Young collaborated with Oxford Analytica to explore strategic business risks for 12 of the world's most important sectors, including insurance. The top 10 risks on the insurance list resulted from discussions between the company's global analysts and from leaders in more than 20 disciplines.
Doukhobor women are shown breaking the prairie sod by pulling a plough themselves, Thunder Hill Colony, Manitoba. c 1899, Wikimedia Commons
Some argue that meeting the sanitation MDG is also a prerequisite to the goals of reducing global poverty.
Achieving the sanitation goal - to simply halve the number of people without access to a toilet by 2015 - would cost $38 billion, less than 1% of annual world military spending. That investment, however, would yield $347 billion worth of benefits - much of it related to higher productivity and improved health....
Decorative toilet seat, "Bartux," Wikimedia Commons
Slab of Antarctic ice shelf collapses amid warming
Reuters UK, UK -
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Satellite images show that a large hunk of Antarctica's Wilkins Ice Shelf has started to collapse in a fast-warming ...
Scientists: Antarctic ice shelf collapsing as result of climate change
Western Antarctic Ice Chunk Collapses
Giant Antarctic ice shelf collapses (+photos)
Massive chunk of Antarctic ice breaks away
Marlborough Express, New Zealand -
A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said ...
Huge chunk of Antarctic ice shelf collapses
LIVENEWS.com.au, Australia -
A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan has suddenly collapsed, and scientists are putting it down to global warming. ...