Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Urgent reform needed to curb drastic effects of climate change

Simona Sikimic in the Daily Star (Lebanon): Lebanon is a small greenhouse gas emitter globally but will experience some of the worst knock-on effects from global warming within the coming decades, the Environment Ministry said Tuesday. The gloomy forecast is detailed in Lebanon’s Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, newly unveiled by the ministry and United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and submitted to the U.N. Climate body for evaluation.

The report concentrates on findings obtained during the period from 2000 to 2005 and lays out various climate risks, while analyzing the effectiveness of mitigation measures and assessing Lebanon’s present-day situation.

“We are all aware of the dangers that surround the Middle East because of the expected climate changes [which will] escalate the current disputes in the region over distribution of resources, especially water and land,” caretaker Environment Minister Mohammad Rahhal said at the launch. “These changes will cause more burden and stress on the ability for many societies to adapt and this could threaten internal stability in some areas of the world … ”

The 167-page report notes that temperature increases to date have been limited but forecasts major changes from 2025 which will accelerate until 2100 reaching “unprecedented levels” possibly 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Mountainous areas will feel the effects first, with temperatures forecast to rise by up to 2 degrees by mid-century and the north east of the country being the worst affected, the report said.

“[Simultaneously] significant reductions are projected for rainfall, which will be more severe from the coastal to the inland areas, ranging from a [decrease] of 10-20 percent for 2040 and 25-45 percent for 2090,” it added….

A Lebanese mountain, shot by, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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