A drifting Russian Arctic
research station is to be evacuated because the ice field around it is
melting, the environment ministry in Moscow reports. The ministry has ordered an evacuation plan to be drawn up for the station and its staff of 16. It is sending a nuclear-powered icebreaker to help move the station, located near Canada's economic zone. From the BBC.
Some of the most extreme predictions of global warming are unlikely
to materialise, new scientific research
has suggested, but the world is
still likely to be in for a temperature rise of double that regarded as
said warming was most likely to reach about
4C above pre-industrial levels if the past decade's readings were taken
into account. That would still lead to catastrophe across large
swaths of the Earth, causing droughts, storms, floods and heatwaves, and
drastic effects on agricultural productivity leading to secondary
effects such as mass migration. From the Guardian.
May 3White House warned on imminent Arctic ice death spiral
Senior US government officials are to be briefed at the White House this week
on the danger of an ice-free Arctic
in the summer within two years.
meeting is bringing together Nasa's acting chief scientist, Gale Allen,
the director of the US National Science Foundation, Cora Marett, as
well as representatives from the US Department of Homeland Security and
This is the latest indication that US officials are
increasingly concerned about the international and domestic security
implications of climate change
. From the Guardian.
Cities around Europe may have to erect flood barriers similar to the Thames Barrier
that protects London from sea surges, as climate change takes hold and
leads to the danger of much more destructive storms, floods, heavy
rainfall and higher sea levels, Europe's environmental watchdog
effects of climate change will be so far-reaching across the continent
that vineyards may have to plant new grape varieties, farmers may have
to cultivate new crops and water suppliers look to technology such as
desalination in order to cope with the probable effects of more extreme
weather. Buildings and infrastructure such as transport, energy and
communication networks will also have to be changed. From the Guardian.
Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could increase the
frequency of turbulence over the North Atlantic by 170 percent and its
intensity by 40 percent by the middle of the century, according to
British climate researchers writing in the journal Nature Climate Change
. From the NYT
The United Nations has responded to Canada's withdrawal from a UN
convention that fights the spread of droughts
, calling the pullout
"regrettable." In a press release issued on Friday, the convention secretariat
based in Bonn, Germany, said the convention is the only legally binding
instrument addressing desertification and drought and pointed out that
Canada itself is "frequently subjected to drought." From the CBC.
The NMAP survey of Canadian local governments asked local governments if they had experienced drought in the last 10 years, 15% had, and about one third of the local governments are concerned about drought conditions in the near future.
March 27Canada is withdrawing from the United Nations convention
that fights droughts in Africa and elsewhere
, which will make Canada
the only country in the world outside the agreement. The Canadian cabinet ordered the unannounced withdrawal on
the recommendation of the foreign affairs minister in advance of a
major scientific meeting on the convention next month in Germany.
The issue of encroaching deserts has become urgent because of renewed
droughts that have plunged millions into poverty in Africa's Sahel belt
last year and in East Africa the year before.The Bonn-based secretariat for the UN body said no Canadian official had contacted them about the withdrawal. From the CBC.March 25
Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and bitter spring weather
now being experienced across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice
.Both the extent and the volume of the sea ice that forms and melts each year in the Arctic Ocean fell to an historic low last autumn
, and satellite records published on Monday
by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado,
show the ice extent is close to the minimum recorded for this time of
year. From the Guardian (click here for the article).March 25
The UK government's chief
scientist has said that there is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere
for there to be more floods and droughts over the next 25 years. Prof Sir John Beddington said there was a "need for urgency" in tackling climate change.He also said that the later governments left it, the harder it would be to combat. From the BBC.
The village of Feldheim is at the leading edge of Germany’s
renewable energy transition, proving to foreign
politicians, scientists and activists every year that it is possible to
live and be economically viable without fossil fuels. From the CBC.
The historic drought
that laid waste to America's grain and corn belt is unlikely to ease
before the middle of this year, a government forecast warned on
Thursday. The annual spring outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) predicted hotter, drier conditions across much of the US,
including parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, where farmers have been
fighting to hang on to crops of winter wheat. From the Guardian.March 22
In a study published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences, researchers analyzing monsoon patterns around the Northern
Hemisphere since the 1970s conclude that there has been a substantial
intensification of summer monsoon rainfall and circulation. From the New York Times.March 22
The mayors of Sydney and London have more in common than gold-plated boasting rights of Olympic proportions. Though
from different political persuasions, both Clover Moore in Sydney and
Boris Johnson in London, share a passion and vision for lasting change
that will see more vibrant, liveable cities created through a change in
travel habits. From the Guardian.March 20
Thawing permafrost is a growing problem for the Iqaluit airport. Permafrost
researchers have produced a map that shows where climate change could
most affect Iqaluit. It shows most parts of the city are on stable
ground, but one area of concern is the Iqaluit airport. From the CBC.