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Climate Change – Action Needed To Close Emissions Gap

06/11/2013 | By | Reply More

Climate Change – The science shows that global temperatures are rising every year, with a 28-year streak of summer records above the 20th century average

Climate Change

2013 Gap Report Strengthens Case for Wide-Ranging Global Action to Close Emissions Gap.

Should the global community not immediately embark on wide-ranging actions to narrow the greenhouse gas emissions gap, the chance of remaining on the least-cost path to keeping global temperature rise below 2°C this century will swiftly diminish and open the door to a host of challenges.

These are the conclusions of the Emissions Gap Report 2013, a major international scientific report coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and released as leaders prepare to meet for a new round of climate change negotiations in Warsaw. Delegates from more than 190 countries will meet in Warsaw, Poland next week for a U.N. conference to work on emission cuts under a new climate pact, which will be signed by 2015 but only come into force in 2020.

It finds that although pathways exist that could reach the 2o°C target with higher emissions, not narrowing the gap will exacerbate mitigation challenges after 2020.

Even if nations meet their current climate pledges, greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 are likely to be considerably above the level that would provide a likely chance of remaining on the least-cost pathway.

If the gap is not closed or significantly narrowed by 2020, the door to many options to limit temperature increase to a lower target of 1.5° C will be closed.

As the report highlights, delayed actions means a higher rate of climate change in the near term and likely more near-term climate impacts, as well as the continued use of carbon-intensive and energy-intensive infrastructure. This ‘lock-in’ would slow down the introduction of climate-friendly technologies and narrow the developmental choices that would place the global community on the path to a sustainable, green future”, said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner in a press release. You can view the whole press conference on YouTube from here.

Scientists agree that the risks of irreversible damage to the environment would increase significantly should the global average temperature rise above 2°C in relation to pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed that human activity is ‘extremely likely’ (95 to 100 per cent probability) to be the cause of this warming.

The report, which involved 70 scientists from 44 scientific groups in 17 countries, was funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The full report can be downloaded here:

See also UNEP’s Climate Change portal: http://www.unep.org/climatechange/

Methane tipping point?

On the Arctic Circle Assembly 2013 in Reykjavik, Iceland last October, was screened at the conference a film about Climate Change, named “Last Hours”.

The film “Last Hours” describes a science-based climate scenario where a tipping point to runaway climate change is triggered by massive releases of frozen methane.  Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, has already started to percolate into the open seas and atmosphere from methane hydrate deposits beneath melting arctic ice, from the warming northern-hemisphere tundra, and from worldwide continental-shelf undersea methane pools.

Watch video below – Courtesy Tree Media Foundation – by Thom Hartmann

Run time: 10 minutes.

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Burning fossil fuels release carbon that, principally through greenhouse effect, heat the atmosphere and the seas. This is happening most rapidly at the polar extremes, and this heating has already begun the process of releasing methane.  If we do not begin to significantly curtail the use of carbon-based fossil fuels, this freed methane threatens to radically accelerate the speed of global warming, potentially producing a disaster beyond the ability of the human species to adapt.

Industrial civilization with its production of greenhouse gases has the potential to trigger a mass extinction on the order of those seen in the deep geological past. In the extreme, it could threaten not just human civilization, but the very existence of human life on this planet.

We have culturally, historically and politically, in all nations, been brought up with a view of Mother Earth in which the ice is peripheral. We have not acknowledged that in fact we all live in an ice-dependent world.

climate change

Arctic sea ice is carried southwards into the North Atlantic, where it melts. The resulting volume of relatively fresh water affects the ecology of the area and helps drive the worldwide circulation of the oceans.

Our weather, our climate, our crops and our cities are dependent, in one way or another, on what happens to the ice. The glaciers are not divorced from our fate; they are at the core of our future.

The Arctic, the Himalayas, Antarctica are not isolated and separate parts of our global homeland. Their fate and our fate, their future and our future, are closely connected.

Unless we bring them together and to the centre of our joint scientific and political concerns, the discussions and the dialogues on climate change will probably continue to be of little consequence.

But when we succeed in linking the Arctic, the Himalayas and Antarctica and all the other ice-covered areas of the Earth together, making them central to our vision, we will achieve what I light-heartedly call our global ‘AHA’ moment.

We are all familiar with numerous ‘aha’ moments in our lives and have witnessed others in similar situations; when suddenly we comprehend a new truth, understand a new reality, recognize the meaning of the other fellow’s actions. Yes, aha! – we have finally got it!

The global dialogue on climate change urgently needs such an ‘aha’ moment by linking our concerns and our efforts on the Arctic, the Himalayas and Antarctica together. We, the people on Mother Earth, have a new opportunity to bring forward the necessary actions.

It is your turn to take action NOW.

Action is needed to close Emissions Gap. – Tell your friends – Pressure your politicians – Lighten your Carbon Load.

Epilogue:

Climate Change

Three days after Typhoon Haiyan hit, aerial photos are revealing a scene of apocalyptic devastation along a swathe of the central Philippines in many News Media.

Only 2 days after have written this article above, we have been witness of one of the most powerful storms on record to make landfall, the Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines.

Last Friday, November 8. 2013, the storm swept through Philippines and more than nine million people have been affected. Many are now struggling to survive without food, shelter or clean drinking water.

A picture is slowly emerging of the full damage wrought by the storm:

  • The exposed easterly town of Guiuan, Samar province – population 40,000 – is said to be largely destroyed
  • Three-hundred people were killed in the town of Basey, also in Samar, the provincial disaster office confirmed
  • Tacloban, Leyte province, was largely flattened by a massive storm surge and scores of corpses are piled by the roadside, leaving a stench in the air as they rot. Hundreds of people gathered at the airport desperate for food and water, others trying to get a flight out
  • Disaster worker Dennis Chong told the BBC that assessments in the far north of Cebu province had shown some towns had suffered “80-90% damage”
  • Baco, a city of 35,000 in Oriental Mindoro province, was 80% under water, the UN said.

The Philippine envoy to the UN climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, Naderev Sano, shed tears as he blamed global warming for the typhoon.

We can fix this,” he said. “We can stop this madness, right now, right here“.

However, the issue of whether the frequency and size of hurricanes is affected by climate change is hotly debated within the scientific community.

Your action is needed to stop this. It can happen in your community in near future if we don’t stop this madness, right now.

Google has open a search service as they did in Tsunami flood in Japan to find people and families in Philippines.

Scandinavia a way to go – sends all residents of the Philippines deep sympathy for the disaster that now strikes across the nation.

 

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