Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Week ending June 29th 2008
The Blue Carbon Portal brings together the latest knowledge and resources on the role of oceans as carbon sinks.
WalkIt provides walking routes between user-defined points in selected British cities, with an estimate of the carbon savings.
Joto Afrika is a series of printed briefings and online resources about adapting to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa.
The CoolClimate Art Contest presents iconic images that address the impact of climate change.
About the Cyberlibrary
The Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary was developed by Mick Kelly and Sarah Granich on behalf of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development, with sponsorship from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
While every effort is made to ensure that information on this site, and on other sites that are referenced here, is accurate, no liability for loss or damage resulting from use of this information can be accepted.
Friends of the Earth Canada is sueing the Canadian government over its alleged failure to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. "The case is about defending the fundamental principle that the government must be accountable and comply with the law," said Ecojustice lawyer Hugh Wilkins. "The government cannot pick and choose which laws to obey. The law is the law."
In April 2007, the Canadian government announced its Turning the Corner strategy, setting its greenhouse gas reduction target to 20 per cent below 2006 levels by the year 2020, much less ambitious than its Kyoto target of a six per cent reduction below 1990 levels by the end of 2012. "While other industrialized countries actively work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change, our government has offered pollution holidays for emitters for decades to come," charged Beatrice Olivastri of Friends of the Earth Canada. "This government has broken the law," she said, "and, as Canadian citizens, we have both a moral and legal imperative to insist on enforcement of our own laws on climate action."
António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has warned that climate change is forcing greater numbers of people to flee their homes as resources become increasingly scarce. "We are now faced with a complex mix of global challenges that could threaten even more forced displacement in the future," he said. "They range from multiple new conflict-related emergencies in world hotspots to bad governance, climate-induced environmental degradation that increases competition for scarce resources, and extreme price hikes that have hit the poor the hardest and are generating instability in many places."
In Darfur, in the Sudan, where 2.5 million people have been displaced by conflict, "the root of the conflict is greatly due to the competition for water and grazing land between tribes," says Peter Kessler of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. "Wherever you look, the footprint of climate change and environmental degradation is bring people to a situation where resources are increasingly scarce and forcing them to move." observes Nick Nuttall of the United Nations Environment Programme. He cites the Rwenzori mountains of Uganda, where glacial retreat threatens the flow of rivers on which millions of livelihoods depend. In Mali, Chad and Ethiopia, entire lakes have near disappeared in recent decades, severely reducing water availability for local peoples.
"We show that the rate of ocean warming from 1961 to 2003 is about 50 per cent larger than previously reported," said Catia Domingues from the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, commenting on a recent re-assessment of ocean temperature records. The study resulted in an estimate of the warming rate in the top 700 metres of the world ocean as well as a re-calculation of how fast sea level should be rising as a result. Thermal warming should have contributed to a 0.53 millimetre annual rise in sea level over the past four decades, greater than that reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
There is concern that freshwater runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet may more than double by the end of this century. "The Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance is changing as a response to the altered climatic state," said Sebastian Mernild of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. "This is faster than expected. This affects freshwater runoff input to the North Atlantic Ocean, and plays an important role in determining the global sea-level rise and global ocean thermohaline circulation." Mernild's assessment is based on modelling and observational data.
General Electric plans to cut solar installation costs by half
Project 90 by 2030 supports South African school children and managers reduce their carbon footprint through its Club programme
Bath & North East Somerset Council in the United Kingdom has installed smart LED carriageway lighting that automatically adjusts to light and traffic levels
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Public Gardens Association are mounting an educational exhibit at Longwood Gardens showing the link between temperature and planting zones
The energy-efficient Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers hotel is powered by renewable and sustainable sources, including integrated solar photovoltaics and guest-powered bicycles
El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, plans to generate 80 per cent of its energy from renewable sources
The green roof on the Remarkables Primary School in New Zealand reduces stormwater runoff, provides insulation and doubles as an outdoor classroom
The Weather Info for All project aims to roll out up to five thousand automatic weather observation stations throughout Africa
SolSource turns its own waste heat into electricity or stores it in thermal fabrics, harnessing the sun's energy for cooking and electricity for low-income families
The Wave House uses vegetation for its architectural and environmental qualities, and especially in terms of thermal insulation
The Mbale compost-processing plant in Uganda produces cheaper fertilizer and reduces greenhouse gas emissions
At Casa Grande, Frito-Lay has reduced energy consumption by nearly a fifth since 2006 by, amongst other things, installing a heat recovery system to preheat cooking oil
Tiempo Climate Newswatch