Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Week ending March 29th 2009
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.
The International Scientific Congress on Climate Change, recently held in Copenhagen, heard that the rate of future sea-level rise endorsed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 2007 report could have been underestimated. The IPCC considered that global sea level might rise by between 18 and 59cm by the end of the present century if no action were taken to limit climate change, whereas some scientists claim, on the basis of recent data and analyses, that global sea level could rise by a metre or more.
The Copenhagen meeting was attended by over 2,500 scientific delegates. "The huge response from scientists comes from a sense of urgency, but also a sense of frustration," said Katherine Richardson, conference organizer at the University of Copenhagen. The conference statement warns that "the worst-case IPCC scenario projections (or even worse) are being realized" and calls for the tools and economic, technological, behavioural, management approaches that are available for dealing with the climate change challenge to be "vigorously and widely implemented to achieve the societal transformation required to decarbonize economies."
Reforming forest institutions and increasing investments in science and technology are key to the effective management of the world's forests, according to State of the World's Forests 2009, compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The reports notes that the dual challenges of economic turmoil and climate change are bringing the management of the world's forests to the forefront of international concern. "Adapting forestry institutions to rapid changes in the larger environment is a major challenge," comments Jan Heino of FAO’s Forestry Department.
One third of the Amazon's trees could be killed by even a two degrees Celsius rise in global temperature, according to a new study of the long-term effects of climate change on the Amazon rainforest undertaken by climate modelers at the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre in Exeter. "The impacts of climate change on the Amazon are much worse than we thought. As temperatures rise quickly over the coming century the damage to the forest won't be obvious straight away, but we could be storing up trouble for the future," said Vicky Pope, head of the climate predictions programme at the Hadley Centre. A three degree rise would destroy 75 per cent of the forest over the following century, while a four degree rise would kill 85 per cent. "The forest as we know it would effectively be gone," Pope said.
New data indicate that air pollution has continued to increase over most of the planet in recent years, contradicting the belief that pollution levels have begun to decline in many areas. "Creation of this database is a big step forward for researching long-term changes in air pollution and correlating these with climate change," said Kaicun Wang of the University of Maryland in the United States. "And it is the first time we have gotten global long-term aerosol information over land to go with information already available on aerosol measurements over the world's oceans.
Europe is the only continent over which the data indicate that skies have become clearer since 1970. "Most countries have realized by now that air pollution is a serious health risk," says Wang. "But attempts, such as China's, to regulate air quality have not yet borne fruit." It is believed that the global dimming caused by air pollutants such as sulphate aerosols has offset significantly the warming effect of rising atmospheric greenhouse gases over recent decades.
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