Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Week ending August 29th 2010
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 United Nations has launched a ten-year campaign to reverse and prevent desertification and to soften the effects of drought in affected areas in order to support poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. The proportions of the problem require a global response, according to secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. "More than two billion people live in the world's drylands. The vast majority live on less than one dollar a day and without adequate access to freshwater," he said. The United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, which will run to December 2020, aims to raise awareness and prompt action that will protect the world’s drylands from further deterioration and degradation.
Luc Gnacadja, executive secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) stressed that "the path of business-as-usual will worsen the speed of degradation with devastating impacts on livelihoods, families and communities, and will further cause more extinction of life and jeopardize the future of humanity." He underlined the need for an alternative route that “will embrace and undertake the formidable challenges of sustainability." The UNCCD has warned that half the world's population may be living in areas of limited water supply by the year 2030.
Four nations of the eastern Himalayas - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal - have met in Kathmandu to create a roadmap leading to the Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas in 2011 in Bhutan and a regional adaptation framework. The aim of the initiative is to reduce the vulnerability of local populations of the region, including the lowlands. Individual country roadmaps on the water, energy, biodiversity and food security sectors will now be prepared.
Madhav Kirki from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Nepal suggested four key areas for developing a climate-resilient region: livelihood diversification, diaster preparedness, climate risk assessment for infrastructure development, and improved management of natural resources. He also stressed the importance of sharing scientific understanding and addressing knowledge gaps. Pema Gyamtsho, agriculture and forest minister of the Royal Government of Bhutan, noted the need to gain a clearer picture of the changes taking place in relation to temperature rise and its local effects. "There are heavy fluctuations in weather patterns and their implications at the local, national, and regional levels are going to be significant. We have to work towards developing our own adaptive strategy at the regional level," he said.
Global plant growth has declined since the year 2000, following a period of increasing productivity from 1982, according to a new analysis. The increase had been attributed to rising temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. "This is a pretty serious warning that warmer temperatures are not going to endlessly improve plant growth," said Steve Running of the University of Montana, who co-authored the study.
Satellite data indicate that, over the recent period, a continued increase in growth over the northern hemisphere has been offset by a decrease in the southern hemisphere, linked to drought. "This past decade's net decline in terrestrial productivity illustrates that a complex interplay between temperature, rainfall, cloudiness, and carbon dioxide, probably in combination with other factors such as nutrients and land management, will determine future patterns and trends in productivity," commented Diane Wickland at the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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