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January 11, 2010

The Climate Talks in Copenhagen, Denmark: Is it a disaster in the making or a mere storm in a tea cup? By Fareeha Qayoom

Copenhagen - Climate Change - March of the Peoples
Photo by Green_Mamba
The Climate Talks in Copenhagen, Denmark: Is it a disaster in the making or a mere storm in a tea cup?

By Fareeha Qayoom


don’t read the newspapers every day. I don’t have the time. I don’t even watch the news on Cable TV every day. All my friends know that. However, I was anxiously following the Climate Talks’ news on the net and posting updates on my face book for my friends and family.

One friend finally asked me why did I sound so worried about the whole thing? Yes, obviously, the world recession, unemployment, wars (including Afghanistan-NATO conflict, situation in Iraq and Palestine-Israel Conflict and even the situation in our home ground – TTP activities and the current spate of terrorism) and famines and food shortages (like wheat and sugar), or even the NRO, corruption and their possible accountability and the controversial role of the President of Pakistan are the hot new issues. Any person with common sense would be following that instead of an obscure climate conference in Denmark? So what was the big idea anyway? Was I being silly to worry about the weather changes that are going to effect the future generations of the world?

Majority of scientists the world over have already subscribed to the point of view that 2 degrees Celsius climate change over a century is no big deal anyway and since this can be achieved if minor action is taken, the politicians have already bought into this philosophy and are not planning to tackle this problem in any meaningful way in the near future – the conference was not going to achieve anything significant anyway. Why was I expecting things to change? Define irony why don’t you? While all these guys who have bought into this massive denial were planning to debate things to death and were planning to conclude, it’s not an immediate problem and if it becomes a problem, it will be China and India’s fault for not agreeing to reduce their carbon emissions, Europe and North America was in a grip of cold-wave – snow fell in Copenhagen, Denmark after 17 years which was apparently some kind of record.

Well, I don’t need the scientists to tell me if the climate is changing or not. I can see it for myself. When I was young, I know, December and January used to be the coldest months of winter in Pakistan. We had to wear two sweaters and a jacket to school, had to have gas heaters on in the evenings and take warm duvets and comforters during the night to keep warm while sleeping. Within a quarter of a century, now, it’s become a major effort convincing the kids to wear warm clothes – they keep defending, “hey, I am wearing two layers – one t-shirt and one sweatshirt.” I have to literally bully them to wear some warm clothes so we can go out. No, we still have not taken out the comforters this year. There was no need. A blanket is enough to keep you warm during the cold nights. It used to rain at the start of winters in my childhood without fail. This year, no rains; in fact, the whole nation is praying for rains. In the evenings you see this smoke-like smog in the air…if you are on a bridge this smog can be seen with your naked eye for miles ahead. No, according to the scientists the climate is not changing significantly enough to warrant mass hysteria. What used to take centuries is now taking a few decades but still, it’s not a problem apparently!

The developed countries are willing to spend millions on their star wars programs to locate potential new earths or planets with water but they are not willing to spend the same funds to plant more trees and protect the existing natural forests. Common sense would tell you, the best way to reduce carbon emissions is to plant more trees and protect existing forests and natural habitats from urbanization. However, since that takes a lot of money, the world leaders would rather spend time in debating meaningless rhetoric and conducting ‘witch hunts’ and a ‘blame game.’

The climate is definitely changing. Summer is getting longer, the winter is getting shorter; the rains have become unpredictable while the world is suffering from extremes of temperatures. The world keeps whining about food shortages and water shortages…why do you think this is happening? There is a direct link between agriculture and weather. Natural habitats are disappearing, more eco-systems are becoming extinct, more lands are becoming barren, clean air and organic lifestyle is being marketed as a special luxury lifestyle that only the rich can afford. It used to be available to all the citizens of the world a couple of centuries ago!

The problem in a nutshell – the climate is changing. The world leaders sit around creating policies that are contributing to this problem. Now, the guys who are responsible for this change refused to pay for saving forests and planting some more trees; in the meantime, they are pressuring the third world countries to slow down their industrialization rate. Obviously India and China don’t want to do that, so it was a stalemate with no meaningful result. In fact, it went two steps back from Kyoto Protocol instead of moving forward.  Because of this non-action; the climate is going to change some more which means more snow, more blizzards, more floods, more storms and more unpredictable weather each year the world over, which means more deaths and destruction due to natural disasters, disappearance of natural habitats and eco-systems and more extinction of rare species of flora and fauna. With majority of destruction happening in the third world; obviously, we are responsible for our own destruction! This is just another example of rampant capitalism versus doing the right thing being played out on the world stage while we watch. In other words, it’s a conflict between ‘Money vs. Ethics’ and unfortunately, money wins each time!

PaEnts admiring themselves - 6523
Photo by suburbanbloke
kistan should start planting trees aggressively on government lands, especially in metro areas like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. We should create more forests on the hills, mountains and plateaus and bring natural, organic forests under government protection so we can stop rampant logging. (Besides, don’t forget Pakistan is in the direct line of fire – our northern areas are full of fresh water glaciers, this area is called the third pole because of its close resemblance to the polar regions  – if they melt, we are in trouble. Furthermore, we have a very long coastline – hurricanes, tornadoes and cyclones can wreak havoc with our coastlines…what if our rivers flood because of climatic change? Our economic mainstay is agriculture – what would happen to us if we can’t grow our cash and food crops? What if there is a long dry spell between rains? We are moaning and groaning about minor food shortages even now – what would happen to us when the scale of it multiplies in the coming years? )

Taking action now might be only a drop in the ocean but it will go a long way in halting humanity’s rapid march towards extinction. Not everyone will be able to afford a place on the rocket that will be leaving for another potential earth that will be discovered in the future, naturally, by the USA if you go by the movies! Some of us will have to die on this earth and for those of us, the cheapest and most effective way is to protect our forests and create some more to balance out carbon emissions in the air. This is still doable and we should just do it regardless.

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Tkfr.com and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.


  1. more reading






    Scientists spot nearby ‘super-Earth’
    By John D. Sutter, CNN



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  2. Jan 6th 2010 – hey there,
    Dawn wrote an editorial in today’s paper regarding the environmental issues facing Pakistan –


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  3. Jan 11′ 2010 – Monday

    hey there,
    Today’s top news contains this nugget – apparently, there’s no global warming…its because the world is in ‘cold mode’ now…that’s why Europe is in the grip of cold wave – the coldest temperatures seen in 30 years…
    “Some experts believe these cycles – and not human pollution – can explain all the major changes in world temperatures in the 20th century. ”

    For details, click here..


    All I can say in reply to these folks is how do you explain the change of seasons in our part of the world? Is it also because of these cycles and not due to global warming? In my opinion, this is denial, pure and simple. Climate is behaving crazily all over the world…


    Pakistan used to get five seasons – spring, summer, monsoon rains, fall and winters, all of it in certain months…the seasonal cycle is shifting slowly…now, spring comes late in April/May, (it used to be Feb/March) – summer used to start from May – end in August and Monsoon would take over – now summer sort of stretches till October and rains are unpredictable and autumn comes somewhere in between. It used to be September, the official autumn month…November used to be a cold month…this year, the winters started somewhere in December…it wasn’t as cold as it used to be…January did have some fog like the previous decade, by the way, the fog is also a recent phenomenon, Lahore never had foggy winters before the last decade or so – however, even the fog is not as foggy as before! No rains at the start of the winters even now, and the temperature is bearable too…not as cold as before. What do you say to that?

    Is this a figment of our imagination? Or can this also be explained as not due to global warming but to oceanic cycles? In that case, why isn’t our winter getting colder too?

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  4. Jan 19th 2010 – Tuesday…

    Figures…if you think there is no problem, you will not do anything obviously…Since most of the decision-makers have already bought into this philosophy – “there is no global warming,” no action will have to be taken immediately (as decided in Denmark) and we can continue to play ostrich without diverting the necessary funds to save the world’s existing natural eco-systems and forests and to plant some more! Its beside the point when its going to happen- 2035 or much later…already the climate is behaving strangely all over the world – what more evidence do you need? We need to restore the imbalance – its as simple as that. All you have to do is plant trees all over the world. How tough is that anyway? Won’t it be cheaper to plant trees now instead of spending loads of dollars later, trying to clean up the mess?

    Indian minister slams UN body on glacier research
    (AFP) – 1 hour ago
    NEW DELHI — India’s environment minister slammed the UN’s top climate body in comments published Tuesday, claiming its doomsday warning about Himalayan glaciers was not based on “scientific evidence.”
    The controversy focuses on a reference in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) landmark 2007 report that said the chances of Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high.”
    “The IPCC claim that glaciers will vanish by 2035 was not based on an iota of scientific evidence,” minister Jairam Ramesh told the Hindustan Times.
    “The IPCC has to do a lot of answering on how it reached the 2035 figure, which created such a scare.”
    On Monday, the IPCC’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, told AFP that the panel would review the 2035 figure.
    Ramesh said he felt “vindicated” after repeatedly challenging the IPCC’s work on glaciers. He believes there is no “conclusive scientific evidence” linking global warming to the melting of glaciers.
    In November, Ramesh backed a study by Indian scientists which supported his view, prompting Pachauri to label his support “arrogant.”
    The Nobel-winning IPCC is already under attack over hacked email exchanges which skeptics say reflected attempts to skew the evidence for global warming.
    The new row has boosted climate skeptics, who have questioned scientific evidence behind global warming in the past and are on a roll after a scandal last month dubbed “climategate.”
    Emails from scientists at Britain’s University of East Anglia, a top centre for climate research, were leaked and seized on by sceptics as evidence that experts twisted data in order to dramatise global warming.
    Ramesh conceded to the Hindustan Times that “most glaciers are in a poor state,” but said they were receding at different rates and a few were even advancing.



    Jan 20th 2010 – Wednesday –

    Glacier controversy: Climate expert backtracks
    Indian climate czars do a U-turn on the report on receding Himalayan glaciers.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman RK Pachauri has said he will write to the UN clarifying the controversy over when Himalayan glaciers will melt.

    Syed Iqbal Hasnain, the scientist who is working with the Pachauri-led Energy and Resources Institute, had himself admitted that by 2035 glaciers would recede but now he backtracks saying it was nothing more than speculation.

    “I am not an astrologer. I can’t say that the glaciers will melt in 2035 or 2040. I gave an interview in 1999 for New Science popular magazine where I have said that the glaciers will lose their mass in 40 to 50 years and glacier mass will decline drastically. But they won’t disappear, they just put a number on it,” he said.

    NDTV Correspondent, Wednesday January 20, 2010, New Delhi


    Glacier melts credibility of climate science
    21 Jan 2010, 0409 hrs IST, ET Bureau


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  5. Jan 19th 2010 — Tuesday…Minister for agriculture wants Pakistanis to pray for rains!

    Sugar crisis may get worse, NA told
    By Khawar Ghumman
    Tues day, 19 Jan, 2010
    ISLAMABAD: The sugar crisis may get worse in coming months with an estimated decline of over one million tons in production this year.

    Reduced Yield of Wheat Crop feared
    By Amin Ahmed
    Tues day, 19 Jan, 2010
    ISLAMABAD: A persistent drought-like situation has endangered the yield of wheat crop in Barani as well as irri gated areas, according to federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Live stock Nazar Mohammad Gondal.

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  6. Jan 25th 2010 – Monday –

    Author downplays climate report errors
    January 25, 2010 – 3:59PM

    A key author of the IPCC report on climate change has played down the significance of errors found in the 2007 report, saying they do not undermine the case for global warming.


    Scientists ‘losing climate fight’
    A leading Australian climate change scientist says experts are losing the fight against sceptics, who are distorting the science of global warming.

    ‘Pressure on sugarcane prices likely due to shortage in availability’
    Shobha Roy

    Kolkata, Jan. 24

    Sugar prices globally have been ruling at an all-time high as a result of shortfall in production due to drought in India and floods in Brazil, the two major sugar-producing countries.

    Sugar mills across the country are passing through turbulent times due to shortfall in sugarcane production and volatility in prices.


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  7. Quest for plan to cope with drought
    By Khaleeq Kiani
    Monday, 25 Jan, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: With river flows down by 21 per cent and water storage having declined by 34 per cent over the past year, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has sought details of an advisory of the meteorological department forecasting emerging agricultural drought conditions over the next six months.


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  8. China has ‘open mind’ on cause of climate change

    China’s lead climate change negotiator has said he was keeping an “open attitude” as to whether global warming was man-made or due to natural cycles.


    January 25, 2010
    UN’s rogue glacier claim ‘was just one page in report’, says IPCC deputy
    David Charter in Brussels

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  9. Jan 26th 2010 – Tuesday –

    Scientists back UN climate panel, but call for changes
    By Marlowe Hood (AFP) – 9 hours ago
    PARIS — Leading scientists from the besieged UN climate panel are defending its integrity, even as they called for changes in the way data is collected and handled.


    IPCC deputy says scientists are ‘only human’
    Climate scientists are “only humans” who can make mistakes like everyone else, the deputy leader of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said.

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  10. Jan 29th 2010 – Friday –

    U.S. pledges 17 percent emissions reduction by 2020
    By Juliet Eilperin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, January 29, 2010
    The United States pledged Thursday to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels under an international climate agreement, though it made its commitment contingent on passing legislation at home.


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  11. Jan 30th 2010 – Saturday –
    Dry spell ends with rain in three provinces
    Saturday, 30 Jan, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Balochistan, Punjab and the NWFP saw rain and snowfall on Thursday night, breaking a dry spell of more than four months and people, especially farmers, heaved a sigh of relief.


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  12. fareeha says:

    Ed Miliband declares war on climate change sceptics

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247459/Ed-Miliband-declares-war-climate-change-sceptics.html#ixzz0eCDcas5o

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  13. fareeha says:

    Copenhagen climate deal gets low-key endorsement
    *Countries submit plans for Copenhagen Accord
    * Deadline of Jan. 31, but flexible
    * Fall short of goal of limiting warming to 2 C

    By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

    OSLO, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Nations accounting for most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have restated their promises to fight climate change, meeting a Sunday deadline in a low-key endorsement of December’s “Copenhagen Accord”.


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  14. fareeha says:

    U.K. to Pay Higher Rates for Clean-Power Production (Update2)

    By Todd White and Jeremy van Loon

    Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) — The U.K. will begin offering above- market rates for clean energy produced by homes and businesses, following policies pioneered by Germany and Spain to spur small- scale use of wind and solar plants to reduce carbon emissions.

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  15. fareeha says:

    Updated January 28, 2010
    U.N.’s Global Warming Report Under Fresh Attack for Rainforest Claims

    By Gene J. Koprowski

    – FOXNews.com

    A United Nations report on climate change that has been lambasted for its faulty research is under new attack for yet another instance of what critics say is sloppy science — guiding global warming policy based on a study of forest fires.


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  16. fareeha says:

    China’s Wen seeks binding climate deal in Mexico
    Mon Feb 1, 2010 7:04pm GMT
    BEIJING (Reuters) – China backs a climate change accord struck at a contentious summit late last year and wants a binding global agreement from talks culminating in Mexico later this year, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said.


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  17. fareeha says:

    Agency to monitor 1,000 glaciers in Kashmir
    * Satellite data allows scientists to measure extent, trends
    By Iftikhar Gilani

    NEW DELHI: A European agency is creating an inventory of more than a 1,000 glaciers across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a matter of concern for the Indian government that has so far kept the glacial data a secret. Mapping of glaciers falls under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), as most of them are located in sensitive areas close to the borders.


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  18. fareeha says:

    Minfal cuts wheat target by 2mn tons
    By Amin Ahmed
    Thursday, 04 Feb, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: The government has reduced the wheat production target to 23 million tons as it expects a shortfall of 2 million tons in view of the canal water shortage and the drought forecast in certain areas, including barani areas.


    Water conservation: CDA prepares Drought Contingency Plan
    * Authority chairman says plan to focus on public awareness of judicious use of water, upgrade of waterworks

    By Fazal Sher

    ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority (CDA) has prepared a Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan (WCDCP) focusing on creation of public awareness of judicious use of water, and upgrades of waterworks in the city.

    According to CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, the plan will help the authority meet any water related emergency.


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  19. Pleased to read this news report. I wish all major urban areas take action by planting trees all over Pakistan too…

    400,000 saplings to be planted in capital
    Friday, February 05, 2010
    By Mobarik A. Virk

    The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to plant 2.4 million saplings during the next three years in Islamabad as a part of the national campaign to grow more trees all over the country.

    “We have been planting over 300,00 saplings each spring and in monsoon in the federal capital to maintain the green cover. From this year we have decided to add another 100,000 saplings, taking the total to 400,000 each plantation season,” CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, told ‘The News’ here on Thursday.

    He said that for the last two decades, the CDA has taken up tree plantation campaign very seriously and every year hundreds of thousands of saplings are planted, mainly in the Margalla Hills National Park, Islamabad Park Area as well as the urban areas. “Regarding saplings planted in Margalla Hills and Islamabad Park Area we are completely dependent on nature for the growth of these saplings into trees. As a result the survival rate of these saplings, which also include a stretch of the catchments area of Simly water reservoir, the survival rate of these saplings dwindles between 40 to 50 per cent,” he said.

    “Survival rate of these saplings planted in the urban areas including avenues, highways, parks and play fields, the survival rate is as high as 90 per cent because we are able to water and tend these saplings regularly. We even keep replacing the saplings which wither because of any reason in the urban area,” he added.

    He said efforts are underway to try and return the green character of the city to its inhabitants. “We do realise that construction of roads, highways and avenues have eroded sizeable patches of green areas in the urban part of the city. We have decided to adopt an aggressive approach and plant a much larger number of saplings in the urban areas, especially along the avenues, green belts, highways, parks, play fields and the new sectors. The impact of this effort would start showing over the next three to five years,” the chairman said.

    He also said that only indigenous species of plants and trees, which can survive in the prevalent climatic conditions, will be selected for these plantation campaigns. This will help enhance the survival rate of these saplings. We are selecting the species with broader leaves, which will certainly bring about a climate change too,” he added.

    Under the new plan for upcoming spring tree plantation campaign to be launched from mid-February, 125,000 saplings will be planted in the urban areas, 150,000 saplings in the Margalla Hills National Park area and 125,000 saplings in the Simly water reservoir catchments area.

    Meanwhile, CDA’s Director-General (Environment) Dr Sheikh Suleman when contacted, put the survival rate of the saplings planted in Margalla Hills and the Islamabad National Park area as high as above 60 per cent.


    Towards a greener Islamabad

    CDA to plant 400,000 saplings
    By Fazal Sher

    ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) will plant 400,000 saplings during the Spring Tree Plantation Campaign 2010 as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Islamabad.

    This was decided in a meeting chaired by the authority chairman, Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, here on Thursday. The meeting reviewed the progress of Clean and Green Islamabad Campaign launched in monsoon 2008 and decided to fix the target for the upcoming Spring Tree Plantation Campaign, said a senior official.


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  20. Climate emails cannot destroy proof that humans are warming the planet

    Lab doors should be forced open whether scientists like it or not, if only to prove there is no conspiracy in climate research

    The emails stolen from the University of East Anglia in November have cast an uncomfortable light on the behind-the-scenes actions of some of the most senior and respected climate scientists in the world. The affair raises serious questions about access to data and the way scientific peer review can be used to stifle dissent. But is the science of climate change fatally flawed by the climategate revelations? Absolutely not. Nothing uncovered in the emails destroys the argument that humans are warming the planet.


    ‘Pachauri would be a fool to resign’
    “If Toyota recalls some cars because of a faulty foot pedal, does that mean all their cars are faulty?”

    With that analogy, the United Nations’ top climate-change official on Thursday firmly backed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, now under fire for erroneously claiming Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.

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  21. fareeha says:

    Rajendra Pachauri and the IPCC
    A time for introspection
    Increasing scrutiny of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and, in particular, its chairman, should lead to reforms

    Feb 4th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

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  22. fareeha says:

    Scientists feel heat over climate e-mails
    By Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent
    Published: February 5 2010 20:19 | Last updated: February 5 2010 20:19

    In the next few days, the jury who will decide the fate of one of the UK’s most prominent climate scientists will take their places. An independent panel of five experts, some but not all of them scientists, will be named to investigate possible wrongdoing by climate experts at the UK’s University of East Anglia, and chiefly by Phil Jones, director of the university’s climatic research unit.

    Such drama could barely be further from a climatologist’s career of slow research, scanning through temperature data, refining and running computer models of the weather.


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  23. fareeha says:

    More mistakes found in climate change report
    February 8, 2010

    LONDON: The United Nations panel on climate change is facing fresh criticism for new factual errors and poor sources of evidence in its influential report to government leaders.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report is supposed to be the world’s most authoritative scientific account of the scale of global warming.

    “Climategate” scientist contemplated suicide
    The scientist at the centre of the “climategate” scandal says he contemplated suicide after leaked e-mails were seized on by sceptics.

    In an interview with the Sunday Times, Professor Phil Jones also said he had been provoked into sending the e-mails.

    It was claimed the e-mails, leaked after a University of East Anglia server was hacked into, showed data was being manipulated.

    Prof Jones, 57, said he had received death threats over the incident.

    He told the newspaper: “I did think about it, yes. About suicide. I thought about it several times, but I think I’ve got past that stage now.”


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  24. fareeha says:

    Snow storms cause chaos on US east coast
    Record snowfall from Pennsylvania to Virginia leads President Obama to label conditions as ‘snowmageddon’

    Tens of thousands of people remain without power after record snowfall paralysed some parts of the eastern US.

    Almost 27 inches (69cm) of snow fell in Philadelphia on Saturday, while Washington DC was hit with one of the worst blizzards in its history.


    Feb 8 2010 – Monday
    Cleaning Up After a Snowstorm as Another One Looms
    WASHINGTON — Road crews, power company workers and plain old homeowners with shovels struggled in gleaming sunshine on Sunday to clean up from a weekend of record snowfall here, but they faced little hope of returning to normalcy soon because five or more inches was forecast within days.

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  25. fareeha says:

    The full Story…
    Calls for IPCC reform after more mistakes
    Jennifer Macey reported this story on Monday, February 8, 2010 12:14:00

    ELEANOR HALL: A prominent climate change scientist has joined sceptics in calling for the UN authority on climate change to be reformed, as yet more flaws are exposed in the IPCC’s reports.

    The Telegraph newspaper in Britain reports that several of the claims made by the International Panel on Climate Change are based on information from Masters students or from environmental or business lobby groups.

    While climate scientists say these flaws don’t undermine the core argument about global warming, some are now calling for changes in the international climate change body. But one Australian IPCC scientist says reform would be pointless.


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  26. Agency Will Create National Climate Service to Spur Adaptation

    By LAUREN MORELLO of ClimateWire
    Published: February 9, 2010

    The Obama administration announced plans yesterday to create a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service.


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  27. India Supports a Toothless IPCC
    The less credibility the climate body has, the less it can do to block vital economic development.


    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed support for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its leader, Rajendra Pachauri, at a local energy conference in New Delhi Friday. The move has surprised many observers, but it may prove to be politically astute.


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  28. Climate scientists hit out at ‘sloppy’ melting glaciers error

    Experts who worked on the IPCC report say the error by social and biological scientists has unfairly maligned their work

    Climate scientists who worked on the UN panel on global warming have hit out at “sloppy” colleagues from other disciplines who introduced a mistake about melting glaciers into the landmark 2007 report.

    The experts, who worked on the section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that considered the physical science of global warming, say the error by “social and biological scientists” has unfairly maligned their work. Some said that Rajendra Pachauri, the panel’s chair, should resign, though others supported him


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  29. Climate-Change Debate Is Heating Up in Deep Freeze
    Published: February 10, 2010

    WASHINGTON — As millions of people along the East Coast hole up in their snowbound homes, the two sides in the climate-change debate are seizing on the mounting drifts to bolster their arguments.


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  30. Snowstorm and climate change
    After a dumping in the Washington area, critics are delighting in the irony, and supporters are saying the snow fits the pattern of global warming.
    By Jim Tankersley

    February 11, 2010 | 6:14 p.m
    Reporting from Washington – As record snowfall buried the nation’s capital this week, the quickest joke around town was, “So much for global warming.”


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  31. Washington’s snowstorms, brought to you by global warming
    By Bill McKibben
    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    RIPTON, VERMONT — You want to hear my winter weather story? No, really, I know you do.

    The cross-country ski race I’ve been training for, set for today high in the Green Mountains: cancelled, lack of snow.

    Meanwhile, across the continent, backhoes and helicopters are moving snow down British Columbia’s Cypress Mountain in an attempt to cover the Olympic ski courses, and technicians are burying cooling pipes beneath the moguls to keep them from melting. Some climate-conscious jokers put out a video pushing the sport of “bobwheeling” for future snow-challenged Olympiads.


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  32. The climate crisis could be solved by courteous communication

    Science could learn valuable lessons from politics on conflict resolution

    * Jerome Ravetz
    * guardian.co.uk, Monday 15 February 2010 12.46 GMT
    * Article history

    Until recently, we all knew about the climate. Aside from a few contrarians, scientists all agreed that we are in an unprecedented period of global warming, caused by our emissions of carbon, and with consequences that are likely to be catastrophic. Now all is confusion and turmoil. The hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia have brought more difficulties. Then egregious errors in some alarmist warnings by the Nobel prizewinning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were revealed. We are assured that in spite of unfortunate actions by some key scientists and a weakening of some evidence, the case for “anthropogenic global warming” is as strong as ever. But is it? We are perplexed. Whom can we trust? The credibility of some leaders of the scientific community is at stake, along with the whole huge global enterprise of carbon-saving.


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  33. Harrabin’s Notes: Climate ‘Armistice’

    In his regular column, BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin asks whether bloggers sceptical of man made global warming can be reconciled with the UN’s climate body.

    The newly announced inquiries into the University of East Anglia (UEA) will shine a light deep into the core of science in the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the university.

    But critics are calling for a broader review of climate science as a whole? Do they have a case?

    Let’s examine the question of UEA science first.


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  34. The winter of global warming
    Debra J. Saunders
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    The last few months have been cruel and wintry for global-warming true believers. The long storm began in November, when a leak of e-mails from Britain’s University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit revealed that key global-warming scientists tried to stifle dissent, politicize peer-review, which led to revelations that the researchers had dumped much of the raw data used to bolster the alarmist argument.


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  35. APNewsBreak: Top UN climate official resigning

    By ARTHUR MAX (AP) – 1 hour ago

    AMSTERDAM — Top U.N. climate change official Yvo de Boer told The Associated Press Thursday that he was resigning after nearly four years, a period when governments struggled without success to agree on a new global warming deal.

    His departure takes effect July 1, five months before 193 nations are due to reconvene in Mexico for another attempt to reach a binding worldwide accord on controlling greenhouse gases.

    De Boer is known to be deeply disappointed with outcome of the last summit in Copenhagen, which drew 120 world leaders but failed to reach more than a vague promise by several countries to limit carbon emissions — and even that deal fell short of consensus.

    But he denied to the AP that his decision to quit was a result of frustration with Copenhagen.

    “Copenhagen wasn’t what I had hoped it would be,” he acknowledged, but the summit nonetheless prompted governments to submit plans and targets for reigning in the emissions primarily blamed for global warming. “I think that’s a pretty solid foundation for the global response that many are looking for,” he said.


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  36. Senate weighs final push to move climate bill
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A last-ditch attempt at passing a climate change bill begins in the Senate this week with senators mindful that time is running short and that approaches to the legislation still vary widely, according to sources.

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  37. Climate Change and Open Science
    In the Internet age, transparency is the foundation of trust.

    ‘Unequivocal.” That’s quite a claim in this skeptical era, so it’s been enlightening to watch the unraveling of the absolute certainty of global warming caused by man. Now even authors of the 2007 United Nations report that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” have backed off its key assumptions and dire warnings.

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  38. Warming panel, under attack, seeks outside review
    By SETH BORENSTEIN (AP) – 15 hours ago

    WASHINGTON — The Nobel Prize-winning international scientific panel studying global warming is seeking independent outside review for how it makes major reports.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it’s seeking some kind of independent review because of recent criticism about its four 2007 reports.

    Critics have found a few unsettling errors, including projections of retreats in Himalayan glaciers, in the thousands of pages of the reports.

    Scientists say the problems are minor and have nothing to do with the major conclusions about man-made global warming and how it will harm people and ecosystems. But researchers acknowledge that they have been too slow to respond to a drip-drip-drip of criticisms in the past three months. And those criticisms seem to have resonated in poll results and media coverage that has put climate scientists on the defensive.


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  39. March 1, 2010, Monday
    Gore Feels the Heat, Comes In From the Cold
    Al Gore has come in from the cold — writing an Op-Ed for the New York Times just two days after FoxNews.com noted the former vice president’s seeming unwillingness to comment on the Climate-gate scandal.

    Al Gore has come in from the cold — writing an Op-Ed for the New York Times just two days after FoxNews.com noted the former vice president’s seeming unwillingness to comment on the Climate-gate scandal.

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  40. Minister opens CDA’s tree plantation campaign
    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: Efforts are underway to increase the country’s forest cover by one percent from the existing five percent to six percent in the next five years, said Environment Minister Hameedullah Jan Afridi on Monday.

    Inaugurating the Capital Development Authority’s Islamabad Golden Jubilee Spring Tree Plantation Campaign–2010 in G–13, the minister said one million hectors additional land would be brought under forests by the year 2015 in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

    He said the government had already doled out Rs 15 billion to provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas for increasing the forest resources.


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  41. What should schools teach about global warming?
    The teaching of climate change is under attack in some U.S. public schools. This week, South Dakota’s legislature passed a resolution calling for the “balanced teaching of global warming.”

    “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but rather a highly beneficial ingredient for all plant life,” says the resolution, which passed with mostly GOP votes. It also says global warming is “a scientific theory rather than a proven fact” and a variety of “astrological” and other “dynamics” affect weather.

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  42. Glacier melting a key clue to tracking
    Published: March 05, 2010
    SINGAPORE/ANCHORAGE (Reuters) – The world has become far too hot for the aptly named Exit Glacier in Alaska.
    Like many low-altitude glaciers, it’s steadily melting, shrinking two miles over the past 200 years as it tries to strike a new balance with rising temperatures.
    At the Kenai Fjords National Park south of Anchorage, managers have learned to follow the Exit and other glaciers, moving signs and paths to accommodate the ephemeral rivers of blue and white ice as they retreat up deeply carved valleys. “Some of the stuff is changing fast enough that we now have signs on moving pedestals,” said Fritz Klasner, natural resource specialist at Kenai Fjords.

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  43. Siberian Methane Could Fast-Track Global Warming
    Mar 5 2010, 12:55 PM ET
    Unexpectedly huge quantities of Siberian methane are being released into the atmosphere, according to a new study. The resulting feedback loop could dramatically outpace the climate models that scientists and policy makers have been using as they attempt to roll back emissions.

    When it comes to climate change, methane is bad news: It is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide in causing increased atmospheric temperatures.

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  44. Climate Scientists Plan to Hit Back at Skeptics

    In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of “being treated like political pawns” and need to fight back in kind.

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  45. Environmental Journal: Debunking climate debunkers
    01:00 AM EST on Sunday, March 7, 2010

    SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Some have attributed the continued outspokenness of climate-change skeptics to the financial backing of energy corporations, the zealotry of right-wing media figures and the failure of many to understand science.

    Naomi Oreskes, a professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego, offered another theory in a lecture last week at the University of Rhode Island.

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  46. After errors, global warming gets a cold shoulder
    Critics point to mistakes, e-mail theft to raise doubts on research; poll shows less public concern
    By Beth Daley
    Globe Staff / March 8, 2010

    A series of highly publicized errors in a landmark report about manmade global warming – and lingering controversy over hacked e-mails between climate scientists – is eroding public confidence in the research and could further stall efforts in Congress to pass climate legislation.

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  47. Mar 11, 2010
    Scientists take another run at climate change
    Eight Nobel-prize winning economists and scientists have joined more than 2,000 others in signing a letter today that urges the Senate to take swift action on climate change.

    “The longer we wait, the harder and more costly it will be to limit climate change and to adapt to those impacts that will not be avoided,” reads the letter, which is available on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ website here. “Many emissions reduction strategies can be adopted today that would save consumers and industry money while providing benefits for air quality, energy security, public health, balance of trade, and employment.”

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  48. Government rebuked over global warming nursery rhyme adverts
    Two nursery rhyme adverts commissioned by the Government to raise awareness of climate change have been banned for overstating the risks.
    By Matthew Moore
    Published: 9:25AM GMT 14 Mar 2010

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the adverts – which were based on the children’s poems Jack and Jill and Rub-A-Dub-Dub – made exaggerated claims about the threat to Britain from global warming.

    In definitely asserting that climate change would cause flooding and drought the adverts went beyond mainstream scientific consensus, the watchdog said.

    It noted that predictions about the potential global impact of global warming made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “involved uncertainties” that the adverts failed to reflect.


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  49. Friday, March 19, 2010
    Our correspondent


    National Forest Programme is a milestone towards achievement of the vision 2030 and physical targets of the forestry sector, Minister for Environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi said on Thursday.

    Speaking at a ceremony held here in connection with launch of National Forest Programme, he said National Forest Programme has been developed jointly by the Ministry of Environment’s Forestry Wing and WWF Pakistan. Afridi mentioned that the programme would help implement National Forest Policy that is in its final stage of approval, adding that policy would ensure sustainable management of national forests all over the country.


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  50. Sen. Graham Peeved on Health Care but Will Stick With Climate Bill

    By DARREN SAMUELSOHN of ClimateWire
    Published: March 23, 2010

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says he is not abandoning negotiations on a comprehensive energy and climate bill even as he warns of partisan gridlock following the Democrats’ push this week to pass health care reform.


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  51. Why WWF thinks flicking the switch for Earth Hour is worth it

    Over 125 countries will take part in Earth Hour. But how can the collective switch-off really make a difference?

    • What will you do in the dark for Earth Hour?
    • Earth Hour – climate change campaigners urge global switch-off

    Tomorrow, at 8.30pm, thousands of people across the UK and maybe a billion across the world will take part in Earth Hour.

    It’ll look impressive, no doubt. The big switch-off will make the news. But so what? We know that just one hour, even on this global scale, won’t in itself save energy or reduce emissions in any significant way. This is a giant photo opportunity – eye-catching and symbolic, yes – but how can it really make a difference? More importantly, why would a science-based organisation like WWF believe this is worth the effort?


    Earth Hour – climate change campaigners urge global switch-off
    The fourth annual lights-out event expects 1 billion participants, and counts for the first time international landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State building and the Burj Khalifa

    Earth Hour – climate change campaigners urge global switch-off

    The fourth annual lights-out event expects 1 billion participants, and counts for the first time international landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State building and the Burj Khalifa
    The biggest turn-off in human history will start at 8.30pm tomorrow in Chatham, a tiny South Pacific island with only 12 street lamps.

    Almost 25 hours later, but at 9.30pm the same day, it will finish on the other side of the international dateline in the Galapagos Islands, where scientists at the Charles Darwin Research Station will share a candle-lit dinner with several hundred locals and environmental activists.

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  52. Landmarks go dark, millions unplug for Earth Hour

    By ROHAN SULLIVAN (AP) – 2 hours ago

    SYDNEY — The white-shelled roof of the Sydney Opera House fell dark Saturday night, one of the first landmarks to turn out the lights in an hour-long gesture to be repeated by millions of people around the world who are calling for a binding pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

    Asian cities followed Australia and New Zealand as the fourth annual Earth Hour cranked up. Buildings in some 4,000 cities in more than 120 countries were expected to unplug to reduce energy consumption and draw attention to the dangers of climate change, according to organizers.

    The event will roll across the world, with participants turning off the lights when the clock strikes 8:30 p.m. local time. From a shopping mall in Manila to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York, landmarks and skylines will dim.


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  53. From The Times
    March 27, 2010
    UN climate change chief Rajendra Pachauri says sorry — and switches to neutral

    The outspoken chairman of the UN’s climate change body is to adopt a neutral advisory role and has agreed to stop making statements demanding new taxes and other radical policies on cutting emissions.

    In an interview with The Times, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, apologised for his organisation’s handling of complaints about errors in its report.


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  54. Its been the hottest and driest March in Pakistan which is some kind of record …its raining unexpectedly in New York…and they say no climate change! Figment of our imagination – huh?

    Rain Sets Records and Stops Traffic
    The latest heavy rain across the Northeast, from a wind-powered storm that seemed to flood roads and basements almost as quickly as it snapped umbrellas inside out, threatened to set records as officials worried about rising water.

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  55. UK Parliament clears climatologists, calls for more openness
    By John Timmer | Last updated about an hour ago

    In the wake of the hacking event that resulted in the release of e-mails and code from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, the UK Parliament began a series of investigations into what, precisely, their contents revealed. As Parliamentary elections will be taking place within the next several months, the Science and Technology Committee has decided to release its report on the matter (PDF) on an accelerated schedule. In general, the climate scientists come out well, but their institutional practices come in for a bit of criticism.

    When it comes to CRU head Phil Jones, the report calls the focus on him “misplaced,” and expresses sympathy for the level of scrutiny his work came under. The report concludes that phrases like “trick” and “hide the decline” were colloquialisms that weren’t inappropriate for private e-mails, and they didn’t represent an attempt to mislead anyone about the science—”In our view, it was shorthand for the practice of discarding data known to be erroneous.”


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  56. Flooding affects roads, train service in Northeast
    By the CNN Wire staff
    March 31, 2010 — Updated 1956 GMT (0356 HKT)

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  57. Pain from torrent in Rio falls heavily on slums

    By BRADLEY BROOKS (AP) – 3 hours ago

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Rodrigo de Almeira had dug for 15 hours through mud and debris, and he looked like it. Auburn mud covered his head, his ripped shirt, his torn jeans and his rubber sandals.

    When asked Wednesday if he had been able to save anyone from the massive landslide in the slum where he lives, he silently shook his head. Of the 145 people confirmed dead from Rio’s heaviest rains on record, at least 18 died in his shantytown, Pleasure Hill.

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  58. ‘Slim’ prospects for climate deal this year
    By Richard Black
    Environment correspondent, BBC News website, Copenhagen

    Prospects of finalising a new binding agreement on climate change by the end of the year are “slim”, according to UN climate convention chief Yvo de Boer.

    He said the process used to draw up the Copenhagen Accord, the document produced at the end of December’s UN climate summit, had worsened distrust.

    About 110 countries have endorsed the accord, with others rejecting it.


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  59. Into the abyss
    By Ardeshir Cowasjee
    Sunday, 11 Apr, 2010

    Environmental degradation is one of the most serious threats to the well-being of all nations of this world. In democratic lands it is taken with due and rightful seriousness and major unified efforts are made to not only stem the degeneration but to actually ameliorate it.

    Things are not quite the same in the developing world, which includes Pakistan, a country that for 63 years of its life has made efforts in the development field without any startling success and as far as the environment is concerned has never been unduly worried. It remains unworried largely because its leadership is continually involved in hanging on to what power it possesses. The Pakistani military mind is not taught to be geared to environmental problems and in most cases the civilian mind is unable to grasp the significance or the importance of anything to do with environmental protection.


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  60. Bonn climate talks: picking up the pieces after Copenhagen

    Negotiators have been examining which elements of the Copenhagen accord could be salvaged and turned into a binding global deal in Mexico

    o Saleemul Huq
    o guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 April 2010 12.24 BST
    o Article history

    Over the last three days in Bonn, climate change negotiators from around the world met for the first time since the fiasco of last December’s conference in Copenhagen. It wasn’t the happiest of reunions.

    As representatives of the 192 countries that are party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), they had a messy task.

    Copenhagen had ended in chaotic scenes. Two years of intense negotiations were due to end there with a global agreement on how to tackle climate change.


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  61. Another figment of our imagination? People are dying in India ‘coz of heat wave!

    Heat wave conditions in Orissa, 8 dead

    Bhubaneswar, April 20 (IANS) The mercury crossed 47 degrees Celsius in Orissa’s industrial town of Talcher Tuesday as the heat wave continued to sweep across several parts of the state, a weather official said.

    An official of the Bhubaneswar meteorological centre told IANS that Talcher, 196 from here, recorded the state’s highest temperature of the day at 47.1 degrees Celsius.


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  62. Global warming ‘makes Everest harder to climb’

    Melting of glacier ice along mountain’s slopes has added to challenge facing climbers, says veteran Nepalese sherpa

    A Nepalese sherpa who climbed Mount Everest for a record 20th time on Saturday said today that the melting of glacier ice along its slopes by global warming is making it increasingly difficult to climb the peak. “It is difficult for climbers to use their crampons on the rocky surfaces,” said Apa, who uses only one name. The 49-year-old first climbed Everest in 1989 and has repeated the feat almost every year since. His closest rival has made 16 trips. His Eco-Everest Expedition team has also been collecting rubbish from the mountain: this year so far they have collected 4,770kg (7,630lb).


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  63. Don’t forget we are still sitting in May 2010….a long way to go yet! This is going to be one hot long summer!

    Heatwave claims eight lives in Sindh
    Dawn Report
    Thursday, 27 May, 2010

    NAWABSHAH: Eight people died of sunstroke across Sindh on Wednesday as temperatures topped 50 degrees Celsius in several towns. Moenjodaro airport was the hottest place at 54 degrees Celsius.

    Larkana and Nawabshah followed with 53 and 52.2 degrees C, respectively. The latter saw its hottest day since the Met office started keeping records. Four people died and dozens of others fainted from sunstroke in the district.


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  64. Storm Agatha kills more than 150

    By Adam Thomson in Mexico City

    Published: June 1 2010 18:46 | Last updated: June 1 2010 18:46

    At least 144 people have died and more than 100,000 have lost their homes or have been evacuated after a tropical storm ripped through Guatemala and other Central American countries over the weekend.

    Agatha, the first tropical storm of the 2010 season, hit land near the border of Guatemala and Mexico on Saturday, causing devastating landslides and destruction of infrastructure in the days that followed.


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  65. Pakistan evacuates 60,000 as cyclone Phet looms

    KARACHI, June 03:: A major cyclone was closing in on Pakistan’s coastline, where the president ordered immediate precautionary measures and around 60,000 residents were being evacuated Thursday, officials said.

    Tens of thousands were being evacuated from vulnerable coastal villages in the southern province of Sindh and another half a million could be affected in Balochistan province if Cyclone Phet smashes into Pakistan.

    President Asif Ali Zardari ordered the military and government to take “immediate precautionary measures” as the tropical cyclone approached.

    “Cyclone Phet has almost reached the Oman coast and could recurve towards Pakistan’s coastline of Balochistan and Sindh in the next 24-36 hours,” Naeem Shah, a meteorological department official, told AFP.


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  66. Cyclone Phet may give Gujarat a miss

    The severe cyclonic storm Phet may weaken and give Gujarat a miss while moving towards Pakistan by the weekend. So far eight people have died in the state due to the turbulence linked to the storm, officials said on Thursday.

    According to Kamaljeet Ray, director of India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone is now headed for the Oman coast.

    “It would hit the Oman coast by Friday morning and weaken. By June 5, it would reappear in the Arabian Sea and is likely to hit Pakistan. Gujarat is not likely to be affected by it now,” she said.


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  67. UPDATE 3-Cyclone kills two, halts oil and gas in Oman
    * Oil production halted due to rough seas-PDO spokesman

    Stocks | Global Markets

    * All LNG trains in Oman to be shut down-Oman LNG spokesman

    * Phet forecast to hit Pakistan coast as tropical storm

    (adds rough weather affecting UAE’s Fujairah port, paragraph 9)

    By Saleh al-Shaibany

    MUSCAT, June 4 (Reuters) – Cyclone Phet, despite weakening to a Category 1 storm, pummelled Oman’s coastline on Friday, killing two and halting the small oil-producing country’s oil and gas production, officials and state media said.

    Phet’s first confirmed casualties were an Omani man who died trying to cross a flooded area in Oman’s northern al Dhahira region and a Bangladeshi woman who was electrocuted in Qurayyat village near the capital Muscat, state television said.


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  68. Cyclone ‘Phet’ expected to hit Karachi coast today
    Torrential rains in the city have left scores injured and badly disrupted normal life which braced up to face more problems with the impending cyclone “Phet” expected to hit the coastal areas later on Sunday.

    The heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorm that started late night on Saturday also left half of the city in darknes.

    Police and rescue officials said they were reports of people being injured in road accidents and in flooding of low lying areas.

    The rains also left most of the roads in the city flooded with many vehicles stuck in the heavy water flooding.


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  69. Heavy rain batters Gwadar, cyclone eyes Karachi
    By Saleem Shahid and Bhagwandas
    Sunday, 06 Jun, 2010

    QUETTA / KARACHI: Widespread torrential rains, accompanied by cyclonic winds, lashed the Makran coast and parts of central Makran on Friday.

    Cyclone Phet hit Makran coast and started moving towards Karachi and other parts of Sindh in the afternoon.

    Navy personnel rescued six fishermen trapped in the cyclone two kilometers off Jiwani.


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  70. World’s ecosystems provide ‘services’ equal to global income

    (AFP) – 2 days ago

    NAIROBI — The world’s biodiversity and ecosystems deliver services to humanity estimated to be worth as much as the world gross national income, the UN environment programme (UNEP) said Thursday.

    In a study released two days before World Environment Day is held in Rwanda, the UN agency warned that two thirds of these ecoystems have already been damaged by humans.

    “Biodiversity and ecosystems deliver crucial services to humankind — from food security to keeping our waters clean, buffering against extreme weather, providing medicines to recreation and adding to the foundation of human culture,” the report said.


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  71. Heavy rains leave 11 dead in China
    PTI, Jun 1, 2010, 09.30pm IST
    BEIJING: At least 11 people have been killed and four went missing after heavy rains triggered landslides in Guizhou Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, local flood control and drought relief headquarters said on Tuesday.

    The latest casualties were reported in Shiqian County, of Tongren prefecture, on Monday when a minivan was hit by a landslide, killing three people.


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  72. Forest land encroached by former, sitting MPAs’

    KARACHI: Thousands of acres of forestland throughout the province is under the illegal possession of influential personalities of the province, Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, who also holds the Forests Department portfolio, informed the Sindh Assembly on Friday replying to a query during the Question Hour.

    Former caretaker Sindh chief minister Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, former revenue minister Altaf Unar in Larkana, former water and power minister Liaquat Jatoi in Dadu, and former ministers and sitting parliamentarians, the Shirazis of Thatta were named as the biggest occupiers of forestland in their respective districts.

    When Pakistan People’s Party member Sharjeel Memon insisted upon the minister to divulge the names of those involved in the menace, Mirza said he could start from Garhi Yasin (the native town of Sindh Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durani) and Larkana.

    However, when PPP’s Naeem Kharl asked about the situation in Khairpur (Mirs), the minister did not take any specific names and simply said the land would be vacated.


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  73. Climate change taxing economy, says Afridi

    Staff Report

    RAWALPINDI: Pakistan like other countries of the world is under the spell of phenomenon climate change, said Federal Minister for Environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi.

    Speaking at a workshop on ‘Climate Change and Sustainability of Agro-Environment: Challenges and Interventions’ held here at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University (PMAS AAU) on Thursday, he said rising temperatures and reduced precipitation were the biggest threats to the global ecosystem.

    Afridi said that Ministry of Environment had already identified ways to mitigate effects of climate change and help sustain the agricultural sector.

    The minister said that Pakistan’s ecological and socio-economic systems were endangered due to population growth, rapid urbanization and un-sustainable development patterns.

    “Besides climate change is also taxing the country’s economy coupled with fragile natural resource based economy,” Afridi added.


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  74. Cyclone looses intensity PDF Print E-mail
    KARACHI, Jun. 6 (APP): Tropical Cyclone has moved rapidly eastwards in last 6 hours and now located at 24 N-66.2 E about 100 km from Karachi and Sindh coast. According to cyclone warning No 14 issued by Pakistan Meteorological Department on Sunday evening, the system is likely to move eastwards during next 12 hours, expected to make landfall Sunday late evening along Sindh coast south of Karachi (with maximum sustained winds 60-80 km/hour gusting to 100 Km/hour) with associated storm surge of 2-4 meters along Karachi coast and 3-5 meters along Thatta coast.


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  75. Cyclone Phet hits Pak’s coast, 10 killed
    Islamabad: Ten people died and thousands were left homeless as tropical cyclone Phet brought heavy rain and flooding to Pakistan’s coast, officials said on Monday.

    The chief port of Karachi was spared the brunt of the cyclone, which made landfall 80 km to the south at Thatta district late on Sunday.


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  76. Ohio tornado kills 7, wrecks cop cars, graduation

    By JOHN SEEWER and MEGHAN BARR (AP) – 20 minutes ago

    MILLBURY, Ohio — A community whose high school was destroyed the day before graduation by a tornado that killed seven people, including the valedictorian’s father, rescheduled the ceremony as residents sifted through houses in many cases reduced to rubble.


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  77. Cyclone Phet damages may cost $780 mln
    By Saleh al-Shaibany

    (Reuters) – Damages from Cyclone Phet, which pummelled the Omani coastline last week and killed 21 people, could cost the Gulf Arab state over 300 million rials ($780 million), a government official said on Monday.

    Phet hit Oman’s eastern coast last Friday but the Category 1 cyclone’s force was felt in many parts of the country, with winds reaching up to 120 km (75 miles) per hour.


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  78. Gwadar, Pasni, Jiwani declared calamity-hit areas

    * Balochistan CM Aslam Raisani visits cyclone-hit areas
    * Orders immediate release of Rs 65m for rehabilitation work

    By Mohammad Zafar

    QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani visited cyclone-hit areas of Balochistan on Tuesday.

    The chief minister was accompanied by a team of provincial ministers from the province’s Makran region, including provincial ministers Syed Ehsan Shah, Mir Hamal Kalmati, Mir Zahoor Buledi,Mir Asim Kurd Gailu, Sardar Aslam Bijenzo.

    Raisani took an aerial view of the affected areas in Gwadar, Jiwani, Kolanch and Pasni to take stock of the destruction caused by Cyclone Phet and the subsequent heavy rains.

    Calamity-hit: Raisani declared Gwadar, Pasni and Jiwani as calamity-hit areas, directing the administration, Pakistan Navy and the Coast Guards to launch rehabilitation operations in these areas on war footing.


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  79. Gwadar declared disaster area
    By Saleem Shahid
    Wednesday, 09 Jun, 2010

    QUETTA: The Balochistan government has declared the cyclone- and rain-affected district of Gwadar a calamity-hit area.

    Hundreds of houses collapsed or were damaged by torrential rains in Gwadar and other areas along the Makran coast, rendering thousands of people homeless. Many areas of Gwadar town remained inundated on Tuesday — five days after torrential rains hit the area.


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  80. Timely warnings assured minimum losses by Cyclone ‘Phet’: NDMA Chairman

    ISLAMABAD: Chairman NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority), Lt.Gen (Retd) Nadeem Ahmad has expressed his satisfaction, that due to timely warnings and optimum safety measures, against the raging Cyclone ‘Phet’, Sindh and Balochistan suffered minimum losses.

    Addressing a press conference on Friday, he informed that advance preparations in the anticipated wake of Cyclone ’Phet’, there was no loss of lives in high seas or even at the coastline shores.

    He informed that, Army, Rangers, coastguards and other relevant departments had been alerted and were on their toes, and majority of massive billboards had been taken off, well in time, with more than 10,2000 persons relocated to safety zones, ahead of any impending calamity. He informed that 205 storm warning centers in Sindh, while 9 in Balochistan were established.


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  81. Water Level Rising In Attabad Lake
    Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm under Pakistan News

    The water level in the lake is constantly rising. Water level increased by two feet during last 24-hours. The outflow from the spillway has reduced.

    The rise in temperature in the Hunza valley is mainly contributing to the increase in the melting of glaciers. The water outflow from Attabad Lake into the spillway stands at 4500 cusecs.

    The increase in water level is exerting further pressure on the banks of the lake. The local administration has declared red alert in the area while parts of Karakoram Highway have also been closed due to fear of flooding in the coming days.


    Lake water rises as land sliding on
    Updated at: 1040 PST, Saturday, June 12, 2010

    HUNZA: The increase in water level in Attababd Lake has been recorded on Saturday as land sliding continued in the area creating panic in the local residents.

    The inflow and outflow in the lake is 5400 cusecs and 5200 cusecs respectively. Official sources said the weather is clear and sunny helping glaciers to melt swiftly. The level of lake has been raised four inches during last 24 hours.

    On the other hand, Shashkat affectees demanded government to shift them in Hunza IDP camps. Heli service to deliver relief goods to the affectees is also underway in the area.


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  82. Water level in Hunza lake creeping up
    By Zulfiqar Ali Khan
    Sunday, 13 Jun, 2010

    HUNZA: Water level in the 25km lake formed by a landslide in Hunza River early this year is increasing again, creating fear of flooding among the people of Gojal tehsil.

    High temperatures in recent days have accelerated glacier melting thus increasing inflow in the lake, sources say.

    The swelling of lake has been attributed to the inadequacy of the spillway as a less amount of water (5,200 cusec) is flowing through it against the inflow (5,400 cusec).


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  83. Hunza Lake baffles NDMA, no safe exit in sight
    Monday, June 14, 2010
    By Noor Aftab

    ISLAMABAD: The proposal to use dynamite (explosive material) to remove landslide debris that led to the formation of a large lake on the Hunza River has failed to get a nod from high-ups who are currently in a fix after failing to drain water from the lake through a spillway.

    Sources said the proposal to use dynamite was floated during a meeting held at Hunza but the high-ups of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and chief secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan avoided taking any decision that might put them into more troubled waters in case of a disastrous situation.


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  84. At least 49 killed in Bangladesh landslides

    By TOFAYEL AHMED (AP) – 9 hours ago

    COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh — Powerful landslides triggered by heavy rains killed at least 49 people in southeastern Bangladesh on Tuesday, striking a coastal area as people slept and burying many alive inside their homes.

    Rescuers pulled bodies from under chunks of mud covering mostly thatched huts before rescue work was suspended because of darkness, officials said.

    As the rain continued to pound, officials feared the toll could rise. At least five soldiers were confirmed dead and another was missing after their camp was hit by a mudslide.

    The mudslides struck early Tuesday in two areas in Cox’s Bazar, 185 miles (296 kilometers) south of the capital, Dhaka, in a hilly and forested region near the border with Myanmar.

    Kabir Ahmed, a 45-year-old villager, said he felt something shake his mud-walled and tin-roof house before a stream of mud and trees came down on top of it.

    “It was raining when I woke up to say my morning prayers,” Ahmed said. “Then there was the jolt followed by rolling mud.”


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  85. Outflow from Hunza lake increases
    HUNZA—As the inflow into landslide created Attabad Lake increases with melting glaciers, the outflow surpasses 6,100 cusecs on Wednesday increasing the erosion process and broadening of the spillway. Experts have expressed the hope that with the increase in out flow and gradual broadening of spillway, the water level in the lake will decrease gradually. “At present the inflow is 5,800 cusecs, while the outflow is recorded at 6,100 and increasing,” official sources said this was what they were expecting from the increased water discharge from the lake. —Agencies


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  86. Storms and floods kill 15 in France
    By Reuters
    Last Updated: June 16, 2010 3:46pm

    Flash floods caused by torrential rain killed 15 people and left 12 missing near France’s Mediterranean coast, local officials said on Wednesday.


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  87. Further storms forecast as death toll continues to climb
    BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhuanet) — Flooding and landslides triggered by recent heavy rain have killed at least 42 people as of Wednesday in the worst hit provinces like Guangxi, Fujian and Sichuan, while 49 others are still missing.

    Storms are forecast to continue to sweep across most parts of South China over the next 10 days, with some areas due to receive 250mm of rain, the China Meteorological Administration said on Wednesday.

    The national weather forecaster said rainstorms will also hit Guizhou, Sichuan, Fujian and Guangdong the following week.


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  88. Landslide death toll hits 53 in Bangladesh

    By TOFAYEL AHMED (AP) – 17 hours ago

    COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh — Rescuers recovered four more bodies buried in mud Wednesday, raising the death toll from powerful landslides in southeastern Bangladesh to 53.

    Triggered by heavy rains, the powerful mudslides struck a coastal area Tuesday, burying thatched homes and cutting off thousands in the southern coastal district of Cox’s Bazar and the nearby district of Bandarban.

    At least 49 bodies were recovered Tuesday, mostly from two areas in Cox’s Bazar, 185 miles (296 kilometers) south of the capital, Dhaka, in a hilly and forested region near the border with Myanmar.


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  89. Brazil flood toll climbs amid search for hundreds of missing

    By Mauricio Rabuffetti (AFP) – 5 hours ago

    MACEIO, Brazil — Rescue teams pressed a grim search Wednesday for hundreds of people missing in raging floods that swept through towns in northeastern Brazil, killing at least 44 people.

    As three days of heavy rains eased, authorities feared a sharp rise in the death toll as rescuers reach communities cut off by the devastating torrents of mud, water and debris in the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco.

    Churches, schools and hospitals were underwater, or simply disappeared in the floods that turned streets into angry rivers in a region already wracked by extreme poverty.


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  90. Death toll in China flooding climbs to 211

    (AP) – 9 hours ago

    BEIJING — The death toll from summer flooding across a wide swath of southern China climbed to 211 on Wednesday, as a river in Jiangxi province overflowed its banks but did not cause any additional casualties, authorities and state media said.

    The misery in the area of 10 provinces, regions and municipalities was expected to continue, with forecasters saying heavy rains were expected for the next three days.


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  91. Southern China fights rains as flood death-toll rises
    Fresh rains have lashed flood-hit southern China, as the death-toll across the 10 affected provinces rose to at least 200 people.

    The government has ordered the setting up of a rescue and relief centre to coordinate the emergency response.

    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Jiangxi province in his second trip to flood-hit areas in a week.


    Death toll climbs to 46 in Brazil flooding
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    June 24, 2010 — Updated 2320 GMT (0720 HKT)

    Rio Largo, Brazil (CNN) — In response to severe flooding in northeastern Brazil that has left 46 people dead, the government on Thursday announced the release of 500 million reais (U.S. $277 million) to help victims, national civil defense officials said.

    The money comes on top of a previous 50 million reais (U.S. $27.7 million) destined for the two hardest-hit states, Pernambuco and Alagoas.


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  92. Hurricane Alex drenches Mexico’s northern coast
    Thursday, 01 Jul, 2010

    MEXICO: Hurricane Alex ripped off roofs, flooded streets and forced thousands of people to flee coastal fishing villages as it pushed into northern Mexico after making landfall as a powerful Category 2 storm.

    The Atlantic season’s first hurricane largely spared nearby Texas, which had prepared for a possible direct hit. While it spawned two tornadoes and caused 1,000 people to evacuated low-lying areas there, state officials reported no injuries or major damages.


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  93. Battle to save homes in China
    Heavy rain has led to floods across southern China with thousands evacuated from their homes.

    Although seasonal, the rains are particularly heavy this year and disruption is severe.

    More than 480 people across nine central and southern provinces have died since the rains began in June. More than 250 people are missing, according to the government.


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  94. Climate Change Means More Heatwaves, Premature Deaths, Scientists Warn

    WASHINGTON, DC, July 9, 2010 (ENS) – Climate change is a serious health hazard that the United States must prepare for, according to government and university scientists from across the country.
    They advised Thursday that climate models show that global warming will increase air pollution and trigger more heat waves, floods and droughts, all of which will threaten human health.

    “Climate change is a quintessential public health problem,” said Michael McGeehin, director of the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency of the federal government.

    “Heat waves are a public health disaster. They kill, and they kill the most vulnerable members of our society,” McGeehin warned. “The fact that climate change is going to increase the number and intensity of heat waves is something we need to prepare for.”


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  95. Climategate Scientists Vindicated, ‘Honesty Not in Doubt’
    LONDON, UK, July 8, 2010 (ENS) – Climate scientists at a UK research unit whose emails were hacked and published in a scandal known as Climategate have been found to be both honest and credible after a lengthy independent investigation.
    “Their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” states the report on the behavior of scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, CRU. There was “no evidence to substantiate” allegations of perversion of the peer review or editorial processes, the panel states.

    The investigators did find that the scientists showed “a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness.”

    The five-man panel chaired by Sir Muir Russell, former vice-chancellor at the University of Glasgow and former permanent secretary to the Scottish Executive, released its conclusions Wednesday.


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  96. Ban warns of costs of inaction on climate change
    13 July 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today warned of the risks posed by inaction on climate change, as the high-level group he set up earlier this year to mobilize financing to help developing countries combat global warming reported that they have made progress on the issue.
    “The more we delay, the more we will pay – in lost opportunities, resources and lives,” Mr. Ban told reporters today.

    The Copenhagen Accord reached at last December’s UN conference in the Danish capital aims to jump-start immediate action on climate change and guide negotiations on long-term action, scaling up support for developing nations for mitigation and adaptation to reach 100 billion dollars per year by 2020, in addition to 30 billion dollars until 2012.


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  97. Hydro-Politics in the Arab World
    Gitanjali Bakshi
    July 13, 2010

    Concerns about water—a less celebrated resource in the Middle East—have always been latent, lying beneath the surface and quietly shaping geo-political events in the region. In the future, “blue gold” will become so increasingly precious that, much like the black gold of today, water will no longer play a latent role, but will instead be an integral part of the region’s political agenda.


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  98. NDMA to drain the lake by mid-August
    July 14, 2010

    GILGIT: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has in principle decided to make yet another attempt to drain the landslide lake by mid-August, sources said on Tuesday.

    The move comes after Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah endorsed the NDMA proposal of exploding the spillway. In June, authorities had used dynamite on several boulders in the spillway in an attempt to drain out the 23-kilometre-long lake, but it didn’t work. If the lake is drained, more than 25,000 displaced persons, living in government camps, will be able to return to home.


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  99. Power back after typhoon kills 26 in Philippines
    By JIM GOMEZ (AP) – 6 hours ago
    MANILA, Philippines — Electricity was restored in the Philippine capital, flights resumed and schools reopened Thursday after the first typhoon of the season killed at least 26 people and plunged most of the main northern island into darkness.
    Thirty-eight people remained missing, mostly fishermen caught by Typhoon Conson’s fury at sea.
    Electricity was restored to most of Manila and nearby provinces after Conson, packing winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, slammed ashore late Tuesday and early Wednesday, toppling power lines, downing trees and ripping off roofs and tarpaulin billboards.


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  100. Europe wilts in heat wave
    From bikinis in Moscow to melting roads in Czech Republic, continent bakes under searing sun

    David Nowak
    Moscow — The Associated Press
    Published on Thursday, Jul. 15, 2010 1:35PM EDT
    Last updated on Friday, Jul. 16, 2010 3:10AM EDT
    It’s so hot that women in bikinis are sunbathing in Moscow.

    A heat wave across much of Europe is also causing crops to wither, forest fires to ignite and roads to melt, while refrigerators and fans are buckling in the searing sun.

    From Russia’s Urals mountains to western Germany, a week of temperatures hovering stubbornly in the mid-30s C has baked northern parts of Europe, which are usually spared the heat of the Mediterranean — and forecasters are warning of more to come over the next week.

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  101. UN eyes private help in $100 billion climate aid
    By JOHN HEILPRIN (AP) – 3 days ago
    UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. chief says a panel of advisers that includes the prime ministers of Ethiopia and Norway is considering tapping private sources to fulfill a pledge at Copenhagen to provide $100 billion in climate aid.
    Ban Ki-moon told reporters Tuesday he suspects that “both private and public funds would be necessary” to generate $100 billion a year. He did not specify what sort of private funds might be sought — individual, corporate or other sources — to help developing countries deal with rising sea levels, drought and other effects of rising temperatures.

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  102. Two dead in China as Typhoon Conson calms
    (AFP) – 3 hours ago
    BEIJING — Typhoon Conson pummelled the southeastern Chinese island of Hainan, killing at least two people, uprooting trees and knocking down electricity pylons, local officials said Saturday.
    The authorities on the popular tourist island evacuated around 40,000 people from the most vulnerable areas before the storm hit on Friday evening.
    Two men, a security guard and a motorcyclist, died after being struck by advertising hoardings unhinged by strong winds, an official from the local typhoon warning centre said.

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  103. 146 dead in China rainstorms and floods: state media
    (AFP) – 17 hours ago
    BEIJING — Torrential rain and severe flooding have left at least 146 people dead and 40 missing in ten Chinese provinces, mostly along the Yangtze River following recent storms, state media said Friday.
    The Xinhua news agency said that as of 4:00pm (0800 GMT) Friday, rain-triggered floods had affected some 38.2 million people and 1.3 million had been evacuated.
    The latest toll is near 40 percent increase on that reported by Xinhua Tuesday following rains along the Yangtze River, China’s longest, over the past 10 days.
    Heavy downpours in central and eastern China have caused water levels in major lakes and some river tributaries to rise alarmingly, state media has said.


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  104. Reader Poll: The UN Secretary-General and his climate finance advisers are exploring private financing options to deliver resources to combat climate change. Developing countries pledged “fast-start” financing — $10 billion per year for the next three years, growing to $100 billion annually by 2020 — for those nations least responsible for, and most affected by, climate changes.
    Should private donors contribute to aid to mitigate the effects of climate change in developing countries?


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  105. Ranchers and Drug Barons Threaten Rain Forest
    Published: July 17, 2010

    EL MIRADOR, Guatemala — Great sweeps of Guatemalan rain forest, once the cradle of one of the world’s great civilizations, are being razed to clear land for cattle-ranching drug barons.

    Other parts of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Central America’s largest protected area, have been burned down by small cities of squatters.

    Looters and poachers, kept at bay when guerrilla armies roamed the region during the country’s 36-year civil war, ply their trades freely.


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  106. Sea-level increases may be worse for some areas than others
    Warming waters and shifting wind patterns caused by greenhouse gases are factors in variations, an Indian Ocean study finds.

    By Jessie Schiewe, Los Angeles Times
    July 16, 2010 | 4:24 p.m.

    Sea levels are rising, but not in a geographically uniform pattern, says a new study published online on July 11 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

    Focusing on the Indian Ocean, researchers from the University of Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, both in Boulder, found that increases in sea levels in some regions corresponded with declines in other areas.

    Sea level increases were significantly greater than the global mean at midocean islands such as the Mascarenhas Archipelago as well as the coasts of Indonesia and Sumatra and the northern Indian Ocean.


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  107. July 2010- Monsoon rains hit Lahore early
    Not a good moment to be out and about on the roads of Gul­burg and Defence

    By Fareeha Qay­oom, pho­tos by Adnan Q. Qayyum
    ….I wasn’t look­ing for­ward to dri­ving in this rain…unfortunately for me, back in sum­mer 2008, we got stuck in rain waters on the main boule­vard, Gul­burg early in the morn­ing on the way to work…the expe­ri­ence has stayed with me. Every time it rains, I get a flash­back.


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  108. GEO Pakistan
    Rains wipe out 70 houses in Bannu
    Updated at: 1035 PST, Wednesday, July 21, 2010
    Rains wipe out 70 houses in Bannu LAHORE: The unabated spree of heavy downpours is continued in separate parts of country, resulting in the worst ever rain-inflicted incidents.

    A man died after being trampled under his house roof due to incessant wave of showers, in Gujranwala, meanwhile, as many as 70 houses have collapsed in Bannu alone, witnesses and media reports said.


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  109. Lashing rains kill 19 in various areas
    Updated at: 1427 PST, Wednesday, July 21, 2010
    Lashing rains kill 19 in various areas LAHORE: At least 19 people lost their lives in rain-related accidents, as driving rains are in progress in various parts of the country, Geo News reported Wednesday.

    The stormy downpours intermittently continued since last night in Dera Ismail Khan and the adjoining areas.

    At least three children and a woman were killed as their house caved in in Aba Shaheed. The rainwater is still present in low-lying areas, rendering the life virtually suspended.


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  110. Tropical storm heads to China as flood toll hits 700
    BEIJING | Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:26pm EDT
    (Reuters) – Southern China is bracing for its second powerful storm in less than a week, as the death toll from floods and landslides caused by torrential rain climbed beyond 700 with hundreds of others reported missing.

    Tropical storm Chanthu is expected to make landfall in Guangdong and Hainan provinces on Thursday, and it may pick up force while over the South China Sea. The government has advised people to stay indoors, the official Xinhua news agency said.


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  111. Kyoto CO2 trade may end if no climate deal-UN study
    21 Jul 2010 11:46:19 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – The Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM) may end from 2013 unless the world can agree and put into force a new round of carbon emissions targets before then, a U.N. paper has said.
    The CDM enabled a $20.6 billion trade in carbon emissions rights between rich and poor countries in 2009, to help developed countries meet their carbon emissions caps under Kyoto from 2008-2012.


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  112. Starved penguins washing up dead in Brazil
    Stan Lehman
    Associated Press
    SAO PAULO—Hundreds of penguins that apparently starved to death are washing up on the beaches of Brazil, worrying scientists who are investigating what’s causing them to die.

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  113. Pakistan: Over 40 killed in rains, floods
    Press Trust of India, Updated: July 22, 2010 17:55 IST

    Islamabad: Over 40 people, including women and children, have died and dozens reported missing due to torrential rains and flooding in parts of Pakistan, officials said on Thursday.

    Flash floods following heavy rains over the past few days swept away about 50 people in Barkhan and Kohlu areas of Balochistan province. Provincial Disaster Management Authority chief Hassan Baloch said 30 people had died in Barkhan and 20 others were missing.

    Torrential rains in Barkhan district caused flooding in the Han rivulet that washed away hundreds of mud houses, officials said. They said the rains and floods had severed all means of communication and authorities were trying to re-establish contact with flood-hit areas.

    Twelve people were killed in Lahore and other parts of northern Punjab and over 15 others were injured, officials said. The deaths were caused by electrocution, drowning and collapse of buildings. There were reports of flooding from several cities in Punjab, including Lahore and Faisalabad. Attendance was thin in offices in parts of Punjab while the shortage of public transport left many in the lurch.


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  114. At least 40 killed in Barkhan flooding
    Friday, 23 Jul, 2010

    QUETTA: At least 40 people were killed when torrential rains unleashed flash floods in different parts of eastern Balochistan, DawnNews reported.

    More than 10,000 people are reported to have been affected. Fifty people went missing in Barkhan which was lashed by torrential rain for more than five hours on Wednesday night. Barkhan is about 350 kilometres east of Quetta.


    Dozens lose life in rains, floods across country

    * Heavy rains cause Tanga dam to fail in Kohlu, seven villages inundated
    * Widespread rains expected during next 36 hours

    LAHORE: At least 43 people were killed, while many others were injured, as heavy rains continued to wreak havoc across the country, a private TV channel reported on Thursday.

    Balochistan was the hardest hit, where 30 people were killed after their houses were swept away in flash floods. According to officials, overnight rains caused flash floods in Nari River, which destroyed homes in four villages in Barkhan district. More than 50 people were also swept away by the raging waters. So far, 30 bodies have been found, while 20 people are still missing.

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  115. Cold snap freezes South America – beaches whitened, some areas experience snow for the first time in living memory
    Posted on July 20, 2010 by Anthony Watts
    From the “weather is not climate” department, more chilling news from the southern hemisphere.

    Guest post By Alexandre Aguiar
    MetSul Weather Center via ICECAP

    A brutal and historical cold snap has so far caused 80 deaths in South America, according to international news agencies. Temperatures have been much below normal for over a week in vast areas of the continent. In Chile, the Aysen region was affected early last week by the worst snowstorm in 30 years. The snow accumulation reached 5 feet in Balmaceda and the Army was called to rescue people trapped by the snow.


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  116. Snow Everywhere in South AmericaPublished on July 21st, 2010
    A brutal and historical cold snap has so far caused 80 deaths in South America, according to international news agencies. Temperatures have been much below normal for over a week in vast areas of the continent. In Chile, the Aysen region was affected early last week by the worst snowstorm in 30 years. The snow accumulation reached 5 feet in Balmaceda and the Army was called to rescue people trapped by the snow.


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  117. Rain fury claims 43 lives across country
    Published: July 23, 2010

    QUETTA/LAHORE/PESHAWAR – At least 43 people were killed as a result of torrential rains and flooding in different parts of Pakistan.
    Moonsoon rains continued in most parts of Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. At least 30 people were killed in Balochistan and 13 were killed in parts of northern Punjab and Lahore while dozens were reported injured.
    In Balochistan, the torrential rains played havoc in different districts reportedly killing at least 30 people, including women and children besides destroying thousands of mud-houses in Kohlu, Barkhan and Sibi, rendering thousands of people homeless on Thursday.


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  118. Thousands rendered homeless by flood in Balochistan
    By Saleem Shahid
    Saturday, 24 Jul, 2010

    QUETTA: The death toll in flash floods unleashed by torrential rains in Barkhan area of Balochistan rose to 50 on Friday.

    Thousands of people were rendered homeless in Barkhan, Kohlu and Sibi and aid and rescue work was affected because of long distances and damaged roads. “About 50 people have died in two days in flood and rain-related incidents in Barkhan,” Hassan Baloch, director general of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, told Dawn.

    He said that a joint operation by the army, Frontier Corps and the provincial government was under way to shift the affected people to safe areas.


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  119. Earthly matters: Adapting to climate change
    Rina Saeed Khan
    Sunday, 25 Jul, 2010 | 01:20 AM PST |

    Farrukh Iqbal Khan is the lead negotiator for Pakistan at the UN climate change negotiations and the current head of the Adaptation Fund set up by the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) , whose headquarters is located in Bonn. This is the first time that the UNFCCC will be able to disburse funds directly to developing countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. Farrukh is the third (and youngest) chair of the 32 member Adaptation Fund board that was established in 2008.

    Members come from both developing and developed countries and the board held its tenth meeting in Bonn this June where eight adaptation projects were submitted for review. In September, when the board meets again in Bonn, the selected preliminary proposals will be re-submitted as full proposals and funding will become available. There is no cap on the funding as yet — it can be anywhere from $3.5 million to $10 million.

    The June meeting finished on a celebratory note as the Fund’s board endorsed its first four projects for funding. The four projects are: a proposal to tackle sea level rise in the Solomon Islands, an effort to adapt to climate change in the coastal areas of Senegal, a plan to improve watersheds to better deal with droughts and floods in Nicaragua, and a proposal to reduce risk and vulnerabilities from glacier lake outburst floods in the mountains of Pakistan. Later this year, if all goes well, 3.6 million dollars will be given to Pakistan to help adapt to glacial lake outburst floods. The fund’s board hopes to receive more money as their work progresses. They have access to $145 million right now, which is sufficient to cover the newly approved projects. I recently caught up with Farrukh Khan and he was kind enough to share some details regarding the Adaptation Fund.


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  120. Water resources: Vital water
    By Mohammed Niaz
    Sunday, 25 Jul, 2010 | 02:26 AM PST |

    What we do is mirrored in the water, holds true on the pretext that constant unfriendly environmental activity registers its toll ultimately on water resources; the quality and quantity of which reflect human action.

    Water is the absolute life resource on planet earth, which has no substitute unlike other resources, without which no existence can be visualised. Its necessity is diversified in nature as are water related issues associated with health, livestock, sanitation, environment, cities, agriculture, food, industry, and energy production. It is a fact that there will be not as much water in the future as there is today.

    Water quality and management has become one of the leading problems of the 21st century and integral to sustainable development. The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, August/September 2002 highlighted five thematic areas including water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture, biodiversity and sustainability. The Millennium Development Goal 7 being to ensure environment with one of its targets directly linked to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation.


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  121. Off the rack: A greener world
    By B. Khan
    Sunday, 25 Jul, 2010 | 01:32 AM PST |

    Governments fell for it like a pack of cards, agriculturalists switched gear and environmentalists around the world cheered when biofuels, plant-derived alternatives to traditional petrol, diesel and gas for powering vehicles, arrived on the market.Widely acclaimed as nature’s solution to reducing emissions of harmful greenhouse gases when people travel from ‘A’ to ‘B’ as they go about their daily business, (including the gigantic carbon footprint made by travelling by air!), green fuel was suddenly all the rage, but for once, the sceptics have been proven well and truly right!

    Tanking up on biofuel is, apparently, akin to putting a match to a rainforest, a pine forest or any kind of forest for that matter! Plus, as farmers switch from growing food crops to more lucrative fuel crops, rising prices for the reduced amount of fresh edibles, grains and pulses mean that more and more people are going hungry.


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  122. Voyage Redeems 12,500 Plastic Bottles
    Published: July 26, 2010

    SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — A 60-foot sailboat built largely from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles docked Monday at Sydney, after four difficult months crossing the Pacific Ocean on a trip meant to raise awareness of the perils of plastic waste.


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  123. United Nations Proposes Stopgaps as Global Talks Fail to Renew Kyoto Pact
    By Mathew Carr – Jul 22, 2010 4:21 PM GMT+0500

    A United Nations climate group said it may be possible to extend emission caps included in the Kyoto Protocol for two years after they expire in 2012, preventing an interruption in the supply of offset credits.

    Extending the targets may help stop a “gap” in the Clean Development Mechanism, the world’s second-biggest carbon market, should nations fail to agree on a treaty to replace or permanently extend the 1997 protocol, a committee for developed nations said in a July 20 discussion paper on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change website.

    UN talks in Copenhagen last December failed as developing nations called for richer countries to adopt tighter targets on the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said last month that nations are unlikely to agree on a global climate accord at this year’s talks in Cancun, Mexico.

    “Extending Kyoto for two more years seems unlikely at this stage,” said David Lunsford, emissions trading policy leader at the Geneva-based International Emissions Trading Association, a lobby group. “Nations haven’t even started to grapple with what targets might be feasible for such an uncharted period,” he said today by phone and e-mail.


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  124. Obama says will keep pushing for climate bill

    WASHINGTON | Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:32pm EDT

    WASHINGTON July 27 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama pledged on Tuesday to keep pushing for legislation to fight climate change despite a move in the U.S. Senate to focus energy reform more narrowly on offshore drilling.

    Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is expected to unveil a bill later on Tuesday that does not include setting caps on carbon emissions — the key element of a more comprehensive energy and climate bill that did not find sufficient support in the Senate. [ID:nN2797530]

    Obama said the revised bill was “an important step in the right direction” but he said it would not be enough.

    “I want to emphasize it’s only the first step and I intend to keep pushing for broader reform, including climate legislation,” he told reporters in the White House Rose Garden after meeting with congressional leaders.

    “If we’ve learned anything from the tragedy in the Gulf, it’s that our current energy policy is unsustainable.”


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  125. Energy revolution could put bills up by a third
    Householders face a £300-a-year rise in their gas and electricity bills and significant cuts in how much energy they use if Britain is to “keep the lights on” and meet its climate change targets, the Government has said.

    By Louise Gray and Harry Wallop
    Published: 10:04PM BST 27 Jul 2010

    In the Coalition’s first annual energy statement to the Commons, Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, outlined plans to transform Britain’s power system and cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent within the next 40 years. He announced 32 separate measures, from the use of smart meters in all homes to a major expansion of renewable energy sources, including a new generation of nuclear power stations and up to 44,000 wind turbines.
    However, Mr Huhne’s department admitted that such policies could increase the price of electricity by up to a third and gas by up to a fifth. This would make the average family’s annual energy bill of £1,100, £300 more expensive.

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  126. Met Office report: global warming evidence is ‘unmistakable’
    A new climate change report from the Met Office and its US equivalent has provided the “greatest evidence we have ever had” that the world is warming

    By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
    Published: 6:00PM BST 28 Jul 2010

    The report brings together the latest temperature readings from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean
    Usually scientists rely on the temperature over land, taken from weather stations around the world for the last 150 years, to show global warming.


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  127. The Earth is hotter than ever, global warming is real: Researchers
    Scientists hope findings will debunk some growing skepticism about climate change

    Paul Waldie
    From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
    Published on Thursday, Jul. 29, 2010 12:03AM EDT
    Last updated on Thursday, Jul. 29, 2010 12:06AM EDT
    More than 300 scientists from around the world, including several Canadians, hope to blunt some growing skepticism about climate change with a new report that says global warming is a fact and the Earth is hotter than ever.

    “The conclusion is unmistakable – yes, the planet is warming,” said Derek Arndt, a co-editor of the report, called State of the Climate, which was published by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

    “The facts speak for themselves, and speak simultaneously,” said Mr. Arndt, who runs the Climate Monitoring Branch at NOAA. “And, they all point toward the same conclusion – the globe is warming.”


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  128. Global warming ‘undeniable,’ it’s getting hotter every year
    Randolph E. Schmid
    Associated Press
    WASHINGTON-Scientists from around the world are providing even more evidence of global warming.

    “A comprehensive review of key climate indicators confirms the world is warming and the past decade was the warmest on record,” the annual State of the Climate report declares.

    Compiled by more than 300 scientists from 48 countries, the report said its analysis of 10 indicators that are “clearly and directly related to surface temperatures, all tell the same story: Global warming is undeniable.”

    Concern about rising temperatures has been growing in recent years as atmospheric scientists report rising temperatures associated with greenhouse gases released into the air by industrial and other human processes. At the same time, some skeptics have questioned the conclusions.

    The new report, the 20th in a series, focuses only on global warming and does not specify a cause.


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  129. In China, Pollution Worsens Despite New Efforts
    BEIJING — China, the world’s most prodigious emitter of greenhouse gas, continues to suffer the downsides of unbridled economic growth despite a raft of new environmental initiatives.

    The quality of air in Chinese cities is increasingly tainted by coal-burning power plants, grit from construction sites and exhaust from millions of new cars squeezing onto crowded roads, according to a government study issued this week. Other newly released figures show a jump in industrial accidents and an epidemic of pollution in waterways.

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  130. Phytoplankton’s Dramatic Decline
    A Food Chain Crisis in the World’s Oceans
    By Markus Becker

    It is the starting point for our oceans’ food chain. But stocks of phytoplankton have decreased by 40 percent since 1950, potentially as a result of global warming. It is an astonishing collapse, say researchers, and may have dramatic consequences for both the oceans and for humans.

    The forms that marine flora and fauna come in are varied and spectacular. From bizarre deep sea creatures to elegant predators and giant marine mammals, the diversity in our planet’s oceans is astounding.

    But it is the microscopic organisms like diatoms, green algae, dinoflagellates and cayanobacteria that make it all possible. Phytoplankton is the first link in the oceanic food chain. It is eaten by zooplankton which is in turn eaten by other animals, which are then consumed by yet further sea creatures. Sometimes that chain can be quite short — the only thing that separates whales from phytoplankton in the food chain, for example, are the krill that come in between.

    But it appears that humans may be in the process of destroying this fundamental link in the oceanic food chain. Temperatures on the surface of our oceans are rising because of climate change, resulting in a reduction of the stock of phytoplankton. Just how severe that reduction is, however, has long been a mystery.


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  131. Gillard plays down climate assembly
    August 2, 2010 – 5:14PM


    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has sought to play down her widely-criticised plan to have a citizens’ assembly on climate change.

    The proposal, to have 150 people consider the need for a carbon price before the government makes a decision, has been panned as an unnecessary move that would delay action.

    “That’s a small part of a broad suite of (climate) policies,” Ms Gillard told ABC Radio, as she sought to focus attention on other policies including greening up the electricity grid.


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  132. US inaction on climate troubles global talks
    Monday, 02 Aug, 2010

    AMSTERDAM — The failure of a climate bill in the US Senate is likely to weigh heavily on international negotiations that begin Monday on a new agreement to control global warming.

    The decision to strike the bill from the Senate’s immediate agenda has deepened the distrust among poor countries about the intentions of United States.

    And other industrial countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions that power their wealthy economies but risk causing the Earth to dangerously overheat, say climate activists.

    A split between rich and poor nations has characterized the talks since they began 2 1/2 years ago, but it widened after the disappointment of the Copenhagen climate summit last December that fell short of any binding agreement and produced only a brief document of political intentions.


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  133. US says it’s committed to cutting greenhouse gases

    By ARTHUR MAX (AP) – 38 minutes ago

    AMSTERDAM — The United States assured international negotiators Monday it remains committed to reducing carbon emissions over the next 10 years, despite the collapse of efforts to legislate a climate bill.

    U.S. delegate Jonathan Pershing told a climate conference in Bonn, Germany, Washington is not backing away from President Barack Obama’s pledge to cut emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels.

    Pershing said legislation is the preferred way to control greenhouse gases, but the administration “will use all the tools available” to reach its target.

    Obama made the pledge at a climate summit in Copenhagen last December, and affirmed it in a formal note to the U.N. climate secretariat. At the time, the U.S. House of Representatives had passed a climate bill and the Senate had been broadly expected to follow suit.

    But the withdrawal of a scaled down climate bill last week in the Senate raised concern about America’s commitment to fight global warming and disappointed developing countries that had hoped Obama would seize international leadership on the issue.


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  134. Figueres Urges Smaller Steps on Climate Change as UN Warming Talks Resume

    By Alex Morales – Aug 2, 2010 3:39 PM GMT+0500

    Costa Rica’s Christiana Figueres took charge of United Nations climate talks, calling on nations to do the “politically possible” and take smaller steps rather than striving for an all-encompassing deal to halt global warming.

    After the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December failed to produce a new treaty, about 190 countries are still grappling to agree on more ambitious greenhouse-gas cuts to contain the global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The task has a “rapidly rising scale and urgency,” Figueres told delegates today at the start of five days of negotiations in Bonn.

    “We cannot cross the ocean on a single gust of wind, but if we don’t raise the sails now, we may never discover a safer world,” said Figueres, who took over from Yvo de Boer on July 8. “Time is not on our side. Decisions need to be taken, perhaps in an incremental manner.”


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  135. The truth about global warming
    Monday, August 2, 2010

    IN A DEPRESSING case of irony by juxtaposition, the death of climate change legislation in the Senate has been followed by the appearance of two government reports in the past week that underscore the overwhelming scientific case for global warming — and go out of the way to repudiate skeptics.

    First came a report on global climate from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which confirmed that the 2000s were by far the warmest decade in the instrumental record — as were, in their turns, the 1980s and the 1990s. Unlike year-to-year fluctuations, these 10-year shifts are statistically significant. Further, the report notes that it derived its conclusions from an array of data sources — not just the land-surface readings that doubters challenge — from ocean heat uptake to melting land ice to sea level rise.


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  136. Marine census uncovers a diverse but threatened seabed
    Bearded fireworm, dragonfish and nocturnal brittle stars among newly discovered marine species

    Randolph E. Schmid

    The Associated Press Published on Monday, Aug. 02, 2010 5:39PM EDT Last updated on Monday, Aug. 02, 2010 8:23PM EDT

    The oceans around Australia boast the greatest diversity of sea life on the planet, but the now oil-threatened Gulf of Mexico also ranks in the top five regions for variety of species.

    And even before the spill, the Gulf was already listed as threatened, according to the latest update of the Census of Marine Life, released Monday.

    Mark Costello of the Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland, New Zealand, commented that now it seems the Gulf “is more threatened than we thought it was.”

    Regions where variety of life is most endangered tended to be the more enclosed seas, such as the Mediterranean, Gulf of Mexico, China’s offshore shelves, Baltic Sea and Caribbean, the new study, done before the oil spill, concluded.


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  137. ‘Clear Proof’ Needed of $30 Billion Climate Aid Payment, UN Says

    August 02, 2010, 9:49 AM EDT

    By Alex Morales

    Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) — Developed countries must give “clear proof” they’ve started disbursing $30 billion of climate aid that they pledged last year to poorer nations, the new United Nations climate chief said.

    Evidence of payment will be needed at the UN’s annual end- of-year climate negotiations in Cancun in November and December, Christiana Figueres said at a briefing today as a week of talks started in Bonn. About $10 billion should be paid out this year, a third of the total which covered the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, she said.

    “Developing nations see this as a critical signal of industrialized nations’ willingness to progress,” said Figueres, the diplomat leading talks organized by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. “Parties must come to Cancun with a clear proof of having disbursed. Disbursement is already occurring and they will report on that. They will then have to elucidate on what they’ll do the next two years.”


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  138. Wally’s World
    Thirty-five years ago this week, Wallace Broecker predicted decades of dangerous climate change caused by humans. Unfortunately, he was all too prescient.

    On Aug. 8, 1975, geoscientist Wallace Smith Broecker published “Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” in the journal Science, the first time the iconic phrase “global warming” was used in a scientific paper. Broecker — known by all as Wally — was already a prominent scientist by then, having served on Columbia University’s faculty for 16 years. Today, at age 78, Broecker is recognized as one of the fathers of climate science, with more than 450 journal publications and 10 books to his name, ranging from paleoclimatology to chemical oceanography.


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  139. My editorial for RTI Pakistan – August 6, 2010

    Floods: Fury of God?
    Are you connecting the dots?

    January 2010– a lake is created up in the north because of landslide.
    According to Wikipedia, “The lake was formed due to a massive landslide at Attabad village in Gilgit-Baltistan, 9 miles (14 km) upstream (east) of Karimabad that occurred on January 4, 2010. The landslide killed twenty people, buried and inundated the Karakoram Highway and blocked the flow of the Hunza River for five months. The lake flooding has displaced 6,000 people from upstream villages, stranded (from land transportation routes) a further 25,000, and inundated over 12 miles (19 km) of the Karakoram Highway.[1] The lake reached 13 miles (21 km) long and over 100 meters in depth by the first week of June 2010 when it began flowing over the landslide dam, completely submerging lower Shishkat and partly flooding Gulmit. The subdivision of Gojal has the greatest number of flooded buildings, over 170 houses and 120 shops. The residents also had shortages of food and other items due to the blockage of the Karakoram Highway. By June 4 water outflow from the lake had increased to 3700 cusecs.”

    June 2010 – Cyclone Phet hits our coast. It batters Gwadar and surrounding towns and villages. “Hundreds of mud houses collapse and several people are displaced in most parts of coastal Pakistan following torrential rains,” according to Gulf News, June 6 news.

    July 2010 – Pakistan gets flooded in monsoon rains – all provinces feel the brunt of seasonal rains. This is a developing story and our troubles have only just started. Rehabilitation might take all our resources and even then, we might not recover from this calamity.

    Why do you think its happening? Two words – Climate Change. Last year the government spent hundreds campaigning to raise awareness about the importance of trees, protecting our environment, taking measures to stop logging heedlessly, protecting our natural habitats, preserving our eco-systems, but may be more needs to be done?

    The year hasn’t ended yet. How many more disasters are coming our way I wonder?

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  140. Climate deal loopholes ‘make farce’ of rich nations’ pledges

    New research reveals carbon emissions from rich nations could actually rise under loopholes in the proposed UN climate deal

    John Vidal in Bonn

    Rich countries have been put on the back foot after new research showed that current pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions could be wiped out by gaping loopholes in the UN climate change treaty put forward in Copenhagen last year.

    Developing countries have argued strongly for minimum 40% emission cuts from industrialised nations by 2020. But new analysis from the Stockholm Environment Institute and Third World Network (TWN), released at the latest UN climate talks in Bonn, showed that current pledges amounted to only 12-18% reductions below 1990 levels without loopholes. When all loopholes were taken into account, emissions could be allowed to rise by 9%.

    The research factored in four separate loopholes that are known to exist, but which countries have so far failed to address in the negotiations. These include land use and forestry credits, carbon offset credits gained from UN Clean Development Mechanism schemes, surplus carbon allowances accumulated by former Soviet countries and international aviation and shipping emissions, which are not currently included in emission reduction schemes proposed by countries.


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  141. Southern African broadcasters are discussing climate change this week in Johannesburg
    06-08-2010 (Johannesburg)
    Southern African broadcasters are discussing climate change this week in Johannesburg
    © UNESCO
    Broadcasters from the Southern African region are getting together this week in Johannesburg, South Africa, to move ahead on climate change. They are deliberating on a unified climate change policy for implementation in broadcasting content on radio, television and in new media.


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  142. Huge ice sheet breaks from Greenland glacier
    A giant sheet of ice measuring 260 sq km (100 sq miles) has broken off a glacier in Greenland, according to researchers at a US university.

    The block of ice separated from the Petermann Glacier, on the north-west coast of Greenland.

    It is the largest Arctic iceberg to calve since 1962, said Prof Andreas Muenchow of the University of Delaware.

    The ice could become frozen in place over winter or escape into the waters between Greenland and Canada.


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  143. 127 Dead, 2,000 Missing in China Landslides

    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao headed Sunday to northwestern Gansu province, where landslides have killed at least 127 people and left some 2000 missing.

    The official Xinhua news agency says the landslides, triggered by heavy rain, occurred in a mainly Tibetan region of Gansu province Saturday night and early Sunday morning. At least one village was completely buried.

    Authorities say the flooding has submerged half of Zhouqu County, affecting at least 50,000 people.


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  144. Hundreds more wildfires burn in Russia
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    August 8, 2010 — Updated 1154 GMT (1954 HKT)

    (CNN) — About 270 new wildfires have started in drought-plagued Russia over the past 24 hours, state media reported Sunday, citing the country’s emergencies ministry.

    “As many as 276 wildfires have been extinguished,” the ministry told RIA-Novosti. “Currently, 554 wildfires are raging on an area of over 190,000 hectares.”

    The setback comes as Moscow chokes in intense smog, with toxic substances at levels several times greater than the norm. State media reports the combination of forest fires and pollutants contributed to the smog.

    According to Russia’s health and social development ministry, wildfires have killed at least 52 people and left dozens hospitalized.


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  145. Asia flooding plunges millions into misery

    By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN (AP) – 4 hours ago

    BEIJING — Floods and landslides across Asia plunged millions into misery Sunday as rubble-strewn waters killed at least 127 in northwestern China and 4 million Pakistanis faced food shortages amid their country’s worst-ever flooding.

    In Indian-controlled Kashmir, rescuers raced to find 500 people still missing in flash floods that have already killed 132, while North Korea’s state media said high waters had destroyed thousands of homes and damaged crops.

    Terrified residents fled to high ground or upper stories of apartment buildings in China’s Gansu province after a debris-blocked river overflowed during the night, smashing buildings and overturning cars.

    The official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday that authorities were seeking to locate an estimated 1,300 people still missing in the latest deluge in a summer that has seen China’s worst seasonal flooding in a decade. That figure was down from 2,000 earlier in the day.

    Worst hit was the county seat of Zhouqu in the province’s Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, where houses buckled and streets were filled with more than a yard (meter) of mud and water.


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  146. 10 reported dead in Europe flooding
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    August 8, 2010 — Updated 1824 GMT (0224 HKT)

    (CNN) — At least 10 people were killed in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic as creeks and rivers swollen by days of heavy rains burst their banks, destroying buildings, dams and bridges, officials said.

    A woman drowned in the Polish town of Bogatynia on Saturday, according to broadcaster TVN24. In addition, the body of a second woman along with a 55-year-old rescuer were found Sunday.

    Three people died in the German town of Neukirchen when rainwater from flooded streets spilled into a basement where they were attempting to salvage possessions, said Lothar Hofner, spokesman for the Interior Ministry of the German state of Saxony. The three — a 72-year-old man, his 74-year-old wife and a 63-year-old neighbor — were caught off guard by the water and drowned, Hofner said.


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  147. My editorial for RTI Pakistan

    Pak Floods: Reality check!
    The anatomy of problem is only growing; Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation of the effected are just two aspects, there’s more…

    Let’s not kid ourselves – The current climate crisis the world over including the monsoon rains in Pakistan are a man-made disaster. There should be no two opinions about it. This is no fury of God. We are doing this to the world; it has nothing to do with Him.

    The rich nations of the world have no need and no plans of capping their carbon emissions. The past thirty years have been the hottest years since the climate scientists started recording these things.

    The fires in Russia due to drought, the floods in Asia and now in Europe too are not isolated incidents. They are all series of clues that form an alarming picture and are proving the climate scientists’ right in spite of the scandal that dogged the last climate conference in Denmark popularly dubbed Climategate. China and India want the west to ‘do more’ before they will agree to do more, so the rate of industrialization will only increase over the coming years.

    Taking preventive action costs money; therefore, we might hear a lot of creative rhetoric about the climate science and the need to do more, but we won’t see any concrete action going forward on the western nations’ part or indeed by the developing world including Pakistan. No nation is willing to invest in the future. They have enough problems in the present. Short term thinking will come back to haunt us and the coming generations like it did just now.

    Climate talks are already losing ground. Last year, the government only campaigned to raise awareness about protecting our environment. The extent of action taken was: arranging a few seminars, inserting some articles in the print media, talking to the press a few times and putting up a few banners about a need to save trees and plant trees. This is not enough and will not be enough to stem the tide of disasters coming our way.

    This is not a happy picture: We will continue to see more such disasters and huge loss of lives all over the world. Food and water shortages and shrinking arable lands will be a reality because of erratic climate patterns. More forests will be logged off to make way for cash and food crops which will only mean more carbon emissions, not less. Rate of industrialization will not abate because people have to earn to survive and the new jobs are all in new technologies and industries including agriculture which is highly mechanized and not very organic so more rural areas will become urbanized and citizens of the world will go where the money is by moving to cities.

    This also means frequent price hikes of essential commodities like food and grains since less people will be engaged in low paying industries including agriculture so supply and demand laws will play out on the world stage. Pollution, disease, soil erosion, landslides, soil salinity, deforestation numbers will only hike with passage of each year.

    Citizens of the world will have to pay large amounts of money to get safe drinking water (bottled), breathe fresh air and live in environmentally friendly and organic environment (gated and calibrated communities and resorts) so only the rich will be able to afford this lifestyle. More wars will be fought over dwindling world resources. More eco-systems will die, more flora and fauna will become extinct and the planet will eventually self-destruct since unfortunately, it’s the humans who are sitting on top of the food chain and we don’t want to change the way we do business of earning a living. Organized Religions call it Doomsday; I don’t know what the scientists call it? Suicide?

    Pakistan is not prepared for the coming destruction as has already been demonstrated by the current unfolding events. We are not organized to deal with the current disaster, how are we going to deal with future ones?

    Our economy, our infra-structure, our villages, towns and cities, our food and cash crops and the livelihood of our citizens have all been destroyed in the unfolding floods. The world is not in a position to help as they are also dealing with same issues, recession, climate disasters and political wrangling and wars, so there is no point looking towards them for long-term help. They can only supply us with emergency relief goods, the long-term help will be in the shape of more loans, not grants. There is no such thing as free lunch. You will have to lose a lot to gain a little. As it’s happening now with our economy.

    There are two things we can do at this point. We can learn from our mistakes and fix this (pro-active approach) or we can roll with the coming punches and keep taking the punishment we are dishing out to ourselves (reactive approach). The world has already chosen the reactive method as a collective approach to dealing with the problem of climate change – Is Pakistan going to join the bandwagon or will it lobby to make things better for world citizens and themselves at the same time? What’s it going to be?

    Don’t forget even though Pakistan is not directly responsible for global warming, (it might only contribute one fifth of the world’s average carbon emissions according to RK Pachuri); it’s a front-line state when it comes to the impact of climate change. Drought and flood management are just two aspects, the problems are only growing…


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  148. China rescuers search sludge for mudslide survivors

    By Royston Chan and Aly Song

    ZHOUQU | Mon Aug 9, 2010 8:03am EDT

    ZHOUQU China (Reuters) – Wails of grief echoed through a northwest Chinese town half-smothered by a landslide two days ago, as relatives washed mud-caked bodies pulled from ruins and desperately hunted for survivors.

    The death toll from the disaster in Gansu province crept up to 137 in an official estimate released by state media later on Monday — a count likely to mount — making it the worst single such incident in a year of grim floods.

    Nearly 1,500 people have already died in landslides and flooding caused by months of torrential rains across the country, the ministry of Civil Affairs said.


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  149. 1,100 missing in China as Asian flood misery rises
    Monday, 09 Aug, 2010

    Rescuers lifted muddy bodies into trucks, and aid convoys choked the road into the remote Chinese town where hundreds died and more than 1,100 were missing on Monday from landslides caused by heavy rain that has flooded swaths of Asia and spread misery to millions.

    In Pakistan, the United Nations said the government’s estimate of 13.8 million people affected by the country’s worst-ever floods exceeded the combined total of three recent megadisasters, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

    Rescuers in mountainous Indian-controlled Kashmir raced to rescue dozens of stranded foreign trekkers and find 500 people still missing in flash floods that have killed 140.


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  150. Climate change ‘partly to blame’ for sweltering Moscow
    By Katia Moskvitch
    Science reporter, BBC News

    Global climate change is partly to blame for the abnormally hot and dry weather in Moscow, cloaked in a haze of smoke from wildfires, say researchers.

    The UK Met Office said there are likely to be more extreme high temperatures in the future.

    Experts from the environmental group WWF Russia have also linked climate change and hot weather to raging wildfires around the Russian capital.

    Meteorologists say severe conditions may linger for several more days.


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  151. The world’s first really green oil deal

    Ecuador’s £3.6bn scheme to save its rainforest from exploitation could point the way to sparing other threatened landscapes
    By Esmé McAvoy

    Sunday, August 8, 2010

    The world’s first genuinely green energy deal is about to be sealed. In a plan which could be a blueprint for saving large tracts of the planet from exploitation, a greater value is being put on a pristine wilderness than on the oil that lies beneath.

    While the world’s industrialised countries are building complex carbon markets to enable them to carry on polluting, Ecuador has come up with a much simpler idea for mitigating climate change: leave the oil underground. It is promising to lock up as much as a fifth of its oil reserves indefinitely, providing rich nations pay out at least half the market value of the oil – some $3.6bn – as compensation.

    The trail-blazing proposal was first floated in 2007, but it took a step towards reality last week when the UN Development Programme signed an agreement with the Ecuadorean government to be the independent administrator for the project’s trust fund. The accord makes Ecuador the only country in the world offering to leave lucrative oil reserves untapped in an attempt to slow climate change.


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  152. Moscow opens anti-smog centres as wildfires rage around capital

    MOSCOW—Moscow authorities say they have opened more than 120 anti-smog centres as wildfires around the capital suffocate residents and ground dozens of flights.

    Municipal official Vladimir Petrosyan said Sunday that exasperated Muscovites could “get their breath back” in 123 air-conditioned rooms that have opened to the public in government buildings and hospitals.

    Most apartments in Moscow lack air conditioning.

    Emergency officials said they registered 49 wildfires around Moscow on Sunday, including 14 peat bog fires.


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  153. Comment: Nature’s warning
    Dawn Editorial
    Friday, 13 Aug, 2010

    Despite the many people who remain sceptical about global warming and climate change, increasing evidence indicates that it is not business as usual for the world’s weather patterns. There has been in general a rise in extreme climatic events over the years.

    This year — and we are little more than halfway through it — has brought monsoons of such ferocity to the region that devastation on a scale that is difficult to fully comprehend has been wreaked across Pakistan. While millions of citizens continue to suffer in the immediate aftermath of the deluge, the country is now said to be facing another spell of torrential rains that will no doubt aggravate the situation. Russia, meanwhile, is experiencing the hottest heat-wave in nearly a century and a half. This has led to wildfires that have killed dozens and left thousands homeless. And in the remote Zhouqu county in China’s north-west, massive mudslides and landslides over the past few days have killed hundreds, caused the evacuation of tens of thousands, and have left behind a shattered infrastructure.


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  154. Deadly Mudslides Continue in China
    New mudslides in northwest China’s Gansu province have killed at least 20 people and left more than 10,000 others trapped.

    The mudslides occurred in the town of Longnan after a night of constant heavy rains.

    Landslides have killed more than 1,100 people in Gansu, many of them in the town of Zhouqu, which was devastated by a massive landslide Sunday. Thursday’s heavy rains caused new landslides that blocked the road into Zhouqu, hampering rescue and recovery efforts.


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  155. Heavy rain, mudslides bring more misery to China
    Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:04am EDT
    adds details)

    BEIJING, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Heavy rain across western China has caused more mudslides and flooding, killing at least 29 people and trapping more than 10,500 in the latest natural disasters to hit the country, state media said on Friday.

    In Longnan, in poor and remote Gansu province, 20 died and more than 10,000 were trapped following torrential rains and landslides, state television said. Another four died in Gansu’s Tianshui city and dozens are missing province-wide.


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  156. Unstable lake threatens mudslide-ravaged China town

    By Ben Blanchard and Royston Chan

    ZHOUQU | Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:56am EDT

    ZHOUQU China (Reuters) – Engineers battled on Tuesday to drain an unstable lake created by China’s deadliest landslide in decades, fearing it could burst and swamp devastated areas where people are still hunting for survivors.

    At least 702 people died in northwestern Gansu province when a torrent of mud and rocks engulfed swathes of the small town of Zhouqu at the weekend, and another 1,042 are missing, an emergency relief official, Tian Baozhong, told reporters there.


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  157. Russians dying from smog, heat faster than they can be buried
    Published On Mon Aug 09 2010

    Alexei Anishchuk Reuters News Agency

    MOSCOW—Muscovites are dying from extreme heat and smoke faster than their bodies can be stored, cremated or buried, and Russians are worried the death toll could be far higher than the official count.

    Morgues are overflowing and one crematorium in the Russian capital is working around the clock in three shifts, according to staff, even as the health ministry disputes a senior doctor’s statement that the monthly death toll doubled in July.

    In Mitino on Moscow’s northwest, the crematorium’s four furnaces are currently “processing” 49 bodies per day, with cremations every 20 minutes.


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  158. U.N. Chief Recommends Small Steps on Climate

    Published: August 9, 2010

    UNITED NATIONS — Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, said Monday that he doubted that member states would reach a new global climate change agreement in December at a conference in Mexico.

    Mr. Ban, who was the head cheerleader for reaching a deal during the 2009 conference in Copenhagen, suggested that a better approach might consist of small steps in separate fields that built toward wider consensus rather than aiming for one sweeping pact.

    “Climate change, I think, has been making progress, even though we have not reached such a point where we will have a globally agreed, comprehensive deal,” Mr. Ban said at a news conference.


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  159. In Crackdown on Energy Use, China to Shut 2,000 Factories
    Published: August 9, 2010

    HONG KONG — Earlier this summer, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China promised to use an “iron hand” to improve his country’s energy efficiency, and a growing number of businesses are now discovering that it feels like a fist.

    The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology quietly published a list late Sunday of 2,087 steel mills, cement works and other energy-intensive factories required to close by Sept. 30.

    Energy analysts described it as a significant step toward the country’s energy-efficiency goals, but not enough by itself to achieve them.


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  160. Beyond Fossil Fuels
    Portugal Gives Itself a Clean-Energy Makeover

    A wind farm at Barão de São João, south of Lisbon.
    Published: August 9, 2010

    LISBON — Five years ago, the leaders of this sun-scorched, wind-swept nation made a bet: To reduce Portugal’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, they embarked on an array of ambitious renewable energy projects — primarily harnessing the country’s wind and hydropower, but also its sunlight and ocean waves.


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  161. Business facing a wave of green taxes
    Thousands of British businesses will be liable for significant fines and charges under a new government “green tax” scheme.

    By James Kirkup, Harry Wallop and Louise Gray
    Published: 10:30PM BST 10 Aug 2010

    Companies that fail to register their energy use by next month will be hit with fines that could reach £45,000 under the little-known rules.

    Those that do participate in the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) initiative by declaring their energy use will face charges for every ton of greenhouse gas they produce.


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  162. Pakistan floods: Climate change experts say global warming could be the cause
    The world weather crisis that is causing floods in Pakistan, wildfires in Russia and landslides in China is evidence that global warming predictions are correct, according to climate change experts.

    By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
    Published: 9:00PM BST 10 Aug 2010

    Almost 14 million people have been affected by the torrential rains in Pakistan, making it a more serious humanitarian disaster than the South Asian tsunami and recent earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti combined.

    The disaster was driven by a ‘supercharged jet stream’ that has also caused floods in China and a prolonged heatwave in Russia.


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  163. Russian Fires Raise Fears of Radioactivity

    Published: August 10, 2010

    MOSCOW — As if things in Russia were not looking sufficiently apocalyptic already, with 100-degree temperatures and noxious fumes rolling in from burning peat bogs and forests, there is growing alarm here that fires in regions coated with fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 24 years ago could now be emitting plumes of radioactive smoke.


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  164. China’s deadly landslide ‘not an accident’
    The devastating mudslide in north-west China that has killed more than 1,000 people this week was not a ‘natural’ disaster but the forseeable consequence of China’s cavalier attitude to the local environment, experts have said.

    By Peter Foster in Beijing
    Published: 1:20PM BST 11 Aug 2010

    China’s government is under growing pressure over the disaster after it emerged that there had been repeated warnings of the dangers of landslides around Zhouqu following decades of mining, logging and damming rivers for hydroelectric power.

    While China’s premier Wen Jiabao posed for cameras near rescuers trying to find the more than 600 still missing, local media quoted a growing chorus of experts who warned that the landslide had been “an accident waiting to happen”.


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  165. Huge Ice Island Splits From Greenland
    Published: August 11, 2010

    STOCKHOLM (AP) — An island of ice more than four times the size of Manhattan is drifting across the Arctic Ocean after breaking off from a glacier in Greenland, potentially threatening shipping lanes and oil platforms.

    The iceberg is moving toward the Nares Strait, which separates the northwestern coast of Greenland and Ellesmere Island of Canada.


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  166. China mudslides were predicted 13 years ago

    Chinese scientists warned that deforestation in geologically sensitive areas could exacerbate China mudslides.
    By Peter Ford, Staff writer / August 12, 2010

    Monster monsoon rains may have loosened the mud and rock that buried and killed more than 1,000 people in the northwestern Chinese Province of Gansu over the weekend, but the mudslide in Zhouqu was more than a natural disaster.

    Official records show that government-run lumber companies cut 313,000 acres of forest from the slopes of Zhouqu county between 1952 and 1990, denuding the geologically vulnerable mountainsides and subjecting them to soil erosion.

    Thirteen years ago two Chinese scientists published a paper warning that following “the destruction of the eco-system” in the district, “a rainstorm will carry debris down the gully, destroying farmland, houses, roads, bridges, water facilities, and power systems and causing death and injury.”


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  167. Will the Wildfires Stoke Political Change in Russia?
    By Simon Shuster, Moscow, August 11, 2010

    Russians are known to be a long-suffering people, especially when it comes to putting up with leaders who are senile, negligent or much, much worse. But the government’s reaction to the ongoing heat wave may be hard to pass off with the usual shrug. Across much of central and western Russia, more than 500 wildfires continue to burn out of control. The capital is shrouded in a cloud of poisonous smoke, and the morgues are overflowing as the nationwide death rate jumps 50%. President Dmitri Medvedev, meanwhile, has spent much of this month talking about police reforms, and many local officials have simply gone on vacation. Now, as they return, the leaders of Russia — both big and small — are likely to have a political firestorm to deal with.


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  168. Heavy rain and mudslides bring more misery to China

    BEIJING | Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:03pm EDT

    BEIJING (Reuters) – Heavy rain across western China has caused more mudslides and flooding, killing at least 29 people and trapping more than 10,500 in the latest natural disasters to hit the country, state media said on Friday.


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  169. INTERVIEW-New systems needed to measure extreme weather -WMO
    13 Aug 2010 10:56:24 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    * Floods, heatwaves, drought expected to be more frequent

    * Need to quantify risks for public, builders, insurance

    By Stephanie Nebehay

    GENEVA, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Asia’s heavy monsoons, a record heatwave in Russia and severe droughts in Africa show the need for new yardsticks to rate extreme weather to guide everybody from road builders to insurance companies, a U.N. expert said on Friday.

    Scales exist to measure the power of hurricanes or air quality, but there are none to quantify risks from heatwaves, floods and droughts which are likely to become more extreme and frequent because of global warming.

    A series of disasters, including floods in Pakistan and mudslides in China, have followed droughts in Australia and a record number of high-temperature days in the eastern United States, said Ghassem Asrar of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).


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  170. Climate scientists forecast more heat, fires and floods
    Current extreme-weather events across globe fit predicted pattern

    Charles J. Hanley

    New York — The Associated Press Published on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010 7:45PM EDT Last updated on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010 7:49PM EDT

    Floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat: From smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Pakistan and the High Arctic, the planet seems to be having a midsummer breakdown. It’s not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under way.

    The weather-related cataclysms of July and August fit patterns predicted by climate scientists, the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization says – although those scientists always shy from tying individual disasters directly to global warming.


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  171. Solar plan in China’s Inner Mongolia highlights pitfalls for U.S. firms
    By Keith B. Richburg
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, August 13, 2010

    With great fanfare, an Arizona-based energy company signed a preliminary agreement with China last fall to build the world’s largest solar-power plant in the Mongolian desert.

    The deal was hailed as the first major example of the United States and China cooperating on a big-ticket energy project, and the largest foray by a U.S. company into Asia’s fast-growing alternative- energy market. The agreement became a centerpiece achievement of President Obama’s visit to China last November.


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  172. Smoke smell returns to Moscow after respite
    A smell of smoke from peat bog fires raging outside Moscow returned to the Russian capital on Sunday after a brief respite.

    The smoke has shrouded Moscow’s southeast, with the visibility dropping to several hundred meters. In south Moscow, the smell of the smoke was stronger on Sunday morning than on Saturday.

    The smoke is also present in the center of the Russian capital while air remains relatively clean in western Moscow.

    Since mid-June, the Moscow Region has been in the grips of an abnormal heat wave sparking peat bog and forest fires. During two weeks the capital was blanketed in acrid dense smog.


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  173. Chinese president pays silent tribute to mudslide victims
    BEIJING, Aug.15 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Hu Jintao Sunday paid a silent tribute to victims of a massive mudslide in Zhouqu County in northwest China’s Gansu Province, as thousands of soldiers continued rescue and relief efforts in the county.

    Former President Jiang Zemin and other Chinese leaders, including Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang, Sunday also lamented the death of the mudslide victims.


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  174. Drought in Bangladesh…

    Bangladesh farmers use ‘frog weddings’ to combat drought
    Wednesday, 11 Aug, 2010
    DHAKA: Farmers in a parched district of northern Bangladesh are marrying off frogs in a desperate bid to bring on monsoon rains and protect their crops, local officials said Wednesday.
    Bangladesh suffered its driest July in decades, prompting farmers to turn to the centuries-old rain-making ritual of celebrating frog marriages, officials say.

    “There have been lot of frog marriages as there has been hardly any rainfall here even though it’s monsoon season,” Sadullahpur district government administrator Ariful Haq said.

    At a frog wedding in Ramchandrapur village, 300 villagers dressed in their best clothes attended the festivities, said Tajul Islam, who was at the wedding.


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  175. In Weather Chaos, a Case for Global Warming
    Published: August 14, 2010

    The floods battered New England, then Nashville, then Arkansas, then Oklahoma — and were followed by a deluge in Pakistan that has upended the lives of 20 million people.

    The summer’s heat waves baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa and eastern Asia, and above all Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record.

    Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes.


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  176. comment: A warming planet
    Published: August 18, 2010

    In a press statement, the Union of Concerned Scientists called the world’s attention to a number of extreme weather events that have been happening around the world this summer, including record flooding in Pakistan that has killed more than 1,600 people and displaced millions of others; the worst drought in Russia in decades, which has triggered wildfires and doubled the daily death rate in Moscow to about 700; and torrential rains in China, which have caused massive flooding and triggered landslides that have killed more than 3,000 people.


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  177. Damaged ecosystems magnify Asia’s killer floods
    Thursday, 19 Aug, 2010

    MANILA: Climate change may be playing a part in record rains ravaging Asia but environment experts say the destruction of ecosystems is more directly to blame for the severity of killer floods.

    Widespread deforestation, the conversion of wetlands to farms or urban sprawl and the clogging up of natural drainage systems with garbage are just some of the factors exacerbating the impacts of the floods, they say.


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  178. Scientists Map Massive North Atlantic Garbage Patch
    By Jess McNally at Wired.com
    Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:15pm EDT
    Average plastic concentration and range of the North Atlantic garbage patch.

    Millions of pieces of plastic — most smaller than half an inch — float throughout the oceans. They are invisible to satellites, and except on very calm days you won’t even see them from the deck of a sailboat. The only way to know how much junk is out there is to tow a fine net through the water.

    Scientists have gathered data from 22 years of surface net tows to map the North Atlantic garbage patch and its change over time, creating the most accurate picture yet of any pelagic plastic patch on earth.

    The data were gathered by thousands of undergraduates aboard the Sea Education Association (SEA) sailing semester, who hand-picked, counted and measured more than 64,000 pieces of plastic from 6,000 net tows between 1986 to 2008.


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  179. Pakistanis should live away from flood areas: UN
    Friday, 20 Aug, 2010

    GENEVA: The UN disaster prevention agency said Friday that communities should have been kept away from flood-exposed river banks in Pakistan, as it underlined the human hand in a string of catastrophes.

    “If people had not settled on the river banks, definitely the disaster would have been less, because that is the main cause of the disaster,” said Salvano Briceno, director of the UN’s International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

    The ISDR also pointed to landslides in China, wildfires in Russia and drought in Niger as examples of how communities and towns were increasingly placed or left in harm’s way.

    “The vulnerability of human settlements is on the rise and is not yet being addressed by governments or communities,” added Briceno.


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  180. Afghanistan, sub-Saharan Africa top food security risks
    Thursday, 19 Aug, 2010

    OSLO: Afghanistan and nations in sub-Saharan Africa are most at risk from shocks to food supplies such as droughts or floods while Nordic countries are least vulnerable, according to an index released on Thursday.

    “Of 50 nations most at risk, 36 are located in Africa,” said Fiona Place, an environmental analyst at British-based consultancy Maplecroft, which compiled the 163-nation food security risk index.


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  181. Clinton Links Pakistan Floods to Climate Change
    Published August 21, 2010
    | FoxNews.com

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials are pointing to the devastating floods in Pakistan and other extreme weather events as signs that climate change is getting worse.

    Clinton, in an interview with Pakistan’s Dawn TV, said “there is a linkage” between the recent spate of deadly natural disasters and climate change.


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  182. Extreme Weather Events Signal Global Warming to World’s Meteorologists

    GENEVA, Switzerland, August 17, 2010 (ENS) – Fires across Russia, record floods in Pakistan, a huge Greenland iceberg – this current unprecedented sequence of extreme weather events “matches” scientific projections of more frequent and intense extreme weather events due to global warming, says an organization of meteorologists from 189 countries.

    “Several diverse extreme weather events are occurring concurrently around the world, giving rise to an unprecedented loss of human life and property. They include the record heatwave and wildfires in the Russian Federation, monsoonal flooding in Pakistan, rain-induced landslides in China, and calving of a large iceberg from the Greenland ice sheet,” said the World Meteorological Organization in a statement August 11.


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  183. EPA Takes Aim at Toxics in Dyes, Flame Retardants, Detergents
    WASHINGTON, DC, August 18, 2010 (ENS) – The potential human health risks of chemicals widely used in dyes, flame retardants, and industrial laundry detergents have prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study and potentially ban their manufacture and use.

    The EPA today released “action plans” that address benzidine dyes, hexabromocyclododecane, HBCD, and nonylphenol, NP/nonylphenol ethoxylates, NPEs used in both consumer and industrial applications.

    “These chemicals have been detected in people,” the EPA declared.

    “The action plans announced today are examples of EPA’s renewed dedication to improve chemical safety to protect the health of the American people and the environment.” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

    “These action plans lay out concrete steps EPA intends to take to address the risks associated with chemicals commonly used in this country,” Owens said.

    Benzidine dyes are used in the production of consumer textiles, paints, printing inks, paper, and pharmaceuticals and may pose health problems, including cancer.

    NP/NPEs are used in many industrial applications and consumer products such as detergents, cleaners, agricultural and indoor pesticides, as well as food packaging.


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  184. Future Unclear for FutureGen 2.0 Carbon Capture and Storage Network
    WASHINGTON, DC, August 17, 2010 (ENS) – The Obama administration has decided to spend $1 billion in Recovery Act funds to build FutureGen 2.0, a clean coal repowering program and carbon dioxide storage network, in Illinois.

    The new plan is a radical change from the original FutureGen project. Announced by the Bush administration in 2003, it was to have been the world’s first near zero emissions, coal burning power plant. But in 2008, the Bush administration called a halt, saying the project would be too costly.

    U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin announced the billion dollar award to the FutureGen Alliance, Ameren Energy Resources, Babcock & Wilcox, and Air Liquide Process & Costruction, Inc. on August 5.

    Secretary Chu said, “This investment in the world’s first, commercial-scale, oxy-combustion power plant will help to open up the over $300 billion market for coal unit repowering and position the country as a leader in an important part of the global clean energy economy.”

    Chu said the project will help ensure “the U.S. remains competitive in a carbon constrained economy, creating jobs while reducing greenhouse gas pollution.”


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  185. Experts urge faster, more relevant UN climate reports
    23 Aug 2010 16:32:00 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    * Experts call for leaner, more frequent publications
    * U.N. could examine extreme weather, such as in Pakistan
    * Errors like Himalayan melt should be fixed more quickly

    By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

    OSLO, Aug 23 (Reuters) – The U.N. panel of climate scientists should be more nimble at highlighting global warming trends and at fixing mistakes, experts said ahead of the planned Aug. 30 release of a review of the group’s work.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked for an independent review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after the group came under fire for errors such as wrongly saying Himalayan glaciers could all melt by 2035 and overstating the amount of the Netherlands below sea level.


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  186. Putin ponders climate change in Arctic
    ‘Which islands should we be fleeing to?’

    Darya Korsunskaya

    Reuters Published on Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 12:20PM EDT Last updated on Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 12:27PM EDT

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin travelled beyond the Arctic Circle on Monday to look into evidence for climate change after a record heatwave ravaged central Russia this summer.

    Putin, who has in the past displayed a light-hearted approach to global warming by joking Russians would have to buy fewer fur coats, flew to a scientific research station in the Samoilovsky island at the delta of Siberia’s Lena River.


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  187. Pakistan’s Climate Change Floods, Seen From Above
    By Brandon Keim at Wired.com
    Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:00am EDT
    A series of satellite photographs conveys the epic scale of the floods sweeping through Pakistan, leaving millions homeless and the world aghast at an extreme weather disaster that experts consider the new normal.

    Above at left is the central Pakistan city of Hyderabad on July 31. At right is the city on August 19, as floodwater swelled the Indus River. In coming days the water will reach the coast, joining tidal waters and inundating the floodplain. An estimated four million people are already homeless, and millions more at risk of disease. Agriculture is disrupted and a society thrown into disarray.


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  188. comment: This time water, next time…
    By Ardeshir Cowasjee
    Sunday, 22 Aug, 2010

    According to certain estimates made by international environmental experts the rich countries of the world must share at least two-thirds of the blame for the floods in our country. It is generally projected that global warming is promoting excessive rains and, consequently, cataclysmic floods.

    The largest part of historic moral responsibility for anthropogenic climate change can be approximately assigned as follows: US 25.6 per cent, EU 15.9 per cent, OPEC 7.4 per cent, Russia 7.3 per cent, China 6.4 per cent, and Japan 2.8 per cent.

    The Economist of Aug 12 in an article on ‘How the heatwave in Russia is connected to floods in Pakistan’, explained that air movements (Rossby waves) in the upper atmosphere which generally move east or west but sometimes stand still, lock the weather below them. Low pressures over central and eastern Europe and Pakistan are now producing excessive rains and floods, catastrophic over the latter region. High pressures over Russia are generating droughts and record temperatures.


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  189. Hurricane Earl barrels toward eastern Caribbean

    (AP) – 15 minutes ago

    MIAMI — Forecasters say Earl has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane as it barrels toward several islands in the eastern Caribbean.

    Meanwhile, the Category 1 Hurricane Danielle was bringing dangerous rip currents to the U.S. East Coast.


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  190. Earl becomes a major hurricane
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    August 30, 2010 — Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)

    Miami, Florida (CNN) — Hurricane Earl strengthened into a major hurricane on Monday, forecasters said.

    It passed over the northern Leeward Islands on its way to the Virgin Islands, forecasters said.

    Earl grew into a Category 3 hurricane Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said. As of 11 a.m. ET, Earl’s maximum sustained winds were at 120 mph (193 kph).


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  191. Rajendra Pachauri: profile of IPCC chairman
    Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is under the spotlight again following the latest criticism of his organisation.
    Published: 5:17PM BST 30 Aug 2010

    The Indian has been chairman since 2002, renewing his initial six year term in 2008.

    The unpaid, part time job makes him one of the most powerful men in the world as the IPCC advises the United Nations on the threat of global warming.


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  192. Another evacuation ordered as Hurricane Earl approaches U.S.
    By the CNN Wire Staff
    September 1, 2010 — Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)

    (CNN) — As Hurricane Earl continues to spin toward the East Coast, authorities in North Carolina are ordering more people to get out of the way.
    But at least one bartender there insists on weathering out the storm on a sliver of land reachable only by ferry.
    “A lot of times when [residents] evacuate, it’s hard to get back on the island,” said Brandon Benecki, who tends bar at Howard’s Pub in Ocracoke Island. “It’s simpler to just stay here and kind of ride it out.”


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  193. Guatemala Mudslides Kill At Least 38; 2 Buses Hit
    by The Associated Press

    Torrential rains from a tropical depression caused mudslides that have killed at least 38 people in Guatemala — most of them in separate disasters along the same highway.

    In the village of Nahuala, rescue crews on Sunday searched through mud and rocks for bodies after two landslides in the same spot killed at least 20 people along a highway leading northwest of the capital toward Mexico.


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  194. Rain eases but flood threat remains
    September 6, 2010 – 2:34AM

    Dozens of communities across Victoria remain under threat from floodwaters as weary State Emergency Service crews battle to get on top of hundreds of calls to repair storm-damaged houses after a wild weekend of weather.

    The worst effects of the heaviest floods in Victoria in more than 15 years are yet to be felt, with hundreds more homes expected to be inundated.


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  195. Floods worst in decade, and still to peak
    Bridie Smith
    September 6, 2010

    FLOOD levels are yet to peak in parts of Victoria, with the army due to arrive in the state’s north-east today as the worst flood in more than a decade takes its toll.

    Thousands of Victorians were affected and a damage bill in excess of $10 million looms for insurers after storms and soaking rain lashed the state over the weekend.


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  196. Hermine strengthens off Mexico, oil unaffected

    By Cyntia Barrera

    MEXICO CITY | Mon Sep 6, 2010 11:53am EDT

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Hermine strengthened in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, threatening to reach hurricane strength, but no damage was reported to U.S. or Mexican oil facilities.

    A hurricane watch was issued from Rio San Fernando in Mexico to Baffin Bay, Texas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on its website.


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  197. Guatemala resumes rescue work after landslide
    (Reuters) – Emergency services in Guatemala on Monday resumed their search for victims of landslides that killed and buried dozens of people, as further rain was predicted for the Central American country.


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  198. Diverse water sources key to food security: report

    LONDON | Sun Sep 5, 2010 9:42pm EDT

    LONDON (Reuters) – Increasingly erratic rainfall patterns related to climate change pose a major threat to food security and economic growth, water experts said on Monday, arguing for greater investment in water storage.


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  199. Scientists find evidence discrediting theory Amazon was virtually unlivable

    By Juan Forero
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, September 5, 2010; 7:57 PM

    SAN MARTIN DE SAMIRIA, PERU – To the untrained eye, all evidence here in the heart of the Amazon signals virgin forest, untouched by man for time immemorial – from the ubiquitous fruit palms to the cry of howler monkeys, from the air thick with mosquitoes to the unruly tangle of jungle vines.

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  200. Thousands evacuated as Colorado wildfire grows
    By Ed Payne, CNN
    September 8, 2010 — Updated 0833 GMT (1633 HKT)

    (CNN) — A 7,100-acre wildfire burned out of control west of Boulder, Colorado, on Wednesday, threatening hundreds of homes, forcing the evacuation of thousands and pressing additional fire crews into action, authorities said.
    “We do have 92 structures that have been destroyed and eight that have been damaged,” said Rick Brough, a commander with the Boulder County sheriff’s office, who added that flames have spread throughout the Fourmile Canyon area west of Boulder.


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  201. U.N. takes stock of its diminished influence
    Posted By Colum Lynch Monday, September 13, 2010 – 7:00 PM

    The United States and other industrial powers have excluded the United Nations from the most critical international discussions on the response to the global financial crisis, hindering the U.N.’s ability to promote the cause of smaller countries and the poor, according to a confidential set of U.N. briefing papers presented to a U.N. retreat at Alpbach, Austria earlier this month.


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  202. UN humanitarian chief calls for new ideas on mega-crises

    (AFP) – 18 hours ago

    UNITED NATIONS — The new UN humanitarian chief has warned that after the Asian tsunami, the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods, the world must brace for a growing number of disasters that will need a new battle campaign.

    Valerie Amos, the new under secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, called for new thinking on combating mass catastrophes as she prepared to make a major appeal for funds for Pakistan on Friday.


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  203. Ozone recovering but will take longer over poles-UN
    16 Sep 2010 11:00:11 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    * Ozone to recover by mid-century but take longer over poles

    * Joint report issued every four years by U.N. agencies

    GENEVA, Sept 16 (Reuters) – The ozone layer that shields life from the sun’s harmful rays is projected to largely recover from harmful chemicals by mid-century, but it will take longer over the polar regions, a United Nations study said on Thursday.


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  204. 22 September 2010 Last updated at 08:27 GMT Share this pageFacebookTwitterShareEmailPrint
    Pressed plant collections ‘hold climate clues’
    By Mark Kinver
    Science and environment reporter, BBC News

    Plant cuttings in herbariums around the world could hold vital clues to how the natural world will respond to future climate shifts, say researchers.

    Until now, reliable long-term data on plants’ natural cycles, such as when they come into flower, had been scarce.

    A UK team found that plants pressed 150 years ago offered “virtually identical” data to more recent observations.


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  205. 7,000 acres deforested annually during previous govt, Senate told

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: Environment Minister Hameedullah Jan Afridi on Tuesday apprised the Senate that around 7,000 acres per year had been deforested during the previous regime while the government was striving to enhance the country’s forest cover.

    Replying to a question in the Upper House, the environment minister said the federal government was providing Rs 13 billion annually to the provincial governments for tree plantation and other activities aimed at environmental protection.


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  206. China leading the world in clean energy investment
    By Juliet Eilperin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, September 30, 2010
    SHANGHAI — As weary visitors wait to enter the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion at Expo 2010, a sprinkler system using recycled rainwater and powered through a solar thermal system cools them off with periodic misting. Once they enter the exhibit at the world’s largest fair, tourists learn about high-speed trains and other energy-efficient inventions that have begun to proliferate in China.


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  207. The ‘anomalies’ of Dr Rajendra Pachauri’s charity accounts
    Why did the Charities Commission let the European wing of Rajendra Pachauri’s empire get away with such poor accounting, asks Christopher Booker.

    By Christopher Booker
    Published: 7:00PM BST 02 Oct 2010

    Next weekend, as delegates from 194 countries gather in South Korea for a crucial meeting of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, their big talking point will be whether the IPCC’s chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri should resign – as a recent report from the world’s leading scientific academies seemed strongly to hint he should. The delegates face a dilemma. If they sack him, it would be a serious blow to the reputation of the panel, which has been central to the global warming scare since its founding in 1988. If he stays, it could severely damage the authority of its next major report, due in four years’ time.


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  208. Climate change talks open in China

    UN climate chief urges countries to ‘search for common ground’ on global warming ahead of a year-end meeting in Mexico

    • Cancún failure would make climate talks ‘irrelevant’, EU negotiator warns
    • Bryony Worthington: How business is changing the climate landscape

    Associated Press
    # guardian.co.uk, Monday 4 October 2010 12.07 BST

    The UN’s climate chief today urged countries to identify achievable goals for fighting climate change ahead of a year-end meeting in Mexico, after last year’s Copenhagen summit failed to produce binding limits on greenhouse gas.

    Christiana Figueres told 3,000 delegates at the opening of a six-day conference in China – the world’s biggest carbon emitter – that they must “accelerate the search for common ground” ahead of November-December talks in Cancún to make progress toward securing a global climate change treaty.


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  209. Temperature goals heat China climate talks

    The government must use the UN climate change talks in China this week to set a realistic limit on global temperature rise

    Nicola Ranger and Alex Bowen
    # guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 5 October 2010 07.00 BST

    The Conservative party conference in Birmingham may be the focus of UK politics this week, but government representatives will be taking part in crucial discussions in China that could have profound implications for every country.

    Like other negotiating teams at the United Nations climate change talks in Tianjin, they will be trying to answer a fundamental question during their last scheduled gathering before a crucial summit in Cancún, Mexico, at the end of the year.


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  210. China calls on rich nations to improve emission targets

    Hosts of latest round of UN climate talks say emission reduction goals of developed countries must be focus of negotiations

    Jonathan Watts in Tianjin
    # guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 5 October 2010 11.20 BST

    China today called on wealthy nations to dramatically increase the rate at which they plan to cut their carbon emissions at international climate negotiations in Tianjin.

    The more forthright rhetoric from the hosts broaches a crucial topic that has been notable mainly by its absence at the talks, which began yesterday.


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  211. UN: global warming treaty is crucial


    Tuesday, 5 October 2010

    The United Nations climate change chief, Christiana Figueres, urged governments to make real steps towards a new treaty to fight global warming or risk throwing talks into doubt.


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  212. INTERVIEW-Japan aims to pass climate bill,lead on biodiversity
    05 Oct 2010 10:34:35 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    TOKYO, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Japan said on Tuesday it aimed to pass a climate bill soon and forge ahead with plans to launch an emissions trading scheme but gave few clues on how it could win help from opposition parties in a divided parliament.


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  213. Man-made environmental damage cost £4 trillion in 2008, says UN
    Man-made environmental damage in 2008 cost the planet an equivalent of $6.6 trillion (£4 trillion), according to an analysis by the United Nations.

    By Philip Aldrick
    Published: 6:00AM BST 06 Oct 2010

    The study is an “effort to quantify in monetary terms the environmental harm caused by businesses and the possible future consequences for investor portfolios and company earnings.

    The world’s 3,000 largest public companies alone are responsible for “a third of all global environmental damage”, the report claimed.


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  214. Climate talks struggle as China, U.S. face off

    By Chris Buckley

    TIANJIN, China | Wed Oct 6, 2010 12:38pm EDT

    TIANJIN, China (Reuters) – The United States and EU said on Wednesday that U.N. climate talks were making less progress than hoped due to rifts over rising economies’ emission goals, while China pushed back and put the onus on rich nations.

    Negotiators from 177 governments are meeting this week in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, trying to agree on the shape of the successor to the current phase of the Kyoto Protocol, the key U.N. treaty on fighting global warming, which expires in 2012.


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  215. As world warms, U.N. lowers emissions cut goal

    By David Fogarty, Climate Change Correspondent, Asia

    SINGAPORE | Mon Oct 4, 2010 9:14am EDT

    SINGAPORE (Reuters) – In a strategic shift, the United Nations has stopped urging nations to commit to tougher pledges to curb carbon emissions, fearing further debate could derail already fraught talks on a more ambitious climate pact.


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  216. China and US blamed as climate talks stall

    Progress on a climate deal is held back by tough stances of the world’s two biggest carbon polluters

    Jonathan Watts in Tianjin

    # guardian.co.uk, Friday 8 October 2010 12.16 BST

    China and the US were today accused of holding back progress on a climate deal as talks in Tianjin crashed into a series of procedural roadblocks.

    On the penultimate day, negotiators said they have moved forward on technical issues, including a finance package and the subject of technology transfer, but the goal of a deal to replace or extend the Kyoto protocol remained a distant prospect.


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  217. Climate deal is closer, says UN envoy, despite China and US locking horns

    Tianjin talks said to be more constructive than Copenhagen but world’s two biggest emitters bickering over their records so far

    Jonathan Watts in Tianjin
    # guardian.co.uk, Saturday 9 October 2010 16.17 BST

    The international community has edged closer to a climate deal after this week’s talks in Tianjin, a top United Nations diplomat has insisted, despite a public rift between the two top carbon emitters, China and the United States.

    UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said the latest round of discussions had paved the way for an agreement in Cancun in December.


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  218. FEATURE-Brazil eyes microchips in trees for forest management
    11 Oct 2010 12:00:24 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    * Pilot project puts microchips in trees to track lumber

    * Meant to boost Brazil’s sustainable forestry business

    * Most Brazilian emissions come from Amazon deforestation

    By Brian Ellsworth

    NOVA MUTUM, Brazil, Oct 11 (Reuters) – A chainsaw buzzes, branches snap, and an Amazon tree crashes to the ground.

    It could be just another of the thousands of trees felled each year in Brazil’s portion of the world’s largest forest except for one detail: a microchip attached to its base holding data about its location, size and who cut it down.


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  219. Green investors not waiting on U.N. climate talks

    By Nina Chestney

    LONDON | Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:18am EDT

    LONDON (Reuters) – Clean energy funds are not basing investment decisions on United Nations talks for a new global climate pact because the discussions are too drawn out and uncertain, renewable energy investment fund Novusmodus said.


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  220. Time short for climate deal: ex-U.N. envoy

    By Ju-min Park

    SEOUL | Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:55am EDT

    SEOUL (Reuters) – A former U.N. special envoy on climate change said he doesn’t expect any major progress by key nations to draw up a new climate pact at a meeting next month in Mexico because opinions are still too divided.


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