Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Greenhouse gas. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Greenhouse gas. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Παρασκευή, 6 Φεβρουαρίου 2015

Russian expert says no global warming over past fourteen years

There is been no global warming over the past fourteen years but scientists are divided in their assessments of the impact of human activity on the condition of climate, Dr. Robert Nigmatulin, the director of the Institute of Oceanic Studies reporting to the Russian Academy of Sciences said on Thursday...

"Manmade concentration of carbon dioxide is really growing," he said adding that this gas did contribute to the greenhouse effect, although it was increasing the atmospheric temperatures but insignificantly.

However, these slightly heightened concentrations intensified evaporation of water from the surface of the world ocean and the increase of concentration of aqueous vapor, which was producing a strong greenhouse effect.

"In the meantime, there has been no greenhouse effect over the past fourteen years," Dr. Nigmatulin said. "One of the explanations is the rising concentrations of aqueous vapor naturally bring about a thickening of the cloud cover, which in its turn increases reflection of solar light by the atmosphere."

"Quite possibly, a mechanism of this kind is in action now," he said. "I’m scrutinizing it now but I can’t give you more precise information yet."

"On the whole, the research community is split into two camps now, one saying that man is to blame for the global warming and the other insisting that, no, the anthropogenic factor does not play a decisive role in climate warming," Dr. Nigmatulin said.

 http://itar-tass.com/en/non-political/775806
6/2/15
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Σάββατο, 22 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Americans urged to stop wasting food. (60% of food waste originates from businesses and institutions)

WASHINGTON: In the run-up to Thanksgiving, a holiday to celebrate bountiful harvests, Americans are being urged to stop wasting food so much.
Some 15.4 million kilograms of food is thrown away in the United States every year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday (Nov 21).
That represents 21 per cent of all food produced, harvested and purchased - food that is worth an estimated US$1.3 billion, at a time when one in six Americans face hunger.
The EPA launched a social media campaign this week to draw attention to the link between food waste and greenhouse gases produced when unwanted food ends up in landfills. Such waste is a significant source of methane, which the EPA on its website said has "21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide."
"There are actions that individuals and businesses can take to protect the environment," EPA assistant administrator Mathy Stanislaus told reporters. The typical American family of four, he said, could save US$1,600 a year by reducing their food waste.
On Friday, the federal government agency teamed up with prominent Washington area chef and restauranteur Cathal Armstrong, who demonstrated how ingredients that a homemaker might throw away can be put to good use.

TRASH CAN IS LAST RESORT
"The trash can is the last, last, last resort," said the Irish-born chef as he whipped up a lobster bisque in a kitchen adjoining an ongoing exhibition about food around the world at the National Geographic museum.
  • While 40 perc ent of food waste comes from households, 60 per cent originates from businesses and institutions, such as restaurants, food retailers and hospitals.
Armstrong, who oversees four successful restaurants and published a cook book earlier this year on Irish food, said an eatery that wastes food is almost sure to go under. He lamented the failure of culinary schools to teach aspiring chefs the economics of using every ingredient to the maximum extent possible.
"For the most part, chefs have to learn (how not to waste food) themselves," he said, as he stripped a lobster and put the typically undesired bits into a simmering pot. "It's shocking how many people come to me knowing how to make stock, but they don't know why we make stock," he said, adding by way of advice: "Never be without stock."
The National Geographic Society is currently looking at food from all fronts, from its "Food: Our Global Kitchen" exhibition and "Eat: The Story of Food" TV series to the December issue of its iconic yellow-bordered magazine. 

Τρίτη, 28 Οκτωβρίου 2014

EU gears up for 2030 with more emissions reductions

European Commission , Press release, Brussels, 28 October 2014:

The Commission, assisted by the European Environment Agency, today releases its annual Progress Report assessing the headway on climate action. According to latest estimates, EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 fell by 1.8% compared to 2012 and reached the lowest levels since 1990. So not only is the EU well on track to reach the 2020 target, it is also well on track to overachieve it.

The Progress Report also for the first time provides data on the use of fiscal revenues from auctioning allowances in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS). This new source of revenues for Member States amounted to € 3.6 billion in 2013. From this, around € 3 billion will be used for climate and energy related purposes - significantly more than the 50% level recommended in the EU ETS Directive.
EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: "Delivering on 2020 climate goals shows that Europe is ready to step up its act. And better, still: it shows that the EU is delivering substantial cuts. The policies work. Therefore, the EU leaders last week decided to continue the ambition and reach at least 40% by 2030. This will require significant investments. That's why it is encouraging that Member States have decided to use most of their current ETS revenues to invest in climate and energy and continue the transformation to a low-carbon economy."
These revenues complement the funds from the EU's NER 300 programme which is devoting €2.1 billion to support 39 large-scale demonstration projects for low carbon technologies around Europe.

Background
The Kyoto and EU 2020 Progress Report is an annual report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. It is based on the data reported by Member States under the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation. The Report provides information about the progress made by the European Union and its Member States towards their greenhouse gas emissions targets. The decrease in emissions of 1.8% in 2013 compared to 2012 implies that total EU emissions are around 19% below 1990.
Since 2013 auctioning is the default method of allocating allowances within the EU ETS. Auction revenues accrue to Member States. The EU ETS Directive stipulates that at least half of the revenues from the auctioning of allowances should be used to combat climate change in the EU or other countries. 

Most countries have used these investments in fields like energy efficiency, renewables or sustainable transport. For instance, France, the Czech Republic and Lithuania use all their auctioning revenues in projects to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. Bulgaria, Portugal and Spain use most of their revenues to develop renewable energy. Poland uses most of its revenues that are dedicated to climate change in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy. In Germany, most of the revenues are directed to a specific climate and energy fund, which supports a wide range of projects including research and sustainable transport. The UK focusses in particular on energy efficiency, renewables, research and financial assistance to low income households in relation to energy expenses. The reported amounts represent only a proportion of total climate and energy related spending in Member States' budgets. 
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1202_en.htm?locale=en
28/10/14
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Σάββατο, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2014

French parliament votes to cut nuclear energy reliance

Lawmakers in France, the world's most nuclear-dependent country, on Oct. 10 voted to cut reliance on the energy source from more than 75 percent to 50 percent within a decade.
     
The vote comes as part of an ambitious makeover of France's energy use promised by President Francois Hollande during his 2012 election campaign.
     
The measure calls for renewables to increase in the energy mix for electricity production, rising from 23 percent in 2020 to 32 percent in 2030.
     
Use of fossil fuels should drop to around 30 percent.

     
The measure also sets a goal for a reduction of 40 percent in greenhouse gas emissions from the 1990 levels by 2030 and a 75 percent reduction in 2050.
     
It also targets a 20-percent reduction in energy consumation by 2030, in line with a draft project EU leaders are set to consider at an October 23-24 summit in Brussels.
     
France's conservative opposition sharply criticised Hollande's anti-nuclear stance as "ideological" and driven by a need to satisfy green parties which helped get him elected.

 AFP - hurriyetdailynews.com
10/10/14
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Τετάρτη, 8 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Toxic exports allowed: EU drops labeling of Canadian tar sands as highly polluting

The European Commission has proposed a directive that abandons obligatory labeling of tar sands oil as highly polluting, opening way for Canada's sands crude imports and drawing criticism for putting oil producers' interests above the environment.
In light of recent economic tensions with Russia and the EU's energy dependence on its eastern neighbor, the European Commission has published a proposal, the text of which removes one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Alberta exporting its oil sands crude to Europe. The revised draft still has to be approved by EU member-states before being passed on to the European Parliament.

“The commission is today (Tuesday) giving this another push, to try and ensure that in the future, there will be a methodology and thus an incentive to choose less polluting fuels over more polluting ones like, for example, oil sands,” EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement.
“It is no secret that our initial proposal could not go through due to resistance faced in some member states,” Hedegaard added. “I strongly recommend Member States to adopt this proposal and keep the safeguards that will allow cleaner fuels to be used in transport across Europe.”
The desire for a trade deal with Canada had been a factor in revising the draft said EU sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters.
Oil sands crude is more damaging to the environment as it emits more carbon over its life-cycle, but under the new draft that was EU will be counting it in the same category as conventional oil, opening way for larger imports from Canada.
The debate about labeling tar sands crude, in the EU started in 2009 when the block approved legislation aimed at cutting greenhouse gases from fuel by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it. The law is part of the EUs broader strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels........................http://rt.com/news/194048-eu-sand-oil-imports/
8/10/14
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Τρίτη, 7 Οκτωβρίου 2014

EU Proposes to Stop Labeling Tar Sands Oil as Highly Polluting (Reports)

MOSCOW, October 7 – The European Commission has proposed eliminating a mandatory requirement to label tar sands oil as highly polluting, Reuters reported Tuesday.

"The commission is today giving this another push, to try and ensure that in the future, there will be a methodology and thus an incentive to choose less polluting fuels over more polluting ones like, for example, oil sands," EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement as quoted by Reuters.


"It is no secret that our initial proposal could not go through due to resistance faced in some member states," Hedegaard added.

The revised proposal still has to be debated by EU member-states and also needs a sign off from the European Parliament.

The debate about labeling tar sands, also known as oil sands, dates back to 2009 when the European Union approved legislation aiming to cut greenhouse gases from transport fuel sold in Europe by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it.

In 2011, the European Commission agreed tar sands should be given a carbon value a fifth higher than for conventional oil, but EU member-states could not agree and the Commission has been reconsidering the proposal ever since.

Oil sands crude, found in clay-like sands, is used by major oil companies, such as BP Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil. It costs more to produce than conventional crude, uses more energy and water and emits more carbon over its life-cycle.

(RIA Novosti)
7/10/14
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Παρασκευή, 11 Ιουλίου 2014

Russia calls for draft of new international climate agreement

Russia complies with all of its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol but calls for prompt steps to draft a new international climate agreement, presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said at the Eco Forum Global Annual Conference 2014 in Guiyang, the capital city of Southwestern China's Guizhou Province, on Friday, July 11, reports ITAR-TASS.

"Russia is one of the leaders in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and is calling for quick steps to draft a new climate agreement that would be universal in scope and comprehensive in nature," he said.

Ivanov believes that a new agreement may contain different climate obligations for industrialised and developing nations.

[voiceofrussia.com]
11/7/14
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Τρίτη, 15 Απριλίου 2014

New EU rules for safer and greener lorries: European Parliament endorses Commission proposal

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 15 April 2014:
The European Parliament has endorsed today the Commission's proposal for new EU rules for safer and greener lorries. Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, said: "I am pleased with this vote which supports the Commission's goal to make road transport cleaner and safer, allowing innovative designs for the greener trucks of the future."
The European Commission proposed in April 2013 new rules, revising the current legislation on weights and dimensions of certain road vehicles, to allow manufacturers to develop more aerodynamic lorries which will reduce fuel consumption by 7-10%, cut emissions of greenhouse gases, and also enhance the safety of vulnerable road users.

The proposal will allow cabs with a rounded shape and aerodynamic flaps at the back of the trailer. These measures will considerably improve the aerodynamics of vehicles, saving approximately €5,000 per year in fuel costs for a typical long-distance lorry covering 100,000 km. This represents a 7–10% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (or 7.8 tonnes of CO2 for the same long-distance lorry covering 100,000 km). At the same time, the field of vision of the driver will be improved, helping to save the lives of 300 to 500 vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists every year.
The European Parliament (EP) position at first reading adopted today supports most key provisions in the Commission proposal. The Commission welcomes particularly the EP amendments that
  1. facilitate the use of a broader range of low carbon propulsion technologies,
  2. clarify the possibilities for aerodynamic cabs and rear devices and
  3. strengthen the enforcement provisions of its proposal.
On the other hand, the Commission cannot agree with certain points of the EP position. These include:
  1. an amendment that would limit the extension of aerodynamic rear devices to 500mm (which is already authorised today and which would deprive the society of the benefits of longer devices further reducing fuel consumption and emissions) and
  2. amendments that reject the broad definition of "intermodal transport" proposed by the Commission, which takes into account the evolution of container trade.
The EP decided not to amend the current rules on the cross border operation of longer vehicles and asks the Commission to report on the subject by 2016.
  • What's next?
With this vote, the European Parliament has adopted its first reading position on the Commission proposal. It is now up to the Council to adopt its own position. The Greek Presidency is aiming at a Council position on this text in June 2014. If the adoption of this text takes place in 2014/2015, the new trucks could be expected to be seen on the roads by 2018-2020.
[europa.eu]
15/4/14
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Σάββατο, 12 Απριλίου 2014

Agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions on the rise, warns UN agency

SEIH SOU THESSALONIKI
UN, 11 April 2014 – From farming to forestry and fisheries, agriculture greenhouse emissions have nearly doubled over the past 50 years and may increase by another 30 per cent by 2050, according to new estimates out today from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
"FAO's new data represent the most comprehensive source of information on agriculture's contribution to global warming made to date," said Francesco Tubiello of the agecny’s Climate, Energy and Tenure Division.

For the first time, FAO has used its own FAOSTAT emissions database to estimate global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use in contributing to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Emissions from crop and livestock production grew in 2001 from 4.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 eq) to more than 5.3 billion tonnes in 2011 – a 14 per cent increase.
“The increase occurred mainly in developing countries, due to an expansion of total agricultural outputs,” FAO said 

Meanwhile, net greenhouse gas emissions due to land use change and deforestation registered a nearly 10 percent decrease over the 2001-2010 period – averaging some 3 billion tonnes CO2 eq year over the decade.
“This was the result of reduced levels of deforestation and increases in the amount of atmospheric carbon being sequestered in many countries,” explained FAO, adding that, “as a result of carbon sequestration in forest sinks, some two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide were removed from the atmosphere during the same timeframe.”
FAO's data based on country reports show that while those emissions continue to increase, they are not growing as fast as emissions from fossil fuel use in other sectors – actually decreasing over time the share of agriculture and other land use out of total anthropogenic emissions. 

  • The largest source of emissions within agriculture is enteric fermentation – methane produced by livestock during digestion and released via belches. In 2011, this accounted for 39 per cent of the sector's total greenhouse gas outputs and increased 11 per cent between 2001 and 2011.
In 2011, 14 per cent of agricultural emissions (725 Mt CO2 eq.) were generated while applying synthetic fertilizers – the fastest growing emissions source in agriculture – having increased some 37 per cent since 2001.
Greenhouse gases resulting from biological processes in rice paddies that generate methane make up 10 per cent of total agricultural emissions, while burning savannahs accounts for 5 per cent. 

FAO data revealed that in 2011, 45 per cent of agriculture-related greenhouse gas outputs occurred in Asia – followed by 25 per cent in the Americas, five per cent in Africa, eleven per cent in Europe and four per cent in Oceania.
“This regional distribution was fairly constant over the last decade,” the agency noted, adding “in 1990 however, Asia's contribution to the global total [38 per cent] was smaller than at present, while Europe's was much larger [21 per cent].” 

The new FAO data also provide a detailed view of emissions from energy use in the agriculture sector generated from traditional fuel sources – including electricity and fossil fuels burned to power agricultural machinery, irrigation pumps and fishing vessels.
"Up to now, information gaps have made it extremely difficult for scientists and policymakers to make strategic decisions regarding how to respond to climate change and has hampered efforts to mitigate agriculture's emissions," said Mr. Tubiello. 

FAO is already generating disaggregated assessments along supply chains and analyzing the effectiveness of comprehensive mitigation interventions in the livestock sector.
Mr. Tubiello explained, “Data on emissions for agriculture, forests and other land use activities support member countries in better identifying their mitigation options and enable their farmers to take faster and more targeted climate-smart responses.”
This improves their overall resilience and their food security and allows the countries to tap into international climate funding and accomplish their rural development goals.
“We also see much interest in capacity development on these topics at country level and respond to these needs through regional and country-level activities around the globe,'' he added. 
[un.org]
11/4/14

Τετάρτη, 12 Μαρτίου 2014

Cooling without climate warming: Parliament backs F-gas ban

The use of climate-unfriendly fluorinated gases should be banned in new air-conditioning appliances and refrigerators by 2022-2025, under draft rules approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday. These rules had already been informally agreed with EU ministers. Overall, the use of potent hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) greenhouse gases is to be reduced by 79% by 2030.

Following bans on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the 1980s to slow depletion of the ozone layer, the new draft legislation targets use of several other fluorinated gases that are harmful to the climate. "F-gases" can have a greenhouse warming effect up to 23,000 times greater than equivalent amounts of CO2.


"This EU breakthrough sets the pace for a global phase-out of these ‘super greenhouse’ gases, which would otherwise account for 20% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. F-gas emissions have risen by 60% since 1990 in the EU. Banning their use in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment is therefore urgently necessary to reverse this trend", said lead MEP Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL).

"The EU will reduce F-gas use by almost 80% by 2030. Banning F-gases in new commercial refrigeration equipment from 2022 will spur innovation, to the immediate benefit of many innovative European firms, by stimulating demand for natural refrigerants" he added.

F-gas phase-outs
In negotiations, MEPs amended the Commission proposal to phase out the use of F-gases in several new sectors, where safe, energy-efficient and cost-effective alternatives are available.

The ban would apply to centralised commercial refrigeration equipment with a capacity of 40kw that uses HFCs. Small air-conditioning systems using HFCs with a global warming potential (GWP) more than 750 times that of CO2 will be banned by 2025, and technical aerosols containing HFCs over 150 GWP would be banned from 2018.

Products such as extruded polystyrene and other foams using HFCs would be banned from 2020 and 2023 respectively.

The agreement also strengthened proposed provisions to reduce by-product emissions, and the legislation encourages member states to develop producer responsibility schemes for the recovery of all F-gases.

Next steps
The draft legislation was passed by 644 votes to 19, with 16 abstentions. The Council of Ministers is to vote on the file on 14 April.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/el/news-room/content/20140307IPR38401/
12/3/14
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Τρίτη, 25 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

''Ende gut, alles gut'': Commissioner Hedegaard welcomes agreement on the car emissions target. -European Commission, Statement

The European Commission welcomes the European Parliament's endorsement today of the new target for CO2 emissions from cars. The target of 95g CO2/km in 2021 will further reduce road transport emissions and make a substantial contribution to meeting the EU objective of cutting greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020, as set out in the Commission's recent proposal for 2030 targets. 

Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: ''Ende gut, alles gut. After long and difficult discussions, I'm glad that a deal was sealed which maintains ambition. This agreement gives the car industry planning certainty to produce more fuel efficient vehicles and saves consumers money. 


The 95g target is achievable by employing technologies available today. But it is clear that long-term clarity is important for the car industry. 

This is why the Commission will now focus on the next step and come up with ideas for a post-2020 target in the coming months'' 

For background information on the agreement on cars emissions, see http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/articles/news_2014022501_en.htm
europa.eu
25/2/14 
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Σάββατο, 15 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

U.S.-China Joint Statement on Climate Change. -Office of the Spokesperson U.S. State Department

Washington, DC .In light of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change and its worsening impacts, and the related issue of air pollution from burning fossil fuels, the United States and China recognize the urgent need for action to meet these twin challenges. Both sides reaffirm their commitment to contribute significantly to successful 2015 global efforts to meet this challenge. 

Accordingly, China and the United States will work together, within the vehicle of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) launched last year, to collaborate through enhanced policy dialogue, including the sharing of information regarding their respective post-2020 plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions. 


Regarding practical cooperative actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, the two sides have reached agreement on the implementation plans on the five initiatives launched under the CCWG, including Emission Reductions from Heavy Duty and Other Vehicles, Smart Grids, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage, Collecting and Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data, and Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Industry, and commit to devote significant effort and resources to secure concrete results by the Sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in 2014.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/02/221686.htm
15/2/14
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Σάββατο, 23 Νοεμβρίου 2013

UN climate talks reach deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.

WARSAW, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Governments at the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw on Friday agreed a set of decisions on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and the degradation of forests.

The agreement on the so-called REDD+ initiative is backed by pledges of 280 million dollars in financing from the U.S., Norway and Britain, according to a statement released by the Conference.

"I am proud of this concrete accomplishment. We are all aware of the central role that forests play as carbon sinks, climate stabilizers and biodiversity havens," President of the conference Marcin Korolec said.



Korolec hailed the deal as "a significant contribution to forest preservation and sustainable use which will benefit the people who live in and around them and humanity and the planet as a whole."

The decisions adopted provide guidance for ensuring environmental integrity and pave the way towards the full implementation of REDD+ activities on the ground, said the statement.

The package also provides a foundation for transparency and integrity of REDD+ action, clarifies ways to finance relevant activities and how to improve coordination of support, it added.

The agreement was announced as the two-week climate talks, which aimed to prepare for a global climate pact due to be agreed in 2015, are entering the final hours. 

http://english.cntv.cn/20131123/100942.shtml
23/11/13
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Τετάρτη, 6 Νοεμβρίου 2013

Ρεκόρ επιπέδου συγκέντρωσης αερίων του «θερμοκηπίου»/Greenhouse gas in atmosphere hits new record. -World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Το επίπεδο της συγκέντρωσης των αερίων του «θερμοκηπίου» στην ατμόσφαιρα της Γης, τα οποία συμβάλλουν στην παγκόσμια αναθέρμανση, το 2012 σημείωσε ρεκόρ, αναφέρεται στην ιστοσελίδα του Διεθνούς Μετεωρολογικού Οργανισμού.

Σύμφωνα με τα στοιχεία του Οργανισμού, οι ρυθμοί αύξησης της συγκέντρωσης του διοξειδίου του άνθρακα πέρυσι ήταν ταχύτεροι, από ότι κατά την περίοδο από το 1990 μέχρι το 2011.



Από την έναρξη της βιομηχανικής εποχής στα τέλη του 18ου αιώνα, το επίπεδο του διοξειδίου του άνθρακα στην ατμόσφαιρα έχει αυξηθεί κατά 41%, του μεθανίου - κατά 160% και του οξειδίου του αζώτου - κατά 20%.

mme.gr, 6/11/13
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  • Greenhouse gas in atmosphere hits new record: UN

The amount of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere hit a new record high in 2012, continuing an ever-faster rise that is driving climate change, the UN weather agency said Wednesday.

"The concentrations are reaching once again record levels," Michel Jarraud, who heads the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), told reporters in Geneva.

His organisation released its annual report on greenhouse gases Wednesday, showing that concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide all broke fresh records in 2012. Global concentrations of CO2, the main culprit in global warming, for instance reached 393.1 parts per million last year, or 141 percent of pre-industrial levels -- defined as before 1750.

The report was released a day after the UN Environment Programme warned the chances of limiting the global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels were swiftly diminishing, and ahead of UN climate talks that open in Warsaw next week.

The UN's two-degree target is being chased through efforts to curb Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions, mainly caused by fossil-fuel burning to power industry, transport and farming.

"The observations from WMO's extensive Global Atmosphere Watch network highlight yet again how heat-trapping gases from human activities have upset the natural balance of our atmosphere and are a major contribution to climate change," Jarraud said.

Dave Reay, a carbon management expert at the University of Edinburgh, said that stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations was the key to successful climate negotiations, emissions regulations, and carbon markets rests.

"Despite the financial crash, and reduced emissions from some nations, the global picture is one of carbon dioxide concentrations in our atmosphere reaching a record-breaking high year after year," Reay added.

Experts warn that unless more is done to rein in emissions, the world faces potentially devastating effects such as more frequent megastorms, species extinctions, water shortages, crop die-offs, loss of land to the rising seas as glaciers and polar ice melt, and spreading disease.

"CO2 has a ratchet effect," said Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge.

"Its influence on the climate system lasts for about 100 years, so we will be paying for our profligate use of fossil fuels for a long time to come -- so long, in fact, that we may well have now made it impossible for the planet to avoid catastrophic global warming effects, even if we make a start now on reducing CO2 emissions." The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2011 to 2012 was higher than the average growth rate over the past 10 years, WMO said, stressing that the global concentrations of CO2 last year were dangerously close to the symbolic 400 parts per million threshold.

That threshold was actually exceeded at several Arctic stations during the year, and the global annual average CO2 concentration looks set to cross it in 2015 or 2016, the UN agency said.

This level has not existed on Earth in three to five million years, experts say.

Concentrations of methane, meanwhile, were 260 percent of the pre-industrial level, while nitrous oxide reached 120 percent.

The WMO report said that between 1990 and 2012 there was a 32 percent increase in so-called "radiative forcing" -- the warming effect on our climate -- because of heat-trapping gases.

CO2 accounted for 80 percent of this increase.

What is happening in the atmosphere is just part of the picture.

Only about half of the CO2 emitted by human activities remains in the atmosphere, with the rest absorbed in the biosphere and in the oceans, the WMO underlined.

Jarraud noted that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently sounded the alarm over gas concentrations.

"According to the IPCC, if we continue with 'business as usual,' global average temperatures may be 4.6 degrees higher by the end of the century than pre-industrial levels -- and even higher in some parts of the world. This would have devastating consequences," he said.

tv100.gr, 6/11/13

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...