Climate change news — foreign edition

china-drought1.jpgAutumn rain down 90 percent in China rice belt – Reuters. “Large areas of south China are suffering from serious drought, with water levels on two major rivers in rice-growing provinces dropping to historic lows.”

Africa “Forgotten Continent” in Climate Fight – Reuters. “The UN’s top climate change official said on Sunday … that damage projected for Africa by the UN climate panel would justify tougher world action to slow global warming even without considering likely disruptions to other parts of the planet.” [One reason why it’s crucial that we pay attention to developing countries as we negotiate international steps.]

Japan plans to buy carbon credits from Hungary to achieve Kyoto Treaty goalInternational Herald Tribune. “Japan is falling far behind its Kyoto commitments to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to 6 percent below its 1990 by 2012. Emissions in 2006, for instance, were 6.4 percent above 1990 levels…. Tokyo, which is putting together an action plan to meet the Kyoto requirements, currently plans to use carbon credits bought overseas to lower its emissions by 1.6 percent below 1990 levels. The additional 4.4 percent must be cut by other methods.”

Japan Sets Asian Benchmarck for Energy Efficiency – Voice of America. “Technology is one of Japan’s greatest strengths in conserving energy…. And yet, for all its good intentions, the country is falling far behind in its promise to cut its own emissions.” Wait, you mean technology by itself won’t solve the global warming problem? Who knew?

2 Responses to Climate change news — foreign edition

  1. Ron says:

    Two things:

    First, I can’t help thinking the UN could save more lives in Africa if they’d try to do something about genocide. Gun control hasn’t worked; they’re using machetes now. But the bottom line is, it seems to me, the so-called global warming problem should be a bit further down the list of the UNs priorities (although I suppose a few more millions dead might somewhat mitigate rpoblems with drought and food supplies …).

    Second, anybody want to discuss this news item?

    “With another hurricane season set to end this Friday, a controversy is brewing over decisions of the National Hurricane Center to designate several borderline systems as tropical storms.

    Some meteorologists, including former hurricane center director Neil Frank, say as many as six of this year’s 14 named tropical systems might have failed in earlier decades to earn “named storm” status.

    Any inconsistencies in the naming of tropical storms and hurricanes have significance far beyond semantics.

    The number of a season’s named storms forms the foundation of historical records used to determine trends in hurricane activity. Insurance companies use these trends to set homeowners’ rates. And such information is vital to scientists trying to determine whether global warming has had a measurable impact on hurricane activity.

    What everyone agrees has changed is the ability of meteorologists to more accurately analyze tropical systems, thanks to an increased number of reconnaissance flights with sophisticated tools and the presence of more satellites to monitor storms from above.

    Scientists generally agree that prior to the late 1970s and widespread satellite coverage, hurricane watchers annually missed one to three tropical storms that developed far from land or were short-lived.

    But this season’s large number of minimal tropical storms whose winds exceeded 39 mph for only a short period has ignited a separate debate: whether even more modern technology and a change in philosophy has artificially inflated the number of storms in recent years.”

    Click the link for entire story.

  2. Dan says:

    What about Indonesia’s reforestation program? I heard that the government is planting some 75 million trees to offset some of the damage caused by the rampant deforestation that’s happened.