2012 SkS Bi-Weekly News Roundup #5

This is the fifth edition of a biweekly roundup of selected news articles and blog posts about climate change and its impacts. Readers are encouraged to comment on the posted articles and to provide links to other articles of importance.

Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon has been viewed for ages as a vast quilt of rain forest interspersed by remote river outposts. But the surging population growth of cities in the jungle is turning that rural vision on its head and alarming scientists, as an array of new industrial projects transforms the Amazon into Brazil’s fastest-growing region.

Swallowing Rain Forest, Cities Surge in Amazon by Simon Romero, New York Times, Nov 24, 2012

Cop 18: Africa's Perspective

African Civil Society Organisations are calling on developed countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to keep Africa safe from the impact of global warming and climate change.

Africa Wants World Carbon Emissions Cut by Catherine Mwesigwa Kizza, Nov 26, 2012 

Cop 18: Multiple Challenges

As nearly 200 countries meet in oil-and-gas-rich Qatar for annual talks starting Monday on slowing global warming, one of the main challenges will be raising climate aid for poor countries at a time when budgets are strained by financial turmoil.

2012 UN Climate Talks In Doha, Qatar Face Multiple Challenges by Karl Ritter, AP/The Huffington Post, Nov 25, 2012

Cop 18: Opening Day

Anticipating an onslaught of criticism from poor nations, the United States claimed "enormous" strides in reducing greenhouse emissions at the opening of U.N. climate talks Monday, despite failing to join other industrialized nations in committing to binding cuts.

UN Climate Change Conference Opens In Doha, Qatar by Karl Ritter, AP/The Huffington Post, Nov 26, 2012

Impact of Melting Permafrost

Scientists who study the Arctic say they’re worried that nations meeting this week to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions aren’t adequately considering how much carbon dioxide and methane could be released from the world’s rapidly thawing permafrost.

Climate talks must consider impact of melting permafrost, scientists say by Erika Bolstad, McClatchy Newspapers, Nov 27, 2012

Impacts: Viet Nam

For the last decade, many families in this southwestern Vietnamese province have been uprooted at least once every two years – but this is not due to economic or political upheaval.

Rather, extreme weather has forcibly turned many of these coast-dwellers into unwilling travellers, as raging storms and a rising sea level lead to continued loss of land – and home.

Coastal Erosion Reaches Alarming Levels in Vietnam by Thuy Binh, Inter Press Service (IPS), Nov 25, 2012 

Ocean Acidification Impacts 

Rising amounts of carbon dioxide dissolving in the ocean is causing the acid corrosion of tiny sea creatures that form the base of the marine food chain, scientists have discovered.

Rise of acid ocean eats away base of food chain by Steve Connor, The Independent, Nov 25, 2012

Politics: Canada

The government of Canada's official position on climate change is that it's real and requires an "aggressive" response.
Despite that, Canada's ruling Conservative Party government has been leading a slow and systematic unraveling of environmental and climate research budgets, according to local scientists—including shuttering one of the world's top Arctic research stations for monitoring global warming. Hundreds of researchers have lost their jobs, and those that remain are forbidden from talking to media without a government minder.

Outcry Grows Over Canadian Govt's Undermining of Climate Science by Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, Nov 27, 2012 

Politics: US 

The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank skeptical of climate change science, has joined with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to write model legislation aimed at reversing state renewable energy mandates across the country.

Climate skeptic group works to reverse renewable energy mandates by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, Nov 24, 2012

Rising Seas

Now we are in a new warming phase, and the oceans are rising again after thousands of years of stability. As scientists who study sea level change and storm surge, we fear that Hurricane Sandy gave only a modest preview of the dangers to come, as we continue to power our global economy by burning fuels that pollute the air with heat-trapping gases.

Rising Seas, Vanishing Coastlines by Benjamin Strauss and Robert Kopp, New York Times, Nov 24, 2012 

Posted by John Hartz on Thursday, 29 November, 2012

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