May 18, 2007
"Developing world can leapfrog to a new energy future-from no fuel to the most advanced fuel. The biofuel can come from non-edible tree crops-jatropha in India, for example-grown on wasteland, which will also employ people.
This fuel market will demand a different business model. It cannot be conducted on the basis of the so-called free market model, which is based on economies of scale and, therefore, demands consolidation and leads to uncompetitive practices.
In today’s model, a company will grow the crops, extract the oil, transport it first to refineries and then back to consumers.
The new generation biofuel business needs a model of distributed growth in which we have millions of growers and millions of distributors and millions of users. Remember, climate change is not a technological fix but a political challenge. Biofuel
is part of a new future."
May 17, 2007
A regional climate change study is being done on the Godavari (Andhra Pradesh) basin by IIT Delhi and UK based scientists.
The Godavari basin extends over three million sq.km and is nearly 10 % of the total area of India. Because of its size, it provides a diversity of eco systems that will enable scientists to carefully choose sites to study interlinked water dependent eco
systems like forests, wetlands and cropping systems.
Source: Hindustan Times, 23 March , 2007
May 14, 2007
In the Sunderbans, both man and animal face a threat from rise in sea levels. A 10-year study in and around the Bay of Bengal has already revealed that the sea is rising at 3.14mm a year against a global average of 2mm.
"Oceanographers have estimated that 15% of the landmass will be lost by 2020 and this will have a devastating impact on both tigers and humans".
May 13, 2007
The "Water towers of Asia" or the Himalayas feed seven of Asia’s great rivers. A meltdown due to melting glaciers which are receding at an average rate of 10-15 meters per year, could trigger floods initially and droughts in the future.
Source: Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change, Second Working Group Report.
May 12, 2007
.........Three quarters of the 634 million people deemed to be most at risk from rising sea levels connected to global warming live in Asia. Coastal cities in the developed world, such as New York and LosAngeles, may be at risk. But wealthy countries are
best placed to adapt to the problem. Certainly the Dutch, who have long experience of keeping the sea at bay, are not panicking. They are simply planning to spend billions more on flood defences.
Because of its effect on rainfall and glaciers that feed rivers, global warming is also contributing to water shortages. ..
Source: Business Standard , 23 April, 2007
April 12, 2007
Scientists say it has become increasingly clear that worldwide precipitation is shiftng away from the equator and toward the poles.
While rich countries are hardly immune from drought and flooding, their wealth will largely insulate them from harm, at least for the next generation or two, many experts say.
Cities in Texas, California and Australia are already building or planning desalination plants, for example. And federal studies have shown that desalination can work far from the sea, purifying water from brackish aqifiers deep in the ground in places like
Source: Times International, 3/4/07
March 11, 2007
Clean energy, ................is 2.3% of the US electricity market.
The 2.3% breaks down the following way:
1.5% from bio-mass
0.44% from wind
0.36% for geothermal
0.01% for solar power.
The other 97.7%?
19.1% natural gas
Wow. 97.7% is non-renewable, with 50% carbon spewing coal.
February 07, 2007
HIGHLIGHTNING TOURISM’S ROLE IN CLIMATE RESPONSE
"There is now
unequivocal proof from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
and the Stern report that climate challenge is real and that we must
all play our part in its resolution. Tourism is an important sector
of the global economy and a vital link in human communications,
cultural interface and development. Like other key sectors, we play a
part in the problem and we have to be responsive and responsible as
temperatures, sea levels and other climactic conditions evolve. We
will work even more closely with UNEP and other sister agencies like
the International Civil Aviation Organization, as well as the private
sector, in exploring new patterns of consumption and conservation, as
well as fast track strategies for adaptation", Mr. Frangialli, UNWTO Secretary-General, said.
There will be two overriding considerations for UNWTO, the Secretary-
General added. "First, promoting responsible growth of tourism to
advance global trade, as well as strengthening the links between
people and cultures which foster mutual understanding. This will mean
innovative adaptation across the sector using all the tools and
technologies as they become available. Second, ensuring that tourism
remains a key tool to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and
helping poor nations lift themselves out of the poverty trap.
represents 40% of services exports and the world’s poorest countries
have comparative advantage in this area which must be encouraged as a
part of responsible climate change strategies."
UNWTO and UNEP have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in a
number of ways – most immediately, UNWTO will join the billion tree
planting campaign of UNEP and the environment agency will strengthen
its support for UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism to upbeat
the sustainability and climate response components. The organizations
will collaborate on the Tourism Climate Change Summits.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - BillionTree Campaign
February 06, 2007
IPCC Report on Global Warming
The most authoritative scientific report on climate change says with
90% certainty that the burning of fossil fuels and other human
activities are driving climate change.
The report, from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) says the rise in global temperatures could be as high as 6.4°C
by 2100. The report also predicts sea level rises and increases in hurricanes.
The new IPCC report is the work of 3750 climate experts, who have
spent six years reviewing all the available climate research. It was
released in Paris, France, on Friday.
Considering the human role in causing climate change, the IPCC report is damning: "The understanding of [human] influences
on climate has improved since the  report, leading to a very high confidence that human activities" are responsible for most of the warming seen since 1950, says the report’s summary for policymakers. “Very high confidence” is described as “at least
a 9 out of 10 chance of being correct”.
Before the industrial revolution, human greenhouse gas emissions were small, and the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide – the main greenhouse gas – was about 280 parts per million (ppm).
Thanks largely to the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use, such as agricultural exploitation and deforestation, the atmospheric
concentration of carbon dioxide reached 379 ppm in 2005
Read the full story here:
January 24, 2007
The sea is steadily eating into the Sundarbans, the world’s largest delta and mangrove forest, threatening an ecological disaster for the Bengal basin region. The 20,000 square kilometre forest delta stretches across the lower reaches of the Bengal basin
- 60% falling in Bangladesh and the rest in West Bengal.
Satellite imagery shows that the sea level in the Sundarbans has risen at an average rate of 3.14 centimetres a year over the past two decades - much higher than the global average of two millimetres a year. Scientists believe that in the next 50 years,
a rise of even one metre in sea level would inundate 1,000 sq.km of the Sundarbans.
In the past two decades, four islands - Bedford, Lohachara, Kabasgadi and Suparibhanga - have sunk into the sea and 6,000 families have been made homeless. Two other islands - Ghoramara and Mousuni - are fast going under. The district administration has
constructed huge embankments to ring the coastal inlands. But during high tides, the embankments are damaged. Some develop cracks and collapse.
A total of 54 of the 102 islands in the Indian Sundarbans are still habitableAbout 2,500 sq.km have been set aside as a tiger reserve since 1973. Since the first settlements in 1770, the population of the Indian Sundarbans has risen 200% to nearly 4.3 million.
The population has put pressure on the ecosystem, which acts as a nursery for the aquatic resources of the Bay of Bengal. Scientists say that the Sundarbans, South Asia’s largest "carbon sink" - which mops up carbon dioxide - must survive to help prevent
global warming. But will it?