quarta-feira, maio 28, 2008

Slip of the tundra

"...frozen away in the permafrost is more carbon than the atmosphere currently contains (and much of that is in the form of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide)." http://www.insnet.org/ins_headlines.rxml?id=11754&photo=

sexta-feira, maio 16, 2008

DDT comes back

Decades after most countries stopped spraying DDT, frozen stores of the insecticide are now trickling out of melting Antarctic glaciers. The change means Adélie penguins have recently been exposed to the chemical, according to a new study.

The trace levels found will not harm the birds, but the presence of the chemical could be an indication that other frozen pollutants will be released because of climate change, says Heidi Geisz, a marine biologist at Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester in the US. She led a team that sampled DDT levels in the penguins.

Melting glaciers release toxic chemical cocktail

quarta-feira, maio 14, 2008

More on water scarcity

The Socialist government, which initially opposed water transfers from one region to another, executed a political U-turn and allowed water to be pumped into Catalonia from the river Ebro in the neighbouring region of Aragon.

The move infuriated southern regions such as Murcia and Valencia, which asked for similar concessions. Both are significant agricultural areas, with a busy tourist season about to start, and expect their water supplies to be hit hard.

Meanwhile, despite heavy rainfall over the weekend water reserves in Catalonia only increased by 1.7%.

The Socialist government is following a controversial programme of building desalinisation plants, which they claim will provide a long-term solution to Spain's endemic water shortage. They have built six so far and plan a further 18. One is due to open outside Barcelona in May next year.

Ramón Llamas, a water expert at Madrid University, says Spain squanders its water and needs better soil management, adding that despite having one of the lowest amounts of rainfall in western Europe, it has one of the highest levels of water consumption a head: the average person in Madrid uses 140 litres a day.

Barcelona forced to import emergency water

sexta-feira, maio 09, 2008

Geopolitics of Climate Change

Social and political actions proceed from social and political systems. Natural systems, such as climate systems, do not influence human action directly but are mediated through the political and social systems that already direct actions. This argument entails that in order for a world characterised by climate change to develop in a stable and less conflict-prone way, there will have to be are vital international and national (state) institutions that ensure that political divisions and conflict do not take the form of violent interaction between states or sub-state actors.
The Geopolitics of Climate Change