The melting of permafrost, a serious danger ?

Under the term permafrost, scientists refer to frozen soil that is mostly found in cold countries like Canada and Russia (cf. map from the UNEP on the left)

Climate change might unfreeze these soils, which might be a serious danger as they contain very large quantities of methane, a very potent greenhouse gas.

I previously read several articles on this topic and the least one can say is that it might become a serious problem if climate change reached a certain level.

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How I easily avoided 76 kg of CO2 emissions

Albeit the fact I consider myself as an ecologist and took various actions to decrease my greenhouse gases emissions, I never really did any calculations of my impact.

But the New year’s day brought me an opportunity to have a look at my CO2 emissions as I went to Nancy by train and I avoided the emissions of 76 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

I write this to enable you to see how our daily actions are directly link to global warming and how WE can act on an individual level.

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Arctic is melting faster than forecast

This is perhaps the most serious and most worrying news of the beginning of the year as Canada reported last year the most important ice melting ever witnessed.

According to the WWF, summer sea ice in the arctic could disappear within six years, much faster than previously thought about.

Temperatures at the poles rise much faster than in any other point of the globe, and this at an exponential rate. So, is it too late to act ? Not necessarily.

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EU can meet and go beyond its Kyoto targets

According to the European Environment Agency, the fifteen first members of the EU “can meet, and may even over-shoot, (their) 2012 Kyoto target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 8 % below 1990 levels”.

This is an excellent news as according to the report, the cut of emissions could reach 11.4 percent.

The EU wants to have a role model in the Bali negotiations that will begin this week. With such results, it is a credible force that can lead climate change mitigation.

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Climate change: a huge threat for developing countries

un.JPGJust days before the Bali talks that will prepare the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations released a report on the human toll climate change would have.

According to it, a full scale global warming would have dramatic consequences for hundreds of million people and the most struck would be located in developing nations.

This sounds pessimistic, but if ALL governments were moving fast and big, we would be able not only to survive but also to prosper.

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More and more tests of Carbon Capture and Storage

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is one of the main solutions to decrease the greenhouse gases emissions of coal-fired plants.

However there is no commercial application yet, but several programs are on their way in North America, Europe or China.

The oil-producing countries from the OPEC also plan to work on this technology as it enable to keep on using fossil fuels. I will review here the main projects.

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Final part of AR4 released. We have to act NOW !

The last part of the Fourth Assessment report (AR4) of the IPCC was released Friday in Valencia, Spain.

The main news is that the situation is worse than forecast during the writing of the report. Mankind thus have to act quick and in a massive way if it wants to avoid global warming and can’t wait for the end of Kyoto in 2012.

In this article, you will be able to get the latest data and statements on this very bad news.

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CARMA rates CO2 emissions of energy generation

Thanks to my good friend Etienne Schneider, I discovered a very interesting tool that rates the CO2 emissions due to the energy sector worldwide.

CARMA (CArbon Monitoring for Action) provides reliable data on 50,000 plants and 4,000 energy companies. All this enable us to see which countries are the most polluting.

CARMA is “produced and financed by the Confronting Climate Change Initiative at the Center for Global Development, an independent and non-partisan think tank.”

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Another study urges us to act fast

The Worldwatch Institute, a US-based environmental NGO, recently released it’s newest Vital Signs report which brings several worrying facts and urge us even more to act fast.

This version notes that the energy consumption and the depletion of natural resources are threatening the world at an unprecedented rate.

All this put at risk both Mankind as a whole but also most of the species living on our Planet in many different ways.

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IEA urges again to act strongly on energy efficiency

The International Energy Agency published this week the latest edition of its World Energy Outlook.

It strongly reinforces the importance of energy efficiency and conservation to solve both problems that are climate change and energy scarcity. According to them, these policies have to implemented in the next ten years.

This is the second time in less than a month that the IEA urges all countries to implement strict energy conservation policies. (see previous article, dated October 17th)

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The Grenelle, a French green revolution

Yesterday in Paris took place what will perhaps be remembered as the green event of the decade in France.

The President Nicolas Sarkozy detailed in a 30-minute speech a very ambitious plan that concluded weeks of discussions on environmental causes within what is called here Le Grenelle de l’Environnement.

From transportation and housing to electricity generation and biodiversity, all major topics were tackled and dramatic shifts toward sustainability will occur everywhere.

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An escalation by 35 percent

cyclon.jpgOne of the main events of the week is a study stating that greenhouse gases emissions are increasing 35 percent faster than forecast since 2000.

The causes for such an important increase have both economic and climatic origins and each reason account for nearly half of the phenomenon.

Indeed, human-made emissions increased in an important way since 2000 and in the meantime oceans and forests absorb less carbon dioxide (CO2) than previously.

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