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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Arctic sea ice bigger than US melts

PUSHED TO THE BREAKING POINT


Alarming Incident A Sign Of Extreme Climate Change, Warns UN Agency


Doha(Qatar): An area of Arctic sea ice bigger than the United States melted this year, according the UN weather agency, which said the dramatic decline illustrates that climate change is happening "before our eyes". 
    In a report released at UN climate talks in the Qatari capital of Doha, the World Meteorological Organization said the Arctic ice melt was one of a myriad of extreme and record-breaking weather events to hit the planet in 2012. 
    Droughts devastated nearly two-thirds of the US as well western Russia and southern Europe. Floods swamped west 
Africa and heat waves left much of the Northern Hemisphere sweltering. 
    But it was the ice melt that seemed to dominate the annual climate report, with the UN concluding ice cover had reached "a new record low" in the area around the North Pole and that the loss from March to September was a staggering 11.83 million square kilometers, an area bigger than the United States. 
    "The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth's oceans and biosphere," WMO secretarygeneral Michel Jarraud said. 
"Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records." 
    The dire climate news comes as delegates from nearly 200 countries struggled for a third day to lay the groundwork for a deal that would cut emissions in an attempt to ensure that temperatures don't rise more than 2°C over what they were in preindustrial times. Temperatures have already risen about 0.8°C, according to a IPCC report. AP


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