Search Results for Tag: Living Planet
What are these gannets doing on the ice blog? Well, it seems they migrated to Germany because of climate change. Read below to understand the connection. (No wisdom without pain…)
Did you know there has just been another round of UN climate talks in Bangkok? I don’t blame you if you didn’t. It’s hard to keep track of the “talks between the talks…” It’s also hard to keep up interest and optimism and not give way to resignation, given the disastrous melting of the Arctic ice and all the other clearly visible impacts of climate change.
DateSeptember 5, 2012 | 3:02 pm
Changing Arctic on Living Planet
Apologies for the scarce posts since I got back from Tromsö and Arctic Frontiers, but I have been busy.
Have a listen to the radio feature on the increasing business interest resulting from the climate changes in the Arctic on Living Planet
DateFebruary 17, 2011 | 2:49 pm
Climate change in pictures while you wait…
Alaska and south America are the regions where the glaciers are currently melting fastest, according to a report released in Cancun. I experienced that first-hand in Alaska in 2008, when I started the ice blog.
This is one of the pictures taken from the Begich Boggs glacier visitors centre. There’s a visiting centre purpose built to see the Portage glacier – but where the glacier has retreated so far it’s no longer visible from this point at all.In 2008, we were told it had receded more than 2 miles in 70 years.
On the last official day of Cancun, the wrangling is still going on – same procedure as every year? A freelance colleague dropped in just now . “There doesn’t seem to be anything happening in Cancun”.. he said. Yeah, that seems to be the feeling. My colleague Nathan Witkop from the Living Planet programme is there. You might like to read
his latest summary while you’re waiting.
I’ve also been keeping an eye on the Global Ideas blog You might enjoy a look at that.
And if you are interested in watching some more pictures and video and reading/hearing from some researchers in the field, have a look at these pictures from Lars Hansen who took some great shots at the Zackenberg Monitoring Station in Greenland.
That will all help pass the time waiting for the Cancun closer…
DateDecember 10, 2010 | 2:31 pm
Pre-Cancun ice blog from the banks of the Rhine
This is the icy view from my office at Deutsche Welle on the banks of the Rhine this afternoon. It’s the ice blogger’s favourite weather, although most people around me are complaining it’s too early for snow and asking if it’s got anything to do with climate change.
Meanwhile, in spite of the fact that so many of us have been saying there will be less hype surrounding and attention paid to the Cancun climate talks starting in Mexico on Monday, I’m pleased to say there is still a fair bit of reporting going on. What we saw ahead of Copenhagen was really hype, verging on a kind of Copenhagen-mania at times, and it clearly didn’t help the cause of getting a new global climate agreement at all. But it would be worrying if the media and the public in general just ignored the talks.
Mind you, most people seem to be saying more or less the same thing: Forget the idea of a big breakthrough and just go for a step-by-step pragmatic approach. As one commentator on German radio put it this morning, people (especially those who will be negotiating) seem to be talking Cancun down. That doesn’t mean they don’t think it’s important, but it’s a clear warning that this time, we shouldn’t expect too much. We can still set our sights high, though, can’t we?
As EU climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard puts it (and she should know, since as Danish climate and energy minister she was a key figure in the Copenhagen conference) “the sense of urgency should not be any less than prior to Copenhagen.”. After all, she told me, given that we’ve seen the hottest 12 months in a row on record, “the chance remains with us. We have to address it. And for each year we postpone action, the more expensive and the more difficult its going to be in the end”. I couldn’t agree with you more, Commissioner. Let\’s hope you and the others round the negotiating table(s) in Cancun will turn that into money on the table for adaptation and forest protection, and ambitious emissions reductions targets.
More on the EU’s stance to let you decide whether it’s good enough on this week’s Living Planet programme. You might also like to read this Interview with EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, in which she outlines her expectations for the climate conference in Mexico.
DateNovember 26, 2010 | 2:47 pm
Cancun: just keep the ball rolling?
This week I spent three days in Brussels at a “Climate Action Conference” organised by the European Journalism Centre and the European Commission for Climate Action, finding out about the European Union’s perspective on the Cancun climate talks (29.11-10.12.2010). It was a great opportunity to find out first-hand from the European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard and some of the other top players in the field what the EU expects – and does not expect of the talks. It was also sobering at times –to hear their views and other experts’ assessments (from ngos, business and the media) of the EU’s position in the global climate game and, indeed, on the prospects for halting climate change in general. In a nutshell, I’d sum it up as: the Europeans have done their bit in the past and are still moving ahead, but even if they upped their targets further: without major emissions reductions from the USA and China, it would not make a lot of difference, and the 2° goal will not be reached.
Connie Hedegaard makes no bones about the fact that Cancun is unlikely to bring the binding global climate agreement the world once hoped would come out of last year’s Copenhagen talks. She says the main thing is to “keep up the momentum in the international climate negotiations”, with a view to pursuing an agreement at the next UN climate conference in South Africa. She does hope for clear decisions to halt deforestation (by improving incentives) and to make sure the fast-track financing promised at last year’s talks will actually be delivered. She talks about “cashing in on the Copenhagen Accord pledges”. You’ll be able to hear and read her views in more detail in the not-too-distant future on the Deutsche Welle Environment page and the radio programme Living Planet. On the whole, though, she seems to be keen to make sure this time round expectations of the talks are not too high. Given the overall mood, I don’t think any of us would have to worry too much about that, agreed? As British MEP Chris Davies told me at the conference, it’s hard to find anybody who’s optimistic about Cancun. Or is there anybody out there with a more positive view? (And is there any alternative?)
Clearly, the failure of the Obama administration to get their climate legislation through in the USA is a major obstacle to progress. The people at the Brussels conference with me were depressed to hear Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Insitute at Columbia University, who joined us for a video conference, say he saw absolutely no hope for a turnaround in the US position in the foreseeable future. He presented a scenario he would welcome (but which he admitted does not look overly likely) where the Chinese would take the initiative and consolidate their leading position on climate-friendly technologies and drastically reduce emissions, conscious of their country’s strong vulnerability to climate change. With the Europeans and emerging countries doing “their bit”, the USA would ultimately follow suit.
Various speakers, including Commissioner Hedegaard, noted positive signs coming out of China with regard to climate awareness and policy. Kelly Rigg, from the tcktcktck initiative, was amongst them. She was actually one of the more optimistic people at the Brussels meeting. You will find her views on what she sees as a “changing climage” with regard to awareness and willingness to act on climate change, on the tcktcktck blog.
I have to take issue with you on your blanket criticism of the media, though, Kelly. Undoubtedly, there is a lot of bad journalism of the kind you attack out there and I agree with a lot of what you say about how the situation can be distorted when the principle of always giving “the other side of the story” results in giving 50% of the coverage to a small minority of critics. But don’t forget there are plenty of journalists among us who go to great lengths to give fair, adequate and unbiased coverage to climate science and impacts around the globe. And a lot of them were listening to your speech at the Brussels meeting.
DateOctober 29, 2010 | 2:22 pm