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FOOTPRINTS #24 – October 2008 - Please forward this newsletter to your friends.
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Global Carbon Project – CSIRO
A factsheet detailing the 2007 data for the Global Carbon Project, a joint international project on the global carbon .The latest figures on the global carbon budget indicate a four-fold increase in growth rate of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions since 2000.
Emissions rising faster this decade than last – CSIRO
The latest figures on the global carbon budget indicate a four-fold increase in growth rate of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions since 2000. “This is a concerning trend in light of global efforts to curb emissions. These emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel and land use change almost reached 10 billion tonnes in 2007. CO2 growth has been outstripping the growth of natural carbon dioxide sinks such as forests and oceans.
California issues plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions – LA Times
California to turn back the clock of climate change, has issued final draft of an economy-wide plan to slash the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. Over the next 12 years, new regulations would shrink the per capita carbon footprint of Californians by an average of four tons per year, cutting the level of electricity residents use with more efficient buildings and appliances, and reducing the amount they drive, by discouraging urban sprawl. The plan would force auto manufacturers to make cleaner cars, require utilities to build more solar and wind plants, and compel industries to hike energy efficiency to unprecedented levels.
The apocalypse has a new date: 2048
Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen in Study By Ecologists, Economists that Predicts Collapse of World Ocean Ecology. By 2048 the world's oceans will be empty of fish due to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change. The researchers were "was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are -- beyond anything we suspected. This isn't predicted to happen. This is happening now. If biodiversity continues to decline, the marine environment will not be able to sustain our way of life. Indeed, it may not be able to sustain our lives at all."
Wildlife gives early warning of 'deadly dozen' diseases spread by climate change
Scientists have nicknamed them the “deadly dozen” the twelve diseases, lethal to humans and wildlife, that are increasing their geographical range. Ebola, cholera, plague and sleeping sickness were among those identified yesterday by veterinary scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society as spreading across the planet because of climate change. The scientists said that wildlife could give an early warning of the approach of diseases and save millions of people. Researchers called for wildlife monitoring systems to be set up around the globe to watch for signs of disease among animals before it spreads and kills people. Monitoring networks have already been introduced in parts of the world and have proved successful in saving lives.
Arctic on thin ice -
Autumn temperatures in the Arctic are at record 5 degrees Celsius above normal, the Arctic Ocean is getting warmer and less salty as sea ice melts, and reindeer herds appear to be declining. The region has long been expected to be among the first areas to show impacts from global warming. "Changes in the Arctic show a domino effect from multiple causes more clearly than in other regions, It's a sensitive system and often reflects changes in relatively fast and dramatic ways."
This Is What Denial Does - George Monbiot, the Guardian
The financial crisis prefigures the real collapse, when humanity bumps against its ecological limits. As we goggle at the fluttering financial figures, a different set of numbers passes us by. A European study on ecosystems reported we are losing natural capital worth between $2 trillion and $5 trillion every year, as a result of deforestation alone. The losses incurred so far by the financial sector amount to between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion. The credit crunch is petty when compared to the nature crunch.
The Plastic Sea - 10 Million Tons Floating
The floating pile of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, it’s called “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” It features three million tons of plastic debris floating in an area larger than Texas. An eye-popping 46,000 pieces of plastic float on every square mile of ocean! Humans toss another 2.5 million pieces into our oceans hourly.
Ocean "dead zones" spread: study – Reuters
The number of polluted "dead zones" in the world's oceans is rising fast and coastal fish stocks are more vulnerable to collapse than previously feared. These are areas of oxygen-starved water found from the Gulf of Mexico to the Baltic Sea in areas where algae blooms suck oxygen from the water, feeding on fertilizers washed from fields, sewage, animal wastes and pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels.
Obama to Declare Carbon Dioxide Dangerous Pollutant
Barack Obama will classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant that can be regulated should he win the presidential election, opening the way for new rules on greenhouse gas emissions. He will tell the EPA that it may use the 1990 Clean Air Act to set emissions limits on power plants and manufacturers. He would be the first president to group emissions blamed for global warming into a category of pollutants that includes lead and carbon monoxide. John McCain has not said how he would treat CO2 under the act.
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Let us together save this precious planet.
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