Global warming to devastate economies, nature in ice-loss sweep

Tue, 2007-06-05 11:23Bill Miller
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Global warming to devastate economies, nature in ice-loss sweep

A report published by the UN’s Environment Program warns that melting glaciers in Asia's mountains could affect an estimated 40% of the world's population, who rely on ice melt for irrigation and drinking water. Global warming could disrupt ecosystems around the world, with devastating economic and environmental consequences for hundreds of millions of people.

The study, issued at the UN Global Outlook for Ice and Snow in Tromso, Norway, said rising temperatures were already thawing permafrost in Siberia, releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

If emissions continue unabated, the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, which hold almost all the planet's freshwater ice, are likely to become unstable.

Without measures to mitigate sea-level rise, an estimated 145 million people would be exposed to the risk of flooding.

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Solar farm

Pressure continues to grow for European politicians to agree to further reductions of greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030.

The European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package, which is binding legislation, calls for emissions to be cut by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. In addition, the plan calls for energy efficiency savings of 20 per cent and a 20 per cent increase in renewable energy technologies.

While the European Union seems largely on track to meet those targets, later this month...

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