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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A new report, issued the same day the latest round of global climate negotiations opened in Peru, highlights the fracking industry's slow expansion into nearly every continent, drawing attention not only to the potential harm from toxic pollution, dried-up water supplies and earthquakes, but also to the threat the shale industry poses to the world's climate.

The report, issued by Friends of the Earth Europe, focuses on the prospects for fracking in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, North...

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