Monday, 17 March 2008

Glacier melt rate has more than doubled

I read on the Beeb that data from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) shows glaciers are melting more than twice as fast as they were between 1980 and 1999. This is a key climate change indicator. Average glacial shrinkage has risen from 30 centimetres per year between 1980 and 1999, to 1.5 metres in 2006 with some of the biggest losses in the Alps and Pyrenees.

Experts have called for "immediate action" to reverse the trend, the Executive Director of UNEP saying that the glaciers are the canaries that are making the most noise in the climate change coal mine "and it is absolutely essential that everyone sits up and takes notice... The litmus test will come in late 2009 at the climate convention meeting in Copenhagen.

"Here governments must agree on a decisive new emissions reduction and adaptation-focused regime. Otherwise, and like the glaciers, our room for manoeuvre and the opportunity to act may simply melt away."

It is scarcely reassuring then to be told that the vast majority of voters still don't put a high priority on this.

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