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Giant ice island breaks off Arctic shelf

Staff and agencies, Guardian
An ice island the size of a small city is adrift in the Arctic after breaking free from one of Canada’s largest ice shelves, scientists said today.

The ice island is 37 metres (120ft) thick and measures 9 miles by 3 miles, according to the CanWest News Service. It broke clear from Ellesmere island, about 500 miles south of the North Pole, 16 months ago, triggering tremors so powerful they were picked up by earthquake monitors 155 miles away.

Scientists have only just released details about the island after piecing together the break-up from seismic monitors and satellite images.
(29 Dec 2006)

Munich Re Sees Natural Catastrophes on the Rise

Reuters via Planet Ark
Munich Re sees the number of severe weather-related natural catastrophes increasing in coming years because of global warming, among other reasons, the German reinsurer said on Thursday.

Torsten Jeworrek, a member of Munich Re’s management board, said that the increase in such disasters means continually rising loss potentials for insurance and reinsurance firms.

…”No one seriously disputes climate change any more. In the long term, it will be a factor which increases the number of severe natural catastrophes,” Peter Hoeppe, Head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research, said.

He added that Munich Re believes that in the next one to two decades the number of hurricanes will exceed the mean for the years 1950 to 2006, when the annual average was ten named cyclones, six of hurricane force.
(29 Dec 2006)

We Got Our Kicks in 2006
The top 10 green stories of the year

David Roberts, Gristmill
10. A Stern reminder [Stern report] 9. Takings is leaving [land-use propositions] 8. Carbon neutrality is the new black
7. Grist officially out of punny California headlines [Calif. climate initiatives] 6. Roadless! No, roadful! No, roadless!
5. Hi. My name is the United States of America, and I’m an addict.
4. God v. Dobson [evangelicals and climate change] 3. America takes Dick [Pombo] out of resources committee
2. Wal-Mart: America’s leading source of cognitive dissonance
1. An inconvenient yet bizarrely popular truth
(22 Dec 2006)
The original article has links and explanations for the 10 stories.

Expect more energy and climate news from the Grist/Gristmill publishing empire in the coming year. -BA

Climate Change Roadmap for New England and Eastern Canada

Environment Northeast
Environment Northeast is releasing the Climate Change Roadmap for New England and Eastern Canada — the first detailed and comprehensive plan to reach regional greenhouse gas reduction goals in this region.

Building on the successful format used for our state based Climate Change Roadmap for Connecticut, the Regional Roadmap sets out a course of action for the region to achieve mid-term greenhouse gas reduction goals while securing a path towards the deep reduction target of 75% lower emissions by mid century.

The Roadmap’s 10 Priority Climate Solutions are broken down into three main categories: energy, transportation and storing carbon. If fully implemented, ENE estimates these 10 priorities would reduce greenhouse gas pollutants from power plants, industrial sources, cars and trucks and by storing carbon in the region’s forests and suitable geologic formations, totaling at least 35-40 million metric tons by 2020, putting the region on the road to the reduction targets set forth by the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers
(18 Dec 2006)
Dave Pollard writes:

An interesting partial implement of George Monbiot’s (Heat) prescription, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for this area by 75% by mid-century (Monbiot says we need to reduce them by 90% by 2030). But definitely dreaming in technicolour, since it would require massive foresight and collaboration from a majority of politicians and citizens.