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Nordic Nations Sound Alarm Over Melting Arctic

Alister Doyle, Reuters
OSLO – Nordic nations sounded the alarm on Wednesday about a quickening melt of Arctic ice and said the thaw might soon prove irreversible because of global warming.Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland also urged all governments to agree before the end of 2009 a broader U.N. plan to curb greenhouse gases in succession to the Kyoto Protocol.1101 06

“The Arctic and the world cannot wait any longer,” environment ministers from the five nations said in a joint statement after talks in Oslo. The five all have Arctic territories.

“The climate is hurtling towards a turning point after which irreversible processes will have been set in motion,” they said of the Arctic thaw.
(1 November 2007)
Also at Common Dreams.

Australian researchers report on health effects of climate change

Research Australia
Health researchers tackle climate change Eminent Australian scientists are preparing a report to highlight the health implications of global warming in Australia.

A panel of 10 scientists, brought together by Research Australia, will profile Australian health and medical research into environmental health issues that are likely to emerge or worsen due to climate change.

Led by Professor Tony McMichael of the Australian National University in Canberra, the report will cover emerging research in areas such as:

  • The impact of climate change on the spread of infectious disease
  • Climate change, water supplies and health
  • Asthma and climate change
  • The effects of climate change on mental health
  • The relationship between energy use, climate change and obesity
  • Heat extremes and mortality

Research Australia CEO, Rebecca James, said the potential health impacts of climate change are significant.

“Scientists are now turning their attention to the possible health implications of climate change. They are raising new and challenging questions,” Ms James said.

“This report will provide evidence, projections and predictions from leading Australian scientists to help focus debate and guide funding and research priorities.

“Climate change is more than a local, direct-acting, environmental issue. The health risks are wide-ranging, and extend into the future. More research is needed to understand the full impact of this type of large-scale environmental change on our health, and ways of minimising the health, social and economic costs associated with global warming.”

The report will be released in October 2007 in the lead-up to Research Australia’s “Thank You” Day on November 20, 2007.

Now in its fifth year, Research Australia’s “Thank You” Day raises community awareness of the importance of health and medical research in our everyday lives.

Research Australia is a unique national alliance of over 190 member and donor organisations with a common mission to make health and medical research a higher national priority. For more information on Research Australia visit
(Report October 2007; Press release posted July 23, 2007)
The report has just been released as a 17-page PDF: Healthy planet, places and people at risk

Suggested by Paul Roth.

Smoking in the Greenhouse
Tar sands growth makes meeting Kyoto targets less likely

Yuill Herbert, The Dominion (Canada)
…Under the Kyoto agreement, Canada is committed to reducing emissions to 563 megatonnes. At current trends, Natural Resources Canada projects Canada’s emissions will exceed this level by 36 per cent–or 265 megatonnes–by 2010. By international law, countries that exceed their targets are required to make up the difference, plus an additional 30 per cent, in the next commitment period.

In a detailed analysis, the Pembina Institute concluded in 2005 that oil sands are the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions growth in Canada, with a rapidly increasing share of the country’s total emissions. Emissions from the oil sands are projected to increase between 450 and 560 per cent between 2003 and 2020.
(29 October 2007)