Friday, November 25, 2005

New evidence that current CO2 levels are extreme

Just in: there is new ice core data from Antarctica going back 210,000 years farther than the previous Vostok ice core (which I discussed here), and the findings are consistent.
The analysis shows that today’s rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, at 380 parts per million by volume, is now 27 percent higher than its highest recorded level during the last 650,000 years, said "Science" author Thomas Stocker of the Physics Institute of the University of Bern, in Bern, Switzerland...
The new data adds two full glacial cycles to the record, and suggests that natural changes in atmospheric composition through these cycles were much slower than the changes seen since the Industrial Revolution. The researchers are now discussing the possibility of even deeper cores that could extend the record to 1.2 million years or more.

An interesting tidbit: Nepal has ratified the Kyoto protocol.
Nepal with about 0.025 per cent of annual greenhouse gas emission in the world is the only South Asian country yet to ratify the Protocol. The global effort of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is in favor of Nepal for several reasons. First, it is a matter of honor and responsibility to be a part of the international pact where most of the countries have participated for a long-term interest of the mankind. Second, Nepal can meet most of the energy needs from non-carbon sources because the use of alternative energy sources (hydropower, biogas, solar and wind power, impoverished appropriate technology) has been increasing. This indicates that Nepal can directly benefit from the mechanisms of the Protocol by developing clean infrastructure projects in collaboration with other countries and also by trading its quotas with Annex I countries.


Finally, reducing a large number of possible natural disasters like melting of Himalaya, receding glaciers, and bursting of numerous glacier lakes, losing of biodiversity, which affect long-term interest and future of Nepal will be a major benefit in the long-run.
From another Nepali online newspaper I just discovered: The Rising Nepal.

"It is a matter of honour and responsibility..." Now if all of us could just deliver on our promises.

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