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connin 's List: Gene Cells Project

    • Climate change is one of the most critical global challenges of our time. Recent events have emphatically demonstrated our growing vulnerability to climate change. Climate change impacts will range from affecting agriculture- further endangering food security-, sea-level rise and the accelerated erosion of coastal zones, increasing intensity of natural disasters, species extinction and the spread of vector-borne diseases.
    • A long-term change in atmospheric and/or ocean conditions due to natural or human activity. Climate change is sometimes used synonymously with the term <i>global warming</i>, but climate change is a broader term because it includes natural changes in climate.
    • In the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, climate change is subtly eroding the health of pine and fir trees. The effect could be a portent of severe tree die-offs to come.

      Ecologists have been tracking the fate of more than 21,000 individual trees since 1983 as part of a project to study forest ecology at different elevations in the Californian mountains. When Phillip van Mantgem and Nathan Stephenson of the US Geological Survey in Three Rivers, California, looked at the first 22 years of this record, they noticed that mortality rates of both pine and fir trees had increased at an average of 3% a year, nearly doubling overall (Ecology Letters, DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01080.x). The increased death rates were seen at all but the highest elevations. Meanwhile, the rate at which new trees established did not change.

       <!--******** "Todays date" component ******** -->Wednesday, October 20, 1999 Published at 22:49 GMT 23:49 UK<!--******** END COMPONENT ******** -->   


       Trees 'will not avert climate change' 

      The world's forests can buy a little time, before they start adding to the warming 

      By Environment Correspondent Alex Kirby 

        Hopes that planting trees could absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and so help to sl >ow down global warming look set to be dashed.

    • Hopes that planting trees could absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and so help to sl

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    • he Kyoto Protocol to halt climate change is based on a scientific fallacy, according to the first results of CarboEurope, a Europe-wide programme that has pioneered research into the carbon budget.


      The protocol says that countries can help meet their targets for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases over the next decade by planting forests to soak up carbon dioxide. But the soil in these "Kyoto forests" will actually release more carbon than the growing trees absorb in the first 10 years, the new research shows.

    • "Countries will be able to claim carbon credits for the forests. But that won't reflect what is happening in the atmosphere," says Riccardo Valentini of the University of Tuscia in Viterbo, Italy. He presented the CarboEurope data last week in Valencia, Spain.


      The project's revelations could embarrass governments now meeting in New Delhi to discuss implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Earlier in October, Italy announced plans to achieve between 10 and 40 per cent of its emission reductions target for 2012 through forest planting. But now its own scientists are warning that these sinks might not work.

    • Climatic change could affect longevity and should therefore impact on long-term planning, unless gardeners are prepared to focus on the short-term and replace and replant trees when necessary.
    • Climate change is a global issue and there is an obligation on us all to take action, in line with our capabilities and historic responsibilities," said the statement from the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (Globe).
      • Global Initiative on Forests and Climate


        How will it work?


         The Australian Government is providing $200 million for ‘Global Initiative on Forests and Climate'. This funding will be used to support projects in selected developing countries (particularly, but not exclusively, in the South-East Asia and Pacific regions) to:

        • build technical capacity to assess and monitor forest resources, and to develop national forest management plans;
        • put in place effective regulatory and law enforcement arrangements to protect forests, including through preventing illegal logging;
        • promote the sustainable use of forest resources and diversify the economic base of forest-dependent communities;
        • support practical research into the drivers of deforestation;
        • encourage reforestation of degraded forest areas;
        • develop and deploy the technology and systems needed to help developing countries monitor and produce robust assessments of their forest resources;
        • pilot approaches to providing real financial incentives to countries and communities to encourage sustainable use of forests and reduce destruction of forests.

        These projects will be developed in cooperation with regional countries and relevant international organisations including the World Bank. They will reflect the priorities of the countries concerned, while seeking to achieve the maximum possible benefit for forest management and the global climate.


        In relation to the provision of incentives to developing countries for sustainable forestry practices and reducing net forest loss, we expect to explore a range of approaches that reflect the differing needs and circumstances of different countries. However, a common element of any incentives is that they will be provided only on the achievement of pre-agreed forest sustainability milestones (e.g. agreed reductions in national deforestation rates). Measurement of achievement of these milestones will be underpinned by the investment in the technology and systems to robustly monitor forest resources.




        Effectively tackling the issue of global deforestation will require a huge investment from governments and businesses around the world. The Australian Government will therefore be working closely with governments and businesses from other developed countries to build support for and help in the delivery of this global initiative, so that we can harness the collective effort required.


        The contributions that other countries may make will obviously be a matter for them, but we will be talking to key countries about the initiative over the next few weeks. Those discussions will also address the most effective means for countries to mutually identify areas and projects for joint activity, and how best to form clusters of partners to undertake those activities.


        As a soon as we have a good initial picture of the views of key countries and others, we will decide how best to proceed with this initiative, including through engaging key Ministers from these countries.


        Planning and delivery of the Initiative in Australia will involve a whole of government effort, including through the Environment, Foreign Affairs (including AusAID) and Forestry Departments.

    • cientists are concerned that the natural fluctuation has been overtaken by a rapid human-induced warming that has serious implications for the stability of the climate on which much life on the planet depends.
    • The greenhouse effect refers to the role played by gases which effectively trap energy from the Sun in the Earth's atmosphere. Without them, the planet would be too cold to sustain life as we know it.

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    • US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said climate change is a real problem, and world leaders should forge a new global consensus on tackling it.
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    • The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty designed to limit global greenhouse gas emissions. Many Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including Australia, have signed the Protocol since negotiations were concluded at the third session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 3).
    • The 1997 Kyoto Protocol shares the Convention’s objective, principles and institutions, but significantly strengthens the Convention by committing Annex I Parties to individual, legally-binding targets to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
    • tabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."[1]
    • The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an amendment to the international treaty on climate change, assigning mandatory emission limitations for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the signatory nations.

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    • Human-induced climate change has become increasingly important in our everyday lives and, inevitably, will continue to do so.
    • redicted changes in the main environmental drivers - temperature, water availability, wind and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels - are discussed, together with their potential impacts on forest growth and the incidence of pests and diseases.
    • Forests and woodlands are an important part of our landscape and provide many benefits to society.
    • of how changes to the natural environment may influence forests and woodlands in the future and to provide authoritive advice as to how woodland management can adapt to the changes that have been predicted.
    • Americans now rank climate change as the country’s most pressing environmental concern, a new survey reveals. This is a dramatic shift from just three years ago, when climate change ranked only sixth out of 10 environmental problems.
    • Climate change has become a frequently discussed issue over the past years. Climate change can be caused by internal and external forces like the Earth’s orbit, solar radiation and greenhouse gas concentrations. The ice age is an example of climate change. Recently, the focus of our concern is the effect humanity is having on the climate.  

      Researchers are debating as to whether the cause of our current climate change is because of humans or radiative forcing. Resources are also being used to find methods of climate control. The only ways we hope to impact our climate is to refrain from pollution, recycle and stop using the natural resources at the rate we are.

    • Global climate change, sometimes referred to as global warming, is the looming environmental threat that all of us will   have to face in the 21st century. Industrial society, based for 200 years on the combustion of oil, coal, and gas, has changed   the basic mechanics of our planet's self-regulating temperature balance.
    • here is another simple, effective way you can be part of the solution today: Plant a tree, cool the globe. You can plant   trees to offset your personal carbon dioxide emissions and reduce CO2 in our atmosphere. Read on to learn how trees and forests,   the skin of the earth, can help us in this critical effort to restabilize the Earth's atmosphere.

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