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Amazon Climate Change -Thomas Stelzer

Thomas Stelzer, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs. Photo: A Critica

“Globally speaking, if the Amazon region lost its ability to capture carbon, it would be more difficult to control climate change, which is the world’s biggest challenge today”, said the United Nations (UN) Official Thomas Stelzer to A Critica, a local newspaper in Brazil.

According to him, this subject affects the environmental arrangements throughout the world, as the Amazon rainforest plays an important role in the global weather regulation for the large amount of carbon it can absorb from the atmosphere. From that, the need to protect the Amazon is essential.

Stelzer visited Manaus, city located in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, to participate in the celebrations of the 2013 Environment Week. He visited research institutions and debated actions designed to promote sustainability and development in the Amazonas State of Brazil.

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The US President Barack Obama. Photo: Yahoo News

The US President Barack Obama. Photo: Yahoo News

I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change, but if you’ve got creative approaches, market-based approaches, tell me about them. […] We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago, and that the future…in part, is going to depend on our willingness to deal with something that we may not be able to see or smell the way you could when the Chicago River was on fire, or at least could have caught on fire, but is in some ways more serious, more fundamental.”

said the US President Barack Obama, last week, at the Democratic fundraiser, in Chicago, in the United States.

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If you have ever wondered how much greenhouse gas (GHG) the world produces annually, you may now have a close estimation. The World Resources Institute, in partnership with the ASN Bank, Ecofys and DuurzaamBedrijfsleven.nl, published this week an updated flow chart detailing the global GHG emissions for the year 2010, when approximately 48,629 million tons of CO2-eq were released to the atmosphere.

The infographic shows that the human activities alone are responsible for 76% of the CO2 emissions, the main driver of global warming. It still points out the sectors that contribute the most to the world’s GHG emissions and identifies what kind of natural resources they use. Overall, the Industry sector accounts for 29% of these emissions, followed by the Transport and the Land Use Change sectors with 15% each.

Click on the image below to see the full infographic.

GHG emissions Flow Chart

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2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands. Photo: A Critica

2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands. Photo: A Critica

Scientists and members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gathered throughout last week in Manaus with the objective to create a methodology to measure greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands. The team produced a document that should be finalised by July this year and posteriorly sent to the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for approval.

The Wetlands Supplement seeks to expand the methodological guidance on wetlands emissions covered in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, as it contains gaps in relation to wetlands management. According to the IPCC, the final document will be available to the public at the end of October 2013, when the 37th Session of the IPCC takes place, in Georgia, in the United States.

Nadja da Cunha, member of the National Institute for Amazonian Research (Inpa) who participated in the meetings, says that the developments of this event is particularly important for the entire Amazon Region, as at least 30% of the region is flooded most of the year.

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A bleak global reality is painted in this introduction to REDD+ Talks video, which explains the multitude of climate change related issues which we are now facing. They describe themselves as America’s first symposium on Global Warming and the vital role of REDD+. They believe that “it is essential to provide fundamental information on REDD+ as a viable climate change mitigation strategy, and this is the reason for having organized REDD+ Talks.”

They also explain that they hope that “after hearing from corporate leaders and experts on global warming, REDD+ and climate change policy, you will be inspired to accelerate your emissions reduction programs by supporting REDD+ projects that serve to protect the world’s vital forests and biodiversity while uplifting impoverished communities.”

While these may seem like lofty ambitions, which are difficult to achieve; here at Celestial Green Ventures we have the same ambitions with our own REDD+ Forest Conservation and Community Development Projects. You can find out more about our REDD+ projects here.

You can see their introductory video here…..

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Much has been discussed about climate change and how it alters the global natural dynamic. However, sometimes it can be difficult to easily understand it and measure its possible consequences. Thinking of it, NASA developed different web-based interactive tools to facilitate the understanding of this phenomenon. We selected two of them to show you today, the Climate Time Machine and the Eyes on the Earth 3D.

Climate Time Machine shows the direct impacts of climate changes on some regions of the world. Using the features of this map, it is possible to follow the decrease of the Arctic ice extent from 1979 until 2010, visualise the effect of a possible sea level rise on the U.S. coastal region, measure the concentration of carbon emissions and see the global average temperatures throughout the world.

Climate Time Machine. Source: Nasa

Climate Time Machine. Source: NASA

Eyes on the Earth 3D in turn presents a more in-depth analysis of different recent data related to air temperature, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide rates, sea level, Antarctic ozone, ice and water. Combining 3D satellites images with data collected from September 2012 to the present, it allows us to travel around the planet and visualise how it has been changing due to global warming.

Eyes on the Earth 3D. Source: NASA

Eyes on the Earth 3D. Source: NASA

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Indigenous Solar Observatory. Source: G1/ Musa

Indigenous Solar Observatory. Source: G1/ Musa

A study carried out with different indigenous tribes in the Brazilian Amazon verified that climate changes have affected their astrologic predictions, made in order to determine the best season to plant, harvest, hunt and perform religious rituals. As a part of the native spoken culture, monitoring the stars help them better understand nature and its phenomena. As a result, many of their activities are based on astrological knowledge.

Coordinated by Germano Afonso, Doctor of Astronomy and Celestial Mechanics, and hired by the Foundation for Research Support in the State of Amazonas (Fapeam), the research contrasted the predictions of seven Amazonian ethnicities (Tukano, Tupé, Dessana, Baré, Tuyuka, Baniwa and Tikuna) with the meteorological forecasts for the regions where they live to identify the flaws in their estimates.

“With this analysis we noticed that some phenomena caused by climate change were distorting their predictions, as expected rain came early or was delayed by phenomena, such as El Niño and deforestation”, explained Afonso. The Greenhouse gas effect, environmental pollution and the construction of dams in the middle of the Amazon forest were also pointed out by the expert as key influencing drivers to changing the indigenous calculations.

Source: G1

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