Storms overshadow UN climate talks

2012-08-30 14:45

Bangkok - World climate change negotiators faced warnings on Thursday that a string of extreme weather events around the globe show urgent action on emission cuts is needed as they opened new talks in Bangkok.

The week-long meeting in the Thai capital, which was devastated by major floods in 2011, aims to prepare the ground for a meeting of ministers under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doha starting in November.

"This meeting opens in the immediate aftermath of a deadly typhoon in the Republic of Korea and a hurricane that hit near New Orleans on the seventh anniversary of Katrina - powerful reminders of the urgent need to lower greenhouse gas emissions," said Marlene Moses of Nauru, who chairs the Alliance of Small Island States.

For small islands particularly vulnerable to climate change, "development prospects, viability and survival hang in the balance", she warned.

Some experts believe the UN target to limit the rise in global average temperatures to 2°C is already unattainable.


At least 18 people were killed this week by the most powerful typhoon to hit South Korea in almost a decade and thousands of people were evacuated in New Orleans as Hurricane Isaac pounded the southern US city.

In the Philippines, storms and flooding from torrential rains killed at least 170 people in August, while the US Midwest breadbasket is reeling from the worst drought in more than 50 years.

Scientists hesitate about pinning extreme weather events to climate change, which is a longer-term phenomenon.

But they also note that worse droughts, floods and storms are consistent with models that link disruption to Earth's climate system with heat-trapping fossil-fuel emissions.

They also point to other evidence that climate change is on the march, including the announcement this week that sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk to a record seasonal low this summer.

No major breakthroughs are expected at the Bangkok event, an informal meeting of senior officials from more than 190 countries.

But delegates aim to make some progress on the long road set out in Durban in December to negotiating an accord that would from 2020 bring all major greenhouse-gas emitters under a single legal roof for the first time.

If approved as scheduled in 2015, the pact would become the prime weapon in the fight against climate change.

In the meantime, negotiators face the challenge of reaching an agreement on a second commitment period for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, whose first roster of legally-binding carbon curbs expires at the end of this year.

  • savannah.theron - 2012-08-30 15:26

    I think it's a little late..... climate change is already upon us!!!

  • aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 16:26

    There has been no statistically significant increase in extreme weather events. It would be nice if News24 stopped regurgitating these lies and actually did some of their own research. This is blatant scaremongering by the global warming religion which is apparently becoming increasingly desperate as the global cooling trend of the last 14 years continues unabated. (

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-08-30 16:42

      LOL, very very interesting reading, and this is a brand new document by the American Meteorological Society! IN YOUR FACE, global warming sheeple!!!

      tony.lapson - 2012-08-30 17:44

      I'm just going to leave this here. Read it with an open mind and enjoy =)

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 17:58

      @Tony - That isn't research. It's an opinion piece, probably to get funding, which is, after all, the way the global warming game is played. You have to give them credit, though, for at least publishing the truth when there is hard research behind it and not emulating the IPCC habit of cherry picking only the papers that suit their ideology.

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-08-30 18:32

      Besides which, almost every paper that has attempted to find a significant statistical increase in severe weather events has failed to do so. In fact, you might almost say that there is a "consensus".

      tony.lapson - 2012-08-30 19:31

      Research and data collected since 1957, the year they started documenting. Journal specifically about "Severe storms" and the trends over the last 62 years. >Automatically disproves the theory that Humans and industry have a big impact on Climate Change. I appreciate the information though, it helped me gain a bit more understanding of Severe weather.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-08-30 21:49

      @Aaron: 1) Could you please provide me with citations that point to peer reviewed published research to back up your claim: " cooling trend of the last 14 years continues unabated." i.e. Provide me with Journal title, Date published, volume of the journal, authors. 2)"... almost every paper that has attempted to find a significant statistical increase in severe weather events has..." The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has almost doubled since the start of the industrial revolution and if no action is taken, it will reach 800ppm within this centuary (This is almost 4 times the concentration of co2 before the industrial revolution). This increase has caused an energy imbalance (i.e. more energy is comming into the system than going out) in the climate system. This energy imbalance manifests itself in the form of extreme weather events. SO in a nutshell: Uncontrolled greenhouse gas concentrations are increasing the odds of extreme weather events occurring more often. These conclusions are based on very well understood basic scientific principles. Perhaps you should consult the link provided below:

      robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-08-31 08:16

      Bravo Aaron. @Ernst. If you have ever had papers published in scientific journals you would know by now that the ‘peer-revue’ process is a joke with little bearing on the value of the paper, the author(s), or research behind the paper. So why do you keep on flogging that ‘peer-revue’ dead horse? It means absolutely nothing these days. I could quote you lots more but just take a look at these two recent references as an example of what lies behind this oh so infallible (reliable perhaps?) peer-revue process!

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-08-31 10:00

      @Robin: "So why do you keep on flogging that ‘peer-revue’ dead horse? It means absolutely nothing these da..." You claim that manmade global warming is false. What do you base this claim on? Scientific research papers? Or do you just read on the internet what you WANT to believe and block everything else out. I have heard you preach that your beliefs are based on sound science. So sound science, according to you, is scientific research conducted by individuals where their work is not scrutinized by experts, because peer review is corrupt. So they can make bold unsubstantiated claims without it being verified with a strong degree of accuracy. They can post their "fake" research on sites like "whatsupwiththat". You imply that the whole scientific process is corrupt. Does that not then mean that the "research" you base your claims on is also corrupt?

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