#Carbon #cycle: #Global #warming then and now (Nature Geoscience, abstract)

[Source: Nature Geoscience, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Nature Geoscience | News and Views

Carbon cycle: Global warming then and now

Peter Stassen1

Journal name: Nature Geoscience – Year published: (2016) – DOI: doi:10.1038/ngeo2691

Published online 21 March 2016

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A rapid warming event 55.8 million years ago was caused by extensive carbon emissions. The rate of change of carbon and oxygen isotopes in marine shelf sediments suggests that carbon emission rates were much slower than anthropogenic emissions.

Subject terms: Carbon cycle • Palaeoclimate

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Climate Change; Global Warming.

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Enhanced #Atlantic #sea-level rise relative to the #Pacific under high #carbon #emission rates (Nature Geoscience, abstract)

[Source: Nature Geoscience, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Nature Geoscience | Letter

Enhanced Atlantic sea-level rise relative to the Pacific under high carbon emission rates [   R   ]

J. P. Krasting, J. P. Dunne, R. J. Stouffer & R. W. Hallberg

Journal name: Nature Geoscience  – Year published: (2016) – DOI: doi:10.1038/ngeo2641

Received 01 May 2015  – Accepted 23 December 2015  – Published online 01 February 2016

 

Abstract

Thermal expansion of the ocean in response to warming is an important component of historical sea-level rise1. Observational studies show that the Atlantic and Southern oceans are warming faster than the Pacific Ocean2, 3, 4, 5. Here we present simulations using a numerical atmospheric-ocean general circulation model with an interactive carbon cycle to evaluate the impact of carbon emission rates, ranging from 2 to 25 GtC yr−1, on basin-scale ocean heat uptake and sea level. For simulations with emission rates greater than 5 GtC yr−1, sea-level rise is larger in the Atlantic than Pacific Ocean on centennial timescales. This basin-scale asymmetry is related to the shorter flushing timescales and weakening of the overturning circulation in the Atlantic. These factors lead to warmer Atlantic interior waters and greater thermal expansion. In contrast, low emission rates of 2 and 3 GtC yr−1 will cause relatively larger sea-level rise in the Pacific on millennial timescales. For a given level of cumulative emissions, sea-level rise is largest at low emission rates. We conclude that Atlantic coastal areas may be particularly vulnerable to near-future sea-level rise from present-day high greenhouse gas emission rates.

Subject terms: Climate and Earth system modelling • Climate change • Climate-change impacts • Physical oceanography

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Climate Change.

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Limited #tolerance by #insects to high #temperatures across #tropical elevational gradients and the implications of #global #warming for #extinction (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Limited tolerance by insects to high temperatures across tropical elevational gradients and the implications of global warming for extinction [   R   ]

Carlos García-Robledo a,b,1, Erin K. Kuprewicz a, Charles L. Staines b, Terry L. Erwin b, and W. John Kress a

Author Affiliations: aDepartment of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013-7012; bDepartment of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013-7012

Edited by Douglas Futuyma, and approved November 24, 2015 (received for review April 20, 2015)

 

Significance

Tolerance to high temperatures will determine the survival of animal species under projected global warming. Surprisingly little research has been conducted to elucidate how this trait changes in organisms living at different elevations of similar latitudes, especially in the tropics. DNA barcodes demonstrate that insect species previously thought to have broad elevational distributions and phenotypically plastic thermal tolerances actually comprise cryptic species complexes. These cryptic species occupy discrete elevational ranges, and their thermal tolerances seem to be locally adapted to temperatures in their life zones. The combination of high species endemism and local adaptation to temperature regimes may increase the extinction risk of high-elevation insects in a warming world.

 

Abstract

The critical thermal maximum (CTmax), the temperature at which motor control is lost in animals, has the potential to determine if species will tolerate global warming. For insects, tolerance to high temperatures decreases with latitude, suggesting that similar patterns may exist along elevational gradients as well. This study explored how CTmax varies among species and populations of a group of diverse tropical insect herbivores, the rolled-leaf beetles, across both broad and narrow elevational gradients. Data from 6,948 field observations and 8,700 museum specimens were used to map the elevational distributions of rolled-leaf beetles on two mountains in Costa Rica. CTmax was determined for 1,252 individual beetles representing all populations across the gradients. Initial morphological identifications suggested a total of 26 species with populations at different elevations displaying contrasting upper thermal limits. However, compared with morphological identifications, DNA barcodes (cytochrome oxidase I) revealed significant cryptic species diversity. DNA barcodes identified 42 species and haplotypes across 11 species complexes. These 42 species displayed much narrower elevational distributions and values of CTmax than the 26 morphologically defined species. In general, species found at middle elevations and on mountaintops are less tolerant to high temperatures than species restricted to lowland habitats. Species with broad elevational distributions display high CTmax throughout their ranges. We found no significant phylogenetic signal in CTmax, geography, or elevational range. The narrow variance in CTmax values for most rolled-leaf beetles, especially high-elevation species, suggests that the risk of extinction of insects may be substantial under some projected rates of global warming.

CephaloleiaChelobasis – CO1 – CTmax – thermal limits

 

Footnotes

1To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: garciac@si.edu.

Author contributions: C.G.-R., E.K.K., T.L.E., and W.J.K. designed research; C.G.-R., E.K.K., and C.L.S. performed research; C.G.-R. and W.J.K. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; C.G.-R. and E.K.K. analyzed data; and C.G.-R., E.K.K., C.L.S., T.L.E., and W.J.K. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.

Data deposition: The DNA sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the GenBank database, dx.doi.org/10.5883/DS-BOFCR (accession nos. KU357054KU358485).

This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1507681113/-/DCSupplemental.

http://www.pnas.org/preview_site/misc/userlicense.xhtml

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Climate Change; Global Warming; Insects.

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#Amplification of #ElNiño by #cloud longwave coupling to #atmospheric #circulation (Nature Geoscience, abstract)

[Source: Nature Geoscience, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Nature Geoscience | Letter

Amplification of El Niño by cloud longwave coupling to atmospheric circulation [   R   ]

Gaby Rädel, Thorsten Mauritsen, Bjorn Stevens, Dietmar Dommenget, Daniela Matei, Katinka Bellomo & Amy Clement

Journal name: Nature Geoscience – Year published: (2016) DOI: doi:10.1038/ngeo2630

Received 08 July 2015 – Accepted 02 December 2015 – Published online 04 January 2016

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The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the dominant mode of inter-annual variability, with major impacts on social and ecological systems through its influence on extreme weather, droughts and floods. The ability to forecast El Niño, as well as anticipate how it may change with warming, requires an understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms that drive it. Among these, the role of atmospheric processes remains poorly understood. Here we present numerical experiments with an Earth system model, with and without coupling of cloud radiative effects to the circulation, suggesting that clouds enhance ENSO variability by a factor of two or more. Clouds induce heating in the mid and upper troposphere associated with enhanced high-level cloudiness over the El Niño region, and low-level clouds cool the lower troposphere in the surrounding regions. Together, these effects enhance the coupling of the atmospheric circulation to El Niño surface temperature anomalies, and thus strengthen the positive Bjerknes feedback mechanism between west Pacific zonal wind stress and sea surface temperature gradients. Behaviour consistent with the proposed mechanism is robustly represented in other global climate models and in satellite observations. The mechanism suggests that the response of ENSO amplitude to climate change will in part be determined by a balance between increasing cloud longwave feedback and a possible reduction in the area covered by upper-level clouds.

(…)

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Subject terms: Atmospheric dynamics • Climate and Earth system modelling • Physical oceanography

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Climate Change.

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#Weather-Related #Flood and #Landslide #Damage: A #Risk #Index for #Italian #Regions (Plos One, abstract)

[Source: PLoS One, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Open Access / Peer-reviewed / Research Article

Weather-Related Flood and Landslide Damage: A Risk Index for Italian Regions [   R   ]

Alessandro Messeri,  Marco Morabito,  Gianni Messeri,  Giada Brandani,  Martina Petralli,  Francesca Natali,  Daniele Grifoni,  Alfonso Crisci,  … Gianfranco Gensini,  Simone Orlandini

Published: December 29, 2015 / DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144468

 

Abstract

The frequency of natural hazards has been increasing in the last decades in Europe and specifically in Mediterranean regions due to climate change. For example heavy precipitation events can lead to disasters through the interaction with exposed and vulnerable people and natural systems. It is therefore necessary a prevention planning to preserve human health and to reduce economic losses. Prevention should mainly be carried out with more adequate land management, also supported by the development of an appropriate risk prediction tool based on weather forecasts. The main aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between weather types (WTs) and the frequency of floods and landslides that have caused damage to properties, personal injuries, or deaths in the Italian regions over recent decades. In particular, a specific risk index (WT-FLARI) for each WT was developed at national and regional scale. This study has identified a specific risk index associated with each weather type, calibrated for each Italian region and applicable to both annual and seasonal levels. The risk index represents the seasonal and annual vulnerability of each Italian region and indicates that additional preventive actions are necessary for some regions. The results of this study represent a good starting point towards the development of a tool to support policy-makers, local authorities and health agencies in planning actions, mainly in the medium to long term, aimed at the weather damage reduction that represents an important issue of the World Meteorological Organization mission.

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Citation: Messeri A, Morabito M, Messeri G, Brandani G, Petralli M, Natali F, et al. (2015) Weather-Related Flood and Landslide Damage: A Risk Index for Italian Regions. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0144468. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144468

Editor: Moncho Gomez-Gesteira, University of Vigo, SPAIN

Received: September 10, 2015; Accepted: November 18, 2015; Published: December 29, 2015

Copyright: © 2015 Messeri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and in a specific public repository (https://github.com/meteosalute/weather_landslide).

Funding: This study was funded by the European Project Horizon 2020 (H2020-DRS-2014) Culture And RISkmanagement in Man-made and Natural Disasters (CARISMAND—G.A. 635748—Horizon 2020).

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Extreme Weather; Floods; Climate Change; Italy; Disaster Preparedness.

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Detecting long-term #metabolic #shifts using isotopomers: CO2-driven suppression of photorespiration in C3 #plants over the 20th #century (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Detecting long-term metabolic shifts using isotopomers: CO2-driven suppression of photorespiration in C3 plants over the 20th century [      ]

Ina Ehlers a,1, Angela Augusti a,1,2, Tatiana R. Betson a, Mats B. Nilsson b, John D. Marshall b,c, and Jürgen Schleucher a,3

Author Affiliations: aDepartment of Medical Biochemistry & Biophysics, Umeå University, 901 87 Umea, Sweden; bDepartment of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 901 83 Umea, Sweden; cDepartment of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-1133

Edited by Katherine H. Freeman, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, and approved November 9, 2015 (received for review July 26, 2015)

Significance

Decadal-scale metabolic responses of plants to environmental changes, including the magnitude of the “CO2 fertilization” effect, are a major knowledge gap in Earth system models, in agricultural models, and for societal adaptation. We introduce intramolecular isotope distributions (isotopomers) as a methodology for detecting shifts in plant carbon metabolism over long times. Trends in a deuterium isotopomer ratio allow quantification of a biogeochemically relevant shift in the metabolism of C3 plants toward photosynthesis, driven by increasing atmospheric CO2 since industrialization. Isotopomers strongly increase the information content of isotope archives, and may therefore reveal long-term acclimation or adaptations to environmental changes in general. The metabolic information encoded in isotopomers of plant archives bridges a fundamental gap between experimental plant science and paleoenvironmental studies.

 

Abstract

Terrestrial vegetation currently absorbs approximately a third of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, mitigating the rise of atmospheric CO2. However, terrestrial net primary production is highly sensitive to atmospheric CO2 levels and associated climatic changes. In C3 plants, which dominate terrestrial vegetation, net photosynthesis depends on the ratio between photorespiration and gross photosynthesis. This metabolic flux ratio depends strongly on CO2 levels, but changes in this ratio over the past CO2 rise have not been analyzed experimentally. Combining CO2 manipulation experiments and deuterium NMR, we first establish that the intramolecular deuterium distribution (deuterium isotopomers) of photosynthetic C3 glucose contains a signal of the photorespiration/photosynthesis ratio. By tracing this isotopomer signal in herbarium samples of natural C3 vascular plant species, crops, and a Sphagnum moss species, we detect a consistent reduction in the photorespiration/photosynthesis ratio in response to the ∼100-ppm CO2 increase between ∼1900 and 2013. No difference was detected in the isotopomer trends between beet sugar samples covering the 20th century and CO2 manipulation experiments, suggesting that photosynthetic metabolism in sugar beet has not acclimated to increasing CO2 over >100 y. This provides observational evidence that the reduction of the photorespiration/photosynthesis ratio was ca. 25%. The Sphagnum results are consistent with the observed positive correlations between peat accumulation rates and photosynthetic rates over the Northern Hemisphere. Our results establish that isotopomers of plant archives contain metabolic information covering centuries. Our data provide direct quantitative information on the “CO2 fertilization” effect over decades, thus addressing a major uncertainty in Earth system models.

isotopomer – acclimation – deuterium – CO2 fertilization – atmospheric change

 

Footnotes

1I.E. and A.A. contributed equally to this work.

2Present address: Institute of Agro-environmental and Forest Biology, National Council of Research, 05010 Porano (TR), Italy.

3To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: jurgen.schleucher@chem.umu.se.

Author contributions: I.E., A.A., and J.S. designed research; I.E., A.A., and J.S. performed research; T.R.B. and M.B.N. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; I.E., A.A., T.R.B., M.B.N., J.D.M., and J.S. analyzed data; and I.E., A.A., T.R.B., M.B.N., J.D.M., and J.S. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.

This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1504493112/-/DCSupplemental.

Freely available online through the PNAS open access option. http://www.pnas.org/preview_site/misc/userlicense.xhtml

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Climate Change; Biodiversity.

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#Deaths From #Disasters Double This Year as #Planet Heats Up (Bloomberg, Dec. 18 ‘15)

[Source: Bloomberg, full page: (LINK).]

Deaths From Disasters Double This Year as Planet Heats Up [   !   ]

At least 26,000 people died in heat waves, earthquakes, floods and other disasters during a year that was probably the warmest on record, more than double the number of deaths in 2014, Swiss Re AG said in an annual report.

(…)

Keywords: Global Warming; Climate Change; Extreme Weather.

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#Metabolic #heat #production and thermal #conductance are mass-independent #adaptations to thermal #environment in #birds and #mammals (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Metabolic heat production and thermal conductance are mass-independent adaptations to thermal environment in birds and mammals [   R   ]

Trevor S. Fristoe a,b,1, Joseph R. Burger a,c, Meghan A. Balk a, Imran Khaliq d,e, Christian Hof d, and James H. Brown a,1

Author Affiliations: aDepartment of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131; bDepartment of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130; cDepartment of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; dSenckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany; eZoology Department, Ghazi University, 32200 Punjab, Pakistan

Contributed by James H. Brown, November 16, 2015 (sent for review March 5, 2015; reviewed by Murray M. Humphries and Michael R. Kearney)

 

Significance

How different kinds of organisms adapt to environmental temperature is central to understanding how they respond to past, present, and future climate change. We applied the Scholander–Irving model of thermoregulation to data on hundreds of species of birds and mammals to assess the contributions of three avenues of adaptation to environmental temperature: body size, basal metabolic rate (BMR), and thermal conductance. Adaptation via body size is limited; the entire ranges of body sizes of birds and mammals occur in nearly all climatic regimes. Using physiological and environmental data for 211 bird and 178 mammal species, we demonstrate that birds and mammals have adapted to geographic variation in environmental temperature regimes by concerted changes in both BMR and thermal conductance.

 

Abstract

The extent to which different kinds of organisms have adapted to environmental temperature regimes is central to understanding how they respond to climate change. The Scholander–Irving (S-I) model of heat transfer lays the foundation for explaining how endothermic birds and mammals maintain their high, relatively constant body temperatures in the face of wide variation in environmental temperature. The S-I model shows how body temperature is regulated by balancing the rates of heat production and heat loss. Both rates scale with body size, suggesting that larger animals should be better adapted to cold environments than smaller animals, and vice versa. However, the global distributions of ∼9,000 species of terrestrial birds and mammals show that the entire range of body sizes occurs in nearly all climatic regimes. Using physiological and environmental temperature data for 211 bird and 178 mammal species, we test for mass-independent adaptive changes in two key parameters of the S-I model: basal metabolic rate (BMR) and thermal conductance. We derive an axis of thermal adaptation that is independent of body size, extends the S-I model, and highlights interactions among physiological and morphological traits that allow endotherms to persist in a wide range of temperatures. Our macrophysiological and macroecological analyses support our predictions that shifts in BMR and thermal conductance confer important adaptations to environmental temperature in both birds and mammals.

macrophysiology – Bergmann’s rule – body size – metabolic rate – thermal conductance

 

Footnotes

1To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: tfristoe@wustl.edu or jhbrown@unm.edu.

Author contributions: T.S.F., J.R.B., M.A.B., and J.H.B. designed research; T.S.F., J.R.B., and M.A.B. performed research; T.S.F., J.R.B., M.A.B., and I.K. analyzed data; and T.S.F., J.R.B., M.A.B., I.K., C.H., and J.H.B. wrote the paper.

Reviewers: M.M.H., McGill University; and M.R.K., University of Melbourne.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1521662112/-/DCSupplemental.

http://www.pnas.org/preview_site/misc/userlicense.xhtml

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Climate Change; Biodiversity.

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#COP21: #UN chief hails new #climatechange #agreement as ‘monumental #triumph’ [updated] (UN News Centre, Dec. 13 ‘15)

[Source: United Nations News Centre, full page: (LINK).]

COP21: UN chief hails new climate change agreement as ‘monumental triumph’ [  INTL / ENVR  ]

12 December 2015

Following the adoption of the new Paris Agreement on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said government representatives made history today.

“The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet,” said Mr. Ban in a tweet, immediately following its adoption. “It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.”

Gaveling the Agreement with a green hammer, the French Foreign Minister and President of COP21, Laurent Fabius, announced the historic news – a moment greeted with loud applause and cheers, as the room stood up. Many delegates hugged, while others had tears in their eyes.

For the first time today, 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and joined to take common climate action. This followed two weeks of tireless negotiations at the United Nations climate change conference (COP21).

The Paris Agreement and the outcomes of COP21 cover all the crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark conclusion:

–> mitigation – reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal;

–> a transparency system and global stock-take – accounting for climate action;

–> adaptation – strengthening ability of countries to deal with climate impacts;

–> loss and damage – strengthening ability to recover from climate impacts; and

–> support – including finance, for nations to build clean, resilient futures.

“In the face of an unprecedented challenge, you have demonstrated unprecedented leadership,” the UN chief said taking the COP21 stage just minutes later. “You have worked collaboratively to achieve something that no one nation could achieve alone. This is a resounding success for multilateralism.”

Recalling that he made climate change one of the defining priorities of his tenure as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban said that most of all, he has listened to people – the young, the poor and the vulnerable, including indigenous peoples, from every corner of the globe.

“They seek protection from the perils of a warming planet, and the opportunity to live in a safer, more bountiful world,” he underlined. “They have demanded that world leaders act to safeguard their well-being and that of generations to come.”

Turning to the agreement itself, the Secretary-General said negotiators reached “solid results on all key points,” with an agreement that demonstrates solidarity and “is ambitious, flexible, credible and durable.”

“All countries have agreed to hold global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. And recognizing the risk of grave consequences, you have further agreed to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees,” he announced.

In addition, a review mechanism has been established whereby every five years, beginning in 2018, Parties will regularly review what is needed in line with science.

“Governments have agreed to binding, robust, transparent rules of the road to ensure that all countries do what they have agreed across a range of issues,” Mr. Ban added.

Meanwhile, highlighting the role of the private sector, the UN chief said business leaders came to Paris in unprecedented numbers and that “powerful” climate solutions are already available while many more are to come.

“With these elements in place, markets now have the clear signal they need to unleash the full force of human ingenuity and scale up investments that will generate low-emissions, resilient growth,” he said, adding that “what was once unthinkable has now become unstoppable.”

“When historians look back on this day, they will say that global cooperation to secure a future safe from climate change took a dramatic new turn here in Paris,” Mr. Ban stated. “Today, we can look into the eyes of our children and grandchildren, and we can finally say, tell them that we have joined hands to bequeath a more habitable world to them and to future generations.”

Ending his remarks, the UN chief said that all Parties should be proud of the Paris Agreement and that “the work starts tomorrow.”

“For today, congratulations again on a job well done,” he concluded. “Let us work together, with renewed commitment, to make this a better world.”

Addressing the hundreds of delegates, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, said “we did it in Paris.”

“We have made history together. It is an agreement of conviction. It is an agreement of solidarity with the most vulnerable. It is an agreement of long-term vision, for we have to turn this agreement into an engine of safe growth,” she exclaimed.

Several other top UN officials joined the Secretary-General in welcoming the new Agreement. This included the President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft.

“Today’s agreement signals nothing less than a renaissance for humankind as we collectively embrace the global challenge of climate change and endeavor to transition to a more sustainable way of living that respects the needs of people and our planet,” Mr. Lykketoft said in a statement.

Echoing this message, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Oh Joon, said the world has reached a key milestone in collective action for sustainable development.

“Bold action against climate change will contribute to poverty reduction. The United Nations Economic and Social Council will take part in follow-up efforts,” he added.

Earlier today, at a meeting of the Committee of Paris [Comité de Paris] – the body which is overseeing the negotiations at COP21 – the UN chief spoke alongside the President of France, François Hollande as well Minister Fabius.

“The end is in sight. Let us now finish the job. The whole world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom,” the Secretary-General had told delegates.

In an emotional address during which he held back tears, Laurent Fabius said the agreement “will serve meaningful causes, food safety and security, public health, the fight against poverty and for essential rights, and therefore peace.”

“People worldwide, our citizens, our children, wouldn’t understand if we didn’t adopt it and wouldn’t forgive us,” he insisted.

“It is rare to be given the opportunity to change the world,” said President François Hollande, wrapping up the meeting. “You have the opportunity to do that.”

Keywords: Worldwide; UN; Updated; Climate Change; Global Warming; International Cooperation.

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#COP21: ‘Monumental #triumph’ in #Paris as #world adopts new #climatechange #agreement, says #UN chief (UN News Centre, Dec. 12 ‘15)

[Source: United Nations News Centre, full page: (LINK).]

COP21: ‘Monumental triumph’ in Paris as world adopts new climate change agreement, says UN chief [  INTL / ENVR  ]

12 December 2015

Following the adoption of the new Paris Agreement on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said government representatives made history today.

“The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet,” said Mr. Ban in a tweet. “It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.”

Gaveling the agreement with a green hammer, the French Foreign Minister and President of COP21 Laurent Fabius announced its adoption—a moment greeted with loud applause and cheers, as the room stood up. Many delegates hugged, while others had tears in their eyes.

Earlier today, the Secretary-General told delegates that the world had been presented a “historic” document which promises to set it on a new path to a low-emissions, climate-resilient future.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the commitment, engagement and leadership of all the Heads of State, Government ministers and negotiators who have brought us so far in this very difficult negotiation,” Mr. Ban said as all COP21 stakeholders prepared to receive the final draft outcome.

At this morning’s plenary meeting of the Committee of Paris [Comité de Paris]—the body which is overseeing the negotiations at COP21—the UN chief spoke alongside the President of France, François Hollande and the President of COP21 and French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius.

“The end is in sight. Let us now finish the job. The whole world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom,” the Secretary-General declared.

At the opening session of the conference on the last day of November, the UN chief had told 150 world leaders—an unprecedented number to have shown up for such an occasion—that “a political moment like this may not come again.” Today, he said leaders have listened.

“They want a flexible, robust, meaningful, universal agreement that will help us rise as one to the climate challenge. The issues are many and complex. But we must not let the quest for perfection become the enemy of the public good,” he warned.

“The solutions to climate change are on the table. They are ours for the taking. Let us have the courage to grasp them,” he said ending his remarks, adding that he looks forward to joining delegates later today to celebrate the new agreement.

Opening the floor in an emotional address during which he held back tears, Foreign Minister Fabius said if the world doesn’t adopt the agreement, it is the “credibility of multilateralism” that would be in play.

“The agreement will serve meaningful causes, food safety and security, public health, the fight against poverty and for essential rights, and therefore peace,” he insisted. “People worldwide, our citizens, our children, wouldn’t understand if we didn’t adopt it and wouldn’t forgive us.”

He announced that the document presented today as the final draft is “differentiated, just, dynamic, balanced and legally binding.” It calls for global temperature rise to be limited to “well below 2 degrees Celsius,” and “endeavored to reach 1.5 degrees.” It also provides for a transparency framework, monitoring progress every five years.

“It is rare to be given the opportunity to change the world,” said President François Hollande, wrapping up the meeting. “You have the opportunity to do that.”

MORE TO FOLLOW

Keywords: UN; Updates; Worldwide; Climate Change; Interntional Cooperation; Global Warming.

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